The Diamond Age

Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer (Bantam Spectra Book) (A Bantam spectra book)

The Diamond Age (Paperback, 2000, Spectra)

Paperback, 512 pages

English language

Published May 2, 2000 by Spectra.

OCLC Number:

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3 stars (2 reviews)

The story of an engineer who creates a device to raise a girl capable of thinking for herself reveals what happens when a young girl of the poor underclass obtains the device.

19 editions

Simultaneously better and worse than Snow Crash

4 stars

I have to say, this was a fun read. And like the author's book Snow Crash from 3 years prior, it features a young girl protagonist, nation-state world-building, a sometimes awkward treatment of Asia, and sections of excessive violence.

In some ways, the book aged a lot better than Snow Crash. The world has made VR a thing which means a lot of the computer-related predictions from Snow Crash feel laughable, but we're nowhere near the level of nanotechnology in A Diamond Age. Snow Crash is a book of the 90s. The Diamond Age feels good even today.

Where this book let me down, however, was in how the plot was woven together. There are a lot of interesting characters that never get the attention they should. I don't demand that all plot threads get tied up in a nice neat bow (I think Anathem even went a bit too …


2 stars

Quite a thick plot, lots of characters, many plot twists and more world-building in a single book than you can shake your nanobots at. Also, if you're interested in a fictionalized primer (ha!) on Turing machines, this is the book you're looking for.


  • American Science Fiction And Fantasy
  • Fiction
  • Fiction - Science Fiction
  • Science Fiction - High Tech
  • Fiction / Science Fiction / General
  • Science Fiction - General
  • Science Fiction