Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson

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Neal Town Stephenson is an American writer known for his works of speculative fiction
Speculative fiction
Speculative fiction is an umbrella term encompassing the more fantastical fiction genres, specifically science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history in literature as well as...

.

Difficult to categorize, his novels have been variously referred to as science fiction, historical fiction, cyberpunk
Cyberpunk
Cyberpunk is a postmodern and science fiction genre noted for its focus on "high tech and low life." The name is a portmanteau of cybernetics and punk, and was originally coined by Bruce Bethke as the title of his short story "Cyberpunk," published in 1983...

, and postcyberpunk. Other labels such as 'baroque' often appear.

Stephenson explores areas such as mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, cryptography
Cryptography
Cryptography is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties...

, philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, currency
Currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

, and the history of science
History of science
The history of science is the study of the historical development of human understandings of the natural world and the domains of the social sciences....

. He also writes non-fiction articles about technology in publications such as Wired
Wired (magazine)
Wired is a full-color monthly American magazine and on-line periodical, published since January 1993, that reports on how new and developing technology affects culture, the economy, and politics...

.

He has worked part-time as an advisor for Blue Origin
Blue Origin
Blue Origin is a privately funded aerospace company set up by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos. The company was awarded $3.7 million in funding in 2009 by NASA via a Space Act Agreement under the Commercial Crew Development program for development of concepts and technologies to support future human...

, a company (funded by Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
Jeffrey Preston "Jeff" Bezos is the founder, president, chief executive officer , and chairman of the board of Amazon.com.-Early life and background:...

) developing a manned sub-orbital launch system, and is also cofounder of Subutai Corporation, whose first offering is the interactive fiction project The Mongoliad
The Mongoliad
The Mongoliad is an experimental fiction project of the Subutai Corporation, initially released in September of 2010. The corporation is an application company based in San Francisco and Seattle, whose chairman is speculative fiction author Neal Stephenson...

. He has also written novels with his uncle, George Jewsbury
George Jewsbury
George F. Jewsbury is a historian who has collaborated on several best-selling textbooks in the Civilization: Past & Present series. He joined authors T. Walter Wallbank, Alastair M. Taylor, and Nels M. Bailkey, beginning with the single volume fifth edition...

 ("J. Frederick George"), under the collective pseudonym Stephen Bury.

Life


Born on October 31, 1959 in Fort Meade
Fort George G. Meade
Fort George G. Meade is a United States Army installation that includes the Defense Information School, the United States Army Field Band, and the headquarters of United States Cyber Command, the National Security Agency, and the Defense Courier Service...

, Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, Stephenson came from a family of engineers and hard scientists; his father is a professor of electrical engineering
Electrical engineering
Electrical engineering is a field of engineering that generally deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism. The field first became an identifiable occupation in the late nineteenth century after commercialization of the electric telegraph and electrical...

 whose father was a physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

 professor; his mother worked in a biochemistry
Biochemistry
Biochemistry, sometimes called biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes in living organisms, including, but not limited to, living matter. Biochemistry governs all living organisms and living processes...

 laboratory, while her father was a biochemistry professor. Stephenson's family moved to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in 1960 and then in 1966 to Ames, Iowa
Ames, Iowa
Ames is a city located in the central part of the U.S. state of Iowa in Story County, and approximately north of Des Moines. The U.S. Census Bureau designates that Ames, Iowa metropolitan statistical area as encompassing all of Story County, and which, when combined with the Boone, Iowa...

, where he graduated from Ames High School
Ames High School
Ames High School is the sole high school in Ames, Story County, Iowa.-Academics:January 2008 —Ames High School has been named one of the top high schools in the country by U.S. News and World Report. In its recently released rankings, the magazine awarded Ames High School a silver medal, one of...

 in 1977. Stephenson studied at Boston University
Boston University
Boston University is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts. With more than 4,000 faculty members and more than 31,000 students, Boston University is one of the largest private universities in the United States and one of Boston's largest employers...

, first specializing in physics, then switching to geography after he found that it would allow him to spend more time on the university mainframe. He graduated in 1981 with a B.A.
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in geography
Geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

 and a minor in physics. Since 1984, Stephenson has lived mostly in the Pacific Northwest and currently resides in Seattle with his family.

Literary career



Stephenson's first novel, The Big U
The Big U
The Big U is Neal Stephenson's first published novel, a satire of campus life.- Plot :The story chronicles the disillusionment of a number of young intellectuals as they encounter the realities of the higher education establishment parodied in the story...

, published in 1984, was a satirical take on life at American Megaversity, a vast, bland and alienating research university beset by chaotic riots. His next novel, Zodiac
Zodiac (novel)
Zodiac: An Eco-Thriller is Neal Stephenson's second novel, which tells the story of an environmentalist, Sangamon Taylor, uncovering a conspiracy involving industrialist polluters in Boston Harbor. The "Zodiac" of the title refers to the brand of inflatable motor boats the hero uses to get around...

(1988), was a thriller following the exploits of a radical environmentalist protagonist in his struggle against corporate polluters. Neither novel attracted much critical attention on first publication, but showcased concerns that Stephenson would further develop in his later work. The Big U went out of print until 2001, when Stephenson allowed it to be republished after realizing that this book that he considered inferior to his others was being sold at inflated prices for used copies because of its scarcity and collectors' value.

Stephenson's breakthrough came in 1992 with Snow Crash
Snow Crash
Snow Crash is Neal Stephenson's third novel, published in 1992. Like many of Stephenson's other novels it covers history, linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, religion, computer science, politics, cryptography, memetics, and philosophy....

, a novel in the late cyberpunk
Cyberpunk
Cyberpunk is a postmodern and science fiction genre noted for its focus on "high tech and low life." The name is a portmanteau of cybernetics and punk, and was originally coined by Bruce Bethke as the title of his short story "Cyberpunk," published in 1983...

 or post-cyberpunk tradition fusing memetics
Memetics
Memetics is a theory of mental content based on an analogy with Darwinian evolution, originating from Richard Dawkins' 1976 book The Selfish Gene. It purports to be an approach to evolutionary models of cultural information transfer. A meme, analogous to a gene, is essentially a "unit of...

, computer virus
Computer virus
A computer virus is a computer program that can replicate itself and spread from one computer to another. The term "virus" is also commonly but erroneously used to refer to other types of malware, including but not limited to adware and spyware programs that do not have the reproductive ability...

es, and other high-tech themes with Sumerian mythology, along with a sociological extrapolation of laissez-faire capitalism and collectivism
Collectivism
Collectivism is any philosophic, political, economic, mystical or social outlook that emphasizes the interdependence of every human in some collective group and the priority of group goals over individual goals. Collectivists usually focus on community, society, or nation...

. Snow Crash can be considered to be the first expression of Stephenson's mature style. Stephenson at this time would later be described by Mike Godwin
Mike Godwin
Michael Wayne Godwin is an American attorney and author. He was the first staff counsel of the Electronic Frontier Foundation , and the creator of the Internet adage Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies. From July 2007 to October 2010, he was general counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation...

 as "a slight, unassuming grad-student type whose soft-spoken demeanor gave no obvious indication that he had written the manic apotheosis of cyberpunk science fiction." In 1994, Stephenson joined with his uncle, J. Frederick George, to publish a political thriller, Interface
Interface (novel)
Interface is a 1994 novel by Neal Stephenson and George Jewsbury. It was originally sold with the author pseudonym of Stephen Bury, then reissued as being by Bury and J...

, under the pen name
Pen name
A pen name, nom de plume, or literary double, is a pseudonym adopted by an author. A pen name may be used to make the author's name more distinctive, to disguise his or her gender, to distance an author from some or all of his or her works, to protect the author from retribution for his or her...

 "Stephen Bury"; they followed this in 1996 with The Cobweb. Stephenson's next solo novel, published in 1995, was The Diamond Age: or A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer
The Diamond Age
The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer is a postcyberpunk novel by Neal Stephenson. It is to some extent a science fiction bildungsroman, focused on a young girl named Nell, and set in a future world in which nanotechnology affects all aspects of life. The novel deals with themes of...

, which dealt with a future with extensive nanotechnology
Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres...

 and dynabook
Dynabook
The Dynabook concept, created by Alan Kay in 1968, described what is now known as a laptop computer or a tablet or slate computer with nearly eternal battery life and software aimed at giving children access to digital media...

s.

This was followed by Cryptonomicon
Cryptonomicon
Cryptonomicon is a 1999 novel by American author Neal Stephenson. The novel follows the exploits of two groups of people in two different time periods, presented in alternating chapters...

in 1999, a novel concerned with concepts ranging from computing and Alan Turing
Alan Turing
Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS , was an English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine, which played a...

's research into codebreaking and cryptography during the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 at Bletchley Park
Bletchley Park
Bletchley Park is an estate located in the town of Bletchley, in Buckinghamshire, England, which currently houses the National Museum of Computing...

, to a modern attempt to set up a data haven
Data haven
A data haven, like a corporate haven or tax haven, is a refuge for uninterrupted or unregulated data. Data havens are locations with legal environments that are friendly to the concept of a computer network freely holding data and even protecting its content and associated information...

. It has subsequently been reissued in three separate volumes in some countries, including in French and Spanish translations.

The Baroque Cycle
The Baroque Cycle
The Baroque Cycle is a series of novels by American writer Neal Stephenson. It was published in three volumes containing 8 books in 2003 and 2004. The story follows the adventures of a sizeable cast of characters living amidst some of the central events of the late 17th and early 18th centuries in...

, Stephenson's next novel, is a series of long historical novels
Historical fiction
Historical fiction tells a story that is set in the past. That setting is usually real and drawn from history, and often contains actual historical persons, but the principal characters tend to be fictional...

 set in the 17th and 18th centuries, and is in some respects a prequel
Prequel
A prequel is a work that supplements a previously completed one, and has an earlier time setting.The widely recognized term was a 20th-century neologism, and a portmanteau from pre- and sequel...

 to Cryptonomicon. It was originally published in three volumes of two or three books each – Quicksilver
Quicksilver (novel)
Quicksilver is a historical novel by Neal Stephenson, published in 2003. It is the first volume of The Baroque Cycle, his late Baroque historical fiction series, succeeded by The Confusion and The System of the World . Quicksilver won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and was nominated for the Locus...

(2003), The Confusion (2004) and The System of the World
The System of the World (novel)
The System of the World, a novel by Neal Stephenson, is the third and final volume in The Baroque Cycle.The title alludes to the third volume of Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which bears the same name....

(2004) – but was subsequently republished as eight separate books: Quicksilver, King of the Vagabonds, Odalisque, Bonanza, Juncto, Solomon's Gold, Currency, and System of the World. (The titles and exact breakdown varies in different markets.)

Following this, Stephenson published a novel titled Anathem
Anathem
Anathem is a speculative fiction novel by Neal Stephenson, published in 2008. Major themes include the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics and the philosophical debate between Platonic realism and formalism.-Plot summary:...

(2008), a very long and detailed work, perhaps best described as speculative fiction
Speculative fiction
Speculative fiction is an umbrella term encompassing the more fantastical fiction genres, specifically science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history in literature as well as...

. It is set in an Earthlike world (perhaps in an alternate reality), deals with metaphysics, and refers heavily to Ancient Greek philosophy, while at the same time being a complex commentary on the insubstantiality of today's contemporary society.

In May 2010, the Subutai Corporation, of which Stephenson was named chairman, announced the production of an experimental multimedia fiction project called The Mongoliad
The Mongoliad
The Mongoliad is an experimental fiction project of the Subutai Corporation, initially released in September of 2010. The corporation is an application company based in San Francisco and Seattle, whose chairman is speculative fiction author Neal Stephenson...

, which centered around a narrative written by Stephenson and other speculative fiction authors.

REAMDE
Reamde
Reamde is a speculative fiction novel by Neal Stephenson, published in 2011. The story, set in the present day, centers on the plight of a hostage and the ensuing efforts of family and new acquaintances, many of them associated with a fictional MMORPG, to rescue her as her various captors drag her...

, a play on the common filename README
README
A readme file contains information about other files in a directory or archive and is commonly distributed with computer software. Such a file is usually a text file called README.TXT, README.1ST, READ.ME, or simply README, although some Microsoft Windows software may occasionally include a...

, is a novel by Stephenson released on September 20, 2011. In this book, Stephenson returns with a thriller set in the present with a plot that involves a medley of game developers, Chinese cyber-criminals, Russian mafia, and other stranger inhabitants of the new global village.

Non-fiction



Stephenson has also written non-fiction. In The Beginning Was The Command Line, an essay on operating systems including the histories of and relationships between DOS
DOS
DOS, short for "Disk Operating System", is an acronym for several closely related operating systems that dominated the IBM PC compatible market between 1981 and 1995, or until about 2000 if one includes the partially DOS-based Microsoft Windows versions 95, 98, and Millennium Edition.Related...

, Windows
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

, Linux
Linux
Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of any Linux system is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released October 5, 1991 by Linus Torvalds...

, and BeOS
BeOS
BeOS is an operating system for personal computers which began development by Be Inc. in 1991. It was first written to run on BeBox hardware. BeOS was optimized for digital media work and was written to take advantage of modern hardware facilities such as symmetric multiprocessing by utilizing...

 from both cultural and technical viewpoints and focusing especially on the development of the Graphical User Interface
Graphical user interface
In computing, a graphical user interface is a type of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices with images rather than text commands. GUIs can be used in computers, hand-held devices such as MP3 players, portable media players or gaming devices, household appliances and...

, was published in book form in 2000. Various other essays have been published in magazines such as Wired
Wired (magazine)
Wired is a full-color monthly American magazine and on-line periodical, published since January 1993, that reports on how new and developing technology affects culture, the economy, and politics...

.

With the 2003 publication of Quicksilver, Applied Minds
Applied Minds
Applied Minds, Llc. is a company founded in 2000 by ex-Disney Imagineers Danny Hillis and Bran Ferren that provides technology, design, R&D, and consulting services to multiple firms, including General Motors, Intel, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Herman Miller, Harris Corporation, Sony, and...

 debuted The Metaweb, an online wiki
Wiki
A wiki is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used collaboratively by multiple users. Examples include...

 annotating the ideas and historical period explored in the novel. The project was influenced by the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia
Wikipedia
Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 20 million articles have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site,...

, and its content included annotations from Stephenson himself.

Style


In his earlier novels Stephenson deals heavily in pop culture-laden metaphors and imagery and in quick, hip dialogue, as well as in extended narrative monologues. The tone of his books is generally more irreverent and less self-serious than that of previous cyberpunk
Cyberpunk
Cyberpunk is a postmodern and science fiction genre noted for its focus on "high tech and low life." The name is a portmanteau of cybernetics and punk, and was originally coined by Bruce Bethke as the title of his short story "Cyberpunk," published in 1983...

 novels, notably those of William Gibson
William Gibson
William Gibson is an American-Canadian science fiction author.William Gibson may also refer to:-Association football:*Will Gibson , Scottish footballer...

.

Stephenson's books tend to have elaborate, inventive plots drawing on numerous technological and sociological ideas at the same time. This distinguishes him from other mainstream science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 authors who tend to focus on a few technological or social changes in isolation from others. The discursive nature of his writing, together with significant plot and character complexity and an abundance of detail suggests a baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 writing style, which Stephenson brought fully to bear in the three-volume Baroque Cycle. His book The Diamond Age
The Diamond Age
The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer is a postcyberpunk novel by Neal Stephenson. It is to some extent a science fiction bildungsroman, focused on a young girl named Nell, and set in a future world in which nanotechnology affects all aspects of life. The novel deals with themes of...

follows a simpler plot but features "neo-Victorian
Neo-Victorian
Neo-Victorian is an aesthetic movement which amalgamates Victorian and Edwardian aesthetic sensibilities with modern principles and technologies...

" characters and employs Victorian-era literary conceits
Conceit
In literature, a conceit is an extended metaphor with a complex logic that governs a poetic passage or entire poem. By juxtaposing, usurping and manipulating images and ideas in surprising ways, a conceit invites the reader into a more sophisticated understanding of an object of comparison...

. In keeping with the baroque style, Stephenson's books have become longer as he has gained recognition. For example, the paperback editions of Cryptonomicon
Cryptonomicon
Cryptonomicon is a 1999 novel by American author Neal Stephenson. The novel follows the exploits of two groups of people in two different time periods, presented in alternating chapters...

are over eleven hundred pages long with the novel containing various digressions, including a lengthy erotic story about antique furniture
Antique furniture
Antique furniture is the term for collectible interior furnishings of considerable age. Often its age, rarity, condition, utility, or other unique features makes a piece of furniture desirable as a collectors' item, and thus termed an "antique"....

 and stockings.

Novels

  • The Big U
    The Big U
    The Big U is Neal Stephenson's first published novel, a satire of campus life.- Plot :The story chronicles the disillusionment of a number of young intellectuals as they encounter the realities of the higher education establishment parodied in the story...

    (1984)
  • Zodiac
    Zodiac (novel)
    Zodiac: An Eco-Thriller is Neal Stephenson's second novel, which tells the story of an environmentalist, Sangamon Taylor, uncovering a conspiracy involving industrialist polluters in Boston Harbor. The "Zodiac" of the title refers to the brand of inflatable motor boats the hero uses to get around...

    (1988)
  • Snow Crash
    Snow Crash
    Snow Crash is Neal Stephenson's third novel, published in 1992. Like many of Stephenson's other novels it covers history, linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, religion, computer science, politics, cryptography, memetics, and philosophy....

    (1992) – British Science Fiction Association Award nominee, 1993; Clarke Award nominee, 1994
  • Interface
    Interface (novel)
    Interface is a 1994 novel by Neal Stephenson and George Jewsbury. It was originally sold with the author pseudonym of Stephen Bury, then reissued as being by Bury and J...

    (1994) with J. Frederick George, as "Stephen Bury"
  • The Diamond Age: or A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer
    The Diamond Age
    The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer is a postcyberpunk novel by Neal Stephenson. It is to some extent a science fiction bildungsroman, focused on a young girl named Nell, and set in a future world in which nanotechnology affects all aspects of life. The novel deals with themes of...

    (1995) – Hugo and Locus SF Awards winner, 1996; Nebula, Campbell and Clarke Awards nominee, 1996
  • The Cobweb (1996) with J. Frederick George, as "Stephen Bury"
  • Cryptonomicon
    Cryptonomicon
    Cryptonomicon is a 1999 novel by American author Neal Stephenson. The novel follows the exploits of two groups of people in two different time periods, presented in alternating chapters...

    (1999) – Locus SF Award winner, 2000; Hugo and Clarke Awards nominee, 2000
  • Quicksilver
    Quicksilver (novel)
    Quicksilver is a historical novel by Neal Stephenson, published in 2003. It is the first volume of The Baroque Cycle, his late Baroque historical fiction series, succeeded by The Confusion and The System of the World . Quicksilver won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and was nominated for the Locus...

    (2003), volume I:The Baroque Cycle
    The Baroque Cycle
    The Baroque Cycle is a series of novels by American writer Neal Stephenson. It was published in three volumes containing 8 books in 2003 and 2004. The story follows the adventures of a sizeable cast of characters living amidst some of the central events of the late 17th and early 18th centuries in...

    – Clarke Award winner, 2004; Locus SF Award nominee, 2004
  • The Confusion (2004), volume II:The Baroque Cycle and winner 2005 Locus Award
    Locus Award
    The Locus Award is a literary award established in 1971 and presented to winners of Locus magazine's annual readers' poll. Currently, the Locus Awards are presented at an annual banquet...

  • The System of the World
    The System of the World (novel)
    The System of the World, a novel by Neal Stephenson, is the third and final volume in The Baroque Cycle.The title alludes to the third volume of Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which bears the same name....

    (2004), volume III:The Baroque Cycle – Locus SF Award winner, 2005; Prometheus Award
    Prometheus Award
    The Prometheus Award is an award for libertarian science fiction novels given annually by the Libertarian Futurist Society, which also publishes a quarterly journal Prometheus. L. Neil Smith established the award in 1979, but it was not awarded regularly until the newly founded Libertarian Futurist...

     winner, 2005; Clarke Award nominee, 2005
  • Anathem
    Anathem
    Anathem is a speculative fiction novel by Neal Stephenson, published in 2008. Major themes include the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics and the philosophical debate between Platonic realism and formalism.-Plot summary:...

    (2008) – Locus SF Award winner, 2009; British Science Fiction Association Award nominee, 2008; Hugo and Clarke Awards nominee, 2009
  • The Mongoliad
    The Mongoliad
    The Mongoliad is an experimental fiction project of the Subutai Corporation, initially released in September of 2010. The corporation is an application company based in San Francisco and Seattle, whose chairman is speculative fiction author Neal Stephenson...

    (2010–)
  • Reamde
    Reamde
    Reamde is a speculative fiction novel by Neal Stephenson, published in 2011. The story, set in the present day, centers on the plight of a hostage and the ensuing efforts of family and new acquaintances, many of them associated with a fictional MMORPG, to rescue her as her various captors drag her...

    (2011)

Short fiction

  • "Spew" (1994), in Hackers (1996)
  • "The Great Simoleon Caper
    The Great Simoleon Caper
    "The Great Simoleon Caper" is a short story by Neal Stephenson that appeared in TIME Domestic SPECIAL ISSUE, Spring 1995 Volume 145, No. 12 . It deals with concepts familiar to Stephenson's fans: encryption, digital currency and distributed republics...

    " (1995), TIME
    Time (magazine)
    Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

  • "Excerpt from the Third and Last Volume of Tribes of the Pacific Northwest" in Full Spectrum 5 (1995)
  • "Jipi and the Paranoid Chip
    Jipi and the Paranoid Chip
    "Jipi and the Paranoid Chip" is a science fiction short story by Neal Stephenson that appeared in Forbes Magazine's July 7, 1997 issue. It is part of the Baroque Cycle/ Cryptonomicon universe.-Plot:...

    " (1997), Forbes
    Forbes
    Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

  • "Crunch" (1997), in Disco 2000 (edited by Sarah Champion, 1998) ("Crunch" is a chapter from Cryptonomicon)

Non-fiction

  • "Smiley's people". 1993.
  • "In the Kingdom of Mao Bell". Wired
    Wired (magazine)
    Wired is a full-color monthly American magazine and on-line periodical, published since January 1993, that reports on how new and developing technology affects culture, the economy, and politics...

    . 1994. "A billion Chinese are using new technology to create the fastest growing economy on the planet. But while the information wants to be free, do they?"
  • "Mother Earth Mother Board". Wired. 1996. "In which the Hacker Tourist ventures forth across three continents, telling the story of the business and technology of undersea fiber-optic cables, as well as an account of the laying of the longest wire on Earth
    Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe
    Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe is a 28,000-kilometer-long submarine communications cable containing optical fiber that connects the United Kingdom, Japan, and many places in between. The cable is operated by India's Flag Telecom, a fully owned subsidiary of Reliance Communications. The system...

    ."
  • "Global Neighborhood Watch
    Global Neighborhood Watch
    "Global Neighborhood Watch" is an article by Neal Stephenson that appeared in Wired Magazine in 1998. In it he proposes a specific plan for using information technology to fight crime. According to Stephenson, he is no longer pursuing the idea....

    ". Wired. 1998. Stopping street crime in the global village.
  • In the Beginning... Was the Command Line. Harpers Perennial. 1999. ISBN 0-380-81593-1.
  • "Communication Prosthetics: Threat, or Menace?". Whole Earth Review
    Whole Earth Review
    Whole Earth was a magazine which was founded in January 1985 after the merger of the Whole Earth Software Review and the CoEvolution Quarterly. All of these periodicals are descendants of Stewart Brand's Whole Earth Catalog...

    , Summer 2001.
  • "Turn On, Tune In, Veg Out". Op-Ed piece on Star Wars
    Star Wars
    Star Wars is an American epic space opera film series created by George Lucas. The first film in the series was originally released on May 25, 1977, under the title Star Wars, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, followed by two sequels, released at three-year...

    , in The New York Times
    The New York Times
    The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

    , June 17, 2005.
  • "It's All Geek To Me". Op-Ed piece on the film 300
    300 (film)
    300 is a 2007 American fantasy action film based on the 1998 comic series of the same name by Frank Miller. It is a fictionalized retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae. The film was directed by Zack Snyder, while Miller served as executive producer and consultant...

    and geek culture, The New York Times, March 18, 2007.
  • "Atoms of Cognition: Metaphysics
    Metaphysics
    Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

     in the Royal Society 1715-2010," chapter in Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society
    Royal Society
    The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

    ,
    edited by Bill Bryson
    Bill Bryson
    William McGuire "Bill" Bryson, OBE, is a best-selling American author of humorous books on travel, as well as books on the English language and on science. Born an American, he was a resident of Britain for most of his adult life before moving back to the US in 1995...

    . Stephenson discusses the legacy of the rivalry between Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz
    Gottfried Leibniz
    Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a German philosopher and mathematician. He wrote in different languages, primarily in Latin , French and German ....

    , November 2, 2010.
  • "Space Stasis". Slate
    Slate (magazine)
    Slate is a US-based English language online current affairs and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley, initially under the ownership of Microsoft as part of MSN. On 21 December 2004 it was purchased by the Washington Post Company...

    . February 2, 2011. "What the strange persistence of rockets can teach us about innovation."
  • "Innovation Starvation". World Policy Journal, 2011.

External links