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Quarantine (Subjective Cosmology #1)

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,397 Ratings  ·  142 Reviews
It causes riots and religions. It has people dancing in the streets and leaping off skyscrapers. And it's all because of the impenetrable gray shield that slid into place around the solar system on the night of November 15, 2034.

Some see the bubble as the revenge of an insane God. Some see it as justice. Some even see it as protection. But one thing is for certain -- now t
Paperback, 280 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by HarperPrism (first published 1992)
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Larry Lennhoff
Apr 28, 2013 Larry Lennhoff rated it it was amazing
I'm not a huge Greg Egan fan. But that may well be because he outgrew me, and I stopped keeping up with the right varieties of science to really appreciate his work. However, Quarantine, one of his first novels, is one of my favorites. I reread it over the past few days, but I first read it when it came out. We older SF fans talk a lot about the sense of wonder (aka sensawonda). But over the years, I got less and less of that sense from the physics/chemistry parts of SF and more from things like ...more
Nov 05, 2014 Óscar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Al terminar este libro ha quedado en mí una sensación como de redondez al resolver la cuestión, como de acierto total al intentar novelar la física cuántica (reconozco que hay que tener ciertas nociones de cómo se comporta el mundo microscópico para disfrutar plenamente de este libro).
Sensaciones personales aparte, Egan siempre es un generador de conceptos e ideas muy novedosas y estimulantes (el libro lleva publicado 22 años sólo), transmisión de datos a través de la piel, implantes neuronales
Jun 01, 2015 David rated it it was ok
The story revolves around the concept of the "observer effect" in quantum physics (the idea that what occurs in the world is based on multiple possible variants each of which exists simultaneously until some sort of "observation" causes a single version to become the only reality).

Readers who can experience the bizarre consequences of Egan's interpretation of quantum physics as magic - and can flow with the magic making its rules as it goes along - will find a unique and incredible landscape.

neko cam
Jan 31, 2015 neko cam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As good sci-fi should, 'Quarantine' takes an existing area of scientific study, asks the reader to accept a key concession, and turns the dial up to 11. In this instance, the area of study is the observer effect in quantum physics and the concession is that the collapsing of a quantum wave function is a process that is triggered specifically in the brain of the observer. From there it explores all kinds of nuanced philosophical implications, which I won't detail for fear of spoiling the fun.

Sep 21, 2011 Jason rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011
4 Stars

I am giving the overall of this book 4 stars only because Egan is not afraid to write hard science fiction. This is my second Egan novel that I have read, Clockwork Rocket (a book that I loved) being the first. Greg Egan is not afraid to use fiction to explore real science, physics, quantum mechanics, and deep philosophy.

This book Quarantine, a first in a trilogy is focused around quantum mechanics, specifically around a measurement known as Schroedinger’s Cat. “Quantum mechanics descri
Ami Iida
Jan 07, 2016 Ami Iida rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
There are three themes in the novel , it is so called
Dyson sphere , quantum mechanics and nanotechnology.
At the beginning of it the descriptions are drawing
strongly and high technology is written in detail. (less)
Jan 05, 2016 12:57PM · delete
40590836 Ami Iida " Schrödinger's cat" appears in it.
If human being discovered quantum mechanism ,
we could not prosper consumer electronics products computer and ICT.

But at the end of story is boring..................
Roddy Williams
At the very hard edge of hard sf's furthest boundary is Greg Egan. One could describe Egan as one who writes fiction for scientists to read. This should not deter anyone else from reading his work though.
The premise here is that (as in Robert Charles Wilson's 'Spin') an impenetrable barrier has been thrown around the Solar System, blotting out the stars.
Nik Stavrianos is an ex-cop private detective in a near future Australia where many residents have been gene-sequenced to produce melanonin and
Sep 10, 2011 Michael rated it liked it
If you really like quantum mechanics and philosophizing on all of the strange reality that it entails, then you'll love this book. Otherwise, it's basically a mind f---. The ideas explored here aren't novel, but they are taken to such an extreme that it's hard to enjoy the book as a story instead of a thought experiment. And a challenging one at that - even with quite a bit of qm theory under my belt, I still ended up re-reading pages to make sure I kept everything straight. As a result, I only ...more
Daniel Smith
Dec 14, 2015 Daniel Smith rated it liked it
Quarantine, by Greg Egan, is a sci-fi story that is based on the idea that the sun has been covered up. The world has advanced by the time the book takes place (2040s), and people now have mods and technology that can be put into their bodies. One of the people who owns many of these mods, Nick Stavrianos, is given a job by an anonymous client: find a mentally ill woman named Laura. Laura had escaped from a high security hospital by walking through a wall. His search for Laura takes him around t ...more
Tom Duff
Jan 11, 2015 Tom Duff rated it liked it
Greg Egan

I was hoping for something a bit more when I decided to read Quarantine by Greg Egan. The concept was excellent, and it started off well. But in the end, it descended into technical explanations that ruined the story for me. Those who are less into story and more into "thinking" might love it, however.

The basics of the story work for me. In the future, you can download your brain to live online, and that's a big business. The story revolves around a private investigator who ha
Jun 27, 2014 Garren rated it really liked it
I woke up at 2:30am and thought I would read just a little before going back to sleep. Instead, I finished the last half of the book and now it's time for me to shower and head out for the day.

Quarantine is a book I enthusiastically recommend to anyone who has read more than one non-fiction book on modern physics by choice. It should also appeal to cyberpunk science fiction fans, as it reminded me strongly of the Deus Ex video games. What's the actual story about? Well, it's about a mentally-aug
Jul 14, 2014 Daniorte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ya puedo decir que he leído una novela de Greg Egan y no he muerto e incluso me ha gustado. (Axiomático no cuenta porque es una antología) La verdad que la historia de Cuarentena engancha desde el principio, yo no tengo ni idea de física cuántica y el libro se centra sobre eso. Lo bueno es que Greg Egan consigue que, aunque te tengas que leer algunas páginas más de dos veces para comprenderlo,sepas captar la esencia de la ciencia ficción que intenta desarrollar con base en la física cuántica que ...more
Mar 24, 2014 Alexandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
I think - in all my vast understanding of the world - that one of the things that really sets Greg Egan apart is his willingness to drive real physics to its ruthless end.

This is not to say anything against his plots or his characters. On the contrary, I think Egan does utterly absorbing plots and some remarkable characters. But so do other SF writers. There are few others, though, who combine this with a determination to take real-world physics and drive them a long, long way.

Quarantine is a
Jun 30, 2009 Kahlan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Encore une première, pour moi ! Je m'essaie à la science-fiction moderne, cette fois. Il n'est pas question ici de partir explorer de nouvelles planètes, comme lorsque j'étais gamine, non, cette fois, on explore les possibles. Et je dois dire que j'ai passé mon temps à lire et relire certaines phrases pour être sûre de bien en comprendre le sens. Epuisant, et carrément déplaisant, comme lecture. Certes, je suis novice en la matière, et mes difficultés sont sans doute venues de là, mais quand la ...more
Apr 26, 2014 Nils rated it it was ok
I kept wanting to like this book, but just couldn't.

The author had one Big Idea (one you would expect from a stoned freshman physics major) and tried to build a book around it. Most of what he used to fill out the book was fairly standard cyberpunk (although, to be fair, it was probably less standard when he wrote the book). There was a lot of text attempting to put some meat on the bare bones idea, but it felt more like filler.

Neil Stephenson attacked the same Big Idea in Anathem. He came at i
O sa spun doar atat: o sfera intunecata, de provenienta si componenta necunoscute, inchide intreg Sistemul Solar intr-o capsula care il izoleaza de restul Universului. Pe Pamant, efectele acestui fenomen sunt mimime – practic, viata isi urmeaza cursul ca si mai inainte, pentru ca disparitia stelelor nu afecteaza cu nimic, fizic, planeta. Insa oamenii resimt acut aceasta izolare in plan psihologic.

Pe fundalul acestor evenimente, Nick, un soi de detectiv particular, este insarcinat cu gasiea unei
Joel Howard
Jun 25, 2012 Joel Howard rated it it was amazing
True science fiction: looking at physics as we understand it (or as it was understood at the time), tweaking one variable (in this case, the quantum 'observer effect') and following the result to its possible outcomes.

Greg Egan does a great job of facing the consequences of his theses head-on - his characters' actions are believable, given their bizarre circumstances, and he doesn't let narrative convenience trump the (not realistic, but consistent) rules of his world.

As a bonus, you get a well-
West Hartford
Jan 19, 2016 West Hartford rated it really liked it
With Egan, you get your sci-fi hard and weird, just the way I like it. It's 2068 and the solar system has been quarantined inside a huge bubble for decades. Nick is an ex-cop private eye hired on a missing persons case. His anonymous client wants to find a profoundly retarded adult who was kidnapped from a care facility, the same one she escaped from twice previously. In the absence of a ransom demand, Nick imagines all kinds of reasons why this woman would be valuable and how she would be trans ...more
Benjamin Atkinson
Apr 11, 2015 Benjamin Atkinson rated it really liked it
I read number two in the Cosmology Cycle, Permutation City, first, and it was possibly the most creative, complicated hard sf I have ever read. Consequently, I was thrilled to read Quarantine. It was really a completely different type of novel. It was basically a detective story, with a pretty boring protagonist, chasing a young woman who had escaped from an insane asylum. She could walk through walls, or that was the doctors only conclusion in this locked room mystery. Do not get me wrong, this ...more
Willy Eckerslike
On the whole, I think I enjoyed this book – film noir sci-fi, sort-of Sam Spade meets the Neuromancer. With an easy pace and well crafted story, the atmospheric narrative rolls along nicely until, about two thirds the way through when, surprise, surprise, we get hit with buckets full of quantum mechanics. The enjoyable narrative romp grinds to a halt while the unfortunate reader is lead through the finer points of particle duality, Schrödinger’s Cat and the ‘many worlds’ universe.

Back in the hey
Mr Duck
Jan 05, 2016 Mr Duck rated it really liked it
Very fun tale that has ideas of subjective cosmology intertwined within it, by which is meant, the observer / scientist thinking about the universe makes the universe come about.

This one has fun with the immortal physicist idea:
Sep 15, 2015 Balthasaar rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
Yeah. just didn't get it.
First 1/3 of the book really excited me. Cyberpunk nior, grizzled PI following the leads of a case nobody cared about with the help of his hacker contacts and his trusty cybernetic mods. Awesome.

Then a complete Simpsons act II tangent into ... Quantum theory and uncertainty and walking through walls with the power of ... confusing math.
Read certain sections ~7 times trying to understand wtf had happened before giving up & realizing that I didn;t really care. Became
Sonia Lal
May 11, 2015 Sonia Lal rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I gave Quarantine three stars on GoodReads. This book was okay, but it didn’t grab me that much and I will never reread.

The main character, Nick, is a PI. He used to be a cop, but now is a PI. He left after his wife died when his house was destroyed by a terrorist group.

It begins with him hired to find a woman missing from one of those place that takes care of those so mentally challenged they cannot care for themselves. I thought it was going to be a mystery in a science fiction setting.

Feb 16, 2015 Alan rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi-novels
This was my first Greg Egan novel and it certainly won't be my last. Any author prepared to tackle quantum mechanics so directly in the fiction realm is to me worthy of further investigation. Having said that, I just didn't enjoy this book all that much. And I have to wonder who exactly would. A potential reader pretty much requires a good basic understanding of quantum physics to fully appreciate the nuances of the story, and any reader meeting that requirement could gain more from learning som ...more
Mar 27, 2014 Brandon rated it really liked it
Greg Egan is a fantastic hard science fiction writer. Quarantine is a very intriguing novel that tackles quantum ontology. Egan provides his take on quantum mechanics in a story based on the Copenhagen interpretation.

The main character is a PI hired to find a missing girl, and the investigation leads him to an organization that has a stake in a lot more than just missing persons. In addition to quantum mechanics, Quarantine explores the idea of neural mods that can alter the neural pathways in
John Kang
Apr 09, 2014 John Kang rated it it was amazing
One of the coolest reads in a long time.

The novel involves around a Copen Hagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. If that's too mouthful or intimidating, just remember that most decently educated high school students have studied it one time or another. Simply, it is an event of unknown result and once the observation is made, the act of observation itself determines what the end result will be. It is shown in the double slit experiment which should be found in most high school textbooks. The
Jim Wolfe
Mar 24, 2014 Jim Wolfe rated it it was amazing
Un libro que inicia como un misterio detectivesco se convierte en un análisis de los fenómenos relacionados a la mecánica cuántica. Hace una pregunta de lo más incomoda, ¿Y si mediante el uso de software, wetware, implantes, whatever, pudiéramos decidir no colapsar la función de onda de un evento, como observadores de el mismo?.

Si al tirar un dado de 6 caras dividimos el universo en 6 posibles ramas, pero solo una se vuelve realidad al momento de comprobar el resultado. ¿Si pudiéramos "hacer tr
Patricia L Graham
Mar 01, 2014 Patricia L Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
The first book of his I have ever read. It sets out at an investigative pace in 2034 that makes the reader start asking questions at the outset about how humans may engage with brain science and evolved bioengineering using nanotechnology insertions in the future. How ‘mod’ advances could enhance or impose not only on our abilities but our understanding of reality and quantum existence as the plot thickens with twists and turns. Given the latest gadgets available to wear audio-visually the story ...more
The ideas are dense, exciting and immersive, but the characters and setting never quite connect. There's a ruthless focus here, exemplified by an unadorned plot told in dense, monomorphic paragraphs, that lets you understand and occasionally feel the high level ideas Egan is throwing at you. That same ruthlessness prohibits attachment to or even really distinction between most of the characters. There was enough story here probably for a novella, but at novel length it becomes exhausting. Recomm ...more
Feb 07, 2015 Will rated it liked it
Recommended to Will by: 90
"It all adds up to normality". But what does this book add up to? I am not sure.

If you have done any study, you will notice that quantum mechanics asserts many things that common sense tell us are impossible. Contemporary physics says, in effect, so much the worse for common sense. Here, Egan tries to take on what the PRACTICAL consequences might be, and you will finish more confused than you were already. Along with a hefty dose of Religion Is Bad.

I should say more, but I have a state vector t
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Greg Egan specialises in hard science fiction stories with mathematical and quantum ontology themes, including the nature of consciousness. Other themes include genetics, simulated reality, posthumanism, mind transfer, sexuality, artificial intelligence, and the superiority of rational naturalism over religion.

He is a Hugo Award winner (and has been shortlisted for the Hugos three other times), an
More about Greg Egan...

Other Books in the Series

Subjective Cosmology (3 books)
  • Permutation City
  • Distress (Subjective Cosmology, #3)

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