Review: Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Snow Crash was written by Neal Stephenson and published in 1992.


The Mafia, the nation of Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong, a cyborg, a skateboarding kourier, and a pizza-delivering hacker who is the greatest swordsman of the world team up to stop a communications monopolist from releasing a virus that affects people and computers.

Reasons to Read

The main character’s name is Hiro Protagonist. Key book in the cyberpunk canon. Stephenson almost invented the word avatar. Dystopian, commercialized, libertarian world where laws basically don’t exist. Cyborg doggies called Rat Things. It’s hard to predict where the novel is headed. Ancient Sumerian religion and artifacts. It’s way, way, way better than the Cryptonomicon. Sword fighting. Hackers. And again, sword fighting.

Reasons to Skip

It’s 2013, having virtual reality and avatars explained to you like you have no idea what they are is annoying. You hate cyberpunk. Even electric blankets make you uncomfortable. Stephenson made up words and new lingo. You will not have your belief in a utopian future challenged.

You Might Also Like

Ready Player One, Infinite Jest, Clockwork Orange.

What To Wear While Reading

Nintendo Power Glove, jumpsuit, and virtual reality goggles.

Food and Drink Pairing

Smirnoff Vodka found in a motel nightstand and energy bars.

If Walt Whitman Wrote This Book

He would sing the hacker electric.

4 thoughts on “Review: Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson”

  1. So much fun in this book, from nonstop invention to the one-man nuclear power.
    Don’t forget it introduced the word “Metaverse”, which Second Life evangelists kept on using.

  2. Didn’t know the Second Lifers adopted the word Metaverse, interesting fact. And yes, a one-man nuclear powered sovereign entity is crazy cool.

  3. Pingback: Lexicon by Max Barry | Scrivler

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