Chapter 1
Illustration for Neal Stephenson's "Atmosphaera Incognita," by Haylee Bolinger

Atmosphæra Incognita

What if we could build a tower so tall that the stratosphere was just an elevator ride away? An ambitious tech entrepreneur constructs a 20 kilometer tall tower that jump-starts the defunct U.S. steel industry, houses the First Bar in Space, reveals novel methods for generating renewable energy, and encounters the most exotic wind and weather phenomena the Earth has to offer.

Neal Stephenson is the author of the three-volume historical epic “The Baroque Cycle” (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World) and the novels REAMDE, Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
  • Structural Design of the Tall Tower

    Written by Keith Hjelmstad

    The challenge of building tall structures has lured people like me into the profession of structural engineering for a long time. Managing our gravitational well in order to elevate usable space above the surface of the Earth is harder than it looks. And it’s not just gravity holding us down. The ebbs and flows of […]

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