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Snow Crash characters ☆ 104 Õ In reality Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo's CosoNostra Pizza Inc but in the Metaverse he's a warrior prince Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that's striking down hackers everywhere he races along the neon lit streets on a search and destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain tAin threatening to bring about infocalypse Snow Crash is a mind altering romp through a future America so bizarre so outrageous you'll recognize it immediately. Did you ever have a kid at school who tried to appear smart and as the font of all knowledge by catching on to the tail ends of things while listening to adults absorbing some of it and then spouting forth in front of an assembly of kids his or her let's be fair here own regurgitation of what he had heard in the adult uarter which would often make most of the other kids hang on to hisher every word simply because they themselves didn't have a clue what he was talking aboutWell with Snow Crash Neal Stephenson is that kid grown up Stephenson latches on to all kinds of ideas and then regurgitates his reductionist lopsided version of them in 'novel' form The effect it had on this reader is similar to what the screeching of chalk on a board does to most people; it set my teeth on edgeThere are so many lopsided half developed ideas with huge holes in logic in them in this novel that I cannot mention them all and remain as brief as I am sure that you dear reader would prefer me to be Most of them pertain to Stephenson's lopsided extrapolation of how a virtual reality world would work and his to me loopy ideas on neurolinguistics ancient history and religions I was ambivalent about his snarky depiction of capitalism taken to the extreme In the Snow Crash world everything is privatised to the point that civil services such as police and prisons are privatised and 'burbclaves' small city states have their own laws and services to the point that America doesn't have federal law any yet there are still Feds The latter institution is highly satirised by Stephenson with regard to the typical bureaucratic yards of red tape and the tech and intel gathering overkill and so on I admit that I found these bits humorous I reckon Stephenson is by their inclusion into a state that has no laws and where the federal government seems merely a token from days gone by saying that the FBI was superfluous to start with in any case hah But the overall effect of the Snow Crash background setting is that of an almost schizophrenic collage of bits and pieces stuck together to create a highly disjunctive worldI enjoyed the action seuences and I very much enjoyed his two female protagonists; slightly less so the male one In this early novel Stephenson shows faint glimmerings of promise His clumsy explanations of the tech aspects of the world is jarring and often nonsensical so the main little points of light lie with the action seuences and the characterization the latter which I found not too bad since many of his stereotypes were slightly rounded than actually stereotypical and many of the characters were relatively believable and even likeable in spite of the clumsiness The hero Hiro or shall I say Hiro Protagonist the protagonist did feel paper thin however like just a another piece of deus ex machina So four stars for the fact that the novel passes the Bechdel test and for having created the eminently likeable character YT But minus a star for the jarring racism and lack of cultural and ethnic sensitivity and minus another star for setting my teeth on edge with his loopy ideas and his lopsided cartoony projections into a future consisting of what feels like a world constructed of cardboard cutoutsAnd minus a virtual star for positing that patriarchal religions are rational than matriarchal ones Oh and pretty important to me is to mention the subtraction of another virtual star for the sex with a fifteen year old girl and her 'relationship' with a mass murderer than twice her ageAdd half a star back for the humorMany people credit Stephenson with being the first person to think of a cyberverse in which humans could participate represented by avatars but by his own admission Lucasfilm with Habitat was there before him ;In fact it might not be an overstatement to say that Stephenson had pretty much gypped his idea off of developers Randy Farmer and Chip Morningstar Please be my guest and Google themIn his book The Virtual Community Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier Howard Rheingold writes in Chapter Six In Austin Texas in 1990 at the First Conference on Cyberspace I met the two programmers who created the first large scale multi user commercial virtual playgroundIn their address to the conference and the paper they later published The Lessons of Lucasfilm's Habitat Chip Morningstar and F Randall Farmer recounted their experience as the designers and managers of a virtual community that used computer graphics as well as words to support an online society of tens of thousands Much of that conference in Austin was devoted to discussions of virtual reality environments in which people wear special goggles and gloves to experience the illusion of sensory immersion in the virtual world via three dimensional computer graphics Randy Farmer and Chip Morningstar stood out in that high tech crowd because the cyberspace they had created used a very inexpensive home computer often called a toy computer and a cartoonlike two dimensional representation to create their kind of virtual world Farmer and Morningstar had one kind of experience that the 3 D graphics enthusiasts did not have however the system they had designed Habitat had been used by tens of thousands of people Source presented by Randy Farmer and Chip Morningstar fascinating thoughts on the internet as a marketplace PS I relented and added a half star for making YT female and such a fun character and subtracted a uarter star for making her blonde then added back a uarter star for the way in which NS made fun of the FBI bureaucracy

Summary Å PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ´ Neal Stephenson

F a new computer virus that's striking down hackers everywhere he races along the neon lit streets on a search and destroy mission for the shadowy virtual vill. The review is updated on 28022017I usually give a very brief description of the plot in the beginning of my reviews In this case I found it to be very difficult to do as it will have to be very vague or contain huge spoilers Think of this book as a grandfather of The Matrix movie The near future is a libertarian paradise the government intervention is practically non existent; the law enforcement agencies are private and competing with each other Enter Hiro Protagonist yes this is his real name In the beginning of the book he almost failed at pizza delivery this is a very serious business in the future handled entirely by the Mafia Fortunately a skateboarding courier YT shows up to save the day I need to mention her skateboard makes famous hoverboard from Back to the Future look like a children bike with training wheels From this fairly crazy beginning the plot dives headlong into giant conspiracy there has to be one in that kind of the story Hiro's sword fights in real life and cyberspacevirtual reality called Metaverse new mind altering drugs discussion of languages religion Shumer civilization and so on You want a mutant Aleut who is deadly with his spear against a suad of hit men armed with guns You can have it here Atomic powered Gatling handgun Cool here you are Computer hackers building Metaverse and then bending its rules to suit their needs Come this way pleaseThe book was written in 1992 Since then there were a lot of booksmoviesTV shows which borrowed some ideas from it but almost all of them failed to borrow its lightheartedness; the book does not take itself seriously I was only able to understand this after I was half done with it The reason for this being exposed to the mostly crappy things I mentioned above which did take themselves seriously Finally in the second half of the book I got a clue when things went WAY over the top There were some things which bothered me some I hated and some I found annoying The biggest one the book is written in present tense If somebody gave me a reason for this I would be really grateful What is wrong with past tense which was used since the dawn of times to tell a tale Present tense makes for clumsy read sometimes The ending was practically non existent the story just stopped The computer industry moves at a very fast rate even these days As a result some info in the book is hopelessly out of date; this cannot be helped with any book of this genre cyberpunk On the related note some of the explanations of the computer related technology were too long and boring and some were not entirely accurate but I work for IT industry so it might be just me I can only imagine what doctors and lawyers think about countless TV shows about their professions The final rating for the book is 35 stars Initially I rounded it up for the sheer fun factor and the way the book caught me unprepared with its over the top plot However my conscience began bothering my after some time on my own scale the novel does not deserve such a high rating It has too many outdated and slow spots Finally I realized I really need to update the rating; so here it is 3 stars

Neal Stephenson ´ 4 characters

Snow CrashIn reality Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo's CosoNostra Pizza Inc but in the Metaverse he's a warrior prince Plunging headlong into the enigma o. Disliking this book seemed uite impossible After all it had all the necessary ingredients the pervasive air of nerdy geekiness or perhaps geeky nerdiness an unexpected take on linguistics a kick ass female character a parallel virtual reality a hefty helping of admittedly overexaggerated satire and just enough wacky improbable worldbuilding to satisfy my book loving soul Or so it seemedBut awesome ingredients do not always add up to a satisfying dish¹ as my horrible cook self knows much too well¹Remember 'Friends' episode where Rachel tries to make English trifle for Thanksgiving desert but because of a couple pages unfortunately sticking together ends up making half English trifle and half the shepherd's pie Joey was baffled that the rest of the gang found the dish unpalatable 'I mean what's not to like Custard good Jam good Meat good' I did NOT come to this book with an open mind I came to it infinitely biased in its favor ready to love it to pieces prepared to find in it the same irresistible allure that so many of my Goodreads friends appreciated Alas after the first few pages my good natured amusement gave way to irritated frustration then to impatience and eventually as the book was nearing its final pages my feelings changed to dreaded passionless indifference akin to the emotions stirred by a disclaimer on the back of a pill packetIt is very disappointing when a book leaves you indifferent after hundreds of pages spent with the characters and the plotlines especially when it is a book with such immense potential as 'Snow Crash' had based on all the reviews and snippets I have seen with all the ingredients for an amazing sci fi adventure I listed above “We are all susceptible to the pull of viral ideas Like mass hysteria Or a tune that gets into your head that you keep humming all day until you spread it to someone else Jokes Urban legends Crackpot religions Marxism No matter how smart we get there is always this deep irrational part that makes us potential hosts for self replicating information” Here's a glimpse of the plot as much as I can listlessly muster Hiro Protagonist our hero and protagonist cleverly annoying or annoyingly clever I'm not uite sure is a hacker in a future completely corporatized and fractured by consumerism America He delivers pizza for the Mafia franchise by day and in his spare time hangs around Metaverse a computer based simulated reality where he is a sword fighting badass with a juicy piece of expensive virtual real estate and important friends To those having trouble picturing this think of ‘The Matrix’ as compared to the gloomy existence outside of it Y T is his sidekick a Kourier with a healthy dose of vital spunk and kindness to animals that just may result in the most spectacular payback at the most crucial moment Uncle Enzo is the head of the Mafia franchise and does not like late pizza deliveries he has his reasons As for the antagonists we have L Ron Hubbard L Bob Rife a computer magnate and a leader of a uestionable religion; the Feds that have lost their power but retained their bureaucracy; and enigmatic Raven euipped with a motorcycle a few deadly spears and another weapon that earns him respect from the authorities that that a few small nations getAnd then there's the titular Snow Crash “This Snow Crash thing is it a virus a drug or a religion” Juanita shrugs “What's the difference” Sounds awesome doesn't it To me the concept of Snow Crash initially evoked the memories of Delany's Babel 17 a book that I loved for all it's strangeness and far fetchedness and irresistible pull into the blend of linguistics and sci fi But then 'Snow Crash' having barely taken off disappointingly crashed Pun very much intendedMaybe this had something to do with the clumsily thrown in heaps of infodump painfully interrupting already shaky and unsteady narrative adding tons of poorly placed and far fetched exposition which it mistakes for layers of complexity basking in self importance while being needlessly silly and frankly needless Maybe it was the sheer number of complex plot threads that weaves complexity but ended up going nowhere with few admittedly memorable exceptionsMaybe it was what I can only perceive as casual racism so pervasive in descriptions of most 'ethnic' characters and entire groups featured in this novel so present in every casually thrown stereotype Intentional or not it was unpleasantly gratingMaybe it was the lack of dimension in Stephenson's characters Hiro appears to be created as an embodiment of a teenage computer whiz's dreams not developing in the slightest throughout the novel only acuiring and badassery in the throwaway 'why not' sloppy manner YT despite her awesomeness² behaving in a strangely robotic fashion Raven and Uncle Enzo frustratingly underdeveloped Juanita whose character could have been interesting appears to exist solely as potential mate for Hiro The only times I felt any connection to the characters were the appearances of the robotic dog and I am not even a dog person ² YT while being far from an excellent character was at least a ray of grumpy sunshine in the otherwise grey landscape of this novel She has spunk and heart and confidence that is engaging and does not strike fakes notes that often She made me almost care and for this I appreciate her character If only the rest if the book had the same spiritMaybe it was the inability to interweave the plot threads into a coherent storyline to create a bigger whole out of separate parts The ideas are there the concepts are there; what's missing is cohesiveness able to pull them together untangle them and weave a net captivating the readers' brains and imagination Without this cohesiveness even the wildest and most daring ideas like Stephenson's unconventional approach to viruses for instance remain disjointed underdeveloped unfinished unpolished like the refugee Raft in his novel made of heaps of refuse clumped together trying to make a whole but failing at itHonestly I can't help but see how this book would have worked so much better in a graphic format being it a comic book like apparently it was initially envisioned or a film; the action scenes would have looked splendid while the awkwardness of language with overused freuently clumsy metaphors and the jarring present tense which really doesn't work for this story would have been cast aside Yes I am very disappointed at my disappointment with this book I wish I had the ability to overlook its flaws but the indifference I felt when reading it precluded me from caring enough to let its good moments overshadow the bad 2 stars one for the robot doggy and another for YT who occasionally made me almost care