I'm trying to find a novel I read a long time ago and it's driving me nuts - all Google searches result in failure..it's been 10-15 years since I've read it I think, here's some details I remember:

  • The biggest plot twist is that the main character is being told that he's on an exact replica of earth, that was 'snapshotted' around ~1940 (I think?)
  • Certain historic events after WWII happened differently in that world
  • There's a sub plot about gravitational waves / using it to construct some sort of phone (I think?)
  • At some point in the book, nanobots or something heal this guys' body / rejuvenate it completely, after he meets some folks that transport him out of the replica earth (I think)

I realize this is a very loose recollection of my memory, so some stuff might be off, apologies in advance! Any leads would be spectacular.



1 Answer 1


This sounds like Century Rain. This is one of Alastair Reynolds' stand-alone novels (despite the Amazon page currently saying it is part of Revelation Space). Published in 2005.

Alternate Earth that seems to be cloned from the original sometime pre-World War II, with enough changes that World War II doesn't really happen, and somehow the whole timeline is a few hundred years behind our Earth. Among the subplots is a group trying to detect their real location in the galaxy using gravitational waves (or something similar, I'm not 100% sure).

There is also some incredible nano-technology for medical purposes, though pointedly not used at one point near the end, with a character not delivering the nano-technology and just bringing strawberries - a strange scene that I remember well.

  • 1
    Incredible, thank you so much! That is the book I was looking for. I owned it many years ago and it must have gotten lost in a move. Commented Oct 21, 2020 at 18:49
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    One of my favorite Alastair Reynolds novels. Unfortunately he had publicly said he's not planning on a sequel. Commented Oct 21, 2020 at 19:10
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    From the beloved sub-genre "SF with a private investigator at its center". :-)
    – Spoeken
    Commented Oct 21, 2020 at 20:50

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