<p>The Zenith Angle is a science fiction novel by Bruce Sterling, first published in 2004, about a pioneering expert in computer and network security with a traditional hacker personality named Derek Vandeveer. His life irrevocably changes after the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.
Derek "Van" Vandeveer is a young, well respected, computer scientist who we find enjoying breakfast in his new home with his wife and young son. He is rich with stock options and heady with his own success when his whole world is suddenly and forever changed as the planes begin crashing into the World Trade Center. Within months his fortune is gone to an Enron-like scandal, and his wife and son have moved west to work on a new telescope being developed by a billionaire entrepreneur.
Van is recruited into a nascent wing of the government working on the outside of the main bureaucracy to vastly improve the security of government systems. His ingenious design gains him even more respect from his peers, but as the project continues Van goes through personality changes, becoming more paranoid and simultaneously more patriotic. Without the psychological aid of the money and nice house of</p>