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Quarantine (Subjective Cosmology #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  2,910 Ratings  ·  175 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
Quarantine: Cool quantum mechanics, pedestrian plot
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
Greg Egan is an Australian writer of hard science fiction who specializes in mathematics, epistemology, quantum theory, posthumanism, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, etc. When you pick up one of his books, you know you will be getting a fairly dense crash course in some pretty outlandish scientific and mathematical ideas, with the plot and characters coming second.

The cover blurb advertises Quaran
Sep 23, 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
Jan 25, 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
Nov 28, 2010 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.

Ami Iida
Dec 14, 2015 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..................
Jul 01, 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
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
Feb 14, 2017 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I picked this up because I was drawn in by the private investigator/missing persons description, which the book definitely started with. Ironically, I had trouble concentrating on this book until it ended up taking a screeching turn away from a PI storyline and turned into a mindf*ck of a speculative science fiction novel; then, I was intrigued and reeled in until the end of this short "big idea" book.

It's incredibly difficult to describe what this books is about, but contrary to my experience
Mar 22, 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
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
Monica Dubay
Feb 15, 2017 Monica Dubay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
The pace of Quarantine was such that I burned through it in no time. The reveals of various threads set up in the beginning were marvelously delightful; while I had to set the book down and think through a couple of sections, I had few problems following the train of thought Egan set out for the premise of this story. It's a fascinating concept I won't delve into as the natural discovery it through the plot is part of the magic.

There are a lot of other 'what makes the self the self' concepts to
Dec 30, 2016 Ralph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
3.5 out of 5 -- Futuristic hard Sci-Fi with a great premise and so-so characters.

Warning: Not treadmill safe. Listening to or reading this book while on a treadmill could lead to injury when the reader gets totally immersed in the ideas presented and stops to ponder them. You have been warned.

After enjoying the Nexus series, a friend thought that I would enjoy Quarantine and other works by Greg Egan. I can't say that I was disappointed, but I wasn't as bowled over as I thought that I might be. I
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
Apr 30, 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
Jun 23, 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
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
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
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
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
Joel Howard
Jun 23, 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-
Mr Duck
Nov 29, 2015 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:
Feb 07, 2017 Jeff rated it it was ok
Quarantine takes place in the mid-21st Century, after the Earth has been mysteriously sealed within a bubble that blocks out all sight of the universe beyond the solar system. It tells the story of an Australian detective, Nick Stavrianos, who is hired to investigate the disappearance of a disabled woman. His quest takes him to New Hong Kong, where he finds himself amidst shady research firms investigating something extraordinary.

The first 40% of the book is pulpy science fiction noir, with a th
Simona Vesela
Jan 18, 2017 Simona Vesela rated it it was amazing
Can we just all agree that the maximum number of stars one can give while rating should be 6 so I can put all works of genius up there away from all the rest of good books I foolishly rated 5 stars.
No seriously, I am slowly reading through all Greg Egan books and I thought that this will be a relatively ordinary pandemic/dangerous germs kind of book, but goodness was I wrong. This one is great to read close to The Permutation City, since they both deal with consciousness in fascinatingly differe
Aaron Arnold
I've read 6 Egan books so far, including this one in addition to a short story collection, and each time I come to appreciate his recurrent use of lone wolf, nearly autistic lead characters a little bit more. I grew up reading every Asimov novel I could get my hands on, and to this day I consider the original Foundation trilogy to be nearly perfect science fiction: expansive, imaginative, thoughtful, and most of all, deeply concerned with human problems. But where Asimov's heroes were hard-boile ...more
Four stars for the ideas, three stars for the action of the plot, particularly as it becomes increasingly abstract in the second half of the book. The ambiguous ending left me unsatisfied.
Neat, but not a book that would have turned me into the avid Egan fan that "Schild's Ladder" and "Permutation City" turned me into. And "Diaspora" and "Axiomatic" kept me being.
Ben Shee
Jan 16, 2017 Ben Shee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ideas are of course a little dated for current scientific pursuits - but there's some mind-bending physics within - depending on your world view. Grandiose and incredible scifi.
"E allora eccomi qui, con lo sguardo fisso nell'oscurità, incapace di decidere se sto osservando l'infinito, o le mie palpebre chiuse."

Uno dei migliori esempi di hard sci-fi in circolazione.
Cosa unisce un'aliena bolla gigantesca che ha inghiottito la Terra, una storia di spionaggio industriale, innesti cyberpunk fisica quantistica e presunte capacità ESP, con tanti saluti a Philip K. Dick? Greg Egan, e la sua capacità di piegare la realtà al suo volere, tale e quale a quella che sperimenta il s
Dans ce roman, On suit donc les aventures de Nick, détective privé, qui enquête sur la disparition de Laura, une attardée mentale pour le moins étrange. Et comme on est chez Egan, rien ne se passe comme d’habitude. Le détective fait quasiment tout le boulot de chez lui, sauf évidement lorsqu’il s’agit d’aller à l’étranger, et c’est là que ça se gâte. Mais je ne vous en dit pas plus sur l’histoire.
Quelques éléments du décor Eganien : le système solaire tout entier a été entouré par une bulle, em
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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 (Subjective Cosmology #2)
  • Distress (Subjective Cosmology #3)

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“You know, in formal logic, an inconsistent set of axioms can be used to prove anything at all. Once you have a single contradiction, A and not A, there’s nothing you can’t derive from it.” 1 likes
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