Wednesday, February 2, 2011
I find it ironic that I’m reading a novel called snow crash while the country is having some of its worst weather. Luckily, though, I cannot be at fault, as Snow Crash has nothing at all to do with inclement weather.
Thanks to my good buddy Dave, I’m starting to tick off the titles on my SF reading list!
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (1992) is an amazing novel. I can barely put it down and it’s been that way since paragraph one. In fact, I’m going to give you a taste of the brilliance that is Mr. Stephenson. Snow Crash begins:
The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallowed sub-category. He’s got esprit up to here. Right now, he is preparing to carry out his third mission of the night. His uniform is black as activated charcoal, filtering the very light out of the air. A bullet will bounce off its arachnofiber weave like a wren hitting a patio door, but excess perspiration wafts through it like a breeze through a freshly napalmed forest. Where his body has bony extremities, the suit has sintered armorgel: feels like gritty jello, protects like a stack of telephone books.
That, ladies and gents, is a first paragraph. I absolutely love the way he chooses to describe things in this novel.
And why wouldn’t you love a novel where the author has the gumption to name his main character Hiro Protagonist? It’s a name you’ll never forget.
I have but one complaint with the novel. As the Point of view jumps back and forth between Hiro and Y.T. (Yours Truly) time is jumbled. Things don’t happen in perfect sequence, and these jumps to and fro in the time stream are not marked. The first time I encountered the jump, I was pulled entirely out of the story. So watch out for that.
The future Stephenson sets forth in this novel is quite akin to where we are now. The Metaverse is very much what I imagine the online world of secondlife is like and I have a feeling that someday, U-Stor-It facilities may turn into slum-style housing. I can see corporations controlling everything from software development to the military and police forces. I enjoy how utterly believable this future is – even today.
Whether or not you should read it, I’d strongly suggest you high tail it down to the library at your next opportunity and get your paws on this novel. It is highly entertaining and thought provoking. I cannot wait to get back into this book.
Have you read Snow Crash? Do you want to?