An American writer of speculative fiction, he is best known for novels such as Snow Crash (which was nominated for both the British Science Fiction Award and the
He studied at Boston University, majoring in geography and minoring in physics. He later worked for Blue Origin, a privately-funded aerospace company.
His works span the science fiction, historical fiction, and cyberpunk genres.
He was born in Fort Meade, Maryland to scientist parents. In 1985, he married Ellen Marie Lackermann.
His works are sometimes compared to those of William Gibson.