1959 – He was born on the 31st of October this year in Fort Meade, Maryland. His father is a professor of electrical engineering whose father was a physics professor; his mother worked in a biochemistry laboratory, while her father was a biochemistry professor.
1960 – Stephenson’s family moved to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois in this year and then to Ames, Iowa in 1966 where he graduated from Ames High School in 1977.
1981 – Stephenson furthered his studies at Boston University. He first specialized in physics, and then switched to geography after he found that it would allow him to spend more time on the university mainframe. He graduated in this year with a B.A. in Geography with a minor in Physics.
1984 – His first novel, The Big U, was published in this year. Since this year Stephenson has lived mostly in the Pacific Northwest and currently resides in Seattle with his family.
2001 – Big U received very little attention when it first came out, and was subsequently out of print until Stephenson allowed it to be reprinted in this year.
2003 – With the 2003 publication of Quicksilver, Stephenson debuted The Metaweb (main page as partially preserved in the Wayback Machine at 5 April 2006), a wiki (using the same software as Wikipedia) annotating the ideas and historical period explored in the novel.