Every year, a mysterious puzzle, called Cicada 3301, emerges from the depths of the Dark Web. No one knows who is behind it and why so much painstaking effort is dedicated to its design.
After a young Internet entrepreneur is found dead in his San Francisco apartment, Stanford Computer Science Professor embarks on following a trail of clues left by a mysterious Dark Web puzzle. On his quest for the answers, he must confront the most powerful clandestine organizations and cold blooded killers who will stop at nothing to hide their dark secrets.
The action unfolds against the backdrop of unsolved murders of young girls whose chlorine soaked bodies are found at various locations around the San Francisco Bay.
This book will take you from the West Coast of the United States to other corners of the world in pursuit of the answers. You can follow the story to the coordinates in Stockholm, Berlin, and California through the links provided in the "Places" chapter at the end of the book. The coordinates of the locations in Manhattan and Sonoma County could not be disclosed.
About the puzzles
The puzzles used in this book are based on the actual Cicada 3301 riddles from different years. One notable exception is the "Stockholm Puzzle", which has a different, equally mysterious source. The puzzles in the book are easy to follow and do not require any technical background, just a sharp and curious mind.
Zak Ransom is an awkward teenage prodigy plagued by a compulsion to count his lace-holes. To avoid painful memories, he leads a double-life as renowned hacker Hadron Collider, a virtual Robin Hood who returns stolen digital loot to its rightful owners.
After receiving death threats from notorious cyber-thief Ominous Swarm, Zak messages his distant father, Nyquist Ransom, a Nobel-winning physicist who works deep beneath a mountain. But Nyquist has disappeared, apparently consumed by a dark-matter generator called The Halotron.
Whilst trying to evade Ominous Swarm, Zak receives an impenetrable silver package from his estranged mentor, Drexter Moore, a legendary hacker and chess grandmaster, wanted by the NSA.
The package soon attracts the attention of a ruthless agency called The Dominion and a mysterious neighborhood stalker who looks like an Enderman from Minecraft.
Zak learns that the package contains the key to ending a battle between ancient and modern forces over who controls The Halotron and its ability to harness an astonishing property of dark matter particles.
Enlisting the help of an eclectic gang of geeks and odd-ball inventors with reality-defying gadgets and self-driving cars, Zak must race to open the package and neutralize The Halotron before it falls into the wrong hands and brings about the the collapse of the Universe!
Dark Matter was written for todayâs smarter kids by a Silicon Valley inventor with British origins. Besides being a thrilling and fun adventure with a dual timeline plot, it is ultimately a moral tale that visits contemporary topics like privacy, rationalism and scientism. For the more observant, it also contains various mathematical, engineering and historical curiosities.