It's not surprising that a self-consciously theatrical figure like Byron would have his own literary subgenre.  John Crowley's Lord Byron's Novel shares some elements with its predecessors: there's the lost manuscript of dubious provenance (Frederic Prokosch's The Missolonghi Manuscript) and the role of computers (Amanda Prantera's Conversations with Lord Byron on Perversion, 163 Years after his Lordship's Death). In this case, however, the lost manuscript is a novel, not a memoir, and the computer is essential to decoding the text, not reconstructing Byron's "voice."
Lord Byron's Novel is a narrative layer-cake. There's the lost novel; Ada Byron Lovelace's notes on the novel; the epistolary communications surrounding the novel's discovery; and, at the end, a scholarly introduction to the novel that we've already read. (There's something vaguely Waverley-like about this; in any event, Romanticists might find it interesting that Crowley's "Byron" would write a novel, given that Byron's advent in the poetry market was a key reason that Scott shifted from poetry to fiction.) Crowley clearly enjoys playing with fictional genres. "Byron's novel," as one character notes, is both Gothic and social satire, as well as picaresque; Ada's notes and the "introduction" fall squarely into the tradition of the mock-commentary, albeit without the overt satire that usually characterizes the form (e.g., Alexander Pope's The Dunciad, Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire); and the frame narrative is an epistolary novel, updated to incorporate e-mail. And the whole shebang falls under the heading of what Suzanne Keen calls the romance of the archive--the scholarly quest-romance.
This exuberant mix of genres and their conventions, which makes no apology for messiness--as Lee Novak puts it, "all these things were new in this form, and Byron's trying them all out..." (320)--also ties in to the novel's happy appropriation of various Romantic and Byronic tropes. Strictly speaking, there isn't a stereotypical, Manfred-type Byronic hero in here; once we get past the opening, Byron's novel feels closest to Don Juan, especially in its lightly ironic take on social manners and mores. As we get further in, though, "Byron" also begins playing with the Romantic double, in the form of his protagonist's divided sense of self and his relationship to his half-brother, AEngus. In turn, the frame text doubles Ada's own life story: "Smith," our female protagonist, discovers that the novel leads her to reestablish a distant relationship with her long-gone father, Lee, a former Byron specialist and filmmaker who has been in exile for Roman Polanski-type reasons. Similarly, the fame and Ada's notes share several linguistic, thematic and stylistic quirks, ranging from mathematics and "coincidence" to missing capital letters and punctuation marks.
At one level, these links across narrative layers turn Lord Byron's Novel into a parallel-plot historical novel--the kind of novel in which the researcher, working through a series of historical problems, finds and (usually) resolves the same problems in his or her own life.  At first glance, however, the novel's emphasis on the workings of "coincidence" questions such parallels. Indeed, Crowley politely refuses to "resolve" much of anything: Ada's annotations do not conjure up her lost father; Smith's relationship with her own father is still up in the air at the end; and the man originally responsible for unearthing the manuscript sneeringly implies that it may, after all, be a fake. We're left, then, with the discoveries made through the process of decoding--decoding the manuscript (encrypted by Ada), decoding personal relationships, decoding e-mails...
It would be reductive to argue that the novel is "about" decoding, but it's true that many of the characters are simultaneously obsessed with finding the right meaning and painfully aware that such meaning can be hard to come by. Ada fears that her encryption may have gone haywire: "What if I have counted wrongly all nonsense then too late to recast it now But what if all was wrongly encypher'd and yet when decypher'd returned a book, but a different book unknown written by no one absurd what odds of a single true sentence even appearing too high to calculate but what book what book" (315). The glory of the cipher is that it allows the novel to be coded and decoded without, apparently, any loss of meaning; but what, then, about the process of deciphering the novel's meaning itself? Ada's fantasy of an authorless novel, stamped by no man's or woman's intentions--a pure product of "coincidence," in other words--is the flip side of her key assumption as the novel's editor: that the novel can be read for its clues to Byron's life and sentiments. Her notes tie characters, places, and events to their biographical originals, in such a way to suggest that she dreams of somehow contacting her father through the text. The result is clearly unsatisfactory. She does not annotate the revelation that her fictional equivalent, Una, is the child of the protagonist's half-brother--perhaps because to do so would suggest that her father had disowned her. Sadder still, despite Smith's belief that the novel successfully "reaches" Ada, Ada herself finally sees the text as a misfire: "why did he not send to me his thoughts a letter to tell me there wd have been a way never now I wd give all this tale for it" (445). Whatever the novel succeeds in doing, it does not heal Ada's agonizing sense of distance from her lost father. The novel is not, in other words, for "her." Ada's attempt to read the novel for autobiographical clues--much as Byron's poems were frequently mined--leaves her painfully aware that the author is neither present nor available.
Smith's correspondence with her own lost father, meanwhile, suggests that such an exchange of "thoughts" might not always work, either. On the one hand, there are the pitfalls of e-mail--hitting the send button too quickly, for example. On the other, there is what Lee Novak actually has to say. His self-exculpatory account of what he did--the Hollywood atmosphere, the girl as seductress, her sexual encounters with other men at the party--may or may not be true, but Smith doesn't really want to hear it: "Interesting story. Are you going to be able to answer those questions [about Byron]?" (330) Ultimately, Smith and Lee appear to be on the right path for a reconciliation, and yet, like Polanski, he cannot return to the USA. Nor is it clear that Lee could really take up as Smith's father, as he himself has to admit: "I wish only that I could sign this differently with a title--an honorific--not just a name. But I know I haven't earned that, and probably never will..." (451) The father may have been "found," but as a father, he remains lost. To the extent that Smith's plot "resolves" Ada's, it does so by implicitly jettisoning Ada's fantasies of reunion.
 For a list of Romantic-related literary works, including several Byron novels, see Romantic Circles.
 The most famous example is A. S. Byatt's Possession; see also Peter Ackroyd's Chatterton, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's Heat and Dust, and Bharati Mukherjee's The Holder of the World.