Snow Crash

Snow Crash

Book - 2000
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One of Time 's 100 best English-language novels * A mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous, you'll recognize it immediately

Only once in a great while does a writer come along who defies comparison--a writer so original he redefines the way we look at the world. Neal Stephenson is such a writer and Snow Crash is such a novel, weaving virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility to bring us the gigathriller of the information age.

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.

Praise for Snow Crash

"[ Snow Crash is] a cross between Neuromancer and Thomas Pynchon's Vineland . This is no mere hyperbole." -- The San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Fast-forward free-style mall mythology for the twenty-first century." --William Gibson

"Brilliantly realized . . . Stephenson turns out to be an engaging guide to an onrushing tomorrow." --The New York Times Book Review
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 2000, c1992.
ISBN: 9780553380958
Branch Call Number: SCIFI Stephens Neal
Characteristics: 440 p. :,ill. ;,23 cm.


From Library Staff

List - Read Up on Tech
JCLBetM Aug 06, 2019

listed in's "top 25 technology books of all time"

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 fo... Read More »

JCLAustinJ Oct 12, 2010

This is a very fun book and prophetic of social networking.

From the critics

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Feb 02, 2021

I loved every chapter of this brilliant, sci-fi, cyber-punk action adventure classic. Hard to believe it was published almost 30 years ago, because the technologies and the social commentary are still fresh and in some cases visionary. Better than Gibson, certainly more coherent.

Nov 09, 2019

Edward Snowden's 2019 biography brought me here.. srsly. See, on Permanent Record's page 64 (hardcover edition) he credits Snow Crash as influential.

Turns out I got it from the library as well, but too long ago to remember anymore, darnit.

# time flies

Nov 09, 2018

A great introduction to Neal Stephenson. A rip roaring adventure through a landscape of our technological fears made into a reality.

Dec 13, 2017

Published in 1992 in the days of the internet's infancy, it evoked in me a wistful feeling of nostalgia (I first hopped online in 1994), and for that I am grateful. I was also appreciative and at times amazed by the sheer number of technological concepts that would prove prescient in the decades following its publication (Second Life, anyone?). Beyond that, though, once the plot began to connect ancient Sumerian texts to modern-day computer hacking, the story had become a bit too all-over-the-place for my liking, and I ultimately lost interest about halfway through. The second law of Ranganathan's five laws of library science is "every reader his/her book." Regrettably, though it appears beloved by many other readers, this was not my book.

Sep 13, 2016

Intricate, imaginative, and very articulate. I like this author very much. It's not what you think. Keep reading -

Jun 21, 2016

Diamond Age is my favorite by Stephenson, but Snow Crash is a close second.

May 09, 2016

I cannot understand -- when there are good books with hackers as the major character -- why anyone could find this interesting?

Good books:

Burning Chrome -- William Gibson

Brain Jack -- Brian Falkner

Romily Bernard's books

Burning Blue -- Paul Griffin

Daemon -- Daniel Suarez
Freedom -- Daniel Suarez
Influx -- Daniel Suarez

Michelle Gagnon's books

Dec 10, 2015

This is a stark view our humankind's not so distant future. The world has been broken apart and separated into albeit smaller, more powerful forces. The United States of America's government has been reduce to several small fenced-in miles, hosting boring gray-stone official looking buildings that do an incredible amount of nothing to help govern their remaining citizen. Yet those still employed by the USA are subjected to the most rigorous, stress filled exams almost weekly, to obviously ensure that they are not giving away secrets. The only way to unwind and not succumb to complete and total insanity is to spend your every waking moment in a virtual reality known as, "The Meta Verse."

With the downfall of any real organized government, naturally the Mafia is at an all time high in ownership, however crime is no longer their number 1 import/export, ironically enough, delivering pizza in less than 30 is Uncle Enzo's top priority, and at a 99.99% customer satisfaction rating he aims to keep it that way.

Insert main character Hiro Protagonist, appropriately named. Hiro deliver's for Uncle Enzo but after having a rather strange run-in with a local courier his life and entire understanding changes drastically. After losing his Mafia pizza delivery job Hiro spends quite a bit of time surfing around the Meta Verse. Here anything goes. You can purchase actual real-estate, build houses, customize your avatar to your sad little hearts content, and as some of the most proactive hackers have recently discovered do drugs. Insert Snow Crash. This however is not a drug, it's a virus and it's slowly taking over the entire world. Below are some of my favorite quotes:

"Now I have a different perspective on it. America must look, to those poor little buggers down there, about the same as Crete looked to those poor Greek suckers. Except that there's no coercion involved. Those people down there gve up their children willingly. Send them into the labyrinth by the millions to be eaten up. The industry feeds on them and spits them back images, sends out wealth and exotics things beyond their wildest dreams, back to the people, and it gives them something to dream about, something to aspire to. And that is the function of the Raft. It's just a big old krill carrier." [Chapter 14, Page 119]

"The people of America, who live in the world's most surprising and terrible country, take comfort in that motto. Follow the loglo outward, to where the growth is enfolded into the valleys and canyons, and you find the and of the refugees" [Chapter 24, Page 191]

Hiro, along with several colorful characters, including the Courier that cost him his job, Y.T. [presumably meaning Yours Truly] set out on an insane rumpus to discover those behind Snow Crash and try to put an end to it before the world is destroyed.

TutorialSmith Sep 02, 2015

Of all the long Stephenson books this is probably the fastest read. The pace is great, though as some reviewers have pointed out it does include a lot of monologues on ancient Sumeria and such. The book also includes a description of Google Earth, before Google existed, and the gargoyles described within are beginning to show themselves during protests and other major events since the invent of livestreaming.

Nov 22, 2013

A very stylized piece, the first few chapters read as though they were written by the characters themselves, though in third person. The writing style seems to be intentionally jarring, making for an interesting read. This is not my genre of choice, but I don't regret reading it. I have to say though, the author's note was my favorite part.

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