Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
After the Internet, what came next?
Enter the Metaverse - cyberspace home to avatars and software daemons, where anything and just about everything goes. Newly available on the Street - the Metaverse's main drag - is Snow Crash, a cyberdrug. Trouble is Snow Crash is also a computer virus - and something more. Because once taken it infects the person behind the avatar. Snow Crash bleeds into reality.
Which is really bad news for Hiro - freelance hacker and the Metaverse's best swordfighter (he wrote the code) - and Y. T. - skateboard kourier, street imp and mouthy teenage girl - because reality was shitty enough before someone started messing with it . . .
Exploring linguistics, religion, computer science, politics, philosophy, cryptography and the future of pizza delivery, Snow Crash is a riveting, brake-neck adventure into the fast-approaching future.