Quarantine, by Greg Egan

quarantine-by-greg-eganGenre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: 1994
Reviewer Rating: threehalfstars
Book Review by Aaron M. Renn

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A nice, satisfying novel written against the backdrop of a 21st century Earth where nanotechnology exists, you can upload custom software mods to your brain, and the solar system is enclosed in a completely opaque “Bubble” of something that has completely closed it off from the rest of the universe. No problem, we’ve still got the sun, so the Earth still works fine, except for a few religious cultists – it wouldn’t be a Greg Egan novel without a few religious wackos around – believing that the Bubble is a sign from God or someone else.

Nick Stavrianos is a private detective engaged to track down a woman who mysteriously disappeared from a hospital for the mentally ill. Thus it starts off as a high-tech detective story, and an interesting one at that. Shortly after Nick discovers what happened to said girl, however, we take a detour into science lecture time. However, unlike with some other of Egan’s work, this doesn’t compromise the story. Perhaps because this lecture can be comprehended by the common man and is an interesting speculation on the nature of – what else – quantum reality.

Regardless, the bell rings, science class is out, and the detective story continues to its solid conclusion..

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