Decades into our future, a stone's throw from the ancient city of Shanghai, a brilliant nanotechnologist named John Percival Hackworth has just broken the rigorous moral code of his tribe, the powerful neoVictorians. He's made an illicit copy of a state-of-the-art interactive device called A Young Ladys Illustrated Primer Commissioned by an eccentric duke for his grandchild, stolen for Hackworth's own daughter, the Primer's purpose is to educate and raise a girl capable of thinking for herself. It performs its function superbly. Unfortunately for Hackworth, his smuggled copy has fallen into the wrong hands. Young Nell and her brother Harv are thetes--members of the poor, tribeless class. Neglected by their mother, Harv looks after Nell. When he and his gang waylay a certain neo-Victorian--John Percival Hackworth-- in the seamy streets of their neighborhood, Harv brings Nell something special: the Primer. Following the discovery of his crime, Hackworth begins an odyssey of his own. Expelled from the neo-Victorian paradise, squeezed by agents of Protocol Enforcement on one side and a Mandarin underworld crime lord on the other, he searches for an elusive figure known as the Alchemist. His quest and Nell's will ultimately lead them to another seeker whose fate is bound up with the Primer-- a woman who holds the key to a vast, subversive information network that is destined to decode and reprogram the future of humanity. Vividly imagined, stunningly prophetic, and epic in scope, The Diamond Age is a major novel from one of the most visionary writers of our time From the Paperback edition.
A gripping and page-turning thriller that explores themes of power, information, secrecy and war in the twentieth century. From the author of the three-volume historical epic 'The Baroque Cycle' and Seveneves. In his legendary, sprawling masterpiece, Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century. In 1942, Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse - a mathematical genius and young Captain in the U.S. Navy - is assigned to Detachment 2702, an outfit so secret that only a handful of people know it exists. Some of those people have names like Churchill and Roosevelt. Their mission is to keep the Nazis ignorant of the fact that Allied Intelligence has cracked the enemy's fabled Enigma code. Waterhouse is flung into a cryptographic chess match against his German counterpart - one where every move determines the fate of thousands. In the present day, Waterhouse's crypto-hacker grandson, Randy, is attempting to create a "data haven" in Southeast Asia where encrypted data can be stored and exchanged free of repression and scrutiny. Joining forces with the tough-as-nails Amy, Randy attempts tosecretly salvage a sunken Nazi submarine that holds the key to keeping the dream of a data haven afloat. But their scheme brings to light a massive conspiracy with its roots in Detachment 2702 - and an unbreakable Nazi code called Arethusa. There are two ways this could go: towards unimaginable riches and a future of personal and digital liberty - or towards a totalitarian nightmare... Profound and prophetic, hypnotic and hyperactive, Cryptonomicon is a work of great art, thought and creative daring, the product of a ingenious imagination working with white-hot intensity.
The latest magnificent creation from the award-winning author of Cryptonomicon and the Baroque Cycle trilogy. Erasmas, 'Raz', is a young avout living in the Concent, a sanctuary for mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers. Three times during history's darkest epochs, violence has invaded and devastated the cloistered community. Yet the avout have always managed to adapt in the wake of catastrophe. But they now prepare to open the Concent's gates to the outside world, in celebration of a once-a-decade rite. Suddenly, Erasmas finds himself a major player in a drama that will determine the future of his world - as he sets out on an extraordinary odyssey that will carry him to the most dangerous, inhospitable corners of the planet...and beyond.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anathem, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon comes an exciting and thought-provoking science fiction epic—a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years. What would happen if the world were ending? A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space. But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . . Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth. A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable. As he did in Anathem, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, and Reamde, Stephenson explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.