We caught up with Stephenson, who was in the throes of creating his next work, tentatively titled "Quicksilver," and peppered him with questions about nerds, Linux, the science-fiction ghetto and not getting rich.
In 1992 Neal Stephenson published "Snow Crash", one of the most prescient — and entertaining — visions of the future of the Internet ever written. He instantly became a cult figure among computer geeks. Last year Stephenson released "Cryptonomicon," a historical thriller about cryptography and the invention of the computer. (Online excerpt.) It became a best-seller, and suddenly Stephenson had stormed out of the AV club and into the mainstream.