Snow Crash

by Neal Stephenson

Published by RoC (UK)
U.K. 5.99
440 Pages
ISBN 0-14-023292-3

Set in the future of this world where businesses are controlled by worldwide franchises, the internet has grown into the virtual reality "Metaverse", and the Mafia control the pizza franchise.

The main character is Hiro Protagonist, former hacker and greatest swordfighter in the world. He was one of the hackers that help form the Metaverse, and now delivers pizza for the Mafia. A new virus has appeared, called "Snow Crash", that crashes hackers brains when they view it. After the virus puts his old friend Da5id into a coma, he tries to find a cure for his friend and find out what Snow Crash really is, with the help of a new friend, the young girl courier YT.

This near-future world is very amusing, with the US government reduced to a minor power compared to CosaNostra Pizza, or Mom's Truck Stop franchise. This has to be the best "cyberpunk" SF novel since Gibson's Neuromancer. Stephenson does very well to bring across his vision of a commercial world dominated by the Metaverse. This is a very fast paced tale that you will not be able to put down until the ending. Brilliant.

P.F. 26th December 1996

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Paul Farris 1996