Wow, I finished this one almost a week ago, but I'm still basking in the afterglow. Neal Stephenson's witty, quippy prose made me rethink the mechanics of my own writing. That's how you inject character into the narration - everything else seems so droll now. But he doesn't treat the reader with kid's gloves, touching upon highly advanced topics and teaching the reader some things along the way. And for a book written in 1992, it's disturbingly on point with some of its predictions. People being jacked into what's essentially a hybrid of social media and video games to the point where it's hard to distinguish it from reality? Check. Rapid inflation leading people to turn to what's essentially cryptocurrency? Yep. Gangs like the Crips and the Mafia becoming corporatized? You bet. Political radicalization and balkanization leading to mass immigration crises? Of course. A lot of the cultural references are quintessentially 90s, which come across as dated for a book set sometime in the 2010s, but I just chalked it up to being an alternate history. No one back then could have foreseen South Korean surpassing Japan in, well, pretty much everything. Hiro was a great protagonist for what essentially amounts to a parody of cyberpunk. He blurs the line between badass and loser. Being the, heh, protagonist necessitates him performing some insane feats, but you still never get the impression he's anything more than a bigger piece of flotsam floating about the post pax Americana order. The self-deprecation lets you not take an absurd genre too seriously, what Spider-Man was for superheroes. Anyways, I'm rambling. Anyone got any thoughts on this masterpiece?