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Questions tagged [neal-stephenson]

Neal Stephenson is an American writer known for his works of speculative fiction, which have been variously categorized as science fiction, historical fiction, cyberpunk, and post-cyberpunk.

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What is the connection between Snow Crash and The Diamond Age?

I've heard that these two novels by Neal Stephenson take place in the same universe. What connections exist between the two novels and what is the time-line like?
thelsdj's user avatar
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26 votes
1 answer
4k views

Which of the three endings to Stephenson's "Anathem" is "definitive"?

Near the end of Anathem, the story posits three different "world lines": Jad and Erasmus arrive on the bridge of the invading ship; Erasmus (and, presumably, Jad) die when Jad triggers the "...
TML's user avatar
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22 votes
5 answers
11k views

The ending of The Diamond Age

I have just finished rereading Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age for about the fourth time and am still confused about the ending. The part that is confusing me is as follows:
No'am Newman's user avatar
22 votes
6 answers
6k views

When does the action of Snow Crash take place?

I remember there are some clues in the book, like the year of birth of Hiro's father and his age when Hiro was born. I don't remember if Hiro's exact age is specified. So, has someone calculated the ...
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18 votes
3 answers
2k views

Looking for a Neal Stephenson passage on religion as inoculation / vaccination / prophylactic

I recall a section in a Neal Stephenson book where a couple that secretly went to church (or at least didn't make it known) with their kids. As I recall it, they did this not because they were ...
BKay's user avatar
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16 votes
3 answers
4k views

What is in Enoch Root's mystery box in Cryptonomicon?

I read the book(s) long time ago and I don't have them with me now (sorry if some details are vague), but as I recall, Shaftoe gets addicted to morphine as a consequence of the treatment of his war ...
Kreann's user avatar
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15 votes
5 answers
10k views

Do these Neal Stephenson books have a recommended chronological order?

I've had "In the Beginning...was the Command Line" by Neal Stephenson on my Amazon Wish list for a while, but I do realize it's not much of a science fiction / fantasy book (still going to get it some ...
Fernando Briano's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
620 views

Why was Raven peddling drugs on the street?

In Snow Crash, the behemoth of a man, Raven was seen trying to sell the Snow Crash "drug" to Hiro just outside the Black Sun Club in the metaverse. Why would he be doing this if If he had that plan ...
OghmaOsiris's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is Miss Matheson from Diamond Age, YT from Snow Crash?

In Diamond Age the character Miss Matheson alludes to her past in a reminiscence concerning the 'smart wheels' on her wheel chair. She likens them to those on skateboards and then talks about how she ...
Pat Dobson's user avatar
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14 votes
3 answers
36k views

Why does Neal Stephenson use the term Nipponese instead of Japanese?

Is there any particular reason why Neal Stephenson consistently refers to Japan as Nippon, and the Japanese as the Nipponese? I first noticed this in the novel Cryptonomicon, again in Reamde, and ...
tcrosley's user avatar
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14 votes
4 answers
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Is the IP address used realistically in the book "REAMDE"?

I understand that IP addresses are not reliable in pin-pointing a person's physical location. The inaccuracy is attributed to multiple factors. The IP could be from the DHCP pool and shared between ...
杜興怡's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
2k views

In Seveneves, what happens to this mission?

In Seveneves by Neal Stephenson, a breakaway group launches a Mars mission. A preliminary mission is sent but is it ever revealed what happened to it?
D.H.'s user avatar
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13 votes
3 answers
939 views

What is the purpose/rules of the Day Gate in Anathem?

In Neal Stephenson's Anathem, the gates of Unarian, Decenarian, Centenarian and Millenarian maths open once a year, decade, century and millennium respectively. But what is the Day Gate for? Clearly, ...
HNL's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
1k views

In Cryptonomicon, why does Mr Wing have to learn the coordinates of Golgotha from Randy?

In Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, Mr Wing tries to learn coordinates of Golgotha from Randy Waterhouse. If I understood this part correctly, then my question is why? Clearly, Goto Dengo knew the ...
Sergei's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
976 views

How did YT end up in the van with religious people in Snow Crash? (spoilers)

When YT was skating away from a Fed Land building, someone launched a rocket at her and knocked her off her board. She went unconscious and woke up in a van with religious people headed to the raft. ...
Chloe's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
2k views

How does Hiro Protagonist afford his motorcycle?

From Chapter 3 of Snow Crash: But in the bleak light of full adulthood, which is to one's early twenties as Sunday morning is to Saturday night, he can clearly see what it really amounts to: He's ...
Matthew Piziak's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Difference between Anathem and Voco

I'm about 1/3 of the way through Neal Stephenson's 'Anathem' and so far, I've been able to follow most of his terminology, but one thing sticks out in my mind. Spoiler'ed for those who haven't read ...
erik's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
770 views

In Neal Stephenson's "Anathem," is Cnoüs' statue a reference to Freemasonry?

In Part 2 ("Apert") of Anathem, Erasmas was guiding a tour and was explaining the story of a statue of Cnoüs: "The central sculpture was more than six thousand years old; it had been a world-...
Mr_Spock's user avatar
  • 463
11 votes
4 answers
2k views

When did the Millenarian's incantations start [spoilers]?

Massive Spoiler Warning: The question discusses events very near the end of Neal Stephenson's Anathem. When Cell 317 was up in space floating with the Cold Black Mirror, several members discussed ...
rath's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can you find or draw a diagram of the Icosahedron orb stack from Anathem by Neal Stephenson?

I'm having a hard time visualising some of it.
nevster's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Who's Randy Waterhouse's father in Cryptonomicon?

I just read Cryptonomicon's chapter 70 - "Origin", and at the end of it I didn't quite get who's Randy Waterhouse's father. All of Lawrence Waterhouse's children are referred to as "Uncle" or "Aunt" ...
Óscar López's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
762 views

How did Hiro help YT out of jail?

In Snow Crash, Hiro Protagonist is called on by YT to help her get out of jail when she was caught in a burbclave without a permit. How did Hiro help her out if he was in the Black Sun with David ...
OghmaOsiris's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
391 views

Is the word "vitamin" meaning "any item shippable to space" a creation of Neal Stephenson in Seveneves?

As the title states. Stephenson uses (and describes the use of) the word "vitamin" to mean any goods that can be shipped to space. Is that actual space lingo?
MPelletier's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
598 views

What sub-genre of Science Fiction is the Baroque Cycle?

Per the Wikipedia entry about the series - Despite featuring a literary treatment consistent with historical fiction, Stephenson has characterized the work as science fiction, because of the ...
Matt Mills's user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
2k views

Ongoing racial purity in Seveneves

Spoilers for third section of Seveneves: Moira is able to synthesize a Y chromosome to create boys for the second generation of infants on the Cradle. And yet, there is no explanation of what ...
Dan Kohn's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
753 views

Possible anomaly in Cryptonomicon

Toward the beginning of Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, Avi gives Randy two strings of sixteen supposedly random hexadecimal numbers as encryption keys: AF 10 06 E9 99 BA 11 07 64 C1 89 ...
Nippers's user avatar
  • 101
8 votes
2 answers
445 views

Was the Metaverse based on the World Wide Web?

Reading through Snow Crash today, it's hard not to think of the Metaverse and The Street as a futuristic version of the Internet which we have today. However, given that Snow Crash was published in ...
Yi Jiang's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
533 views

Why was Seed being developed instead of iterative building on an existing solution?

Why they built a seed technology for "open source nanotechnology" instead of iterative building on feed lines? The iterative build seems to be quite simple: Establish healthy community of open feed ...
Maja Piechotka's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
4k views

Are there any plans to turn any Neal Stephenson novels into film/TV?

Are there any plans afoot to adapt any of the works by Neal Stephenson into film or television? Has Neal Stephenson sold any of the rights to anyone?
Pat Dobson's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
445 views

Is the background of Neal Stephenson's character Root revealed in previous novels?

Many years ago I started reading the Baroque series by Neal Stephenson. I really hated it and abandoned it without finishing, but I was intrigued by his enigmatic character of Root, who was long-lived ...
HeidiB's user avatar
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8 votes
5 answers
5k views

In Neal Stephenson’s "Fall; Or, Dodge In Hell", which Meatspace characters are identified with which Bitspace characters?

Spoilers for Fall; Or, Dodge In Hell.
Mike Scott's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
970 views

Why does the mouse army follow Nell?

In Nell's version of the Primer she saves the mouse army and thus they are indebted to her. I assumed that each of the mouse army had her own Primer which ran its own story arc. This seems to be ...
Motti's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Did Neal Stephenson make up the nickname for the ISS in Seveneves?

In the book Seveneves, early on it's mentioned that, unmongst the inhabitants of the International Space Station it is colloquially known as 'Izzy'. This nickname then persists throughout the rest of ...
Pat Dobson's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
590 views

What becomes of the drummers?

So at the end of the book it seems as if Nell actually drowns all the drummers: They passed up through many tunnels, always taking the uphill fork until they saw sunlight shining down from above ...
cjones26's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
458 views

Were the Hindu job applicants really in danger of having their heads sawn off by their collars?

Early on in Diamond Age: A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer, the following passage is used to describe a group of people who have come to apply for jobs at Machine-Phase Systems Limited: Hackworth ...
Beofett's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Chain of events in second act of "Seveneves"

[The title of this questions is deliberately vague to avoid spoiling the plot] In the second act of Seveneves, hilarity ensues because However, this could have been avoided if which was justified ...
Koldito's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
1k views

In Seveneves, who are the Owners?

Ty mentions "the Owners" several times. They seem to be neither Red nor Blue and furthermore are hinted to have links to "the Purpose", but is it clarified anywhere who they are?
D.H.'s user avatar
  • 607
6 votes
2 answers
426 views

Courts, governments, and jurisdictions in The Diamond Age?

In The Diamond Age, the narration firmly establishes that the traditional geography-based nation-state has been made obsolete by technology. That is, information secrecy has made it impossible for ...
user24353's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
736 views

Is it possible to use an EMP weapon, as described in Cryptonomicon?

In chapter 76, Pulse, we see a parking lot, a street, and (the contents of) a building across the street being taken out by an EMP gun. The target was a computer within the building. This is ...
SQB's user avatar
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6 votes
0 answers
625 views

Rise and Fall of DODO: How reasonable is Grainne's syntax, as rendered in the text?

It's not much of a spoiler to reveal that there's a character named Grainne in Stephenson and Galland's The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O, nor that this character is mostly represented in the text by ...
Jon Kiparsky's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
311 views

Why did Erasmas' chant cause a commotion?

A few days after his arrival to Tredegarth, Erasmas is summoned along with other newcomers for Inbrase, and is expected to perform a chant. I was expecting a follow-up on why the chant that he ...
E.M.K.'s user avatar
  • 53
5 votes
1 answer
587 views

In Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, what other biblical stories besides Babel does he symbolize or reference?

I understand the Babel reference but am blind to the others. I'm not too familiar with the Bible. Thanks guys
Jess's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
513 views

Is there a longer version of "Jipi and the Paranoid Chip"?

In the version of "Jipi and the Paranoid Chip" that appears online, there's a note at the top: "(excerpt as appeared in Forbes, July 7, 1997)." Was the version that appeared in Forbes an excerpt of a ...
Pixel's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
333 views

Has Dynabook inspired Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age?

I'm looking for evidence about Dynabook, by Alan Kay, being the inspiration for Neal Stephenson self-learning book in The Diamond Age: a young lady's illustrated primer.
nosolosw's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
133 views

What inspired Shekondar?

Shekondar is a name that shows up across several unrelated Neal Stephenson books, always referring to something different. In The Big U: Tonight they were testing Shekondar Mark V, their state-of-the-...
gowenfawr's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
523 views

Was Enoch Root right about Heracles killing a large chunk of the offspring of Ares in original myths?

"... it appears that Heracles, backed up by Athena all the way, personally murders at least half of Hannibal Lecterish offspring of Ares." (“Cryptonomicon” By Neal Stephenson, Page 806, Enoch Root's ...
DVK-on-Ahch-To's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
292 views

Four archetypal figures in Stephenson's "Diamond Age" and in Rajaniemi's "Le Flambeur trilogy"

Warning: minor spoilers to "Diamond Age" and "Le Flambeur" ahead. In "Le Flambeur", there are four Aun: Chimney Princess, Green Soldier, Kraken of Light and Flower Prince, former imaginary friends of ...
fjarri's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
297 views

How to find the missing appendices from the Anathem audiobook? [closed]

I've listened to Anathem by Neal Stephenson on Audible AudioBook. While browsing in my local bookshop the other day I picked up a copy of the book and had a flick through. It turns out that there are ...
Pat Dobson's user avatar
  • 4,225
3 votes
0 answers
118 views

Was there an opposing group in "Interface?"

Near the beginning of the novel Interface, we learn of an organization (actually a business coalition) called "The Network" that acts as a driving force behind the plot of the novel. It's briefly ...
Ward - Trying Codidact's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
833 views

Why was Harv sick in Diamond Age?

Why was Harv sick in Diamond Age? Wouldn't they have technology to cure those kind of diseases? In other parts of the book, they used nanocytes as defenses to to 'cure broken capillaries in the ...
Chloe's user avatar
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