Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson, paperback science fiction novel
“A gripping and page-turning thriller that explores themes of power, information, secrecy and war in the twentieth century. From the author of the three-volume historical epic ‘The Baroque Cycle’ and Seveneves.
In his legendary, sprawling masterpiece, Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century.
In 1942, Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse – a mathematical genius and young Captain in the U.S. Navy – is assigned to Detachment 2702, an outfit so secret that only a handful of people know it exists. Some of those people have names like Churchill and Roosevelt.
Their mission is to keep the Nazis ignorant of the fact that Allied Intelligence has cracked the enemy’s fabled Enigma code. Waterhouse is flung into a cryptographic chess match against his German counterpart – one where every move determines the fate of thousands.
In the present day, Waterhouse’s crypto-hacker grandson, Randy, is attempting to create a “data haven” in Southeast Asia where encrypted data can be stored and exchanged free of repression and scrutiny. Joining forces with the tough-as-nails Amy, Randy attempts tosecretly salvage a sunken Nazi submarine that holds the key to keeping the dream of a data haven afloat.
But their scheme brings to light a massive conspiracy with its roots in Detachment 2702 – and an unbreakable Nazi code called Arethusa. There are two ways this could go: towards unimaginable riches and a future of personal and digital liberty – or towards a totalitarian nightmare…
Profound and prophetic, hypnotic and hyperactive, Cryptonomicon is a work of great art, thought and creative daring, the product of a ingenious imagination working with white-hot intensity.”