Snow Crash remains one of my favourite books in the genre, and it would only be a slight exaggeration to say that this book does for nanotechnology what the former did for the internet – give a fantastic perspective of the possibilities. I have to confess that Stephenson’s books are not the easiest to read- as anyone who has attempted The Baroque Cycle would agree to – but what I give him the most credit for is his scope of imagination. That matter compiler, (MC) which is one of the standard technologies in this book, is probably an advanced form of 3D printing, and this book was written in 1995!
From a plot perspective, there are at least two main protagonists. Nell, who escapes from domestic abuse with the help of her brother and gets a copy of the Primer, a book that adapts to the life conditions of the reader, and was originally made at the behest of an ‘Equity Lord’ for his granddaughter to propel her towards a more interesting life. (read subversive ideas) John Percival Hackworth, the architect of the Primer, who begins to be used by two separate forces to meet their own objectives. The story primarily focuses on Nell’s ‘evolution’ after she gets the Primer and Hackworth’s journey after he hands over the Primer. More