Robert Gu is a recovering Alzheimer's patient. The world that he remembers was much as we know it today. Now, as he regains his faculties through a cure developed during the years of his near-fatal decline, he discovers that the world has changed and so has his place in it. He was a world-renowned poet. Now he is seventy-five years old, though by a medical miracle he looks much younger, and he's starting over, for the first time unsure of his poetic gifts. Living with his son's family, he has no choice but to learn how to cope with a new information age in which the virtual and the real are a seamless continuum, layers of reality built on digital views seen by a single person or millions, depending on your choice. But the consensus reality of the digital world is available only if, like his thirteen-year-old granddaughter Miri, you know how to wear your wireless access—through nodes designed into smart clothes—and to see the digital context—through smart contact lenses.
With knowledge comes risk. When Robert begins to re-train at Fairmont High, learning with other older people what is second nature to Miri and other teens at school, he unwittingly becomes part of a wide-ranging conspiracy to use technology as a tool for world domination.
In a world where every computer chip has Homeland Security built-in, this conspiracy is something that baffles even the most sophisticated security analysts, including Robert's son and daughter-in law, two top people in the U.S. military. And even Miri, in her attempts to protect her grandfather, may be entangled in the plot.
As Robert becomes more deeply involved in conspiracy, he is shocked to learn of a radical change planned for the UCSD Geisel Library; all the books there, and worldwide, would cease to physically exist. He and his fellow re-trainees feel compelled to join protests against the change. With forces around the world converging on San Diego, both the conspiracy and the protest climax in a spectacular moment as unique and satisfying as it is unexpected. This is science fiction at its very best, by a master storyteller at his peak.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
In 1942, Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse—mathematical genius and young Captain in the U.S. Navy—is assigned to detachment 2702. It is an outfit so secret that only a handful of people know it exists, and some of those people have names like Churchill and Roosevelt. The mission of Waterhouse and Detachment 2702—commanded by Marine Raider Bobby Shaftoe-is to keep the Nazis ignorant of the fact that Allied Intelligence has cracked the enemy's fabled Enigma code. It is a game, a cryptographic chess match between Waterhouse and his German counterpart, translated into action by the gung-ho Shaftoe and his forces.
Fast-forward to the present, where Waterhouse's crypto-hacker grandson, Randy, is attempting to create a "data haven" in Southeast Asia—a place where encrypted data can be stored and exchanged free of repression and scrutiny. As governments and multinationals attack the endeavor, Randy joins forces with Shaftoe's tough-as-nails granddaughter, Amy, to secretly salvage a sunken Nazi submarine that holds the key to keeping the dream of a data haven afloat. But soon their scheme brings to light a massive conspiracy with its roots in Detachment 2702 linked to an unbreakable Nazi code called Arethusa. And it will represent the path to unimaginable riches and a future of personal and digital liberty...or to universal totalitarianism reborn.
A breathtaking tour de force, and Neal Stephenson's most accomplished and affecting work to date, Cryptonomicon is profound and prophetic, hypnotic and hyper-driven, as it leaps forward and back between World War II and the World Wide Web, hinting all the while at a dark day-after-tomorrow. It is a work of great art, thought and creative daring; the product of a truly iconoclastic imagination working with white-hot intensity.
Sthephenson se atreve a novelar en el Ciclo Barroco cómo pudo ser el nacimiento del mundo moderno, la creación de la ciencia y el paso de la alquimia al empirismo y al racionalismo.
En 1714, tras la derrota inglesa ante los borbones, Sir Isaac Newton usa su poder como director de la Casa de la Moneda de Inglaterra para buscar el mítico Oro de Salomón, a la busca del Mercurio Filosófico imprescindible en sus estudios alquímicos.
La ciudad de Londres es el nuevo e imponente protagonista de este incomparable fresco sobre el origen histórico de nuestro tiempo, con el enfrentamiento entre la nueva ciencia moderna de la Royal Society y la vieja alquimia, no siempre tan distantes como parecería.
«El "Ciclo Barroco" desafía cualquier categorías, género, precedente o etiqueta... excepto la de genial.»
En 1942, Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse, genio matemático estadounidense, colaboró con otros especialistas en descifrar los códigos secretos de las potencias del Eje. Sesenta años más tarde, su nieto Randy, un brillante criptohacker, proyecta crear un paraíso de datos y el mayor exponente de la libertad informática: La Cripta.
Si las matemáticas de los primeros criptoanalistas se vieron sometidos a las necesidades de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, la Cripta está condicionada por las leyes y normas de las altas finanzas internacionales y la infotecnología.
Esta obra, con su ironía y amenidad, es a la criptología y la narrativa ciberpunk lo que El señor de los Anillos es a la magia y a la fantasía. Criptonomicón es un ciberthriller y el nuevo libro de culto de los hackers.
** Premio Locus 2000
«Stephenson es el Hemingway de los hackers.»