I read this story in French around 1998 (no later than 2003) as a kid (I remember a big book.) The sun becomes a red giant (something to do with nuclear waste/bomb I think) and no way is found to stop it from destroying the Earth.

Scientists find a way to install a time dilation field around earth to make its proper time much faster, allowing civilisation to continue for thousands (millions?) of year. (1 year on earth is a small number of seconds outside.)

The second half of the book is about a small team of Mars scientists (pioneers?) that are stranded on Mars and experience the sun growing in real time. They have to manage their small facility that has issues (don't remember what.)

They communicate with earth but due to the immense time speed difference it is fruitless.

I think that just before the Earth is eaten by the sun, super advanced spaceships leave it.

At the end of the book, just before the Mars survivor(s) are/is going to die, they are saved by an unmanned rescue probe from the now far advanced human civilisation. The survivors realized that they have not been forgotten.

I believe that the book's French title contains "soleil" (sun in French.)

The book came from my local French library, if that is of any help.

  • 4
    There are details that sound a lot like "Spin", by Robert Charles Wilson, but it came out in the mid-2000s.
    – user888379
    Sep 16, 2021 at 16:50
  • I definitely can't be "Spin". "Spin" was published when I was in high school and I made a presentation on that book in school at around 10 years old.
    – Claire
    Sep 16, 2021 at 17:31
  • wouldn't the field make time run more rapidly so that more could be done in the same amount of external time?
    – releseabe
    Sep 16, 2021 at 18:45
  • Yes the time on earth was dilated, 1 day on earth was much less outside the field. From the point of view of the mars heros, the time on earth is very slow. I'll clarify in the post.
    – Claire
    Sep 16, 2021 at 19:17


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