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''The Shockwave Rider'' is a science fiction novel by Creator/JohnBrunner, 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 also one of the first books 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:

%%* TheCracker: This is how the government sees Nick.
* DeusEstMachina: Well, the machine isn't exactly God, but it does see all and the ending is, without giving it away, interesting.
* EverythingIsOnline: In the near future, everything is.
* {{Flashback}}: Plenty. Justified in-universe. By the beginning of the story, the protagonist has already been captured by the Tarnover, and the investigators are putting his brain on regress mode so they can look into his memories before his capture, which we see as flashbacks.
%%* TheGovernment
%%* GovernmentAgencyOfFiction: The Bureau of Data Processing.
* HowWeGotHere: At the beginning of the book, Nick has already been captured. The majority of the book is the Tarnover agents inducing Nick's brain into recalling his memories before his recapture (which the audience sees as third-person flashbacks), with Nick and Free commentating between every regress mode session.
%%* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Paul Freeman]].
* HeroicBSOD: Known in-universe as overloads, and quite common. Entire towns have popped up simply because of mass-HeroicBSOD among the populace, and the protagonist recalls several numerous people from his past personas succumbing to overloads. He himself experiences not one, but two of these.
%%* InspectorJavert: [[spoiler:Also Paul Freeman]].
%%* LaResistance: Precipice
* TheMafia: [[spoiler:We find out they are running the government]].
* TheMenInBlack: Paul Freeman, a Tarnover agent who is very tall, very thin, and usually calm and collected. He even gets compared to [[{{UsefulNotes/Voudoun}} Baron Samedi]] at one point. Interestingly, the "intimidating" factor is downplayed; to Ina, Freeman is just someone who keeps pestering her answers she doesn't have, and the protagonist isn't the least afraid to argue about his organization's ethics with him.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: [[spoiler: Again, Paul Freeman before his HeelFaceTurn]].
%%* TheNeidermeyer: Freeman's boss.
%%* ProphecyTwist: The Delphi pool.
%%* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture