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text 2017-07-31 02:18
Space 5, second landing
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson

A really cool mix of cyberpunk, Sumerian and a "post-apocalypse" society. The apocalypse is simply the breakdown of America into Burbclaves, franchulates and mini-countries. The terminology and the lines of breakdown are both understandable and not unexpected. The main character is a hacker carrying samurai swords in both Reality and the Metaverse. Add in Enki, Innana, a Kourier, an Aleut and a power hungry preacher and you have the makings of a classic. Like so many science fiction writers, what Stephenson describes is not only plausible, but some of it has happened since the book was published. Read it and see if you can make the matches.

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review 2015-12-16 13:24
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson

Neuromancer was the first cyberpunk novel I read, but my favourite is Snow Crash.  It takes a humourous twist on a cpunk story that I found refreshing, right down to the main character of the story, Hiro Protagonist.  Creative and whimsical, this is not a dark tale like most.  He also creates some unusual characters.  A great story for anyone to read.

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review 2015-09-26 00:00
Snow Crash
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson 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. The books he named were the two most popular on Goodreads: Snow Crash and Crytonomicon.

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, it was like the lingering taste of those adolescent Shadowrun and Mercedes Lackey crossovers had finally washed out of my mouth. 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.
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review 2015-07-20 00:00
Snow Crash
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson I can see why people love this book and why it's a genre classic, because it had some truly interesting ideas about culture, language, science, and religion, but ultimately the execution failed to compel me. I was frequently bored by the many infodumps and flat, dull characters. It also didn't age very well, and feels dated now in the age of smartphones and tablet computers with its clunky 'future' technology references. Y.T. and Fido were the only things I really cared about by the end.
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review 2015-06-20 08:04
Snow crash Neal Stephenson review
Snow Crash - Jonathan Davis,Neal Stephenson

A classic of science fiction and cyber punk, this is the first Neal Stepenson I've read. It had some impressively prescient ideas for when it was published in the early 90s, but I'm not sure when this book was mean to be set. Someone reading this in 1995 would have found this even more fantastical than I did. The most interesting ideas were about virtual reality, the shrinking of the microchip and it's computing power exponentially increasing. I also liked dangerous concept of Library of Congress merging with intelligence arm of the government and turning into a warehouse of digital information. In New Zealand, our national library recently became a subsidiary of the Internal Affairs department, so this could happen to us eventually! The huge social and societal changes were less understandable, but maybe because I'm not an American this was harder to undersand. I didn't really understand any of the characters, and this seemed more like a bunch of cool ideas than one coherent novel. One of the least palatable aspects is the 15 year old character's explicit and detailed sex scene. I may eventually read some other Stephenson but if this was a good place to start I have my doubts

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