Stephenson is the cyberpunk or possibly post-cyberpunk author of The Big U, Zodiac, Snow Crash, and The Diamond Age, as well as a handful of short stories and, with his uncle, a couple of mediocre thrillers under the name Stephen Bury. While ubercyberpunk William Gibson's prose is heavy, lugubrious, and Chandler-esque, Stephenson takes his cue from zippier (and better) writers like Thomas Pynchon and Mark Leyner. Also unlike Gibson, Stephenson is a coder and actually understands computers.