Neal Stephenson is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. He manages to seamlessly blend the hard science fiction elements into a complex social and political context. Unfortunately, The Diamond Age misses the witty, grin-inducing bobsled ride of Snow Crash without capturing the depth and grace of Anathem. A big dollop of seemingly unnecessary prurience did nothing to improve my opinion. So far, my least favorite Stephenson novel, but enjoyable and engaging none the less.
Stephenson also coined the term Anglosphere in this book. A concept I have had something to say about on occasion.