There are numerous types of dystopia, from socially-flawed super-advanced space faring civilizations to medieval re-imaginations. But, I think, one of the most frightening of dystopias is the one that is in the near future, and seems to be getting closer and closer. Snow Crash kind of fits that bill. Despite being written in 1992, there is still a lot in that book that resonates with today and makes it feel like the society Stephenson imagined could still be just around the corner.
Before I get too far in about the actual book, let me set the mood for when this was written. 1992: Bush Sr. was still the President of the United States. The economy was not doing too well, the Cold War was still pretty fresh in people’s minds, Russia was a crazy mess (crazier than it is today), and technology was advancing at a startling rate. Computers were running Windows 3.1, virtual reality was still mostly science fiction, and cell phones were carried around in suit cases, or for the bleeding edge technology, the size of large military two-way radios. Now, with all that in mind, hold onto your pants.
[This man must be a digital Nostradamus]