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Encyclopedia > Cryptonomicon
Cryptonomicon

Cover of first edition (hardcover)
Author Neal Stephenson
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Novel
Publisher Avon
Publication date 1999
Media type Hardcover (first edition)
Pages 918 pp (first edition hardcover)
ISBN ISBN 0-380-97346-4 (first edition hardcover)

Cryptonomicon is a 1999 novel by Neal Stephenson. It concurrently follows the exploits of World War II-era cryptographers affiliated with Bletchley Park in their attempts to crack Axis codes and fight the Nazi submarine fleet, alongside the story of their descendants, who are attempting to use modern cryptography to build a data haven in the fictitious state of Kinakuta, a small nation with geographical and political parallels to Brunei. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Neal Town Stephenson (born October 31, 1959) is an American writer, known primarily for his science fiction works in the postcyberpunk genre with a penchant for explorations of society, mathematics, currency, and the history of science. ... For other uses, see Country (disambiguation). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... This article is about the literary concept. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... An early Avon Books edition from the 1940s of the Simon Templar mystery short story collection, The Saint Intervenes. ... See also: 1998 in literature, other events of 1999, 2000 in literature, list of years in literature. ... Hardcover books A hardcover (or hardback or hardbound) is a book bound with rigid protective covers (typically of cardboard covered with cloth, heavy paper, or sometimes leather). ... “ISBN” redirects here. ... See also: 1998 in literature, other events of 1999, 2000 in literature, list of years in literature. ... Neal Town Stephenson (born October 31, 1959) is an American writer, known primarily for his science fiction works in the postcyberpunk genre with a penchant for explorations of society, mathematics, currency, and the history of science. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Pre-19th century Leone Battista Alberti, polymath/universal genius, inventor of polyalphabetic substitution (see frequency analysis for the significance of this -- missed by most for a long time and dumbed down in the Vigenère cipher), and what may have been the first mechanical encryption aid. ... During World War II, codebreakers at Bletchley Park decrypted and interpreted messages from a large number of Axis code and cipher systems, including the German Enigma machine. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Submarine (disambiguation). ... The German Lorenz cipher machine, used in World War II for encryption of very high-level general staff messages Cryptography (or cryptology; derived from Greek κρυπτός kryptós hidden, and the verb γράφω gráfo write or λεγειν legein to speak) is the study of message secrecy. ... A Data Haven is a place where data is supposed to be secure at all times. ... Map of the Land of Oz, the fictional country in the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Map of the fictional island of Sodor used in the Thomas the Tank Engine stories Fictitious countries used in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four A guidebook produced about the fictional country Molvanîa... Kinakuta is a fictional country featured in the books Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson. ...


Cryptonomicon was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2000. The 2005 Hugo Award with base designed by Deb Kosiba. ... The Hugo Awards are given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works. ...

Contents

Plot introduction

Cryptonomicon is closer to the genres of historical fiction and contemporary techno-thriller than to the science fiction setting of Stephenson's breakthrough novel, Snow Crash, and features fictionalized characterizations of such historical figures as Alan Turing, Douglas MacArthur, Winston Churchill, Isoroku Yamamoto, Karl Dönitz, Albert Einstein, and Ronald Reagan, as well as some highly technical and detailed descriptions of modern cryptography and information security, and subjects ranging from prime numbers and modular arithmetic to van Eck phreaking. A genre [], (French: kind or sort from Greek: γένος (genos)) is a loose set of criteria for a category of literary composition; the term is also used for any other form of art or utterance. ... Look up historical fiction in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Snow Crash is Neal Stephensons third science fiction novel, published in 1992. ... Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS (23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) was an English mathematician, logician, and cryptographer. ... This article is about the American general; for the municipality in the Philippines, see General MacArthur, Eastern Samar. ... Churchill redirects here. ... Fleet Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto ) (4 April 1884 – 18 April 1943) was Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet during World War II, graduate of Imperial Japanese Naval Academy and an alumnus of U.S. Naval War College and Harvard University (1919–1921). ... Karl Dönitz (IPA pronunciation:  ) (born 16 September 1891; died 24 December 1980) was a German naval leader, who commanded the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) during the second half of World War II. Dönitz was also President of Germany for 23 days after Adolf Hitlers suicide. ... “Einstein” redirects here. ... Reagan redirects here. ... In mathematics, a prime number, or prime for short, is a natural number greater than one and whose only distinct positive divisors are 1 and itself. ... Modular arithmetic (sometimes called modulo arithmetic, or clock arithmetic because of its use in the 24-hour clock system) is a system of arithmetic for integers, where numbers wrap around after they reach a certain value — the modulus. ... Van Eck phreaking is the process of eavesdropping on the contents of a CRT display by detecting its electromagnetic emissions. ...


Explanation of the novel's title

When Stephenson came up with his title, he was not aware of the word's origin, and was simply seeking a Greek-sounding word that also had 'crypto' in it. Cryptonomicon translates to 'Book of Hidden Names'. The Cryptonomicon referred to in the novel— described as a "cryptographer's bible" — is a fictional book summarizing mankind's knowledge of cryptography and cryptanalysis. A fictional book is a non-existent book (or one created specifically for a work of fiction) that sometimes provides the basis of the plot of a story, or a common thread in a series of books or the works of a particular writer or canon of work. ...


Characters

World War II storyline

  • Robert "Bobby" Shaftoe, a gung-ho, haiku-writing United States Marine scout/sniper.
  • Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse, an American cryptographer/mathematician serving as an officer in the United States Navy.
  • Günter Bischoff, a Kapitänleutnant in the Kriegsmarine, who commands a U-Boat for much of the story, and later takes command of a new, advanced rocket-powered submarine.
  • Rudolf "Rudy" von Hacklheber, a non-Nazi German mathematician and cryptographer, who spent time attending Princeton University, where he befriended Waterhouse and Turing.
  • Earl Comstock, a US Army officer, who eventually founds the NSA.
  • Julieta Kivistik, a Finnish woman who assists some of the WWII characters when they find themselves stranded in Sweden, and who later gives birth to a baby boy (Günter Enoch Bobby Kivistik) whose father is uncertain.
  • “Uncle” Otto Kivistik, Julieta's Finnish uncle, who runs a successful smuggling ring between neutral Sweden, Finland, and the USSR during WWII.
  • Mary cCmndhd (pronounced "Smith"), a Qwghlmian expatriate living in Australia, who catches the attention of Lawrence Waterhouse while he is stationed in Brisbane.
  • Glory Altamira, a nursing student and Bobby Shaftoe's Filipina lover. She becomes a member of the Philippine resistance movement during the Japanese occupation. Mother of Douglas MacArthur Shaftoe.
  • Alan Turing, a colleague and friend of Lawrence Waterhouse and Rudy von Hacklheber, and a world-renowned cryptographer.
  • Douglas MacArthur, the famed U.S. Army general, who takes a central role toward the end of the WWII timeline.
  • Karl Dönitz, Großadmiral of the Kriegsmarine, who is never actually seen as a character, but who issues orders to his U-Boats, including the one captained by Bischoff.

Gung-ho is a phrase borrowed from Chinese, frequently used in English as an adjective meaning enthusiastic. ... For the operating system, see Haiku (operating system). ... The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States military responsible for providing power projection from the sea,[1] utilizing the mobility of the U.S. Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces. ... USN redirects here. ... Kapitänleutnant is the third lowest officers rank in the German Navy. ... The Kriegsmarine (or War Navy) was the name of the German Navy between 1935 and 1945, during the Nazi regime, superseding the Reichsmarine. ... U-boat is also a nickname for some diesel locomotives built by GE; see List of GE locomotives October 1939. ... Princeton University is a private coeducational research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. ... The United States Army is the largest and oldest branch of the armed forces of the United States. ... “NSA” redirects here. ... Qwghlm is a fictional location, featured in the books Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson. ... Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS (23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) was an English mathematician, logician, and cryptographer. ... This article is about the American general; for the municipality in the Philippines, see General MacArthur, Eastern Samar. ... Karl Dönitz (IPA pronunciation:  ) (born 16 September 1891; died 24 December 1980) was a German naval leader, who commanded the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) during the second half of World War II. Dönitz was also President of Germany for 23 days after Adolf Hitlers suicide. ... German Grand Admiral Sleeve Insignia Grand Admiral Shoulder Insignia In the German Navy the rank of Grand Admiral (Großadmiral) was considered the highest Naval rank. ... The Kriegsmarine (or War Navy) was the name of the German Navy between 1935 and 1945, during the Nazi regime, superseding the Reichsmarine. ... U-boat is also a nickname for some diesel locomotives built by GE; see List of GE locomotives October 1939. ...

Modern-day storyline

The precise date of this storyline is not established, but the ages of characters and the technologies described suggest that it is set in the late 1990s, at approximately the same time as the publication of the novel. For the band, see 1990s (band). ...

  • Randall "Randy" Lawrence Waterhouse, grandson of Lawrence and Mary Waterhouse (née cCmndhd) and an expert systems and network administrator with the Epiphyte(2) corporation.
  • Avi Halaby, Randy's business partner in Epiphyte(2), of which he is the CEO.
  • America "Amy" Shaftoe, Doug Shaftoe's daughter who has moved from the U.S. to live with Doug in the Philippines, who becomes Randy's love interest.
  • Hubert Kepler, aka "The Dentist," Randy and Avi's business rival.
  • Eberhard Föhr, a member of Epiphyte(2) and an expert in biometrics.
  • John Cantrell, a member of Epiphyte(2), a libertarian who is an expert in cryptography and who wrote the fictional cryptography program Ordo.
  • Tom Howard, a member of Epiphyte(2), a libertarian and firearms enthusiast who is an expert in large computer installations.
  • Beryl Hagen, Chief Financial Officer of Epiphyte(2) and veteran of a dozen startups.
  • Charlene, an academic and Randy's girlfriend at the beginning of the novel, who later moves in with Dr. Günter Enoch Bobby Kivistik.
  • Andrew Loeb, a former friend and now enemy of Randy's, a survivalist and neo-Luddite whose lawsuits destroyed Randy and Avi's first start-up, and who at the time of the novel works as a lawyer for Hubert Kepler.

A system administrator, or sysadmin, is a person employed to maintain, and operate a computer system or network. ... The terms network administrator, network specialist and network analyst designate job positions of engineers involved in computer networks, the people who carry out network administration. ... At Walt Disney World, biometric measurements are taken from the fingers of guests to ensure that the persons ticket is used by the same person from day to day Biometrics (ancient Greek: bios =life, metron =measure) refers to two very different fields of study and application. ... See also Libertarianism and Libertarian Party Libertarian,is a term for person who has made a conscious and principled commitment, evidenced by a statement or Pledge, to forswear violating others rights and usually living in voluntary communities: thus in law no longer subject to government supervision. ... The German Lorenz cipher machine, used in World War II for encryption of very high-level general staff messages Cryptography (or cryptology; derived from Greek κρυπτός kryptós hidden, and the verb γράφω gráfo write or λεγειν legein to speak) is the study of message secrecy. ... See also Libertarianism and Libertarian Party Libertarian,is a term for person who has made a conscious and principled commitment, evidenced by a statement or Pledge, to forswear violating others rights and usually living in voluntary communities: thus in law no longer subject to government supervision. ... Firearms redirects here. ... “CFO” redirects here. ... A survivalist is a person who anticipates a potential disruption in the continuity of local, regional or worldwide society, and takes steps to survive in the resulting unpredictable situation. ... The neutrality of this article is disputed. ...

Both storylines

  • Goto Dengo, a soldier in the Imperial Japanese Army, subsequently an engineer in the Japanese Army and involved in a Japanese wartime project to bury looted gold in the Philippines. Later (in the modern-day storyline) a successful businessman in the Japanese construction sector who becomes an ally of Epiphyte(2).
  • Enoch Root, a mysterious, seemingly ageless priest serving as a chaplain in the ANZAC during WWII, and an important figure in the Societas Eruditorum.
  • Wing, a wartime Chinese slave of the Japanese in the Philippines and later a general in the present-day Chinese army. Wing is the only other survivor besides Goto Dengo of the Japanese gold burial project, and he competes with Goto and Epiphyte(2) to recover the buried treasure.
  • Douglas MacArthur Shaftoe (named after General Douglas MacArthur), Robert Shaftoe's and Glory Altamira's half-Filipino, half-American son. He is introduced near the end of the WWII storyline where his father briefly meets him as a toddler. In the modern-day storyline he is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL, who lives in the Philippines and operates an underwater survey business with his daughter Amy, conducting treasure hunts on the side.

A fictional character from Neal Stephensons Cryptonomicon. ... The Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) (Kyūjitai: 大日本帝國陸軍, Shinjitai: , Romaji: Dai-Nippon Teikoku Rikugun), or more officially Army of the Greater Japanese Empire was the official ground based armed force of Imperial Japan from 1867 to 1945. ... Yamashitas Gold is the name given to loot worth tens of billions of dollars stolen in Southeast Asia by Japanese forces during World War II and hidden in caves, tunnels and underground complexes in The Philippines. ... Enoch Root (Enoch the Red) is a fictional character from Neal Stephensons novels The Baroque Cycle and Cryptonomicon. ... The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (popularly abbreviated as ANZAC) was originally an army corps of Australian and New Zealand troops who fought in World War I at Gallipoli against the Turks. ... The Societas Eruditorum was a German organisation set up to produce similar results to the British Royal Society. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Peoples Liberation Army (disambiguation) The Chinese Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) is the military of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). ... This article is about the American general; for the municipality in the Philippines, see General MacArthur, Eastern Samar. ... // Look up seal in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Technical content

Portions of Cryptonomicon are notably complex and may be considered somewhat difficult by the non-technical reader. Several pages are spent explaining in detail some of the concepts behind cryptography and data storage security, including a description of van Eck phreaking, as an example. Van Eck phreaking is the process of eavesdropping on the contents of a CRT display by detecting its electromagnetic emissions. ...


Stephenson also includes a precise description of (and indeed a Perl script for) the Solitaire cipher (called Pontifex in the book), a cryptographic algorithm developed by Bruce Schneier for use with a deck of playing cards, as part of the plot. Wikibooks has a book on the topic of Perl Programming Perl is a dynamic programming language created by Larry Wall and first released in 1987. ... The Solitaire cryptographic algorithm was designed by Bruce Schneier for use in Neal Stephensons Cryptonomicon (where it was initially called Pontifex). ... This article is about algorithms for encryption and decryption. ... Bruce Schneier Bruce Schneier (born January 15, 1963) is an American cryptographer, computer security specialist, and writer. ... Some typical modern playing cards. ...


He also describes computers using a fictional operating system, Finux. The name is a thinly-veiled reference to Linux, a kernel originally written by Finland native Linus Torvalds. Stephenson changed the name so as not to be creatively constrained by the technical details of Linux-based operating systems.[1] This article is about operating systems that use the Linux kernel. ... Linus Benedict Torvalds  ; born December 28, 1969 in Helsinki, Finland, is a Finnish software engineer best known for initiating the development of the Linux kernel. ...


Allusions/references from other works

Stephenson's subsequent work, The Baroque Cycle, provides part of the backstory to the characters and events featured in Cryptonomicon. An excerpt of Quicksilver, Volume One of The Baroque Cycle, is included in later prints of the Mass Market Paperback edition. The Baroque Cycle, a series of books written by Neal Stephenson, appeared in print in 2003 and 2004. ...


The Baroque Cycle, set in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, features ancestors of several characters in Cryptonomicon, as well as events and items which affect the action of the later-set book. The subtext implies the existence of secret societies or conspiracies, and familial tendencies and groupings found within those darker worlds.


The short story "Jipi and the Paranoid Chip" appears to take place some time after the events of Cryptonomicon. In the story, the construction of the Crypt has triggered economic growth in Manila and Kinakuta, in which Goto Engineering, and Homa /Homer Goto, a Goto family heir, are involved. The IDTRO ("Black Chamber") is also mentioned. Jipi and the Paranoid Chip is a science fiction short story by Neal Stephenson that appeared in Forbes Magazines July 7, 1997 issue. ...


Literary significance & criticism

Despite the technical detail, the book drew praise from both Stephenson's science fiction fan base and literary critics and buyers.[2][3]


Editions

  • ISBN 0-380-97346-4 : Hardcover (1999)
  • ISBN 0-380-78862-4 : Paperback (2000)
  • ISBN 0-06-051280-6 : Mass Market Paperback (2002)
  • ISBN 1-57453-470-X : Audio Cassette (abridged) (2001)
  • ISBN B-000-09M9L-W: e-book (Adobe Reader)
  • ISBN B-000-09M9LX: e-book (Microsoft Reader)
  • Audio download from iTunes and Audible.com
  • Translations into other languages: Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish. The French and Spanish translations divide the book into three volumes. The Japanese translation divides the book into four volumes.

This article is about the iTunes application. ...

See also

Unterseeboot 413 was a Type VIIC submarine of the Kriegsmarine. ... Unterseeboot 553 (U-553) was a Type VIIC submarine of the Kriegsmarine. ... Unterseeboot 691 (U-691) would have been a Type VIIC/41 submarine of the Kriegsmarine, if she had ever been built. ... For other uses, see Enigma. ... Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS (23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) was an English mathematician, logician, and cryptographer. ... During World War II, codebreakers at Bletchley Park decrypted and interpreted messages from a large number of Axis code and cipher systems, including the German Enigma machine. ... Qwghlm is a fictional location, featured in the books Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson. ... HEAP is an acronym for a Holocaust Education and Avoidance Pod, a concept created by author Neal Stephenson in his book Cryptonomicon. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Stephenson, Neal (1999). Old site. Retrieved on 2007-07-01.
  2. ^ Berry, Michael (1999-05-09). 900 Pages + Lots of Math = Weird Fun. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved on 2007-08-27.
  3. ^ Bruinooge, Nathan (1999-06-23). Review:Cryptonomicon. Slashdot. Retrieved on 2007-08-27.

Neal Town Stephenson (born October 31, 1959) is an American writer, known primarily for his science fiction works in the postcyberpunk genre with a penchant for explorations of society, mathematics, currency, and the history of science. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Todays San Francisco Chronicle was founded in 1865 as The Daily Dramatic Chronicle by teenage brothers Charles de Young and Michael H. de Young. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 239th day of the year (240th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Slashdot, often abbreviated as /.[1], is a science, science fiction, and technology-related news website owned by SourceForge, Inc. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 239th day of the year (240th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
The Modern Word - Cryptonomicon Review (1434 words)
Early in the novel Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse, a student of mathematics at Princeton University, is bicycling late at night through the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.
Indeed, Cryptonomicon seems to be about Everything, or at the very least, the use of symbol systems and decryption to discover the true nature of Everything.
Cryptonomicon is an immense but fascinating work, effortlessly pulled off by an author accustomed to mining the veins of pop culture as much as his own technical background.
Cryptonomicon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (733 words)
The Cryptonomicon referred to in the novel— described as a "cryptographer's bible" — is a fictional book summarizing mankind's knowledge of cryptography and cryptanalysis.
Portions of Cryptonomicon are notably complex and may be considered somewhat difficult by the non-technical reader.
The original hardcover edition of Cryptonomicon had numerous typos, and there has been widespread speculation that these typos were deliberate and constitute a steganographically hidden code [1] [2] [3].
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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