I hated Neil Stephenson’s Snow Crash. Its trite, its crass, and it reads like an action movie elevator pitch. Hiro Protagonist isn’t a clever literary joke. Its a stupid name made up because the author couldn’t think of something better. Its so bad I want to wretch thinking about it.

I also hate all the fan boys who think the virtual reality cyberpunk thing is so original. If you want to be cyberpunk, go read William Gibson’s Neuromancer which invented the genre 8 years before Snow Crash was written.

Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t hate Stephenson. Although Snow Crash did put me off his books for more than a decade, I am just now wrapping up The Diamond Age. And I love it, for all the reasons I hated Snow Crash.

Unlike the earlier book, The Diamond Age (which is only 3 years younger) is original, the characters have depth, and the pace doesn’t make the reader feel like they are watching a cheap action movie. And although Hackworth is a bit of an obvious joke, the character names are all reasonably believable.

The Diamond Age has broken my aversion to Stephenson’s novels, and I look forward to reading more of them. As long as Hiro Protagonist doesn’t make an appearance.