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Neal Stephenson's famous Snow Crash. In Los Angeles, franchises line the freeway as far as the eye can see: Reverend Wayne's Pearly Gates, Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong, Uncle Enzo's CosaNostra Pizza, Incorporated. The only relief from the sea of logos is within the well-guarded borders of the autonomous city-states that law-abiding citizens are afraid to leave. Is it any wonder that most sane folks have forsaken the real world and chosen to live in the computer-generated universe of virtual reality? Here is a domain of pleasures limited only by the imagination, where everyone is safe and free. But now a strange new computer virus called Snow Crash has invaded even this last sanctuary of liberty, striking down hackers everywhere and leaving a young man with the name of Hiro Protagonist as humankind's last best hope. In reality, Hiro delivers pizza for the CosaNostra and lives in a U-Stor-It warehouse with the leader of a Soviet speed-metal band. But in the Metaverse, he's a warrior prince, last of the solo hackers and the greatest sword fighter in the world. Now he's racing along the neon-lit streets, the skirts of his black leather kimono flapping, on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villian threatening to bring about Infocalypse!