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Neal Stephenson


Snow Crash
Year 1992
Publisher ROC  (Penguin Group)
ISBN 0140230211



Armchair shopping in the metaverse.

In Reality, the Burbclaves are miniature nation states, MetaCops take major credit cards and the CosaNostra controls the pizza franchise.

Freelance hacker and delivery boy Hiro Protagonist shares a U-Stor-It in LA with his two swords and a Ukranian grunge metal guitarist.

On the Street he's one of the elect who wrote the protocols of the Metaverse, where custom avatars strut and advertising space sells by the pixel.

The Street is much sharper than reality and less dangerous - until an out-of-focus lowlife starts handing out free samples of Snow Crash ...




'Fast-forward free-style mall mythology for the early 21st century'
William Gibson

'Fast, dense, deep, funny, Neuromancer meets Vineland.  The best book I've read this year'
Rudy Rucker



Artist's concept showing a disk of young blue stars encircling a supermassive black hole at the core of the Andromeda Galaxy



Credit: NASA

Andromeda's Active Core
This artist's concept shows a view across a mysterious disk of young, blue stars encircling a supermassive black hole at the core of the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy (M31). The region around the black hole is barely visible at the center of the disk. The background stars are the typical older, redder population of stars that inhabit the cores of most galaxies. Spectroscopic observations by the Hubble Space Telescope reveal that the blue light consists of more than 400 stars that formed in a burst of activity about 200 million years ago. The stars are tightly packed in a disk that is only a light-year across. Under the black hole's gravitational grip, the stars are traveling very fast: 2.2 million miles an hour (3.6 million kilometers an hour, or 1,000 kilometers a second).

NASA Image of the day archive





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