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Snow Crash

It feels premature recommending a novel I’m still only two-thirds through but I’m currently reading Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson and the thread about Pfizer’s contractual handcuffs could almost be one of the expository interludes that help to contextualise some of the novel. (Generally via dialogue between Hiro Protagonist, ubergeek AND swordsman extraordinaire, and a very literal-minded Librarian.)

The real world setting is an America in which the State collapsed some time ago, but there are still Feds and a CIC who keep a close eye on things. All the real estate is carved up between franchises that operate like distributed republics with their own constitutions, such as New South Africa, popular with rednecks. the pizza delivery industry is run by Uncle Enzo’s CosaNostra Pizza Inc.

There’s also the Metaverse, which has various forms of software trickery to keep certain areas exclusive to l33t hackers, and a lot of detail about language as a programme.

That’s probably enough detail to whet your appetite if you’re late to the game like me. It’s a late 1990s novel that took some time to fight to the surface of the ToRead Pile.

Very timely.

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