I'm trying to recall the name of a book I read, probably published after 1990, where alien AI infects satellites and a barrier is established, isolating earth from space that maybe slows down time inside of it, relative to the passage of time outside.

Mars or the moon is also colonized in an attempt to flee the now real possibility that the sun will become a red giant and wipe out humanity in the not-too-distant future (as perceived on earth), but the colony gets one of the time barriers as well.

I think the name of the novel was short, "The _______" (one word).

The story focused more on the human cost and followed one particular family, one member of which was somehow also partially infected by the alien AI, but I don't remember as much about them.

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This is "Spin" by Robert Charles Wilson.

Two alien satellites take up orbit over the poles and create a barrier around the Earth that appears to speed up time. An attempt is made to colonise Mars in the hopes that this can be used as a base of operations to study the Spin and maybe work out a way to remove it.

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Although the book isn't "the (something)", the characters do constantly refer to it as "The Spin" throughout.

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  • That's definitely it. It's a good book. It's the first of a trilogy, though the sequels are not as good. – Eran Dec 20 '14 at 18:44
  • BTW, the title of this question is a big spoiler for this book. – Eran Dec 20 '14 at 18:47
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    @Eran - I didn't like it. The initial premise was pretty good (what would happen if Earth was put into a time bubble) but it was just too "busy" with a whole bunch of sci-fi ideas dumped into one novel. – Valorum Dec 20 '14 at 18:48
  • @Eran, should I (or you) modify the title to put the spoilers in the body? That's the main plot point that I remember. If there's spoiler etiquette, please feel free to help me out. =) – Michael - Where's Clay Shirky Dec 20 '14 at 19:16
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    @Michael - I've made an edit for you. – Valorum Dec 20 '14 at 19:21

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