In the last year, I read articles on a Wikia site about a SciFi series of novels (or perhaps, it was a TV series?) which piqued my curiosity, yet I can't remember the name of it.

The only part of the plot I can remember (third or maybe fourth book) was as follows:

  • There's a region of space with nothing, except for a single space station, generating an inhibition field (not the real name :) ).
  • When ships enter the inhibition field, they drop out of FTL instantaneously, severely injuring or outright killing the unprepared crew.
  • FTL doesn't work, they have to stick to thrusters.
  • Someone overloads the space station generating the inhibition field, effectively switching off the inhibiting field.

Also, my highly unreliably memory insists that there was some sort of virus found on an asteroid or inner planet of Sol, but I can't guarantee this is from the same setting.

1 Answer 1


Pretty sure this is the Expanse series, also currently being adapted into a TV show.

The first book, Leviathan's Wake, contains an alien virus found in the solar system.

The third book, Abaddon's Gate, contains a gateway to a starless area of space where there's a space station and the speed limit you mention (although human ships do not have FTL technology, so it's not specifically something that inhibits FTL as in your original question). From the Expanse wiki's entry on Slow Zone:

The slow zone, dandelion sky or the hub is the location on the other side of the Ring. It's a black, starless space approximately one million kilometers across, with 1373 individual Ring wormholes in an enormous sphere around it. Ring Station sits in the middle of the slow zone. Its actual location in space (or whether it actually lies in our universe) is unknown.

The slow zone was named for its absolute speed limit of six hundred meters per second. Any object above the quantum level traveling faster than that is locked down by an inertial dampening field, and then begins to move towards the central Ring Station, forming a ring around it. Light still acts normally and adheres to the speed of light, but radiation made up of larger particles like alpha and beta radiation does not exist inside the slow zone

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    One million km across isn't much larger than the Earth-Moon system. In cosmic terms that's microscopic. The chances of running into that at random are essentially zero. Hell, you probably couldn't find it even if you were looking. It would also be hard for it not to be "starless". Are you sure it's not one million light-years, or one million parsecs? Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 4:21
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    @JimGarrison I cut and pasted, can't remember the specific dimensions from the book itself, but it makes sense... it's not intended to be "run into at random", it was a nexus point between interstellar gateways, one of which opened at a point in the solar system at the end of book 2, but a vast region of space isn't required or desirable for such a purpose. A speed limit also makes sense in that context, for traffic control if nothing else. The starlessness I believe refers to what it looks like, you can't see stars outside the region either IIRC (except, possible, through the gates) Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 7:35

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