Snow Crash is a science fiction novel by the American writer Neal Stephenson, published in 1992.
The story opens in Los Angeles in the 21st century, an unspecified number of years after a worldwide economic collapse. Los Angeles is no longer part of the United States since the federal government has ceded most of its power and territory to private organizations and entrepreneurs. Franchising, individual sovereignty, and private vehicles reign supreme. Mercenary armies compete for national defense contracts, while private security guards preserve the peace in sovereign gated housing developments. Highway companies compete to attract drivers to their roads, and all mail delivery is by hired courier. The remnants of government maintain authority only in isolated compounds, where they do tedious make-work that is, by and large, irrelevant to the society around them. Much of the world’s territory has been carved up into sovereign enclaves known as Franchise-Organized Quasi-National Entities, each run by its own big business franchise (such as “Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong”, or the corporatized American Mafia), or various residential burbclaves (quasi-sovereign gated communities). In this future, American institutions are far different from those in the actual United States at the time the book was published; for example, a for-profit organization, the CIC, has evolved from the CIA’s merger with the Library of Congress.
The book involves many cyberpunk themes such as private corporations have a strong hold on any operation with the federal governments of the world being an afterparty to the main stage organizers that are these corporations. The genre of cyberpunk started with a book set released in the 90s that starts its story in 2020. This series was relatively popular with the roleplaying community and blew up into pop culture with the release of CD Project Red’s game Cyberpunk 2077 and again with the release of Cyberpunk Edgerunners on Netflix. This book along with the cyberpunk genre are meant to have a scathing citizen with Anarcho-capitalism. This book has heavy inspiration on the cyberpunk genre and the elements that surround it.
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