Science fiction often serves as a guide for the future. In Silicon Valley, Snow Crash, a 1992 sci-fi novel, has been required reading for technologists for nearly 30 years. Neal Stephenson’s cult classic is one of several highly referenced stories credited with inspiring immersive virtual reality, augmented reality and the metaverse. It laid the groundwork for the layering of the digital world atop our physical one. Similar to Snow Crash, a second obscure book has had a profound impact on a different field of technology.