Neal Town Stephenson issues from a clan of rootless, itinerant hard-science and engineering professors. Born on Halloween 1959 in Fort Meade, Maryland - home of the National Security Agency - he grew up in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and Ames, Iowa, before attending college in Boston.
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, agricultural labour and writing novels.
His first novel, The Big U, was published in 1984 and vanished without trace. Zodiac: The Eco-thriller is his second novel. On first coming out in 1988 it quickly developed a cult following among water-pollution-control engineers and was enjoyed, though rarely bought, by many radical environmentalists. The highly successful Snow Crash was written between 1988 and 1991, as the author listened to a great deal of loud, relentless, depressing music.
Snow Crash was followed by the equally successful The Diamond Age, and the critically acclaimed Cryptonomicon.
He has recently completed The Baroque Cycle, a trilogy the first volume of which Quicksilver was published 23 September 2003.
Neal Stephenson now resides in a comfortable home in the western hemisphere where he spends his time - when not sidetracked by his computer, rollerblading or parenting - attempting to make a living out of writing novels and the occasional magazine article.
Neal Stephenson's home page at Well.com
http://www.nealstephenson.com/ produced by his publisher Harper Collins.