Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson

I finished this audiobook a couple of weeks ago after hearing several tech podcasters recommending it. It’s a cyberpunk novel, whatever that might mean, set in the near future. The main character, Hiro Protagonist, starts out as a pizza delivery guy working for Uncle Enzo, head of the Mafia. The USA is broken up into corporate franchises and the mafia is now one such franchise.

Hiro is a hacker and was involved in programming The Black Sun, the geek hangout in the metaverse. The metaverse is an idea of the future of the internet, more sort of AI where users goggle in and wander round using avatars to represent themselves.

The book gets into religion and linguistics and, as a former linguist and a current geek, I found Stephenson’s ideas intriguing. Some of the best parts of the novel are when Hiro is discussing science and linguistics with the librarian (a piece of software that has access to the digital info archives).

All in all I found it to be an enjoyable, well-written and well-researched novel and I liked it well enough to consider reading more of Stephenson’s novels.