46

Please help me to identify this book that I've read in early 00s (but might be bit older):

  • While there are no cyborgizations, big portion of the book takes place in the Virtual Reality, hence you can call it a cyberpunk. Other characteristic elements of this genre like fall of governments in favour of commercial corporations is also present.
  • Main character is half black, half Japanese part time programmer, but his day job is pizza delivery. On both jobs he always carries his ancestral katana.

  • Above mentioned pizza delivery is controlled by Mafia - with the collapse of USA, the "Family" became legal organisation. If the delivery takes longer than 30 minutes, the Don himself gives you his apologies and provides you with Italian citizenship.

  • Second protagonist is a foul-mouthed teenage girl working as a skateboard courier. She also wears quite nasty anti-rape device.
  • The main villain is (if my memory is right) somewhere from the fallen Soviet Union. He butchered a submarine crew, stole one nuclear warhead and declared himself "a country with nuclear armament" thus making himself protected from criminal law (since you can't arrest a country).
  • The main story involves a computer virus, somehow related to Sumerian (?) goddess, that generates a "white noise" images making people go insane.
  • 28
    Eeek, I feel now like asking for a "title of a book where little guy has to throw a ring to a volcano"... I knew almost everything about it except the title. – Yasskier Oct 12 '16 at 21:46
  • 8
    I'm most amused by the fact the the bullet points list a "second protagonist", but the book's primary protagonist, whose name is HERO PROTAGONIST, is listed as the "main character". – Ross Oct 12 '16 at 21:59
  • 10
    @Ross: the main character's name is "Hiro Protagonist". His mother was Japanese, after all :) – db48x Oct 12 '16 at 22:16
  • 8
    Sounds like a normal day in Shadowrun... – J_F_B_M Oct 13 '16 at 6:53
  • 11
    If you copy and paste the title of this post word-for-word into Google, Snow Crash is one of the first results. – David Oct 13 '16 at 15:57
109

That's definitely Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Hiro Protagonist is a hacker and pizza delivery driver for the mafia. He meets Y.T. (short for Yours Truly), a young skateboard Kourier (courier), during a failed attempt to make a delivery on time. Y.T. completes the delivery on his behalf and they strike up a partnership, gathering intel selling it to the CIC, the for-profit organization that evolved from the CIA's merger with the Library of Congress.

  • 7
    Somehow I was half-way through re-reading the book before I noticed it wasn’t just Hiro’s surname that was a joke. – PLL Oct 13 '16 at 18:06
  • 2
    I listened to the audiobook and thought it was "Hero Protagonist". – Nate Diamond Oct 13 '16 at 20:29
  • 1
    I haven't even read the book and this was my first thought – Azor Ahai Oct 14 '16 at 6:37
  • 1
    @NateDiamond I heard it mentally as "hire a protagonist". – SQB Oct 14 '16 at 7:33
  • 7
    @pll: It is rather impressive just how many people only realize late in the book, if at all, that it is a parody of the cyberpunk tropes of the time. Stephenson is just too good a writer; we accept the exaggerations and absurdities because the world he creates is self-consistent, the characters are well drawn, and the story barrels along like a roller coaster, carefully designed to be just on the edge of tearing itself apart but never crossing that line. Quite an impressive bit of sleight-of-hand. – keshlam Oct 14 '16 at 15:30
31

Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson.

  • Thanks, that's it. Just for the future reference, please provide in answers bit more information than just a link :) – Yasskier Oct 12 '16 at 21:39
  • 9
    Fair enough, but I figured the question already had all the important details – db48x Oct 12 '16 at 22:15
  • 8
    @db48x The point of having details in the answer is to show that the book you found matches the OPs description. – CodesInChaos Oct 13 '16 at 7:43
  • 5
    +1 for adding the name of the author (which the other answer does not). – luator Oct 13 '16 at 12:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.