Lewitt, Shariann -- Interface Masque

I saw this in a bookstore in 1997, flipped through a few pages, and thought "Cyberpunk in Venice. Good hook, but maybe I'll wait for the paperback." Fourteen years later, the paperback is out (from a small press I noticed at Boskone). This may be the longest I have ever waited to buy a book after it made it into print.

So a bunch of demi-corporate tech groups mostly run the Net, and are now conspiring to get the last few percent locked down. Also, jazz is illegal in Venice. Counter-conspiracy occurs among people who want to free the Net and also jazz. This ought to be good stuff, except, one, it's hard to take the jazz thing seriously -- the Venetian choirs have all been coopted to sing Handel and Palestrina to keep everybody's minds placid. Jazz and rock must be stamped out! Whatever. And two, the protagonist has a terrible case of tell-don't-show. She manages to make all her discoveries of conspiracies and murder and aliens (spoiler, there are aliens) sound run-of-the-mill. It's a pity, because the future-of-1997-Internet cyberspace is pretty juicy and so is the society and its crazy mask fashions, Baroque mind-control aside.

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