Neal Stephenson

Stephenson is a geek. And he writes about geeks. His books often take wild turns, and he sometimes loses control of his story. You won't find a cardboard 19th century hero swashbuckling his way across the galaxy to save the day and win the girl, but rather smart, curious people fascinated by the world around them as the universe throws them a curveball.

Snow Crash, probably his best known book, is a dystopian satire of 1990's America that coined the term metaverse. My personal favorites are Cryptonomicon, with it's parallel World War II and present-day storylines, and the three volume / eight book Baroque Cycle, an historical novel set in the Enlightenment that's still somehow science fiction.