The Diamond Age or A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson

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Posted by Andy (1st Dec 1996, 19:00)

Originally published in Wyrmtongue December 1996

Described variously as "post-cyberpunk sci-fi", "genre busting" and "a new era in sci-fi". Pretty accurate, but what's it about? This version of the 21st Century sees nanotechnology rule. A sheet of paper can contain the most sophisticated of computer technology. You want food? A new bed? Go to the matter compiler. Social inequality is as rampant as ever. Society is divided into Clans, a complex evolved class hierarchy, sporadically maintaining order. Neo-Victorians form the elite in a curious time reversal of William Gibson's ideas in The Difference Engine.

The story follows the fate of a poor orphan girl who accidentally Acquires one of the most sophisticated teaching devices ever constructed. Layers of story mesh together in an amusing, moving and highly entertaining fashion. It makes clever use of current trends to create a realistic "not too distant future."

About item:

- The Diamond Age

Related items:

- The Difference Engine

About author:

- Stephenson, Neal

Related authors:

- Gibson, William & Sterling, Bruce

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