I read this book in the 80s and am unable to think of the name. The story begins with the main character coming out of a stasis bubble. These bubbles were of different sizes and some were huge, covering cities even. At some point in time (through flashbacks) some of the bubbles even became dislodged from the Earth and floated out to space, carrying all contents with them.


1 Answer 1


This is probably Marooned in Realtime by Vernor Vinge, or just possibly one of the shorts that were incorporated into the final form of the novel. The bubbles were called "Bobbles" and were originally thought to simply insulate the inside from the outside, forever -- thus anyone caught inside a Bobble was believed dead. It wasn't until a lifetime later that the first Bobble burst and revealed the interior to have changed not at all in the intervening half century.

Once that was known, and the cause/effect of how long a Bobble would last could be controlled, they became widely used for things like shielding, long-term storage, and time/space travel (a trip to another star might take centuries -- but with Bobbles, only the time your system needs to check conditions and re-Bobble would be perceived; the trip would seem to take a second or so).

The actual novel follows a small group of people who, due to Bobbles, missed the "singularity" in which humankind vanished from the Earth.

  • 3
    I think The Peace War is the book he's looking for - Marooned in Realtime was a sequel.
    – LAK
    Sep 5, 2019 at 13:01
  • 2
    You might be right, but I don't recall The Peace War starting with someone coming out of a Bobble; rather it centered around the "escape" of the technology from government/military secrecy to "anyone with a modern computer can make these". Bobbles collapsing hadn't been discovered yet in The Peace War.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Sep 5, 2019 at 13:04
  • I haven't read it since the 80s, but I believe the main character was a woman who emerged from a bobble which was created right at the beginning of the 'war'. She had been in a space shuttle.
    – LAK
    Sep 5, 2019 at 13:06
  • Actually she might not have been the main character - I think the main character was the scientist who was her former lover, and who hadn't been bobbled. The book definitely starts with her bobble suddenly popping and her shuttle crashing.
    – LAK
    Sep 5, 2019 at 13:11
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    I reread both novels a few days ago. Both use bobbles, and The Peace War does start with a pilot coming out of stasis; bobbles could be of any size. But bobbles in space were extensively used in the sequel, Marooned in Realtime. The two books were later combined under one set of covers as Across Realtime. Sep 5, 2019 at 14:09

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