Snowcrash is a grungy cyberpunk novel that features personable characters, rich settings, and a thought provoking story.
It is difficult to measure Snowcrash without holding it up to the other amazing classics in the space such as “Neuromancer” and “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”, but this novel really surprised me in many ways. Snowcrash takes a deep dive into philosophy, computer science, and even history. The plot is enriched in a phenomenal way by incorporating so many themes, and helps eliminate what I would consider to be the off putting tendencies from some of the characters.
The main character is a hacker with a reputation, Hiro, but the book starts off as introducing him as a pizza delivery driver. This idea was goofy to me but I have to award creativity points for it. There are a few points where it feels like a high tech society would have eliminated the need for other aspects in the book, like the need for drivers or couriers at all, but these contrasts and contradictions really made the world feel unique and alive.
I really enjoyed this book’s version of the internet called the Metaverse, which is essentially a virtual reality experience shared by everyone logging in. The disparity between wealth and class in the real world is typically reflected in your Metaverse’s avatar.
Snowcrash gave me the impression that the real world outside of the Metaverse was that of a high-tech yet disarrayed world due to economic collapse. Mob bosses openly operate, and the landscape is mostly controlled by businesses.
Without getting into too many spoilers, I would like to just take a moment to say that I really appreciated the main plot. The story combines ancient history and theories regarding linguistics to create a virtually administered drug with real world consequences, and it unfolds for the reader from the perspective of a character with an understanding of computer science which I feel really improves the storytelling. Getting hurt in the real world from a virtual environment is hardly an idea that is unique to this book, but the Hiro’s investigative arc into finding out what the drug was, and the rest of the antagonists’ role in the mystery of Snowcrash was really interesting.
Overall I did enjoy Snowcrash for the visuals you receive from the detailed world building, as well as the top notch storytelling. If anyone is looking for another entry in the cyberpunk genre I would absolutely recommend that you check Snowcrash out.
If you are interested in diving in please consider clicking the picture above of the book cover, and check out the book through our affiliate link!