Bookreview: Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

by Hugh

Snow Crash

Book by Neal Stephenson


Written in 1992, Snow Crash is a cyberpunk visionary work, presaging Second Life and other online multiplayer games, among other things.

The plot: pizza delivery man, hacker, amateur swordsman, freelance intel gatherer and Metaverse legend Hiro Protagonist stumbles on a virus – a binary image that looks like the old television snowscreens – that infects not computers, but hackers; and tries to save the day. It’s a fantastic satire of the USofA, where the country has broken down into autonomous corporate sovereign entities, who open franchulates in the burbclaves, with the Narcolumbians vying for citizens with Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong, and Uncle Enzo’s Nova Scicilia, as well as Reverend Wayne’s Pearly Gates (among others).

There’s all sorts of cool stuff in here, including skateboarding Kouriers, who harpoon speeding vehicles, to get where they are going; meditations on Sumerian religion and the origins of lagnuage; psychopathic Aleuts; Kanata swords; thrash metal; religious and nuclear apocalypse. Again: among other things.

Not just candy (though it was candy); well worth a read.

My rating: 3 stars
***

Technorati Tags: ,