Neil StephensonSnow Crash (See review here):
"Hiro feels even at this moment that something has been torn open in the world and that he is dangling above the gap, staring into a place where he does not want to be. Lost in the biomass."
- "He turns off all of the techno-shit in his goggles. All it does is confuse him; he stands there reading statistics about his own death even as it's happening to him. Very post-modern. Time to get immersed in Reality, like all the people around him."
- "The people of America, who live in the world's most surprising and terrible country, take comfort in that motto. Follow the loglo outward, to where the growth is enfolded into the valleys and the canyons, and you find the land of the refugees. They have fled from the true America, the America of atomic bombs, scalpings, hip-hop, chaos theory, cement overshoes, snake handlers, spree killers, space walks, buffalo jumps, drive-bys, cruise missiles, Sherman's March, gridlock, motorcycle gangs, and bun-gee jumping. They have parallel-parked their bimbo boxes in identical computer-designed Burbclave street patterns and secreted themselves in symmetrical sheetrock shitholes with vinyl floors and ill-fitting woodwork and no sidewalks, vast house farms out in the loglo wilderness, a culture medium for a medium culture. The only ones left in the city are street people, feeding off debris; immigrants, thrown out like shrapnel from the destruction of the Asian powers"
- "It's an emergency thing. Strictly a panic button. But that's cool. Y.T. makes sure she's aimed directly at the glass revolving doors, then hits the appropriate toe switch. It's - my God - like you stretched a tarp across a stadium to turn it into a giant tom-tom and then crashed a 747 into it. She can feel her internal organs move several inches. Her heart trades places with her liver. The bottoms of her feet feel numb and tingly. And she's not even standing in the path of the shock wave. The safety glass in the revolving doors doesn't just crack and fall to the floor, like she imagined it would. It is blown out of its moorings. It gushes out of the building and down the front steps. She follows, an instant later. The ridiculous cascade of white marble steps on the front of the building just gives her more ramp time. By the time she reaches the sidewalk, she's easily got enough speed to coast all the way to Mexico. As she's swinging out across the broad avenue, aiming her crosshairs at the customs post a quarter mile away, which she is going to have to jump over, something tells her to look up. Because after all, the building she just escaped from is towering above her, many stories full of Fed creeps, and all the alarms are going off. Most of the windows can't be opened, all they can do is look out. But there are people on the roof. Mostly the roof is a forest of antennas.If it's a forest, these guys are the creepy little gnomes who live in the trees. They are ready for action, they have their sunglasses on, they have weapons, they're all looking at her. But only one guy's taking aim. And the thing he's aiming at her is huge. The barrel is the size of a baseball bat. She can see the muzzle flash poke out of it, wreathed in a sudden doughnut of white smoke. It's not pointed right at her; it's aimed in front of her. The stun bunny lands on the street, dead ahead, bounces up in the air, and detonates at an altitude of twenty feet. The next quarter of a second: There's no bright flash to blind her, and so she can actually see the shock wave spreading outward in a perfect sphere, hard and palpable as a ball of ice. Where the sphere contacts the street, it makes a circular wave front, making pebbles bounce, flipping old McDonald's containers that have long been smashed flat, and coaxing fine, flourlike dust out of all the tiny crevices in the pavement, so that it sweeps across the road toward her like a microscopic blizzard. Above it, the shock wave hangs in the air, rushing toward her at the speed of sound, a lens of air that flattens and refracts everything on the other side. She's passing through it. "
- "See, the world is full of things more powerful than us. But if you know how to catch a ride, you can go places,"
Back to the database of writers
| Send more excerpts
| Back to Literature