Snow Crash

ISBN: 0553380958
ISBN 13: 9780553380958
By: Neal Stephenson

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About this book

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 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.

Reader's Thoughts

Erich Franz Guzmann

me lu lu mu al nu um me en ki me en me lu lu mu me al nu um me al nu um me me mu lu e al nu um me dug ga mu me mu lu e al nu um me...


Written in the present tense, which is awkward and unengaging, brimfuls of technological deus ex machina remove all tension from an already slow plot-line. The characters are interesting, hence the two stars, but even they felt lacking and emotionally disengaged from their own story, which had the futile makings of something original.The ending is atrocious, preceded by wastelands of chapter-length explanation, and a fairy-tale misinterpretation of Neurolinguistics that seems to have been written solely to remind us that not everyone is cut out to be a scientist, as some people must invariably grow up to write pop-fiction.If you're looking for cyberpunk, read Altered Carbon

Jonathan Cullen

I am struggling with how to describe this book and how to assign it a fair rating. I am amazed at how fresh Snow Crash feels, even 20 years after Neal Stephenson took a stroll down the Street. Many of the ideas in here a simply today's reality. The crystal balling is fairly impressive. I loved the first quarter of the book. I ate up the pizza delivery and avatar scenes. Raven has easily made it to my top Literary Badass List.But I have to admit I got bogged down in the Sumerian myth. Even though it was core to the story I felt we could have done without it somehow. Snow Crash also gets buried under its own style. There is not a single sentence which is not seeking flaming glory. Many of them succeed but it's a lot to swallow so many flourishes.I enjoyed it and was impressed by it. We'll leave it at that. I will give it a 3.5 so I can round it up.


I'm just updating this review I posted in 2011.Since reading this book I have read two more Neal Stephenson novels namely The Diamond Age and Anathem. Of the three I think Snow Crash is the most fun book. It is not as deep or thought provoking as the other two (Anathem especially) but the most wildly entertaining. I can still remember the "the greatest pizza delivery scene in world literature" and YT's "harpooning" cars as if I was there. The experience is like reading about being in VR while being in a sort of VR myself. To me a good book (novels specifically) is like virtual reality, being immersed in a book takes me away from wherever I am. The people or the environment I am in does not register, if I had anything cooking on the stove it would get burned, telephones and door bells go unanswered.Snow Crash is one such book and I heartily recommend it to anyone who want to take a quick leave of their current reality.


I have a little SAT analogy to help you understand how awesome this book is: Snow Crash is to Books as The Matrix is to movies (with only the absolute BEST parts of Tron and Da Vinci Code thrown in). I'm not talking about all the commercialized Matrix-saga and the weird hype... I'm talking about the first time you sat in the movie theater and saw that chick in the Matrix spin around in suspended animation and kick the crap out of a bunch of cops and thought, "What the #@*%??? COOL!" That's pretty much how this entire book reads. I actually had to add it to my "favorites" list. Can't believe I'd never heard of it before?! (my thanks for suggesting it, Erich)I guarantee there is not a sentient male breathing who won't count this among their top 20 at least. As for you fellow females, if you enjoy a great action romp like I do... and I don't mean the stupid, dime-a-dozen shoot-em-ups, we're talking Die Hard I/Aliens/Terminator 2 (and aforementioned Matrix) caliber here... then you'll love it, too. It has everything: Mafia pizza delivery tycoons, robot dogs, samurai fights, brainwashing hackers, ancient Sumerian gods, hydrogen bombs, hallucinogenic drugs, punk skateboarders... SWEET, as J.T. would say.My favorite parts: Stephenson's out-of-this-world unique writing style, the analogy of hacking into a persons brain using language in the same way people hack into computers using code, the amazing action sequences, use of the second person (you/we) to directly connect to the reader, the sections written from the robot dog's perspective, the use of binary code-type language in terms like "hacker" and "harpooning" (for example, the hero can both "hack" into a computer AND "hack" your body to pieces with a katana). BRILLIANT! A couple tiny complaints: There wasn't nearly enough of Raven, the villain. He ranks right under Hannibal Lector and that guy from the movie Serenity to me... everything a villain should be: a sexy, terrifying brute of a nuclear mutant who rips people to pieces with glass knives. Also, Hiro Protagonist wasn't much of a... well, hero protagonist. He did a little too much research and not quite enough slashing people with his katana for my taste. Raven's foil, Y.T., stole the show--TOTALLY. Not like I minded. I'm all for a 15-year-old skater chick saving the world. SWEET!(Rated R for an isolated sex scene, medium violence, and consistent swearing.)FAVORITE QUOTES:Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest mother****** in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, devoted it to wiping out street crime... Hiro used to feel that way, too, but then he ran into Raven. In a way, this is liberating. He no longer had to worry about trying to be the baddest mother****** in the world. The position is taken.He turns off the techno-**** in his goggles. All it does is confuse him; he stands there reading statistics about his own death even as it's happening to him. Very post-modern.BMW drivers take evasive action at the drop of a hat, emulating the drivers in the BMW advertisements--this is how they convince themselves they didn't get ripped off.Interesting things happen along borders--transitions--not in the middle where everything is the same.[We've:] got millions of those Young Mafia types. All destined to wear blazers and shuffle papers in suburbia. You don't respect those people very much, Y.T., because you're young and arrogant. But I don't respect them much either, because I'm old and wise.The world is full of power and energy and a person can go far by just skimming off a tiny bit of it.


When I first read Snow Crash, I thought to myself: "This thing is paced like a comic." Funny then to later discover that the novel was written after a comic book attempt at the same story fell apart.Snow Crash is the paradigmatic Stephenson novel. Grabs you quickly, thrusts you head long into world that's so preposterous that he can't possibly be making it up, and the drags you along kicking and screaming until you're left startled and somewhat confused at a precipitous ending.But don't let that fool you. This is probably Stephenson's best, most memorable work. It's certainly my favorite and it's certainly the one that's the most fun. (Which is probably why I've read it ten times.)UPDATE: Yep. Still one of my all-time-favorites.UPDATE: See also: Filet of Meta-Conflict.------SEE ALSO• "10 Science Fiction Books That I Love (and you will at least like a lot)" at litreactor


This book has style and furious energy, like all Neal Stephenson, but it doesn't really make sense. Well... if you casually invent the Metaverse while telling a rattling good story, who cares about a logical hole or nine? And the incidental details are terrific. My favourite was the biker who is a nuclear power in his own right, but there were many others.__________________________________I happened to look at the Wikipedia article, and was immediately entranced by the plot summary. The anonymous author's deadpan delivery is perfect. For your amusement:(view spoiler)[The protagonist is the aptly named Hiro Protagonist (Hiro being a homophone of hero), whose business card reads "Last of the freelance hackers and Greatest swordfighter in the world." When Hiro loses his job as a pizza delivery driver for the Mafia, he meets a streetwise young girl nicknamed Y.T. (short for Yours Truly), who works as a skateboard "Kourier", and they decide to become partners in the intelligence business (selling data to the CIC, the for-profit organization that evolved from the CIA after the U.S. government's loss of power).The pair soon learn of a dangerous new drug called "Snow Crash" that is both a computer virus capable of infecting the brains of unwary hackers in the Metaverse and a mind-altering virus in Reality. It is distributed by a network of Pentecostal churches via its infrastructure and belief system. As Hiro and Y.T. dig deeper (or are drawn in) they discover more about Snow Crash and its connection to ancient Sumerian culture, the fiber-optics monopolist L. Bob Rife, and his enormous Raft of refugee boat people who speak in tongues. Also, both in the Metaverse and in Reality, they confront one of Rife's minions, an Aleut harpoon master named Raven whose motorcycle's sidecar packs a nuke wired to go off should Raven ever be killed. Raven has never forgiven the U.S. for the way they handled the Japanese invasion of the Aleutian Islands (see Aleutian Islands Campaign in World War II) or for the nuclear testing on Amchitka.Hiro, at the prompting of his Catholic and linguist ex-girlfriend Juanita Marquez, begins to unravel the nature of this crisis. It relates back to the mythology of ancient Sumer, which Stephenson describes as speaking a very powerful ur-language. Sumerian is to modern "acquired languages" as binary is to programming languages: it affects the entity (be it human or computer) at a far lower and more basic level than does acquired/programming language. Sumerian is rooted in the brain stem and related to glossolalia, or "speaking in tongues"—a trait displayed by most of L. Bob Rife's convertees. Furthermore, Sumerian culture was ruled and controlled via "me," the human-readable equivalent of software which contains the rules and procedures for various activity (harvests, the baking of bread, etc.). The keepers of these important documents were priests referred to as en; some of them, like the god/semi-historical-figure Enki, could write new me, making them the equivalent of programmers or hackers.As Stephenson describes it, one goddess/semi-historical figure, Asherah, took it upon herself to create a dangerous biolinguistic virus and infect all peoples with it; this virus was stopped by Enki, who used his skills as a "neurolinguistic hacker" to create an inoculating "nam-shub" that would protect humanity by destroying its ability to use and respond to the Sumerian tongue. This forced the creation of "acquired languages" and gave rise to the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel. Unfortunately, Asherah's meta-virus did not disappear entirely, as the "Cult of Asherah" continued to spread it by means of cult prostitutes and infected women breast feeding orphaned infants; this weakened form of the virus is compared to herpes simplex. Furthermore, Rife has been sponsoring archaeological expeditions to the Sumerian city of Eridu, and has found enough information on the Sumerian tongue to reconstruct it and use it to work his will on humanity. He has also found the nam-shub of Enki, which he is protecting at all costs.Hiro makes his way to Rife's Raft, a massive refugee flotilla centered around Rife's personal yacht, the former USS Enterprise aircraft carrier. Juanita has already infiltrated this floating caravan for the express purpose of helping overthrow Rife. Y.T. has been captured by Rife's followers and is taken to the Raft, where she becomes romantically involved with Raven for a short time and is eventually taken hostage by Rife personally. While hostage, Y.T. delivers the nam-shub of Enki to Hiro, who together with Juanita uses it to save the virus-afflicted. Hiro then accesses the Metaverse and foils Raven's attempt to widely disseminate the Snow Crash virus to a grouping of the hacker elite. Meanwhile, Y.T. is brought to the mainland by Rife, but she escapes. Rife and Raven proceed to an airport, where they are confronted by Uncle Enzo (the Mafia kingpin). A critically wounded Enzo disarms Raven, while Rife is killed and his virus destroyed when Fido, a cyborg "rat-thing" who had previously been rescued by Y.T., propels himself through the engine of L. Bob Rife's plane at beyond Mach 1, incinerating Rife and his plane. The novel ends with Y.T. driving home with her mother, and with hints of a future rekindled relationship between Hiro and Juanita. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>


I guess if you're crazy into computer hacking and stuff this book would be a great read. I can't say that it was an entirely horrible book but I don't think I would ever recommend it to anybody that I didn’t wish a horrible, fiery death upon.The plot was entertaining enough and the back-story though extremely, extremely detailed which as a side note isn't necessarily a bad thing however for those of you yet to read it, a quick warning. As soon as Hiro meets up with that librarian dude, settle in for a long night. That aside it is a very clever theory that dates all the way back to Babel and some how links it with computer language in a way that really sells it.I could go on about feeling deceived and what not from the seemingly false positive reviews i'd read of it before buying it. For instance the first review on the back, and I quote "Fast, dense, deep, and funny. The best book I've read this year". When actually I found it to be quite slowish, a little too dense and deep, I guess it's light mooded but not really HAHA funny and, you know! not the best book I’ve read this year. But the clincher for me was one of the characters, Y.T to be exact. Police making her strip down and perving on her, making several remarks about screwing several characters and finally the big one, a steamy love scene with like the forty year old bad ass, bad guy Raven. All of which would be cool if not for the fact she's 15. I'm sorry but I just couldn't get past it. For the life of me I just can't understand why he couldn't just bump that 5 into a 9. I mean the young, can do, sexually active character still works with the added bonus of not feeling sick to your stomach whenever you read something provocative.But still as a whole it's not so bad, probably one of those books that you have to read two or three times to appreciate. My advice, save yourself the time and read One of us or Only Forward, Michael Marshall Smith is a much better cyber punk writer.


In a time in the not so distance future where the federal government of the United States has yielded most of its power to private organizations and entrepreneurs, franchising individual sovereignty reigns supreme. Merchant armies complete national defence, highway companies compete for drivers and the mafia own the pizza delivery game. Hiro Protagonist, “Last of the freelance hackers and greatest swordfighter in the world”, finds himself without his pizza delivery job when a young skateboard “Kourier” named Y.T. tries to hitch a ride on his vehicle. Leading them on a grand scale adventure trying to uncover just what exactly Snow Crash is.Like all of Neal Stephenson books, you can expect this one to cover subjects like history, linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, religion, computer science, politics, cryptography, and philosophy, all while keeping to his cyberpunk thriller style. He says this book was named after the early mac software failure mode:“When the computer crashed and wrote gibberish into the bitmap, the result was something that looked vaguely like static on a broken television set—a ‘snow crash’”His goal, was to take the reader on a “full tour of Sumerian culture, a fully instantiated anarcho-capitalist society, and a virtual meta-society patronized by financial, social, and intellectual elites.” Snow Crash is a pseudo-narcotic or is it something far worse; Hiro and Y.T (short for Yours Truly) slowly discover that it is in fact a computer virus capable of infecting the brains of careless hackers in the Metaverse (the successor to the internet) and a mind altering virus in reality.One of the things I liked most about Snow Crash was the fact that Neal Stephenson showed us how to write a kick ass teenage girl protagonist. Young Adult novels like to use a strong teenaged girl as a main character but few of them really know how to make her great; most are just Katniss clones. While Y.T’s narrative wasn’t as focused as that of Hiro, it was more of a pleasure to read, she seemed to accomplish the most in the entire book and she did it her own way without compromising her character. Sure, she did manage to get into some trouble and make some bad choices but she’s human, I expect them to struggle and fall and recover from their mistakes.While this was a fun and exciting novel there are some things that I just didn’t like; firstly each ethical group portrayed the stereotypical extreme. The mafia, the rednecks from New South Africa, the Pentecostals, Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong and so on, all felt very much like the cliché versions of these cultures and Stephenson played on the stereotypes a little too heavily. I know they were only minor plot arcs but it still felt like it was overdone. The most interesting people in the book are the ones living outside their cultural and ethnic groups; Hiro, Y.T and Raven.Then there is my biggest problem with the book, which is a similar problem I had with Reamde and that is I feel like Neal Stephenson turns some chapters into a Wikipedia articles just to give us all the interesting information he has on a subject he is exploring. In this book it is every time the librarian talks, there is heaps and heaps of interesting, and sometimes irrelevant, information and the way Stephenson tried to stops it become and wall of text is the awkward attempt to make it sound like a conversation. Hiro keeps interrupting the librarian’s information with very simplified reiteration, agreements and metaphors, I found it incredible annoying.Overall this was a fast paced cyber thriller with some weird and unusual tangents and twists. Stephenson has some interesting ideas about the future of the world but for some reason I never feel a strong connection to his books. I think I prefer William Gibson’s style and take on the future cyber world but can’t fault Stephenson for what he does. Not that I’ve read many books from this author and there are plenty more I want to read, maybe I just feel like he over simplifies and draws his novels out a little too much.This review originally appeared on my blog;


Crazy, strange, exciting, visionary, action-packed, sexy. Reading this book is like watching the Matrix for the first time. Though it may lack pretense of more complex literature, it asks vague and interesting enough questions to match The Bard's sophistry. Beyond that it is just a great read. It shows a vision of the future that seems eminently likely, but unlike 1984 or Brave New World, has not started to feel stilted. It also lack the long-winded philosophical diatribes and allegories that stagnate that breed of classics. Gibson may have invented Cyberpunk, but Stephenson takes the genre out for a joyride and loses a hubcap on a bootstrap turn.It was originally planned as a graphic novel, but when that got scrapped, Stephenson filled it out and got it published. Perhaps this is why his other works never match Snowcrash's frenetic teenage energy and sensuality. I wish there were more books this interesting and enjoyable.


Cyberpunk’s next generation pretty much began here. Written by someone who -unlike William Gibson- actually knows computers, this anime in novel form is one of those rare SF books that is read by many non-SF readers. On a personal note, this is probably the only book I’ll ever read whose main character is half black and half Japanese, just like me! When I first read it, I was working at a pizza place, just like the protagonist, and I actually got fired around the same time I got to the point of him losing his job as well. Also, my first name is Hiroshi and he goes by Hiro. Cool, huh? OK, aside from those neat little coincidences, we are not at all alike. It just made reading it all the more fun for me. Plus I hated that job.Admittedly, there are certain aspects of this book that are a tad dated now (it was written in 1991), and he can’t quite get past certain stereotypes of Japanese people that many Westerners harbor. Still, there is some fun bit of social commentary and parody on just about every other page, and Stephenson satirizes globalization years before most people even knew what globalization is. There is also some really fascinating stuff involving the concept of memetic viruses, which he ties to Sumerian mythology and the Tower of Babel. I know that a lot of people find this part of the book to be boring, but I was fully engrossed. The kind of thing I live for when I read SF.


I don’t think that reading Snow Crash has the same effect in 2009 as reading it would have in 1992, the year it was published. Stephenson creates for us a world so absurd that you can’t help but buy into it. The Mafia controlling pizza delivery, the US being a city-state and the Internet - or Metaverse - being your very own Sims game - all seemingly very plausible.The story follows Hiro Protagonist - jack of all trades. He is the world’s greatest swordsman (though in the Metaverse), a pizza-delivery guy, an information-collector for the Central Intelligence Corporation and of course, a renowned hacker. In fact, he helped create the Metaverse with his friend Da5id. He resides in a storage unit at the U-Stor-It with his friend Vitaly Chernobyl, a very famous rock star. I should also mention that Hiro organizes Vitaly’s concerts. Like I said, jack of all trades. Apart from the storage unit, all Hiro has to his name is a laptop and some Japanese swords. One would think that a man with that much talent would have a penthouse or a club in the Metaverse, at least.The story begins when his cocky friend Da5id tries this new drug called Snow Crash - which Da5id’s ex-wife and Hiro’s ex-girlfriend (same person, may I add) warned him against. Hiro, his ex-girlfriend Juanita and his 15-year old friend Y.T. - a modern-day skaterboarding courier - are left to figure out why Da5id has physically collapsed because of a bitmap on a screen.The story goes beyond the typical action sword-fighting stuff. The tale dips into the history of Christianity, the story of Babel and Sumerian culture. Without bringing in these ancient elements, I don’t know if the story would have been as appealing and enjoyable for me. The juxtaposition of past and future worked in his favor to create a plausible story.I only read this book on the very persistent recommendation of my boyfriend. And I’m so glad that he kept at it. I’m not typically a fan of cyberpunk but I feel this book goes beyond that. I’m good with computers and technology in general but I can’t code much at all. This didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the book at all because even though Stephenson himself is incredibly tech savvy - he doesn’t shove it in your face. I sincerely appreciated that the book did not make me feel stupid and instead let me figure out the story at about the same time as the characters did.This is yet another book where I have to say that you should not let the cyberpunk label get to you. The ties to linguistics and former, nearly forgotten religions pushed the book past just being cyberpunk or science fiction.And with a name as witty as Hiro Protagonist, how can you resist giving Neil Stephenson a chance?

mark monday

derisively laugh to me for opportunities of full and cringe-worthy and tedious equally be to found i which, Against A Dark Background beloved the disliked who jackass of kind the am i that mind in keep also should you, seriously review this take you before but. FAIL. hipness insouciant of display a with audience its dazzle to designed lie a - lie brazen some of middle the in worship i someone catching like was it, one this with was i disappointed how express can't words. nowhere go but brilliant seem that (business Sumerian that like) ideas many so. cyberbullshit confusing of full too, snarky too, shallow too. finish couldn't i that (far so) book Stephenson Neal only extra star for being incredibly ahead of its time.

Lisa Vegan

I don’t feel like rehashing the plot. For the curious, it, or parts of it, can be found in the book’s description field, at Wikipedia, in other Goodreads members’ reviews.This was my first cyberpunk novel, and while I liked much of it, I don’t think this subgenre is my favorite. Unusually for me, I’ll start with the negatives.I didn’t feel satisfied by the ending. There was such a build up to it, but I thought it fizzled a bit, and I ended up being disappointed. Also, the story dragged at times; I think it was too long. I don’t often say that about books.Overall, the story felt like a comic book, and only a part of a comic book. What’s funny is at the end there’s a note that this was meant to be a graphic novel and that made perfect sense because that’s how it read.There was too much action, frenetic action, way too much for my taste.I do believe that at times I got confused about whether the events were taking place in the Metaverse (internet) or Reality.I felt too sad about Fido’s situation.But, I did enjoy this book, So, I have some positive things to say also.Given that is was first published in 1992, it’s rather creative and forward thinking.At times it is very, very, very funny.I love the play with words and what the author does regarding linguistics. I enjoyed the jibes at religion, capitalism, government, bureaucracy, hackers & programmers, adolescence, so many facets of our culture, of civilization itself.Y.T. is such a fun character; I enjoyed her immensely.And, Hiro Protagonist must be one of the best fictional names ever created!If there had been just a reasonable amount of editing and a better ending I might have given it one more star.I read this for one of my Goodreads groups and I’m really glad that I did; it’s been on my to-read shelf for a while.


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 quarter, which would often make most of the other kids hang on to his/her every word simply because they themselves didn't have a clue what he was talking about?Well, 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 edge.There 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 anymore--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 world.I enjoyed the action sequences 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 sequences and the characterization, the latter which I found not too bad since many of his stereotypes were slightly more 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 Y.T. 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 cutouts.(And minus a virtual star for positing that patriarchal religions are more 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 more than twice her age.Add half a star back for the humor.Many 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 them.)In 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 playground.In 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 quarter star for making her blonde, then added back a quarter star for the way in which NS made fun of the FBI bureaucracy.

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