In this book the stars went black and the people on Earth took a while to figure out why. The solar system had been surrounded with a 'sheet' to stop human observation. It turns out human observation was causing collapses of quantum wave forms/relativistic possibilities in the universe, and the aliens didn't like that very much.

  • @closevoters this question is way better than the current dupe target. Please vote to re-open it. Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 4:39
  • I've rolled back your last edit; that should be a comment. Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 5:06
  • Hawkeye: for story-id, the dupe-closure policy is to close when both IDed works are the same, and both questions are accepted, regardlessly of whether the questions are similar or not, for searchability purposes. See this meta
    – Jenayah
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 6:34

1 Answer 1


This is likely Greg Egan's Quarantine. Quoting from the Wikipedia summary:

The novel is set in the near future (2034–2080), after the solar system has been surrounded by an impenetrable shield known as the Bubble, presumably by an extraterrestrial civilization for unknown reasons. The Bubble permits no light to enter the solar system, and as a consequence the stars can no longer be seen, causing widespread societal panic, 'claustrophobia', and terrorist action. Neural mods are common place, designed pathways in the brain that are created with engineered, programmable microorganisms to produce a variety of effects, such as implanting skillsets, emotions, altered states of awareness or, illegally, forcing and controlling thoughts.

[...] one of the researchers responsible for the mod, Po-kwai, suspects that the Bubble may exist because humanity may have been aggressively collapsing the wave functions of alien civilizations that did not have the ability to do so, causing them harm.

Cover of Quarantine

  • If it is Quarantine, then I have seen the question get asked and answered before. For instance, that was the answer that was accepted for this question: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/134724/…
    – Lorendiac
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 13:08
  • 3
    From the Wikipedia summary: "Quarantine is a hard science fiction novel by Greg Egan." Hmmmmm.
    – Adamant
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 13:21
  • 1
    @Adamant All the science fiction novels by Greg Egan are hard (but QM does not work the way it is described in Quarantine anyway) Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 22:04
  • That's not hard science fiction. ;) it's called just throwing around lingo.
    – Adamant
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 8:58

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