One night when he was 10, Tyler stood in his backyard and watched the stars go out. They flared into brilliance, then disappeared, replaced by an empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives.
The "sun" is now a featureless disk - a heat source, rather than an astronomical object. The moon is gone, but tides remain. The world's artificial satellites have fallen out of orbit. Eventually, space probes reveal that the barrier is artificial, generated by huge alien artifacts. Time passes faster outside the barrier - more than a hundred million years per day on Earth. At this rate, the death of the sun is only about forty years away.
Jason, now a promising young scientist, devotes his life to working against this slow-moving apocalypse. Diane throws herself into hedonism, marrying a sinister cult leader who's forged a religion out of the fears of the masses.
Earth sends terraforming machines, then humans, to Mars...and immediately an emissary returns with thousands of stories about the settling of Mars. Then an identical barrier appears around Mars.
Life on Earth is about to get much, much stranger.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A really nice mix
A really nice mix of hard science fiction and character study, very well told. One of those books you wish didn't end because you want to keep reading.
I really liked the concept of this book; enigmatic "hypotheticals" put a membrane around the Earth and somehow protect the planet from the new exponentially speeded up universe outside, along with our sun, which is rushing toward supernova, and thought Wilson pulls it all together nicely. And Scott Brick is one of my favorite narrators.
A great read. The story is full of interesting characters and fascinating scenarios. An otherwise unbelievable premise (the Earth is enveloped by a time membrane) becomes completely plausible and the resulting ecological, religiouis, and socio-political consequences will keep you interested.