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"...science fiction is sort of like a sociological genome. It's a huge range of possible futures, most of them useless; some vital. You never really know in advance."
- Peter Watts

U-Stor-It  
  A storage unit converted for use as an apartment.  

No, it hasn't come to this - yet. However, I have seen what appeared to be a former storage facility in which each unit had been converted to a small business space.

Hiro Protagonist and Vitaly Chernobyl, roommates, are chilling out in their home, a spacious 20 by 30 in a U-Stor-It in Inglewood, California. The room has a concrete slab floor, corrugated steel walls separating it from the neighboring units and - this is a mark of distinction separating it from the neighboring units - a roll-up steel door that faces northwest, giving them a few red rays at times like this, when the sun is setting over LAX.

But there are worse places to live… slum housing, 5-by-10s and 10-by-10s where Yanoama tribespersons cook beans and parboil fistfuls of coca leaves over heaps of burning lottery tickets.

From Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson.
Published by Bantam in 1992
Additional resources -

It is an interesting exercise to look around, and see all of the spaces that we have for our cars - 500 square foot two-car garages, parking structures, parking spaces, parking lots. What happens when most of us can no longer afford an individual vehicle (the norm in the rest of the world)? An alert reader has pointed out that in Ursula LeGuin's Lathe of Heaven, George Orr's lawyer Heather LeLache has her office in a converted parking ramp.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Snow Crash
  More Ideas and Technology by Neal Stephenson
  Tech news articles related to Snow Crash
  Tech news articles related to works by Neal Stephenson

U-Stor-It-related news articles:
  - Quik House: Neal Stephenson's U-Stor-It?

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