THE DIAMOND AGE: OR, A YOUNG LADY'S ILLUSTRATED PRIMER (ROC)

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9780451454812: THE DIAMOND AGE: OR, A YOUNG LADY'S ILLUSTRATED PRIMER (ROC)
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Decades into our future, a brilliant nanotechnologist named John Percival Hackworth has just broken the rigorous moral code of his tribe, the powerful Neo-Victorians. He's made an illicit copy of a state-of-the-art interactive device called a young lady's illustrated primer, designed to raise a girl capable of thinking for herself. Unfortunately, for Hackworth, he loses his smuggled copy to a gang of street urchins in a mugging. One of the young thugs presents the primer to his little sister, Nell and suddenly her life - and perhaps the whole future of humanity - is about to be decoded and reprogrammed...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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John Percival Hackworth is a nanotech engineer on the rise when he steals a copy of "A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer" for his daughter Fiona. The primer is actually a super computer built with nanotechnology that was designed to educate Lord Finkle-McGraw's daughter and to teach her how to think for herself in the stifling neo-Victorian society. But Hackworth loses the primer before he can give it to Fiona, and now the "book" has fallen into the hands of young Nell, an underprivileged girl whose life is about to change.

From the Publisher:

Decades into our future, a stone's throw from the ancient city of Shanghai, abrilliant nanotechnologist named John Percival Hackworth has just broken therigorous moral code of his tribe, the powerful neoVictorians. He's made anillicit copy of a state-of-the-art interactive device called A Young LadysIllustrated Primer Commissioned by an eccentric duke for his grandchild,stolen for Hackworth's own daughter, the Primer's purpose is to educateand raise a girl capable of thinking for herself. It performs its functionsuperbly. Unfortunately for Hackworth, his smuggled copy has fallen into thewrong hands.

Young Nell and her brother Harv are thetes--members of the poor, tribelessclass. Neglected by their mother, Harv looks after Nell. When he and his gangwaylay a certain neo-Victorian--John Percival Hackworth-- in the seamy streetsof their neighborhood, Harv brings Nell something special: the Primer.And from the moment she opens

Following the discovery of his crime, Hackworth begins an odyssey of his own.Expelled from the neo-Victorian paradise, squeezed by agents of ProtocolEnforcement on one side and a Mandarin underworld crime lord on the other, hesearches for an elusive figure known as the Alchemist. His quest and Nell'swill ultimately lead them to another seeker whose fate is bound up with thePrimer-- a woman who holds the key to a vast, subversive informationnetwork that is destined to decode and reprogram the future of humanity.

Vividly imagined, stunningly prophetic, and epic in scope, The Diamond Ageis a major novel from one of the most visionary writers of ourtime.

Copyright © 1995 by Neal Stephenson

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