I am looking for the title of a book I read years ago about 2-dimensional space encroaching on our own and slowly encompassing everything. I remember one scene about a fleet of ships attempting to flee the 2-dimensional 'wall'.

  • 3
    Paper covers rock.
    – Spencer
    Dec 19, 2023 at 19:06

2 Answers 2


This could be Death's End, by Liu Cixin, of the Remembrance of Earth's Past series.

The 2D space attack occurs in the book's "Bunker Era" and the attack is described by Wikipedia's article on the book:

...the weapon is revealed to be a spacetime anomaly that causes the third dimension to collapse into the second; humanity has no defense against this and will be rendered extinct within days as the effect spreads across the solar system... The only way to survive is either to flee at light speed, or find a way to live in the 2D plane; neither appears a realistic possibility.

...They watch from Pluto as the sun and the rest of the planets are pulled into the second dimension and flattened. As the collapse approaches Pluto, Luo Ji then reveals that their ship is equipped with humanity's only lightspeed drive, built in secret by Wade's associates after his death. He instructs them to escape the solar system while he stays behind. They set a course for DX3906 and escape ahead of the collapse wave, which pulls in Pluto and all the remaining human ships that were attempting to flee at sublight speeds, ending human civilization.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death%27s_End#Bunker_Era

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    Not necessarily a relevant comment, but the physics in this quote is really annoying. If the transformation is happening at the speed of light then you won't be able to watch it happening, because it will reach you at exactly the same time the light does.
    – N. Virgo
    Dec 20, 2023 at 8:15
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    That quote is saying that you need an escape velocity of the speed of light, not that the expansion is happening at the speed of light.
    – CharlieB
    Dec 20, 2023 at 9:03
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    @CharlieB makes no sense still, why would you need to escape something at the speed of light when it's moving slower?
    – Arsenal
    Dec 20, 2023 at 13:55
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    @Arsenal There's a lot more going on on the book than can be described in comments or even in an answer. For example, the speed of light is locally (and permanently) decreased in some locations of the universe. I'm not saying the physics makes sense but it's more complicated. You'd need to read the book.
    – Null
    Dec 20, 2023 at 16:03
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    @Null okay then. I guess I'm not going to, but if it makes sense inside the book then it's okay.
    – Arsenal
    Dec 20, 2023 at 16:07

I'm reminded of Greg Egan's Schild's Ladder, in which the universe is collapsing into a different state. The collapse is expanding spherically outwards (at a speed of c/2), consuming our universe, and people flee in front of it mostly my uploading their minds and transmitting them to other star systems.

Twenty thousand years into the future, an experiment in quantum physics has had a catastrophic result, creating an enormous, rapidly expanding vacuum that devours everything it comes in contact with. Now humans must confront this deadly expansion. Tchicaya, aboard a starship trawling the border of the vacuum, has allied himself with the Yielders-- those determined to study the vacuum while allowing it to grow unchecked. But when his fiery first love, Mariama, reenters his life on the side of the Preservationists-- those working to halt and destroy the vacuum-- Tchicaya finds himself struggling with an inner turmoil he has known since childhood.

However, in the center of the vacuum, something is developing that neither Tchicaya and the Yielders nor Mariama and the Preservationists could ever have imagined possible: life.

Though in this book there's no fleet of ships IIRC, there's a research ship/station keeping pace with the expanding wall, where a lot of the book's action happens.

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