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am 9. April 1997
I thought that I'd used up the cyberpunk genre. Every bookI've picked up in the past year is about a strung out so-and-solooking for one last fix, or one last cybernetic implant, or looking to pull off that one great cyber-heist. I thought that we'd become a mass of Gibson clones.

Then I read Snow Crash.

From Cosa Nostra Pizza to personal nuclear devices to *ahem* "butt pirates," Stephenson creates his world out of the throw-away jokes and put-downs of our own. The result is that Stephenson's isn't a far-flung future...it's what's right around the corner, it's what we're going to be calling home.

Snow Crash is a brilliant blend of tounge-in-cheek humor, authorial self-awareness (never mind that the main character is called Hiro Protagonist!), and hard edge science fiction. Stephenson's characters, while starting out as cultural cliche's--the skate punk, the godfather--turn out to be people that you care about and, in some way, can identify with.

Granted, for Stephenson fans (or those of you that have read at least one other of his novels), the plot and shape of Snow Crash will be quite predictable, the names have only been changed to protect the innocent. But, that can't change the fact that Stephenson delivers a top notch performance with more car chases, online intriuge, random violence, freaky antagonists, Sumerian myth, "nice doggies," and punk humor than you can shake a katana at.

For those of you looking for the next leve of cyberpunk, put down that applesauce...you've got it right here.
0Kommentar| 9 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 22. Januar 1998
One of the problems I often have when reading a book with central themes like "cyberspace" and Artifical Intelligence is that very often the writer's lack of a core understanding of present technology doesn't allow him to plausibly predict it's probable evolution. In disagreement with a recent posting that stated that he "gets most of the technology wrong," I'd like to state that as a programmer and network engineer I was more impressed by this book in terms of technological realism than by any book of its type that I can recall. I have no idea what Neal Stephenson did for a living before he wrote, but if it wasn't programming, networking or computer engineering, he's studied it well or has friends who've coached him well. He never once used a plot deviced that seemed impossible or illogical, which is very rare indeed. This is in stark contrast to Gibson's Neuromancer, which although it entertained me, did not show in it's writing style that the writer had any underlying understanding of the functioning of a computer. In fact, Gibson can be forgiven for his lack of technological sophistication only because of the fact that his work was so ground-breaking for the time at which it was written. (Gibson has admitted he never even owned a PC or worked with a computer until after that book was written). This book has great satiric wit, and lies within the definition of "hard sf". A great combination in my book. It was so enjoyable and memorable I have to give it a 10.
0Kommentar| 3 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 7. Mai 1998
Entertainment, what can I say? Information, religion, chaos, violence and humour, I found this book refreshing and overall an excellent read. Gibson is cool but as angst filled as an ugly adolescent and it was a pleasure to read a cyberpunk novel that was not filled with self-absorbed rhetoric on the dark future of humankind, but rather made fun of our own existance and beliefs. Not scientifically accurate? Well this IS fiction! Not religiously or archaelogically accurate? Religion is based on myths and fables anyway, Christianity more than most having been constantly edited in its brief history, and archaeology is largely the opinions of a select few academics. I loved the Librarians "lecture", regardless of the opinions of those who claimed it as boring!
Enjoy your reading, buy it and devour it! Like Carl Hiassen, I love to find an author who can let the reader have some fun. :o)
0Kommentar| Eine Person fand diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 21. Oktober 2003
Hiro Protagonist, laut seiner Visitenkarte "der weltbeste Schwertkämpfer", wohnt zusammen mit einem Trash-Metal-Gitarristen in einem Lagercontainer. Er arbeitet als Turbo-Pizza-Ausfahrer und eine Art Informationssammler. Außerdem hat er das "Metaverse" mit erschaffen - die VR-Welt, in der sich alles und jeder tummelt.
Doch dann geschehen böse Dinge: Eine Droge mit dem Namen "Snow Crash" taucht auf - und treibt einen der Metaverse-Mitgründer in den Wahnsinn. Snow Crash scheint mehr als eine Droge zu sein - sie ist auch Religion, Computervirus und biologischer Virus ... Hiro hat es auf einmal mit ganz anderen Gefahren als nur halb kalten Pizzen zu tun.
Neal Stephenson hat mit "Snow Crash" einen der Cyberpunk-Klassiker erschaffen, der von der ersten bis zur letzten Seite spannend ist. Viele auch für den IT-Bereich wegweisende Ideen sind in das Buch mit eingeflossen - unter anderem hat sich die im VR-Bereich tätige Firma "Black Sun" nach der "Blaxxun" aus dem Roman benannt. Nur die für Stephenson-Romane übliche viele Gewalt wäre nicht wirklich nötig gewesen. Trotzdem sehr sehr lesenswert!
0Kommentar| 8 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 28. Juni 1998
It's been a while since I read this book, but I now feel compelled to add my .02 (so I slack a bit). Stephenson's vision is compelling - so much so that this book has memed itself into the tech-culture that ultimately will be our everything <Smack> (end of seriousness)
Bam! Wakes you up by throwing a red hot pizza into your unit and slapping you silly. Deliver that pizza or it's your a**! Today this work reads like a dictionary of all that is cool: #Mafia-pizza #Babylonian memes #Motorcycle tac-nuke #Floating city-state #Katana neckslices #Hypervelocity pitbull #Brainfry cyberdrug #Smartwheel skateboard #Monomolecular bumpersticker - Put those in your book.
Snowcrash isn't a novel, its a hyperguide to better living. The Dick and Jane for our times. See Dick write code and wear a deck. I'm still reeling from this mind bomb. Dang, i've been memed.
0Kommentar| 2 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 30. April 1999
If you haven't read "Snow Crash" and you're trying to guess whether to plunk down $$ based on the reviews, just remember this. Some reviews give this book 2 or 3 stars (usually quite acceptable), but then the reviews list as faults: "bad science/technology", "bad writing."
Since this book was released, several companies were created based on the concepts in this book. Black Sun Interactive, which takes its name from a bar in the book, is one big publicly traded company that springs to mind (it was recently bought). After the book was published, online avatar universes like "Worlds" immediately became vogue. Companies started seeing big money in the micropayment concept. Data warehousing for trivia (described as the CIC in the book) suddenly seemed possible.
Though Stephenson didn't "create" some of the concepts in the book, he popularized them all. If "avatars" don't thrill you, it's because he opened, completed, and closed that whole concept in "Snow Crash."
As to the writing -- it is consciously modeled after comic books, framed in present tense, and told in the diction of the future 'era'. People giving this book a low rating (and still saying, "I loved it anyways"), merely need to get their expectations in line.
0Kommentar| Eine Person fand diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 16. August 1998
Neal Stephenson has one of the most interesting imaginations I've come across; half the book sounds like what comes out of your head, very very late at night, when someone turns the creativity switch "on" and then forgets to turn it off. His style of writing, if the present tense doesn't put you off, is very original and VERY amusing. The middle section of the book, I will admit, fails utterly as a novel, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. Stephenson relates religion and language to viruses by way of Sumerian mythology-- calling the god Enki the "first neurolinguistic hacker" was an interesting touch. This bizarre theory is presented in a series of very long discussions, however, which sort of stop the plot dead while you try to figure out what is happening. If you enjoy language, mythology, modern religion, and/or blends of all of the above raised on a diet of hallucinogenic chemicals and then filtered through Stephenson's completely whacked style, it is fascinating. If such ideas put you to sleep, you'll probably hate it. I belong to the former group, and have read this book three times, and STILL don't quite understand all of it; that is what makes it so much fun.
0Kommentar| Eine Person fand diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 12. Januar 2000
Snow Crash is a phenomenal book with crazy action, a greatstoryline, and superb characters. From the first page, NealStephenson pulls the reader into the story of our hero, HiroProtagonist (get it?) By page five, you're hooked, and good luck getting some sleep before the story is over.
The characters in Snow Crash, while a bit over the top, are fantastic. Hiro is a computer hacker who has a side job working for the mob. Y. T. is Hiro's buddy, a skater kid with an attitude. We also get appearances by Uncle Enzo (the current mob don), a biker that has a nuke for a sidecar, and even the President of the United States.
The plot trucks right along from the beginning, making you ask questions and guess what's really going on all the way through. It reads something like an episode of The X-Files mixed with Neuromancer, with just a bit of a Jackie Chan movie thrown in for good measure. To say more would be to give it away, so just trust me: it's cool.
I've loaned this book out to several friends, and even my punky kid brother, who never reads, loved it.
If you enjoy sci-fi, read it. If you like action, read it. If you like conspiracy books, read it. If you like cyberpunk, definitely read it.
0Kommentar| Eine Person fand diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 7. Juli 2000
...by anyone interested in religion, pizza, fast cars, faster skate boards & the evil machinations of corporate merger-land. Oh, and the harmful effects of software viruses on physical, mental, emotional & socioeconomical infrastructure of humanity.
Neal Stephenson, I'm not sure if you (via prescience) consciously hit every relevant Millenial topic smack on its head when Snow Crash was first released in '93...or if you were simply writing a swift romp through an alternative future world for amusement only.
Snow Crash works several ways. It satisfies the hunger of a science fiction fan. It addresses the historical impact of technology, spam-marketing, Brand recognition & our sick pursuit of organized & punitive religions. It is sweet and hopeful and has a noble sense of Honor as "pilotfish" through the ugly morass of the ALL-CAPITALISM--ALL-THE-TIME future that we are always on the very brink of creating.
Thanks, Neal. I haven't reread a book so much since Harlan Ellison wrote, "A Boy & His Dog."
0Kommentar| Eine Person fand diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 28. Oktober 1999
Snow Crash is the first example of positive cyberpunk I have seen, Hiro & YT are both (for a change) the best at what they do. A sk8er and a swordsman, this is how we all wanted our shadow run charecters to be. the book is a non-stop trip told in the hardcore techno-jive we all want to speak. People have a problem with the boring middle section about linguistics but this is one of the most educational plotlines I have ever read. Anyone who thinks it's all rubbish should consider the effect porn stories have on the body. Words can affect you without real meaning. Plus, this book is action-packed, it holds interest & attention like no other. The charecters & settings are all the best of cyberpunk dreams. "up until the age of 25 all males think they still have time to become the baddest motherf--ker in the world" How real is that! This is the first time cyberpunk has been the triumphant cheer it should always've been. Check it.
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