by Greg Egan
Quarantine is set in the mid 21st century, several decades after the solar system has been mysteriously enclosed in a sphere that cuts humanity off from the rest of the universe. Nick Stavrianos, the protagonist, is a PI investigating a kidnapping that leads him to discover interesting things about the bubble. Egan writes a little like Asimov or Clarke -- the ideas are great, but the characters are weak. The science is also pretty suspect: I found some holes even with my meager knowledge of quantum physics. On the other hand, the story is internally consistent and Egan's treatment of artificial modification and augmentation of the human mind is fascinating. Like Permutation City, this is a fun book and good SF, but it didn't really click for me.
copyright © 1998 John Regehr