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Snow Crash

Neal Stephenson
Spectra
ISBN 0-5530-8853-X
1992

4
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Abstract

At the beginning of the novel the main character, Hiro Protagonist, discovers the name of a new pseudo-narcotic, "Snow Crash", being offered at a posh Metaverse nightclub. Hiro's friends and fellow hackers fall victim to Snow Crash's effects, which are apparently unique in that they are experienced in the Metaverse and also in the physical world. Hiro uses his computer hacking, sharp cognitive skills, and sword-fighting skills to uncover the mystery of "Snow Crash"; his pursuit takes the reader on a tour of the Sumerian culture, a fully-instantiated laissez-faire society, and a virtual meta-society patronized by financial, social, and intellectual elites. As the nature of Snow Crash is uncovered, Hiro finds that self-replicating strings of information can affect objects in a uniform manner even though they may be broadcast via diverse media, a realization that reinforces his chosen path in life.

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