Uncle Enzo threatened him with a straight razor, but are we to infer something from that? Also,

where was Raven's nuke at that point?

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    Does that "spoiler" really need hiding? It's been a while since I last read Snow Crash, but I seem to recall the existence of that, um, item being one of the first things we learn about Raven. Mar 9, 2012 at 22:33
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    Yeah, but its such a cool reveal... Mar 10, 2012 at 14:02
  • 2
    Reddit folk discussing the same issue: reddit.com/r/scifi/comments/imknw/… Jun 30, 2012 at 18:40
  • My headcanon: we don't know! Not everything needs to be resolved. Feb 9, 2019 at 8:50

7 Answers 7


Enzo kills Raven and the nuke was still on the Raft. When Raven dies, the nuke destroys the Raft. It's off-screen so I can't exactly call this a canon interpretation, but it's always seemed reasonable to me.

I looked up the quote for Enzo killing Raven and checked to see if there was any mention of the nuke. I couldn't find one, but it seems like Raven was probably not in a position to move his nuke when he was escaping the Raft.

"There is no need for one," Uncle Enzo says, and punches the button on the skateboard labeled "RadiKS Narrow Cone Tuned Shock Wave Projector." The concussion nearly blows his head off. Uncle Enzo, if he survives, will never hear well again. But it does wake him up a little bit. He lifts his head off the board to see Raven standing there stunned, empty-handed, a thousand tiny splinters of broken glass raining down out of his jacket.

Uncle Enzo rolls over on his back and waves his straight razor in the air. "I prefer steel myself," he says. "Would you like a shave?"

  • Yeah, I guess that's we're supposed to conclude. I would have liked to have "seen" the Raft go up. Mar 13, 2012 at 19:47
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    It wouldn't be Neal Stephenson if the reader didn't have to do half the work, I guess. Mar 14, 2012 at 19:22
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    But Hero was on the raft with Juanita on the Enterprise, connecting to the metaverse while fighting Raven who was also connected to the metaverse on his helicopter. That would mean Hero was killed! Chapter 61-63.
    – Chloe
    Feb 25, 2014 at 7:16
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    Also who stole the pizza delivery car after the jet exploded then?
    – Chloe
    Feb 25, 2014 at 7:27

You're overthinking this. Snow Crash is 100% happy endings - the only innocent casualty is the Rat Thing, and he goes out in a blaze of glory. Otherwise, everybody we like lives and everybody we hate dies.

Enzo didn't die - Raven messed him up pretty bad, but then he used YT's board to break the glass knives and waved his razor to discourage Raven from pressing the matter. At the end we see doctors rushing in with blood bags, just in case we were worried that Enzo might have been fatally injured beforehand.

Raven didn't die - sure, he's disarmed, but he's also the world's biggest badass. He steals a pizza delivery car (which we know from Chapter 1 is the fastest, toughest vehicle on the road) and takes off. And if you were in any doubt about Raven's survival, no author would miss the chance to at least MENTION the nuclear blast that would have ensued if Raven actually died.

  • You might want to reference some of this with quotes or links.
    – Valorum
    Jan 27, 2014 at 21:07
  • Well, he did just gloss over 'a standard chase seen ensues' when Hero was on a motorcycle going to Oregon. Otherwise you are correct.
    – Chloe
    Feb 25, 2014 at 7:25
  • Also is not clear where is the nuclear bomb in Raven's motorbike sidecar. It's likely Raven did not brink that on the Raft. And even if it was on the Raft, Hiro and Juanita are still on the Raft and the bomb would have exploded killing them.
    – Giorgio
    Oct 24, 2017 at 8:13

"She stays for a while and watches the aftermath: Mafia choppers coming in, doctors jumping out with doc boxes and blood bags and stretchers, Mafia soldiers scurrying between the private jets, apparently looking for someone. A pizza delivery car takes off from one of the private parking areas, tires squealing, and a Mafia car peels out after it in hot pursuit."

I think it's pretty clear that Raven killed Enzo and the Mafia soldiers ran around looking for him. He got back in the pizza delivery car for an escape and one or more of the soldiers chased him. What happens after that is anyone's guess, though I like to think Raven escaped and eventually, maybe even years later, had the final IRL showdown with Hiro. Raven had surgery to repair his tendon (maybe he even got some sort of cybernetic prosthetic) but he was never quite as athletic as he used to be. Meanwhile Hiro was as quick as ever and spent a great deal of time figuring out a way to subvert the EEG trodes embedded in Raven's skull. Perhaps with help from Juanita's neurolinguistic wizardry. Or maybe while Hiro is fighting Raven, Y.T. hijacks the warhead and takes it to a place where it can't do any damage.

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    This answer could be improved by citing evidence that supports it and removal of the bits of it which are entirely personal speculation on behalf of the poster.
    – Christi
    Jan 25, 2014 at 18:59

It seems straight forward Raven lives. He is stunned and his knives are broken, but he is still on his feet...make that foot when the skateboard blast hits him. Enzo, though, still packing his razor, is barley holding on to consciousness.

No one is going to steal the delivery car except Raven. And as was previously mentioned this explains what the mafia types were looking for and then chased after. So it seems solid to me Raven, the bad ass that he is escapes.

This means the nuke does not detonate...also side note, I do not think we know where the nuke is at this point...I doubt he takes his motorcycle to the raft since we say him arrive in the kayak and even more so that any of the folks on the raft would let him take his nuke on the raft and jeopardize their mission.

What is less certain is the fate of Enzo. I wouldn't care if he died accept for how he held his own against Raven which no other character outside of the metaverse could even come close to doing. ...And Enzo does it with a razor and a skateboard...along with being the head of the maffia, has me questioning just who is the bigger bad ass Enzo or Raven? Either way, just the fact that this question comes out of their confrontation makes me hope Enzo did fend of Raven, but I guess we'll never know for certain unless there is a sequel.


Uncle Enzo would not have been in a position to cut anybody’s throat in his state, and he would definitely would not risk going close to Raven after his almost suicidal attempt to stop him from cutting him open. He was merely pointing his razor at Raven while lying half dead on the ground. I would not even call that threatening. For all we know Uncle Enzo died moments after this event. Raven, on the other hand, was still on his feet without any lethal wounds. So, in the best case scenario for Uncle Enzo, Raven just decides that he had enough for one day and takes off.


I guess he was killed because then there was an explosion somewhere far away, maybe he was killed by the glass shattering feature of the skateboard.
And Enzo cut his Achilles tendon (he was hopping around on one leg afterwards).

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    Yeah, I caught the bit about the tendon, but that wouldn't kill anybody. As for the explosion, if I remember the timing correctly, I thought that that was the helicopter. I think it's kind of an unresolved element. That nuke was one hell of a Chekov's Gun...or maybe a What Happened to the Mouse (tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WhatHappenedToTheMouse)? Mar 9, 2012 at 0:16

It is very possible that the author left it open for a part II. My bet is the conversation went something like this:

"Would you like a shave?" says Uncle Enzo.

Raven approaches, limping.

"You could try to kill me. Maybe, you would. I'm likely going to die soon anyway. I'm old. I'm already terminal. "We all are," says Raven. Uncle Enzo smiles. "Smart man. I could use a guy like you in my organization. You may want to consider another option. Your boss is dead. That's obvious. "You making me an offer I can't refuse," says Raven with a grin. Uncle Enzo nods, winking. "You learn fast," he says. "Take one of my cars. Consider it a gift. One of many. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship," Uncle Enzo says, blood pooling from his lips. "Get a leg up on things, so to speak," he says, gesturing to Raven's bloody, useless leg. "What do you say?" he asks. They share a smile.

If you like this, check out my new sci-fi noir eJUNKY available on Simon & Schuster! ;-)

  • 1
    Hi, welcome to the site. When answering questions here though, please try and base your answers on evidence from an official source, rather than just making stuff up. Also, please don't use this site to advertise products. Jun 15 at 19:07
  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. This doesn't seem to be supported by anything in the text, which indicates that Uncle Enzo gets medical attention and Raven takes off in a pizza delivery car. Please don't post fan fiction as an answer to a serious question.
    – DavidW
    Jun 15 at 19:07

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