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The Shockwave Rider is a science fiction novel by John Brunner, originally published in 1975. It is notable for its hero's use of computer cracking skills to escape pursuit in a dystopian future, and for the coining of the word "worm" to describe a program that propagates itself through a computer network.
It is even more notable because it is about the first book to ever describe the internet (although the book calls it the data-net) as something prevalent in everyone's everyday life. If you read it when it came out, you might have trouble understanding why the threat to destroy the data-net is taken as almost the ultimate threat. Today, it is pretty easy to realize the economic and other disasters that would happen.
Tropes in this work:
- The Cracker: This is how the government sees Nick.
- Deus Est Machina: Well, the machine isn't exactly God, but it does see all and the ending is, without giving it away, interesting.
- Everything Is Online: In the near future, everything is.
- The Government
- Government Agency of Fiction: The Bureau of Data Processing.
- Heel Face Turn: Paul Freeman.
- Inspector Javert: Also Paul Freeman.
- La Résistance: Precipice
- The Mafia: We find out they are running the government.
- Natasha Grant must've been having a hell of a time.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Again, Paul Freeman before his Heel Face Turn.
- The Neidermeyer: Freeman's boss.
- Prophecy Twist: The Delphi pool.
- Twenty Minutes Into the Future