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Books 'n Stuff


Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson

I first read Snowcrash years ago, as an ebook straight from a laptop screen. I generally don't like to read books from my laptop, but Snowcrash was an absolute joy at the time, and remains that way the second time around.

Our character of choice is one Hiro Protagonist (yeah you get the joke, but still this book makes up for it), a hacker (in Snowcrash a term which is interchangeable with programmer oddly enough) in a dystopian America which exists mostly as loosely connected citystates known as franculates or burbclaves. The US government still exists, but struggles desperately to hold on to whatever it can and has eschewed laws and regulations in favor of going hog wild. Laws, for the most part, no longer exist, each citystate enforcing its own laws and regulations independent of each other, and sometimes their own punishments as well. National defense, religion, and other cultural and federal authorities have been privatized and commercialized. Admiral Bob's Navy, and General Jim's Defense System for example. Reverend Wayne's Pearly Gates, features a triumvirate of Jesus, Holy Ghost and Elvis.

America still manages to do four things better than anyone else...

Software and....
Pizza delivery

Yes pizza delivery. This is a book where people go to university level schools for 4 years to learn how to deliver za's. For the mafia no less (apparently pizza delivery is really SERIOUS BUSINESS in the future. The book goes to great lengths to make this apparent). The book starts with an a adrenaline packed shotgun blast of a chapter or two, but slows down. It took awhile to get going after that, but eventually expands into a wild and incredibly creative (and also complicated) plotline involving a neurolinguistic metavirus from ancient Sumeria, an Aleut harpoon thrower with a thing for glass knives, and babbling crazy people living on thousands of boats, large and small, lashed together into an ocean drifting monstrosity known as 'The Raft'.

This book is one wild ride once it gets down to it, and its plotline is one of the most creative I've seen yet. Highly recommend.

For a generally being awesome I give it a 5, and on an epic scale I'm going to err on the high with a 4.5 (a 4 being as low as I would go with that).