A 1992 science fiction novel written by author Neal Stephenson. released in 1992 in a dystopian future set in 2045. The term the Metaverse was first coined in his novel and refers to a computer-generated universe that is drawn onto head-mounted goggles and pumped into earphones. The Metaverse is described as a an urban environment developed along a single hundred-meter-wide road, ‘the Street’, that runs around the circumference of a featureless, black, perfectly spherical planet.
The novel follows the protagonist, Hiro, a hacker and pizza delivery drive for the Mafia. In the Metaverse Hiro is given a data file called Snow Crash which is a virus capable of affecting people in the real-world who view it in the Metaverse. The virus has both a digital and real-world version.
The novel is something of a parody of the popular cyberpunk novels during the 80s and early 90s.