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Snow Crash (1992)

by Neal Stephenson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
16,987320195 (4.12)615
In the future the only relief from the sea of logos is the computer-generated universe of virtual reality. Now a strange computer virus, called Snow Crash, is striking down hackers, leaving an unlikely young man as humankind's last hope.
  1. 233
    Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (moonstormer)
  2. 150
    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (davesmind, jbgryphon, fulner)
    davesmind: Although Snow Crash is a classic of cyberpunk, I think Ready Player One has a more captivating story - especially if you played video games in the 80's
    jbgryphon: RPO's OASIS owes it's existence as much to Neil Stephenson's Metaverse as to the miriad of geek universes that are included in it.
    fulner: Ready player one is what Snow crash should have been. A story focused primarily on the inter-personal-relationships of others "online" in a futuristic version of the internet in which we live in a 3-D world as the real world around us crashes and burns. The biggest difference is Ready Player One Doesn't Suck. Still somewhat heretical, but its heresy can be easily dismissed on that the protagonist is an atheist.… (more)
  3. 100
    Neuromancer by William Gibson (thebookpile)
  4. 60
    Daemon by Daniel Suarez (thehoodedone)
  5. 50
    The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson (atrautz)
  6. 50
    Count Zero by William Gibson (thebookpile)
  7. 40
    Halting State by Charles Stross (infiniteletters)
  8. 62
    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (JFDR)
  9. 30
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (ecureuil)
  10. 20
    Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan (electronicmemory)
  11. 20
    The Star Fraction by Ken MacLeod (Noisy)
    Noisy: Anarchy viewed from both sides of the fence. 'Snow Crash' offers the capitalist view and 'The Star Fraction' offers the socialist counterpart.
  12. 20
    Omnitopia Dawn by Diane Duane (pammab)
    pammab: To explore the possibilities of virtual reality in the near future. Duane's is much more traditional and pro-corporate fantasy; Stephenson's is more humor-based anti-corporate cyberpunk.
  13. 10
    The Stone Canal by Ken MacLeod (bsackerman)
  14. 32
    Virtual Light by William Gibson (Moehrendorf)
  15. 21
    City of Golden Shadow by Tad Williams (romula)
  16. 00
    The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (fulner)
    fulner: Heretical Fiction
  17. 11
    This Gaming Life: Travels in Three Cities by Jim Rossignol (infiniteletters)
  18. 00
    Trouble and Her Friends by Melissa Scott (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: Cyberpunk

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» See also 615 mentions

English (313)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  Hungarian (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (319)
Showing 1-5 of 313 (next | show all)
Not my cup of tea.

I don't really drink much tea, to be honest. I'm a Diet Coke guy.

But the idiom is what it is. I can't very well say "not my can of Diet Coke". That would sound ridiculous. In part because virtually every can of Diet Coke tastes identical. Unless you do something to it, like let it sit in the trunk of a hot car for a few weeks. Or if you pick up a variation on Diet Coke, like the Splenda version or those new tall ones with a hint of orange flavoring.

Ok, now that I think about it, that'd be fine.

Not my can of Diet Coke.

I like sci-fi in general, but I think I've figured out that Cyberpunk isn't my jam. I read and appreciated Neuromancer some years ago, but it left me in an uncomfortable malaise. Blade Runner is an amazing film, but definitely not something I watch for fun.

And so it goes with Snow Crash, which affectionately parodies the Cyberpunk subgenre in much the same way Terry Pratchett's Discworld series dunked on epic fantasy for (*opens Google tab*) 41 books.

The opening chapter is thrilling, to be sure. It's a breathless, futuristic car chase that winds through an undiluted concentration of the 1990s' EXTREME RADICAL TO-THE-MAXX dystopian vision of the future. On fire. With samurai swords.

I got tired of it.

All right, I'll try to be more specific.

I like the way Stephenson blows the tropes of Cyberpunk so far out of proportion that they become hilarious caricatures. However, once the opening action scene is over, the book switches into "plot mode", and the breathless, over-stimulated narration becomes more exhausting than exciting. By about the 40% mark, I no longer cared enough about the plot to pick my Kindle up and wade through the hyperbole.

It's really not bad.

Kinda like Coke Zero.

Or I guess it's Coke Zero Sugar now. Which I think is silly. After umpteen attempts, Coca-Cola FINALLY came up with a diet drink that tastes similar to regular Coke, and it had a catchy name. But then they changed it to something decidedly less catchy.

Anyway. I'm not a Coke Zero guy. It's too sweet for me. But I'd drink it in a pinch. If my only other option was, say, regular Coke (which tastes like straight-up syrup to me). ( )
  loganaube | Jul 31, 2020 |
Very interesting story. The religion is a bit wacky, but the story is unusual and keeps you involved. ( )
  JohnKaess | Jul 23, 2020 |
Cam îmbîrligată acțiunea, dar per ansamblu e o carte mișto. ( )
  SebastianMihail | Jul 16, 2020 |
Fantastic except sometimes there will suddenly be an entire chapter dedicated to just talking about the historical context behind it. Slows it right down and feels very repetitive. ( )
  samwithbellson | Jun 30, 2020 |
I am struggling to finish this book. My time is extremely limited right now, so that is part of the reason, but the main reason is that I feel completely let down. I'm in the last quarter of the book and not even Y.T. is interesting anymore. I think she was the main reason I made it as far as I have.

All of that being said I'd still recommend this. I will finish it. The way the future is described is extreme in a cynical and sometimes funny way. It's definitely easy to imagine this world, even though it seems so ridiculous.

I think I would have absolutely loved this when I was a teenager (16 years ago)

I think I read some other reviews that mentioned this book would make a great graphic novel or film. I agree because there is a lot of big cinematic and visual moments.

I found the whole Babel/nam-shub/language part of the book difficult because it seemed like it was over explaining, but surprisingly, this is the part that I've thought about the most a few days later.

There are great parts to the book, but it doesn't hold up as a whole. Maybe I will feel differently when I finish it.
  miketmoore | Jun 29, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 313 (next | show all)
Hiro Protagonist (who has chosen his own name, of course) turns out to be entertaining company, and Mr. Stephenson turns out to be an engaging guide to an onrushing tomorrow that is as farcical as it is horrific.
Stephenson has not stepped, he has vaulted onto the literary stage with this novel.
added by GYKM | editLos Angeles Reader
A cross between Neuromancer and Thomas Pynchon's Vineland. This is no mere hyperbole.
added by GYKM | editSan Francisco Bay Guardian

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephenson, Nealprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davis, JonathanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jensen, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Körber, JoachimÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Podevin, Jean-FrançoisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
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Related movies
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snow n. . . . 2.a. Anything resembling snow. b. The white specks on a television screen resulting from weak reception.

crash v....--intr. . . . 5. To fail suddenly, as a business or an economy.
---The American Heritage Dictionary

virus. . . . [L. virus slimy liquid, poison, offensive odor or taste.] 1. Venom, such as is emitted by a poisonous animal. 2. Path a. A morbid principle or poisonous substance produced in the body as the result of some disease, esp. one capable of being introduced into other persons or animals by inoculations or otherwise and of developing the same disease in them. . . . 3. fig. A moral or intellectual poison, or poisonous influence.
--The Oxford English Dictionary
First words
The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallowed subcategory. He's got esprit up to here.
Last of the freelance hackers
Greatest sword fighter in the world
Stringer, Central Intelligence Corporation
Specializing in software-related intel
(music, movies & microcode)
When you are wrestling for possession of a sword, the man with the handle always wins.
"Did you win your sword fight?"
"Of course I won the fucking sword fight," Hiro says. "I'm the greatest sword fighter in the world."
"And you wrote the software."
"Yeah. That, too," Hiro says.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Canonical DDC/MDS

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Book description
In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous…you’ll recognize it immediately.
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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