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    Original Essays | August 28, 2015

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      Sara Jaffe 9781941040133

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25 Partner Warehouse Science Fiction and Fantasy- A to Z

Snow Crash


Snow Crash Cover




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 arachno-fiber 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.

When they gave him the job, they gave him a gun. The Deliverator never deals in cash, but someone might come after him anyway—might want his car, or his cargo. The gun is a tiny, aero-styled, lightweight, the kind of a gun a fashion designer would carry; it fires teensy darts that fly at five times the velocity of an SR-71 spy plane, and when you get done using it, you have to plug it in to the cigarette lighter, because it runs on electricity.

The Deliverator never pulled that gun in anger, or in fear. He pulled it once in Gila Highlands. Some punks in Gila Highlands, a fancy Burbclave, wanted themselves a delivery, and they didn't want to pay for it. Thought they would impress the Deliverator with a baseball bat. The Deliverator took out his gun, centered its laser doo-hickey on that poised Louisville Slugger, fired it. The recoil was immense, as though the weapon had blown up in his hand. The middle third of the baseball bat turned into a column of burning sawdust accelerating in all directions like a bursting star. Punk ended up holding this bat handle with milky smoke pouring out the end. Stupid look on his face. Didn't get nothing but trouble from the Deliverator.

Since then the Deliverator has kept the gun in the glove compartment and relied, instead, on a matched set of samurai swords, which have always been his weapon of choice anyhow. The punks in Gila Highlands weren't afraid of the gun, so the Deliverator was forced to use it. But swords need no demonstration.

The Deliverator's car has enough potential energy packed into its batteries to fire a pound of bacon into the Asteroid Belt. Unlike a bimbo box or a Burb beater, the Deliverator's car unloads that power through gaping, gleaming, polished sphincters. When the Deliverator puts the hammer down, shit happens. You want to talk contact patches? Your car's tires have tiny contact patches, talk to the asphalt in four places the size of your tongue. The Deliverator's car has big sticky tires with contact patches the size of a fat lady's thighs. The Deliverator is in touch with the road, starts like a bad day, stops on a peseta.

Why is the Deliverator so equipped? Because people rely on him. He is a roll model. This is America. People do whatever the fuck they feel like doing, you got a problem with that? Because they have a right to. And because they have guns and no one can fucking stop them. As a result, this country has one of the worst economies in the world. When it gets down to it—we're talking trade balances here—once we've brain-drained all our technology into other countries, once things have evened out, they're making cars in Bolivia and microwaves in Tadzhikistan and selling them here—once our edge in natural resources has been made irrelevant by giant Hong Kong ships and dirigibles that can ship North Dakota all the way to New Zealand for a nickel—once the Invisible Hand has taken all those historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani bricklayer would consider to be prosperity—y'know what? There's only four things we do better than anyone else



microcode (software)

high-speed pizza delivery

The Deliverator used to make software. Still does, sometimes. But if life were a mellow elementary school run by well-meaning education Ph.D.s, the Deliverator's report card would say; "Hiro is so bright and creative but needs to work harder on his cooperation skills."

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chipkerchner, March 24, 2013 (view all comments by chipkerchner)
I'm asking myself "Why didn't I read this book back in early/mid 90s?" This book is amazing in so many ways. His description of technology is eerily dead on to how we've progressed in the past 25 years. It's both fun and exciting (android life forms, 3D fully immersive internet, skate boarding wonders, heroic pizza deliverers/hackers). While it's mildly dystopic (hyper inflation, private enterprise running what's left of society, unstoppable assassin, floating refugee ship island, mind controlling viruses). Cyberpunk books should "try" to model themselves after this one.
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exxxconn, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by exxxconn)

If you like Cyber Punk and Humor than this is your book!!! Great plot elements and wonderful characters abound in this classic gem. One of my favorite books and I highly recommend it.
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Anna Hernandez, January 4, 2010 (view all comments by Anna Hernandez)
The world in this book is bleak but offers a light at the end of the tunnel for our troubled world. "Wait a minute, Juanita. Make up your mind. This Snow Crash thing—is it a virus, a drug, or a religion?"
Juanita shrugs. "What's the difference?"
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(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

Stephenson, Neal
Spectra Books
New York
Science Fiction - General
Science fiction
Science Fiction - High Tech
High tech
Science fiction, american
American fiction
Humorous fiction
Science / General
Science Fiction and Fantasy-High Tech
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Bantam Spectra Book
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.22x5.56x1.01 in. .81 lbs.

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Snow Crash Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.00 In Stock
Product details 480 pages Spectra Books - English 9780553380958 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Snow Crash is one of my favorites. It's an epic cyber-punk tale that contains elements that are both fantastical and very realistic. The characters are richly imagined, even the villains. It is fast paced and well embellished, containing elements of Sumerian mythology and cryptology combined with very probable future tech and easily plausible events. As with all of Neal Stephenson's books, Snow Crash is dense, entertaining, and thought provoking.

"Review" by , "Stephenson has not stepped, he has vaulted onto the literary stage with this novel."
"Review" by , "A cross between Neuromancer and Thomas Pynchon's Vineland. This is no mere hyperbole."
"Review" by , "Fast-forward free-style mall mythology for the 21st century."
"Review" by , "Brilliantly realized....Stephenson turns out to be an engaging guide to an onrushing tomorrow."
"Review" by , "Snow Crash takes on a whole slew of nasty contemporary trends and extrapolates them hilariously into a pessimistic and unlikely newar future....this is one book to chill out with this summer."
"Review" by , "Stylish noir extrapolation becomes gloriously witty social satire...savor Stephenson's delicious prose and cheerfully impudent wit. Cyberpunk isn't dead — it has just (belatedly) developed a sense of humor."
"Review" by , "A fantastic, slam-bang-overdrive, supersurrealistic, comic-spooky whirl through a tomorrow that is already happening. Neal Stephenson is intelligent, perceptive, hip and will become a major force in American writing."
"Synopsis" by , First arriving on the scene in 1992 to critical acclaim, this definitive novel of the information age weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between. Stephenson is author of the bestselling Cryptonomicon and The Diamond Age.
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