Neal Stephenson

Neal Town Stephenson ( born October 31, 1959 in Fort Meade, Maryland, USA) is a living writer in Seattle. In his science fiction novels, his experiments with new media such as virtual reality and the World Wide Web reflect. He therefore regarded as one of the main representatives of cyberpunk. In his work, Snow Crash, the term avatar is, in the meaning of animated profiles back.


Neal Stephenson came from a family of engineers and scientists: His mother worked as a biochemist in a laboratory, his father taught electrical engineering, grandfathers were professors of physics and biochemistry. 1960 the family moved with him to Champaign - Urbana, where he grew up until 1966. Thereafter he lived in Ames and graduated from high school there in 1977. He first studied physics, then to 1981 Geography at Boston University.

He was for a time as a consultant for, founded by Jeff Bezos private space company Blue Origin, and is co-founder of the software company Subutai Corporation.


Often mingle in his books of the past with futuristic technology fantasies; he portrays a society that advanced nanotechnology uses, but society pays homage to a Victorian puritanical role model, for example, in The Diamond Age. Since the late 1990s, Stephenson dedicates historical material, but with the sensitivity of a science fiction author. How many authors Stephenson holds little of strict genre boundaries. Ostensibly are Cryptonomicon and the Baroque Cycle assign the genre of the historical novel, but both works are saturated with typical SF designs.

His novel Snow Crash takes place in an America that is fragmented into countless mini- nations, which are operated as franchises of large corporations, and it was up to police and prison fully privatized. An important role is played by an advanced system of virtual reality that goes with a thriving hacker culture hand in hand. Other covers are made to the Sumerian mythology with their god Enki.

His Cryptonomicon deals in two time strands ( 1940s and 1990s) with the subject of cryptography. Stephenson weaves here the life story of Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse, a fictional involved in the deciphering of the Enigma mathematician during the Second World War with the story of his grandson, Randy Waterhouse, who wants to build a data haven in Southeast Asia. A central role in the novel is set, designed by Bruce Schneier Solitaire encryption algorithm.

The eight novels of the Baroque cycle were published in the three volumes Quicksilver, Confusion and Principia and play mid-17th to the early 18th century. They tell the stories in several storylines of the member of the Royal Society Daniel Waterhouse. Longer by chance in the peerage ascending Ränkeschmiedin Eliza and the vagabond Jack Shaftoe and provide a comprehensive history of the families that occur in Cryptonomicon The period 1655-1714 is pointedly by Stephenson with very complex and detailed recherchiertem background knowledge with their religious, political, social, economic, cultural, scientific and technical revolutions to a total of over 3000 pages in several parallel, interwoven plot lines, shown entertaining and exciting. In particular, the account of the rise of the modern financial system ( global trade, banks and stock exchanges ) are more than just a novel background and still explain current mechanisms and contexts.

Stephenson's published on the Internet In the Beginning ... Was the Command Line is in contrast to his other works, not a novel, but an essay on free software. In particular, operating systems, Mac OS, Linux, Microsoft Windows and BeOS are represented metaphorically.

Neal Stephenson's novel Anathem is influenced by the ideas of the Long Now Foundation.

Reamde (Eng. Error) is an action novel, Cory Doctorow's novel similar to For the Win against the backdrop of a fictional MMORPG. In Reamde computer games and equipment, however, serve only as a loose framework for a marked by rich detail described action scenes action. The text contains unlike his novels like Snow Crash or Diamond Age hardly visionary and science fiction elements.



  • The Big U ( dt Big U) - (1984 - ISBN 0-380-81603-2, English edition)
  • Zodiac: The Eco - Thriller ( German Full Power ) - ( 1988 - ISBN 0-553-57386-1, English edition)
  • Snow Crash (German Snow Crash ) - ( 1991 - ISBN 3-442-45302- X)
  • Interface - (1994, as Stephen Bury ( with J. Frederick George George Jewsbury as ) - ISBN 0-553-38343-4, English edition)
  • The Diamond Age (. Ger Diamond Age The border world ) - ( 1996 - ISBN 3-442-45154- X)
  • Cobweb - (1998, as Stephen Bury ( with J. Frederick George George Jewsbury as ) - ISBN 0-09-947885-4, English edition)
  • Cryptonomicon (English Cryptonomicon ) - ( 1999 - ISBN 3-442-54193- X)
  • Quicksilver: Volume One of the Baroque Cycle ( Quicksilver dt ) - ( 2003 - ISBN 3-442-54568-4 )
  • The Confusion: Volume Two of the Baroque Cycle (Eng. Confusion ) - ( 2004 - ISBN 3-442-54604-4 )
  • The System of the World: Volume Three of the Baroque Cycle (German Principia ) - ( 2004 - ISBN 3-442-54607-9 )
  • Anathem (German anathema ) - ( 2008 - ISBN 978-3-442-54660-2 )
  • Reamde (Eng. Error) - (2011 - ISBN 978-3-442-54692-3 )

Short stories

  • Spew (1994 )
  • The Great Simoleon Caper (1995 )
  • Jipi and the Paranoid Chip ( 1997)
  • Crunch ( 1998)

Essays and nonfiction

  • In the Beginning ... what the Command Line (German Dictatorship of beautiful appearance, Goldmann 2002 - ISBN 3-442-15177-5 ) - ( 1999 - ISBN 0-380-81593-1, English edition)

Prizes and awards