The System of the World, a novel by Neal Stephenson, is the third and final volume in The Baroque Cycle.
The title alludes to the third volume of Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which bears the same name.
The System of the World won the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel1 and the Prometheus Award in 2005, as well as a receiving a nomination for the Arthur C. Clarke Award1 the same year.
The System of the World emulates many different literary styles. As one reviewer put it: it "is a con-fusion ... of historical novel, roman à thèse, epistolary novel, roman à clef, nouveau roman, satirical novel, roman fleuve, et cetera, et cetera, all bound up in the unlikely guise of epic science-fiction page-turner."2
- Henry Arlanc, Huguenot, friend of Jack Shaftoe, porter at the Royal Society
- Mrs. Arlanc, wife of Henry
- Roger Comstock, Marquis of Ravenscar, Whig ally of Daniel Waterhouse
- Will Comstock, Earl of Lostwithiel
- Édouard de Gex, Jesuit fanatic
- William Ham, Banker, nephew of Daniel Waterhouse
- Otto van Hoek, Captain of the Minerva
- Mr. Kikin, Russian diplomat in London
- Norman Orney, London shipbuilder
- Mr. Threader, Tory money-scrivener
- Charles White, fictional, Tory who bites off people's ears
- Peter Hoxton (alias Saturn), Horologist, engages in illicit activities
Historical figures who appear as characters in the novel