Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Required Cyberpunk Reading

Snow Crash
by Neal Stephenson
Published by Bantam Books
3 Out of 5 Stars

Snow Crash is definitely unlike anything I've ever read. The novel is fast paced with moments of dialogue and original writing that made me laugh out loud (okay, perhaps just chuckle quietly in appreciation). I appreciate the book's originality and can only imagine how surreal it must have been to read when it was originally published in 1992 (by today's standards, the technology that plays an integral part throughout the book is eerily familiar, especially given the book's context). 

While I was sometimes lost during the technical discussions among the hackers about how computers work, I was still able to piece together what was going on (albeit, probably not at the level that someone with more knowledge about computer programming could). To me, the truly fascinating part of the novel involved its incorporation of Sumerian mythology and the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, providing a creative explanation as to the relevance of these ancient stories to a modern and technology based culture. While I enjoyed the novel, parts of it felt disjointed and it suffered a bit from the hype that surrounds it as this resulted in my having certain set expectations before I began reading the book. Otherwise, it was an enjoyable read that I think would be better served by a second reading. 

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