The Diamond Age

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, Aug 26, 2003 - Fiction - 512 pages
136 Reviews
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.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nx74defiant - LibraryThing

I really enjoyed the wonderful complicated world he created. Steampunk with the new Victorians (the Vickies) Loved Nell. But the ending was disappointing. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - orkydd - LibraryThing

I first read the novel soon after it was released. It has aged very well. Stephenson's inventive and clever extrapolation of technological trends makes for a fine tale, and indeed still does, even ... Read full review

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Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
3
Section 3
7
Section 4
12
Section 5
25
Section 6
38
Section 7
47
Section 8
53
Section 18
253
Section 19
255
Section 20
274
Section 21
286
Section 22
295
Section 23
306
Section 24
311
Section 25
326

Section 9
72
Section 10
97
Section 11
106
Section 12
109
Section 13
111
Section 14
116
Section 15
161
Section 16
211
Section 17
238
Section 26
357
Section 27
404
Section 28
408
Section 29
435
Section 30
448
Section 31
488
Section 32
501
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Neal Stephenson issues from a clan of rootless, itinerant hardscience and engineering professors (mostly Pac-10, Big 10, and Big 8 with the occasional wild strain of Ivy). He began his higher education as a physics major, then switched to geography when it appeared that this would enable him to scam more free time on his university’s mainframe computer. When he graduated and discovered, to his perplexity, that there were no jobs for inexperienced physicist-geographers, he began to look into alternative pursuits such as working on cars, unimaginably stupid agricultural labor, and writing novels. His first novel, The Big U, was published in 1984 and vanished without a trace. His second novel, Zodiac: An Eco-Thriller, came out in 1988 and quickly developed a cult following among water-pollution-control engineers. It was also enjoyed, though rarely bought, by many radical environmentalists. Snow Crash was written in the years 1988 through 1991 as the author listened to a great deal of loud, relentless, depressing music.

Mr. Stephenson now resides in a comfortable home in the western hemisphere and spends all of his time trying to retrofit an office into its generally dark, unlevel, and asbestos-laden basement so that he can attempt to write more novels. Despite the tremendous amounts of time he devotes to writing, playing with computers, listening to speed metal, Rollerblading, and pounding nails, he is a flawless husband, parent, neighbor, and all-around human being.

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