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Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
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Snow Crash (original 1992; edition 1993)

by Neal Stephenson (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
16,139298195 (4.13)595
Member:GVassmer
Title:Snow Crash
Authors:Neal Stephenson (Author)
Info:Spectra (1993), 480 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:SFF

Work details

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (1992)

  1. 233
    Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (moonstormer)
  2. 130
    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (davesmind, jbgryphon)
    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.
  3. 100
    Neuromancer by William Gibson (thebookpile)
  4. 60
    Daemon by Daniel Suarez (thehoodedone)
  5. 50
    Count Zero by William Gibson (thebookpile)
  6. 50
    The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson (atrautz)
  7. 40
    Halting State by Charles Stross (infiniteletters)
  8. 62
    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (JFDR)
  9. 20
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (ecureuil)
  10. 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.
  11. 20
    Omnitopia Dawn: Omnitopia #1 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.
  12. 10
    The Stone Canal by Ken MacLeod (bsackerman)
  13. 32
    Virtual Light by William Gibson (Moehrendorf)
  14. 10
    Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan (electronicmemory)
  15. 00
    Trouble and Her Friends by Melissa Scott (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: Cyberpunk
  16. 11
    City of Golden Shadow by Tad Williams (romula)
  17. 11
    This Gaming Life: Travels in Three Cities by Jim Rossignol (infiniteletters)
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» See also 595 mentions

English (293)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (298)
Showing 1-5 of 293 (next | show all)
World-building was pretty good; LOVED the Franchulates/Burbclaves/sovereign nations thing (even if there were really weird unanswered questions like "who's running LAX now?) The story was pretty bad. Some really interesting parallels between religious prophets/important people and computer hackers, but man does Stephenson Gary Stu this story with his Hiro. How Hiro single-handedly and in like over a long weekend puts together the pieces of the puzzle that Lagos collected over years and gets everything exactly right was just...so goddamned expositorally dumb I couldn't not laugh.

I rather liked Anathem and the Baroque Cycle, but this? This is completely skippable. ( )
  nushustu | Aug 5, 2019 |
I tried hard to read this purely as a work of fiction without reference to when it was first published or the context it was written within. On that basis alone I think a 3* review is fair. It has a number of fairly clunky didactic sections with the somewhat convenient "librarian" character and some chewy expository dialogue towards the denouement. The central premise is interesting but not fantastically well delivered. Jokey technothriller isn't really a genre and in places this book shows why that is the case. It suffers from some of the same problems as Reamde's later stages with excessive multithreaded trotting around, but does successfully build a degree of tension.

After looking back to see when it was written it is quite remarkable how early it was published and how many references are effectively becoming a reality in some form now. If I had had to guess when it was written I would have thought about 8-10 years later. A rating of the book by how impressive or significant it is would certainly be higher. ( )
1 vote Sam.Prince | May 7, 2019 |
A fun and inventive read, although it felt like there was a little too much explaining going on (and on and on and on). Hiro Protagonist occasionally started sounding like a textbook or a computer manual. Maybe it was necessary in those pre-Matrix days. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
A friend recommended Neal Stephenson to me with the caveat that I would want to start with one book and, if not avoid, treat the other without the rose-tinted lenses of hype that color it.

Flash forward to a used bookstore two weeks later. Both books staring at me from the sf/fantasy shelves. I didn't have my phone and I wanted something genre to read today. I couldn't remember which one I was supposed to check out first. Turns out I picked right.

'Snow Crash' is set in a near-future where an exhausted Federal government has ceded much of its land to private corporations and other interests. Housing developments - roads - prisons - government agencies and military - the mafia - you name it, all act as separate political entities and much of business carries on through the Metaverse. The Metaverse is the three-dimensional internet with a whole coded world separate from reality. Its beginning to have real-life impact. Hiro Protagonist and Y.T. have stumbled onto a conspiracy that threatens the stability of what's left in America (and, why not, the world) whose means have roots stretching back to the Babylonians and Sumer.

Many of the aspects of this novel have become well-worn tropes and scads and scads of pages are devoted to articulating the dense historical evidence and theory behind the Snow Crash virus. It all felt fresh. I loved it and wanted there to be more. The characters, Hiro especially, don't hold up to reader scrutiny, but the plot was so good I can't fault the book for the drones that moved it forward. The problem I had was the ending of the book precisely at the moment when there could have been some payoff for following the characters. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Very different from other things I've read. Surreal, and awesome. ( )
  brokensandals | Feb 7, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 293 (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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Epigraph
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
Dedication
First words
The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallowed subcategory. He's got esprit up to here.
Quotations
HIRO PROTAGONIST
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.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553380958, Paperback)

From the opening line of his breakthrough cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson plunges the reader into a not-too-distant future. It is a world where the Mafia controls pizza delivery, the United States exists as a patchwork of corporate-franchise city-states, and the Internet--incarnate as the Metaverse--looks something like last year's hype would lead you to believe it should. Enter Hiro Protagonist--hacker, samurai swordsman, and pizza-delivery driver. When his best friend fries his brain on a new designer drug called Snow Crash and his beautiful, brainy ex-girlfriend asks for his help, what's a guy with a name like that to do? He rushes to the rescue. A breakneck-paced 21st-century novel, Snow Crash interweaves everything from Sumerian myth to visions of a postmodern civilization on the brink of collapse. Faster than the speed of television and a whole lot more fun, Snow Crash is the portrayal of a future that is bizarre enough to be plausible.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:09 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

In the future the only relief from the sea of logos is the computer-generated universe of virtual reality? But now a strange computer virus, called Snow Crash, is striking down hackers, leaving an unlikely young man as humankind's last hope.

» see all 8 descriptions

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