This sci-fi masterpiece (440 pages) was published in May of 2000 by Del Rey. The book takes you to LA and the metaverse. David read Snow Crash and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if he didn't recommend it.
One of Time Magazine’s 100 best English-language novels, Snow Crash is a wild trip through a near-future America — so bizarre and so outrageous, you’ll recognize it immediately.
From the opening line of this breakthrough cyberpunk novel, you dive into a time that seems about 15 years from now, even though the book first appeared in 1992. It’s a world where the Mafia controls pizza delivery. The United States exists as a patchwork of neon-lit corporate-franchise city-states. And the internet — known as the Metaverse — is as exhilarating and random as it was in the ’90s. Enter our hero, literally named Hiro Protagonist: hacker, samurai swordsman, and pizza-delivery driver.
When Hiro’s best friend fries his brain on a new designer drug (the Snow Crash of the title), Y.T., Hiro’s beautiful, brainy, skateboard-riding ex-girlfriend, asks him to help. What’s a guy with a name like that to do?
As he rushes to the rescue, a breakneck-paced 21st-century novel ensues. This epic gleefully mashed together everything from Sumerian myth to the origin of language to mutant motorcyclists. Faster than high-speed internet and so much more fun, Snow Crash is the portrayal of a present-future that is ludicrous enough to be plausible.
Critics have called this book a somewhat disjointed and dated juvenile nerd power-fantasy, and they might not be wrong. But we don’t care. This is a great read, a classic sci-fi story, and the novel that launched Neil Stephenson. We’ll always be grateful for that.
We are all susceptible to the pull of viral ideas. Like mass hysteria. Or a tune that gets into your head that you keep humming all day until you spread it to someone else. Jokes. Urban legends. Crackpot religions. Marxism. No matter how smart we get, there is always this deep irrational part that makes us potential hosts for self-replicating information. — Neal Stephenson
Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.
This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.
We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.
This 30-page 2020 Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.
Content on this site is © 2020 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.