I read this book about 3-Sep-2003. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright ?. This note was last modified Sunday, 07-Sep-2003 17:28:51 PDT.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
Another mind-twisting Greg Egan book. Don't know how I let this one go so long without reading it.
The title comes from the day, thirty years in the past by the time of this story, when the stars went out. Somebody enclosed the solar system in a shell, out beyond the orbit of Pluto, and light doesn't get in any more. It's described as "gray" in some places, which worries me, as that would seem to add considerable energy to the system.
But that's not really what the story is about. It's about living in a world with personality mods, both legitemate and illegitemate, based on nanoware and such.
It's also about how human beings evolved a part of our brains which causes the collapse of the quantum mechanical wave function by observing things, and about some of the consequences of being able not to do that. The barrier was probably put in place by beings who didn't like our collapsing the wave functions of anything we could see (those beings might be fringe-distribution humans).
Fitting two major mind-bending differences like this into one novel is the sort of thing Egan delights in, so far as I can tell.