Archive for October, 2011


While I was reading “Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson I was reminded several times of similar situations and themes that occurred in the  blockbuster trilogy The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions.   While both “Snow Crash” and The Matrix trilogy fell with the genre of science fiction, the similarities went way beyond just the prominent role that technology played in each.

In The Matrix and its sequels, humans are depicted as existing in two different worlds: the real world, and the virtual world of the Matrix which exists unbeknown to the majority of mankind.  The same storyline occurred in the earlier published “Snow Crash”, in which the protagonist Hiro spends time Continue reading

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Do you think Herman Cain read Snowcrash?

No, really. Do you think he did?

Ok, I’ll admit that this is probably just extraordinary coincidence. Snowcrash, one of the most popular futuristic novels of the 1990s, is the dystopian story of technological excess that can only be resolved through the use of technology. Amid the torrent of technobabble that pollutes the streets of future America in Neal Stephenson’s novel, there exists a strange and somewhat timely allegory of American politics.

In Snowcrash, the federal government has given itself over to

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Snow Crash – 1992 – Neil Stephenson

It took me a while to get into this story because “The Deliverator” didn’t intrigue me but after a few chapters I was hooked. Stephenson wrote a creative satire about the Internet 19 years ago and yet it’s as if he was talking about the virtual world (Metaverse) of Second Life (SL) before it existed. Wonder if the creators of SL read Snow Crash?

It’s easy to identify with many of the analogies Stephenson uses, such as between Snow Crash (the virus) and drugs; Kouriers and couriers; franchising and mafia; cult/mega church and Continue reading

Although I swear infrequently in my personal life, I’ve always believed that curse words have a place in literature, in music, in movies, and even in journalism. Depending on the speaker, there’s always been something significantly more authentic to me about swear-word-laden language than there’s been about the cheesy, G-rated language few people use in real-life situations.

I wrote an expose on a porn theater for my undergraduate senior project. The article was published in a student magazine, and I debated a lot of the article’s language with editors and faculty advisers. To me, vulgar language was central to my article. It made things real. It made my work legitimate. Craigslist posters weren’t inviting strangers to the theater to “service” them, they were inviting them to Continue reading

Not just a virtual world

I’m going to be honest.  I just cannot get into Snow Crash.  There…I said it.  This aside, I do understand the edges of the novel and how it foreshadowed technology in today’s world, particularly the parallels found between his Metaverse and virtual worlds like Second Life.  While this analogy is the easiest to make, I argue that the Internet itself is a parallel to the Metaverse concept.  In other words, the Internet is a vast three dimensional structure in which  Continue reading

Checking out the copyright date of 1992 to Neal Stephenson’s novel entitled Snow Crash was quite surprising. It seem to bring to life many of the discussions which occurred in our Games and Simulations class last Fall and are further being examined and carried over into our Sense making-Digital Narratives class this semester. Most interesting was the introduction of the term “metaverse” in this novel. This was not a term that I remember hearing last Fall. My understanding is that Stephensen constructed this term for the first time in Continue reading

I began to wonder as I was reading Snow Crash about the type of person who could have created such an unusual, bizarre, and uncannily eerie piece of fiction in 1992.  How was this man able to forecast with such accuracy the concepts of Avatars and the Metaverse (virtual reality)?  I decided to start researching the background of the author and was not surprised to learn that he was raised in a family that was well-educated specifically in Engineering, Physics, and Biochemistry.  Continue reading

THE HIRO’S JOURNEY

Snow Crash:  The Hiro’s Journey

“It begins as a good story should, with the story of a young man wandering lost in a forest.”  This is a description of The Romance of the Rose a medieval allegory that is discussed in C.S. Lewis’s treatise on love poetry in the Middle Ages titled The Allegory of Love (Lewis, 1936, p. 170.)    It is similar to the opening of Snow Crash in that both stories are written in an exaggerated and consciously crafted form.  In Le Roman de la Rose (original title) the hero comes upon an abandoned garden and spots a single vibrant Continue reading

Snow Crash (1992) by Neal Stephenson is about a dystopian society more like the Wild West than any western government we are used to. In Snow Crash,  the Real World is inhabited by Hiro Protagonist, (an avatar handle if ever there was one) in which Los Angeles has been annexed by the United States and taken over by private and pirating enterprises with very little influence of the federal government.  Hiro also occupies Continue reading

Multi-Dimensional Viewpoints of “Snow Crash”

Neal Stephenson employs multi-dimensional viewpoints to create his science fiction story in Snow Crash. It is a panorama of technology, politics, knowledge, history, legend, and time. Each dimension has a meaning or a message to the readers. The present is the extension of the past. Therefore, the future most likely will be an extension of the present. There are many incidents Continue reading