Snow Crash is the story of samurai programmer Hiro Protagonist and of youthful skateboard courier Y. T. The two live in a dystopian hyper-corporate future with a rich but commercial simulated online world underlying most of society. Partnering to go into the intelligence business, Hiro and Y. T. run afoul of a scheme to use mind control to reshape society through applications of an ancient language that speaks directly to the human brainstem.
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is the story of Lily and Snow Flower, two girls born in the 19th century in China's Hunan province and bonded as a laotong pair. This relationship makes them closer than sisters or even husband and wife, but the pressures of the time and Lily's impetuous mindset tears them apart. The two experience wildly divergent lives before Lily returns to Snow Flower to nurse her through her final illness. The story is narrated by an old and regretful Lily.