Definitions

Interface (novel)

Interface (novel)

Interface is a 1994 novel by Neal Stephenson and George Jewsbury. It was originally sold with the author pseudonym of Stephen Bury, then reissued as being by Bury and J. Frederick George, and most recently as being by Stephenson and George.

Interface is a near-future thriller, set in 1996, in which a shadowy coalition bent on controlling the world economy attempts to manipulate a candidate for president of the United States through the use of a computer bio-chip implanted in his brain.

Plot summary

The novel opens with the governor of Illinois, William Cozzano, suffering a stroke, and in a separate subplot, a trailer park inhabitant, unemployed African-American, Eleanor Richmond, discovering her husband dead after committing suicide in their repossessed former home.

As events progress, an underground business coalition, the Network, is arranging for Cozzano to have a biochip implanted and for him to run for President of the United States. The Network is made up of a number of large fictional companies, with parallels in real business entities.

Eleanor Richmond, after publicly attacking a local cable TV installer-cum-public access talk show personality who was running for Senate, has since found herself working in the offices of a Republican Colorado senator, and after an event where she accused the citizens of Colorado of being welfare queens, finds herself in the public eye as one of the candidates for Cozzano's running mate.

The Network's ability to perceive public opinion, skewed on the night of the vice presidential debate by a twist of fate, makes them select Richmond as vice presidential candidate, and a canny act of public relations work rescues Cozzano's campaign, getting him elected as President.

However, Cozzano gets shot at his inauguration by a psychotic former factory worker who has somehow figured out the Network's plans almost entirely, killing him almost instantly. Richmond ends up as the first black and first female President of the United States.

Characters in "Interface"

  • Eleanor Richmond – unemployed African-American woman, protagonist
  • William Cozzano – governor of Illinois

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