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Posts Tagged ‘Snow Crash

Name : Snow Crash

Author: Neal Stephenson

Genre : sci-fi/cyber-punk

Pages : 400+

Language: English

Publication Year: June 1992

Is Review Spoiler: No

Movie based on this book : –

Awards :

Rating: 4/5

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Published shortly before the dot.com boom, this book is the realistic look at the future of Internet, Games, Humanity, Religion and off course pizza delivery business. Snow Crash – a cyber punk novel is third novel by Neal Stephenson which I read so far other two are Cryptonomicon and Anathem.

The book is set in futuristic America, where everything is owned by private companies. In this world everything is for rent – the army, the police, the highway’s, everything except for pizza delivery business because it’s monopolized by the mafias.

Story revolves around Hiro – the pizza delivery boy and last of the freelance hackers and world’s greatest sword fighter in metaverse (he wrote the code) as well as in real world. He happens to be the only guy who standing between metaverse and a dangerous ancient virus called ‘Snow Crash’.

As with other Stephenson books, this books ending was little disappointing, was expecting one or more chapter’s to conclude the story apart from this I liked this book a lot. The research and technical details covered in this book are accurate except for few details here and there but we need to keep in mind that this book was written around 1988 before the internet craze and the contents in this book are way ahead of the time when it was written/published. The research done on historical & philosophical content in this book are real amazing, specially the content on Sumerian mythology and culture.

One more amazing thing about this book is the way Stephenson ‘re-engineered’ the Sumerian legends to fit into the story line is really ingenious. I read and re-read few chapter in this book and I deliberately slow down My reading to process more data, so if you are looking for something light and simple read – then this isn’t it. this book is thought-provoking though this book is published a decade ago. at certain point while reading this book, you will definitely think ‘what the/how the hell this guy come up with this?’, overall an amazing and thought provoking read. if you are sci-fi/cyber punk fan then this book is for you!

Only once in a great while does a writer come along who defies comparison—a writer so original he redefines the way we look at the world. Neal Stephenson is such a writer and Snow Crash is such a novel, weaving virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility to bring us the gigathriller of the information age.

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!

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Name : Anathem

Author: Neal Stephenson

Genre : speculative fiction

Pages : 932

Language: English/Orth

Publication Year: 2008-09-09

Is Review Spoiler: No

Movie based on this book : –

Awards : Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel in 2009.

Rating: 5/5

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Anathem is the second novel by Neal Stephenson which I read, third one Snow Crash in queue. First of all Anathem is written different languages, by different I mean it’s written in english and the language Neal Stephenson made up known as Orth.  But the book is mostly written in english expect for some words he uses in many places which he made up. He also provided the glossary of the terms and entries from the Ortho dictionary speckled throughout the book which describes the meaning of those words in different contexts.

Anathem is huge novel with 931 pages (paperback edition) and bit slow in the beginning and it takes around 150+ pages to reach the core plot of the book but though it’s slow in the beginning but I never found it boring. The ideas presented in the book are really interesting and as well as complex and some ideas are explained in the separate supplements provided in the back of the book known as Calca (philosophical or mathematical discussion between two people of differing views). If mathematical or philosophical concepts make you crawl in fear, then you would probably not enjoy Anathem.

The ending in this novel is good compare to his previous novel which I read, Cryptonomicon whose ending was really disappointing. The character development in this novel is very good and I enjoyed the new languages and his ideas. Anathem moves into more theoretical areas by showing how the different ways in which we frame our thoughts have real and powerful impact on the world at large, even if it takes a very long time for those thoughts to produce concrete results/effects.  The story is told from the perspective of Fraa Erasmas. I liked the writing style, the character development and characters in the book are really funny, charming, philosophical and I liked the protagonist, Fraa Erasmus, or Raz, Ala, Jesry, Lio and Orolo.

Fraa Erasmas is a young avout living in the Concent of Saunt Edhar, a sanctuary for mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers, protected from the corrupting influences of the outside “saecular” world by ancient stone, honored traditions, and complex rituals. Over the centuries, cities and governments have risen and fallen beyond the concent’s walls. Three times during history’s darkest epochs violence born of superstition and ignorance has invaded and devastated the cloistered mathic community. Yet the avout have always managed to adapt in the wake of catastrophe, becoming out of necessity even more austere and less dependent on technology and material things. And Erasmas has no fear of the outside—the Extramuros—for the last of the terrible times was long, long ago.

Now, in celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fraas and suurs prepare to venture beyond the concent’s gates—at the same time opening them wide to welcome the curious “extras” in. During his first Apert as a fraa, Erasmas eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and family he hasn’t seen since he was “collected.” But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the brink of cataclysmic change.

Powerful unforeseen forces jeopardize the peaceful stability of mathic life and the established ennui of the Extramuros—a threat that only an unsteady alliance of saecular and avout can oppose—as, one by one, Erasmas and his colleagues, teachers, and friends are summoned forth from the safety of the concent in hopes of warding off global disaster. Suddenly burdened with a staggering responsibility, Erasmas finds himself a major player in a drama that will determine the future of his world—as he sets out on an extraordinary odyssey that will carry him to the most dangerous, inhospitable corners of the planet . . . and beyond.

If you have a patience for side-discussions of theorotic/philosophical material, and enjoy theoretical fiction, then this novel is for you, go ahead and read it and damn sure you won’t regret it.


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