I finally read a book that my husband and college friends have been heralding for a long time: the ultimate wink-and-a-nod cyberpunk thriller, Snow Crash. The book weaves together the various bits and bobs of the unlikely partnership of a katana-wielding, pizza-delivering online warrior prince and a sassy teenage street courier with an awesome skateboard and a soft spot for mechanical dogs.
The story gets complicated quickly. Alongside Hiro (our katana man) and YT (our street courier), there’s the Mafia, an entire online social structure known as the Metaverse, a dangerous virus, the Feds, Sumerian mythology, a hydrogen bomb strapped to a motorcycle, religious fundamentalists, and a lot of awful neon franchises from residential enclosures to drive-through liquor stores. It’s a fun, freaky romp through the wasteland of an L.A. that, at this point in time, doesn’t seem so far in the future.
The nearly 500 pages of this book go very quickly. There are lots of fun, futuristic action scenes mixed in with highly cerebral passages about ancient languages and the nature of the brain. If you enjoy sci-fi, linguistics, or just cool storytelling, you’ll really enjoy this novel.