This is an uber long shot because it was not a story I read, it was described to me in a paraphrased and shortened way, but its intrigued me ever since.

The premise of the story involves humanity inventing the ability to "create" space, and jumping on this to solve Earths lack of space issues. You could install a door in your home and instantly have a new room, which didn't physically take up space on your land.

This became a standard feature of homes, with most rooms being "fake space", and people giving the rest over to large gardens. Or apartment buildings suddenly being able to house tens of thousands of people - just need corridors and space for the door.

The story ends something along the lines of:

... and then the power went out.

The implication of this was that:

the fake space required power to be sustained, and when the power went out the fake space disappeared, along with anything inside it, such as people...

I was told this story somewhere around 2005, so its no newer than that.

From the simplicity of the ending, I am guessing its an older sci-fi work, but I could be wrong.

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    How does it end? What happens after the power runs out? Don't hold back any spoilers if you want us to find your story. By the way, was it a short story, or a novel? – user14111 Sep 13 '17 at 6:36
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    @user14111 the implication was that the fake space needed power to sustain it, and once the power went out the space vanished, along with the people and stuff within it. No idea on length, as I said it was told to me second hand (and the teller wasn't the original author, that's for sure). – Moo Sep 13 '17 at 6:55
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    In Dan Simmons' Hyperion there are houses with rooms on different worlds linked by farcaster. The destruction of the farcaster network stranded people all over known space, in some cases fatally. – Dosco Jones Sep 13 '17 at 15:13
  • @DoscoJones It's definitely not Hyperion, as I read that recently. – Moo Sep 14 '17 at 11:49
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    There's an Asimov story about incursions into parallel dimensions that's similar, but the plot there revolves around other civilized dimensions showing up, including Nazis looking for coal to turn into goods and foodstuffs. It also has elements of "The Mathenauts". But now I'm intrigued. – Covertwalrus Mar 31 '18 at 4:26

The part about linking spaces together sounds a bit like The Fall Of Hyperion by Dan Simmons. Houses could be constructed with each room on a different planet, due to the ability to create portals. And then (for complicated reasons) the network linking the worlds was destroyed.

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  • The OP states in a comment "It's definitely not Hyperion". – Organic Marble Aug 30 '18 at 2:56
  • @OrganicMarble yes but the OP may never have read the sequel. – Moriarty Aug 30 '18 at 3:51
  • Yup, read them all and it's not that. Sorry :/. Thanks for the answer tho! – Moo Aug 30 '18 at 6:24
  • If the OP hadn't read the sequel, it definitely wasn't the right answer. :) – Arcanist Lupus Aug 30 '18 at 6:49

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