Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash is a flawed yet quite entertaining cyberpunk novel that has viruses on the brain (pardon the pun). A mysterious new computer virus, Snow Crash, seems to be able to infect a hacker's brain, and a drug of the same name is gaining popularity. From there, it's just a short step to the End of the World As We Know It, unless a freelance (read: unemployed) hacker, a skateboarding delivery girl, the Mafia, and a few others can stop Snow Crash's spread.
Snow Crash is undeniably clever, often quite amusingly so. It is also very impressed with its own cleverness (why else name a main character Hiro Protagonist?), sometimes too much so for my taste. The pacing of the book is problematic, as well: a terrific opening, filled with energy and wit, slides into a middle section consisting mostly of characters explaining Sumerian language and myth to each other for pages on end. The book ends by apparently running headlong into a brick wall, simply stopping in its tracks. Nevertheless, Snow Crash is on balance a fun, fairly light though long read.
%T Snow Crash %A Stephenson, Neal %C New York %I Bantam %D 1992 %G 0-553-56261-4 %P 470pp %O paperback
Copyright July 28, 1999 by Kate Nepveu. Originally posted to rec.arts.sf.written.