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Snow Crash: A Novel (English Edition) Kindle版
デジタル, Microsoft Reader Desktop
When they gave him the job, they gave him a gun. The Deliverator never deals in cash, but someone might come after him anyway–might want his car, or his cargo. The gun is a tiny, aero-styled, lightweight, the kind of a gun a fashion designer would carry; it fires teensy darts that fly at five times the velocity of an SR-71 spy plane, and when you get done using it, you have to plug it in to the cigarette lighter, because it runs on electricity.
The Deliverator never pulled that gun in anger, or in fear. He pulled it once in Gila Highlands. Some punks in Gila Highlands, a fancy Burbclave, wanted themselves a delivery, and they didn't want to pay for it. Thought they would impress the Deliverator with a baseball bat. The Deliverator took out his gun, centered its laser doo-hickey on that poised Louisville Slugger, fired it. The recoil was immense, as though the weapon had blown up in his hand. The middle third of the baseball bat turned into a column of burning sawdust accelerating in all directions like a bursting star. Punk ended up holding this bat handle with milky smoke pouring out the end. Stupid look on his face. Didn't get nothing but trouble from the Deliverator.
Since then the Deliverator has kept the gun in the glove compartment and relied, instead, on a matched set of samurai swords, which have always been his weapon of choice anyhow. The punks in Gila Highlands weren't afraid of the gun, so the Deliverator was forced to use it. But swords need no demonstration.
The Deliverator's car has enough potential energy packed into its batteries to fire a pound of bacon into the Asteroid Belt. Unlike a bimbo box or a Burb beater, the Deliverator's car unloads that power through gaping, gleaming, polished sphincters. When the Deliverator puts the hammer down, shit happens. You want to talk contact patches? Your car's tires have tiny contact patches, talk to the asphalt in four places the size of your tongue. The Deliverator's car has big sticky tires with contact patches the size of a fat lady's thighs. The Deliverator is in touch with the road, starts like a bad day, stops on a peseta.
Why is the Deliverator so equipped? Because people rely on him. He is a roll model. This is America. People do whatever the fuck they feel like doing, you got a problem with that? Because they have a right to. And because they have guns and no one can fucking stop them. As a result, this country has one of the worst economies in the world. When it gets down to it–we're talking trade balances here–once we've brain-drained all our technology into other countries, once things have evened out, they're making cars in Bolivia and microwaves in Tadzhikistan and selling them here–once our edge in natural resources has been made irrelevant by giant Hong Kong ships and dirigibles that can ship North Dakota all the way to New Zealand for a nickel–once the Invisible Hand has taken all those historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani bricklayer would consider to be prosperity–y'know what? There's only four things we do better than anyone else
high-speed pizza delivery
The Deliverator used to make software. Still does, sometimes. But if life were a mellow elementary school run by well-meaning education Ph.D.s, the Deliverator's report card would say; "Hiro is so bright and creative but needs to work harder on his cooperation skills."
So now he has this other job. No brightness or creativity involved–but no cooperation either. Just a single principle: The Deliverator stands tall, your pie in thirty minutes or you can have it free, shoot the driver, take his car, file a class-action suit. The Deliverator has been working this job for six months, a rich and lengthy tenure by his standards, and has never delivered a pizza in more than twenty-one minutes.
Oh, they used to argue over times, many corporate driver-years lost to it: homeowners, red-faced and sweaty with their own lies, stinking of Old Spice and job-related stress, standing in their glowing yellow doorways brandishing their Seikos and waving at the clock over the kitchen sink, I swear, can’t you guys tell time?
Didn’t happen anymore. Pizza delivery is a major industry. A managed industry. People went to CosaNostra Pizza University four years just to learn it. Came in its doors unable to write an English sentence, from Abkhazia, Rwanda, Guanajuato, South Jersey, and came out knowing more about pizza than a Bedouin knows about sand. And they had studied this problem. Graphed the frequency of doorway delivery-time disputes. Wired the early Deliverators to record, then analyze, the debating tactics, the voice-stress histograms, the distinctive grammatical structures employed by white middle-class Type A Burbclave occupants who against all logic had decided that this was the place to take their personal Custerian stand against all that was stale and deadening in their lives: they were going to lie, or delude themselves, about the time of their phone call and get themselves a free pizza; no, they deserved a free pizza along with their life, liberty, and pursuit of whatever, it was fucking inalienable. Sent psychologists out to these people’s houses, gave them a free TV set to submit to an anonymous interview, hooked them to polygraphs, studied their brain waves as they showed them choppy, inexplicable movies of porn queens and late-night car crashes and Sammy Davis, Jr., put them in sweet-smelling, mauve-walled rooms and asked them questions about Ethics so perplexing that even a Jesuit couldn’t respond without committing a venial sin.
The analysts at CosaNostra Pizza University concluded that it was just human nature and you couldn’t fix it, and so they went for a quick cheap technical fix: smart boxes. The pizza box is a plastic carapace now, corrugated for stiffness, a little LED readout glowing on the side, telling the Deliverator how many trade imbalance-producing minutes have ticked away since the fateful phone call. There are chips and stuff in there. The pizzas rest, a short stack of them, in slots behind the Deliverator’s head. Each pizza glides into a slot like a circuit board into a computer, clicks into place as the smart box interfaces with the onboard system of the Deliverator’s car. The address of the caller has already been inferred from his phone number and poured into the smart box’s built-in RAM. From there it is communicated to the car, which computes and projects the optimal route on a heads-up display, a glowing colored map traced out against the windshield so that the Deliverator does not even have to glance down.
If the thirty-minute deadline expires, news of the disaster is flashed to CosaNostra Pizza Headquarters and relayed from there to Uncle Enzo himself–the Sicilian Colonel Sanders, the Andy Griffith of Bensonhurst, the straight razor-swinging figment of many a Deliverator’s nightmares, the Capo and prime figurehead of CosaNostra Pizza, Incorporated–who will be on the phone to the customer within five minutes, apologizing profusely. The next day, Uncle Enzo will land on the customer’s yard in a jet helicopter and apologize some more and give him a free trip to Italy–all he has to do is sign a bunch of releases that make him a public figure and spokesperson for CosaNostra Pizza and basically end his private life as he knows it. He will come away from the whole thing feeling that, somehow, he owes the Mafia a favor.
The Deliverator does not know for sure what happens to the driver in such cases, but he has heard some rumors. Most pizza deliveries happen in the evening hours, which Uncle Enzo considers to be his private time. And how would you feel if you had to interrupt dinner with your family in order to call some obstreperous dork in a Burbclave and grovel for a late fucking pizza? Uncle Enzo has not put in fifty years serving his family and his country so that, at the age when most are playing golf and bobbling their granddaughters, he can get out of the bathtub dripping wet and lie down and kiss the feet of some sixteen-year-old skate punk whose pepperoni was thirty-one minutes in coming. Oh, God. It makes the Deliverator breathe a little shallower just to think of the idea.
But he wouldn’t drive for CosaNostra Pizza any other way. You know why? Because there’s something about having your life on the line. It’s like being a kamikaze pilot. Your mind is clear. Other people–store clerks, burger flippers, software engineers, the whole vocabulary of meaningless jobs that make up Life in America–other people just reply on plain old competition. Better flip your burgers or debug your subroutines faster and better than your high school classmate two blocks down the strip is flipping or debugging, because we’re in competition with those guys, and people are noticing these things.
What a fucking rat race that is. CosaNostra Pizza doesn’t have any competition. Competition goes against the Mafia ethic. You don’t work harder because you’re competing against some identical operation down the street. You work harder because everything is on the line. Your name, your honor, your family, your life. Those burger flippers might have a better life expectancy–but what kind of... --このテキストは、絶版本またはこのタイトルには設定されていない版型に関連付けられています。
"Fast-forwarded free-style mall mythology for the 21st Century." -- William Gibson.
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 cyber-sensibility to bring us the gigantic thriller of the information age. In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo's Cosa Nostra Inc., but it 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.
"Brilliantly realized... Stephenson turns out to be an engaging guide to an onrushing tomorrow." -- The New York Times Book Review.
"Snow Crash takes on a whole slew of nasty contemporary trends and extrapolates them hilariously into a pessimistic and unlikely newar future... this is one book to chill out with this summer." -- Mondo 2000.
"Stylish noir extrapolation becomes gloriously witty social satire... savor Stephenson's delicious prose and cheerfully impudent wit. Cyberpunk isn't dead -- it has just (belatedly) developed a sense of humor." --Locus.
"A fantastic, slam-bang-overdrive, supersurrealistic, comic-spooky whirl through a tomorrow that is already happening. Neal Stephenson is intelligent, perceptive, hip and will become a major force in American writing." -- Timothy Leary.
- ASIN : B000FBJCJE
- 出版社 : Spectra (2003/8/26)
- 発売日 : 2003/8/26
- 言語 : 英語
- ファイルサイズ : 4265 KB
- Text-to-Speech（テキスト読み上げ機能） : 有効
- X-Ray : 有効
- Word Wise : 有効
- 本の長さ : 480ページ
- ページ番号ソース ISBN : 0553380958
- Amazon 売れ筋ランキング: - 1,022位洋書 (の売れ筋ランキングを見る洋書)
The delivery of the item itself was OK. However, the shipper forgot to put my flat no. on my parcel. It was sitting in the mail room for days until I finally noted and picked it up.
EVERYONE wants T R Caspell
mr. Toads wild ride. Todd Royall Caspell
RIDE LOTS Tord,Thor,Torka,Todo
(expressed opinions not necessarily of
Todd R Caspell
It's very long and draws a lot of spurious analogies between biological and computer viruses that don't really fly, mixed in with clumsy pages of information about Sumeria or somewhere which turns out later to be relevant, but only as flimsy justification for a fairly boring plot device.
There's some good action, but it sure does go on a bit. The whole novel does. It should have been 100 pages shorter at least, and not as accomplished as people seem to make out - I'm really not sure why this didn't sink into the slush of post-Neuromancer 90s sci-fi and disappear forever. Its vision of virtual reality isn't just poor in retrospect, it's poor even for its time, unimaginative and filled with convenient rules that serve the plot but not the world-building.
Bizarrely, regular coders employed by corporations to do their jobs are referred to as 'hackers'. That's not what a hacker is, Neal.
Points for: Strong female lead, even if there's constant partial-nudity and sex references; fantastic opening chapter or two; consistent writing and plenty of action, if that's what floats your boat; diversity.
I can't say I recommend it, unless you mainly read sci-fi, in which case it's definitely not the worst of 90s sci-fi.
Author of 'The Gun of Our Maker'
It is probably responsible for putting the term avatar into common usage.
As with Neuromancer there are only a couple of elements (references to cathode ray tubes) to signal that it was written some time ago, otherwise it still seems as prescient now as when it was written.
This is epic story telling in the old fashioned style, in the manner of Dickens and Trollope it has big story and it is in no hurry about telling it. Although the story certainly does not drag, it may require some determination to stick with it till conclusion, but it is worth the effort.
[There is quite a lot of stuff in the middle of the book about language and programming, those with an interest might want to read some Wittgenstein and research the Sapir Worf hypothesis, neither of which were mentioned, as I recall, but are potentially of interest.]
There are is still plenty here to enjoy, and many of Stephenson's obsessions are readily apparent - but ultimately, though this may have been groundbreaking at the time, I feel that some of Stephenson's later books ('Cryptonomicon' and 'The Baroque Trilogy') are simply better written.