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One of Time’s 100 best English-language novels • A mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous, you’ll recognize it immediately Only once in a great while does a writer come along who defies comparison—a writer so original he redefines the way we look at the world. Neal Stephenson is such a writer and Snow Crash is such a novel, weaving virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility to bring us the gigathriller of the information age. In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Praise for Snow Crash “[Snow Crash is] a cross between Neuromancer and Thomas Pynchon’s Vineland. This is no mere hyperbole.”—The San Francisco Bay Guardian “Fast-forward free-style mall mythology for the twenty-first century.”—William Gibson “Brilliantly realized . . . Stephenson turns out to be an engaging guide to an onrushing tomorrow.”—The New York Times Book Review
The only relief from the sea of logos is within the well-guarded borders of the Burbclaves. 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? In a major city, the size of a dozen Manhattans, is a domain of pleasures limited only by the imagination. But now a strange new computer virus called Snow Crash is striking down hackers everywhere, leaving an unlikely young man as humankind's last best hope.
In the not-too-distant future, the Mafia controls pizza delivery, the United States is revealed to be a tangled web of corporate-franchise city states, and the Internet is all-powerful. In this mind-altering 21st-century adventure, Hiro Protagonist is a warrior in the metaverse and helps a friend who freaks out on a new designer drug called Snow Crash. Abridged.
The second novel from the “hottest science fiction writer in America” and New York Times–bestselling author of Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon (Details). Meet Sangamon Taylor, a New Age Sam Spade who sports a wet suit instead of a trench coat and prefers Jolt from the can to Scotch on the rocks. He knows about chemical sludge the way he knows about evil—all too intimately. And the toxic trail he follows leads to some high and foul places. Before long Taylor’s house is bombed, his every move followed, he’s adopted by reservation Indians, moves onto the FBI’s most wanted list, makes up with his girlfriend, and plays a starring role in the near-assassination of a presidential candidate. Closing the case with the aid of his burnout roommate, his tofu-eating comrades, three major networks, and a range of unconventional weaponry, Sangamon Taylor pulls off the most startling caper in Boston Harbor since the Tea Party. “[Stephenson] captures the nuance and the rhythm of the new world so perfectly that one almost thinks that it is already here.” —The Washington Post
The Shape of the Signifier is a critique of recent theory--primarily literary but also cultural and political. Bringing together previously unconnected strands of Michaels's thought--from "Against Theory" to Our America--it anatomizes what's fundamentally at stake when we think of literature in terms of the experience of the reader rather than the intention of the author, and when we substitute the question of who people are for the question of what they believe. With signature virtuosity, Michaels shows how the replacement of ideological difference (we believe different things) with identitarian difference (we speak different languages, we have different bodies and different histories) organizes the thinking of writers from Richard Rorty to Octavia Butler to Samuel Huntington to Kathy Acker. He then examines how this shift produces the narrative logic of texts ranging from Toni Morrison's Beloved to Michael Hardt and Toni Negri's Empire. As with everything Michaels writes, The Shape of the Signifier is sure to leave controversy and debate in its wake.
The increasing diversity of Infonnation Communication Technologies and their equally diverse range of uses in personal, professional and official capacities raise challenging questions of identity in a variety of contexts. Each communication exchange contains an identifier which may, or may not, be intended by the parties involved. What constitutes an identity, how do new technologies affect identity, how do we manage identities in a globally networked infonnation society? th th From the 6 to the 10 August 2007, IFIP (International Federation for Infonnation Processing) working groups 9. 2 (Social Accountability), 9. 6/11. 7 (IT rd Misuse and the Law) and 11. 6 (Identity Management) hold their 3 Intemational Summer School on "The Future of Identity in the Infonnation Society" in cooperation with the EU Network of Excellence FIDIS at Karlstad University. The Summer School addressed the theme of Identity Management in relation to current and future technologies in a variety of contexts. The aim of the IFIP summer schools has been to introduce participants to the social implications of Infonnation Technology through the process of infonned discussion. Following the holistic approach advocated by the involved IFIP working groups, a diverse group of participants ranging from young doctoral students to leading researchers in the field were encouraged to engage in discussion, dialogue and debate in an infonnal and supportive setting. The interdisciplinary, and intemational, emphasis of the Summer School allowed for a broader understanding of the issues in the technical and social spheres.
The New York Times Book Review called Neal Stephenson's most recent novel "electrifying" and "hilarious". but if you want to know Stephenson was doing twenty years before he wrote the epic Cryptonomicon, it's back-to-school time. Back to The Big U, that is, a hilarious send-up of American college life starring after years our of print, The Big U is required reading for anyone interested in the early work of this singular writer.
Addressing a key issue related to human nature, this book argues that the first-person experience of pure consciousness may soon be under threat from posthuman biotechnology. In exploiting the mind's capacity for instrumental behavior, posthumanists seek to extend human experience by physically projecting the mind outward through the continuity of thought and the material world, as through telepresence and other forms of prosthetic enhancements. Posthumanism envisions a biology/machine symbiosis that will promote this extension, arguably at the expense of the natural tendency of the mind to move toward pure consciousness. As each chapter of this book contends, by forcibly overextending and thus jeopardizing the neurophysiology of consciousness, the posthuman condition could in the long term undermine human nature, defined as the effortless capacity for transcending the mind's conceptual content.Presented here for the first time, the essential argument of this book is more than a warning; it gives a direction: far better to practice patience and develop pure consciousness and evolve into a higher human being than to fall prey to the Faustian temptations of biotechnological power. As argued throughout the book, each person must choose for him or herself between the technological extension of physical experience through mind, body and world on the one hand, and the natural powers of human consciousness on the other as a means to realize their ultimate vision.
A near-future eco-thriller from the bestselling author of Schismatrix Plus and The Difference Engine. The Storm Troupers are a group of weather hackers who roam the plains of Texas and Oklahoma, hopped up on adrenaline and technology. Utilizing virtual reality, flying robots, and all-terrain vehicles, they collect data on the extreme storms ravaging an America decimated by climate change. But even their visionary leader can’t predict the danger on the horizon when a volatile new member joins their ranks and faces a trial by fire: a massive tornado unlike any the world has seen before. “A remarkable and individual sharpness of vision . . . Sterling hacks the future, and an elegant hack it is.” —Locus “Lucid and tremendously entertaining. Sterling shows once more his skills in storytelling and technospeak. A cyberpunk winner.” —Kirkus Reviews “So believable are the speculations that . . . one becomes convinced that the world must and will develop into what Sterling has predicted.” —Science Fiction Age “A very exciting coming-of-age story in a wild future America . . . What’s it got? Cyberpunk attitude, genuine humor, nanotechnology, minimal sex but some cool medications and very big weather systems.” —SFReviews.net “Brilliant . . . Fascinating . . . Exciting . . . A full complement of thrills.” —The New York Review of Science Fiction