Featured Contributor: Neal Stephenson

Neal StephensonNeal Stephenson is an author of historical and science fiction, a technology consultant, a video game designer and the principal provocateur behind Hieroglyph. Answering Arizona State University president Michael Crow’s challenge to create alternatives to the dystopian visions that pervade our stories about the future, Neal is helping us pioneer new methods of radical collaboration between the storytellers who dream our future and the scientists and engineers that build it.

Neal is perhaps best known for his novels The Diamond Age and Snow Crash, which presented compelling, socially and culturally rich visions of human futures while also prefiguring the development of major technologies such as social networking, nanorobotics and 3D printers. He also penned The Baroque Cycle, a sprawling three-volume work about the history of ideas in 17th and 18th century Europe, and co-created The Mongoliad, a collaborative work of transmedia fiction produced in collaboration with filmmakers, martial artists, computer programmers and video game designers. His most recent novel, REAMDE, transforms the now-quotidian realm of MMORPGs into a global minefield of criminality, religious extremism and geopolitical intrigue.

Neal studied physics and geography at Boston University, and graduated with a BA in 1981. He has worked part-time as an advisor for Blue Origin, which is developing a manned sub-orbital launch system. His most recent triumph is the successful conquest of Kickstarter through his venture CLANG, an epic pursuit of the perfect controller for swordfighting video games.

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