The Diamond Age

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Bantam Books, 1996 - Fiction - 499 pages
98 Reviews
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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

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - themulhern - LibraryThing

I read this book in the previous century and again this month. _This_ is the book where all Stephenson's preoccupations, the ones that he's been working out in all his subsequent novels, come together ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - cypher2048 - LibraryThing

I really enjoyed this book, but the end seemed a bit rushed. It built up a bunch of interesting threads and they all came to a head right at the end, but a lot of the circumstances and motivations ... Read full review

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About the author (1996)

Neal Stephenson, the science fiction author, was born on October 31, 1959 in Maryland. He graduated from Boston University in 1981 with a B.A. in Geography with a minor in physics. His first novel, The Big U, was published in 1984. It received little attention and stayed out of print until Stephenson allowed it to be reprinted in 2001. His second novel was Zodiac: The Eco-Thriller was published in 1988, but it was his novel Snow Crash (1992) that brought him popularity. It fused memetics, computer viruses, and other high-tech themes with Sumerian mythology. Neal Stephenson has won several awards: Hugo for Best Novel for The Diamond Age (1996), the Arthur C. Clarke for Best Novel for Quicksilver (2004), and the Prometheus Award for Best Novel for The System of the World (2005). He recently completed the The Baroque Cycle Trilogy, a series of historical novels. It consists of eight books and was originally published in three volumes and Reamde. His latest novel is entitled The Rise and Fall of D. O. D. O. Stephenson also writes under the pseudonym Stephen Bury.

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