March 15, 1996 at 05:00 AM EST

How to Mutate and Take Over the World

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
R.U. Sirius
publisher
Ballantine
genre
Sci-fi and Fantasy, Fiction
We gave it a B

Boy, would the authors of the ”exploded post-novel” How to Mutate and Take Over the World, R.U. Sirius & St. Jude and the Internet 21, love to be considered in the same league as Pynchon and Joyce. Fat chance: Sirius and Jude, the Mutt-and-Jeff pranksters behind the cybermagazine Mondo 2000, have created a work far shallower yet more goofily entertaining than Gravity’s Rainbow or Ulysses. Written in the form of E-mails, manifestos, broadcast transcripts, and online news reports, How to Mutate posits an unnerving seriocomic future in which the right-wing Human Anti-Degradation League pressures President Clinton into cleaning up the Internet (check the headlines if you think that’s a joke), which in turn gives rise to a creative hacker-culture underground, militant online Mormons, nationwide antismoking legislation, and the end of the world via self-replicating key lime pie filling. Good, thought-provoking fun, even if the authors’ love of their own cyberkewlness wears thin fast. B

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