4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Quarantine (Paperback)Lively, well written SF which is packed with more than its fair share of ingenious, well presented ideas in the first 100 pages. Then the central idea is introduced, namely, what it's like in the indeterminate quantum world prior to a measurement or observation being made, written by someone who has more than a just a passing knowledge of the subject (Bell's Inequality & Aspect's experiments, which are both real and apt, are mentioned in a throwaway remark). I was charmed by the boldness of the idea, all the more so since no solution of the measurement problem has been proven.
And then it all fell apart for me because, in the interests of the plot, the author chose an anthropocentric solution, which I couldn't swallow, even though there are people who believe this to be true. That and treating giant physical systems as if they had quantum dynamical properties akin to fundamental particles were hard to take. This is science *fiction* and I have happily gone along with faster then light and time travel and yet I balk at this, mainly because it is explained in such (largely valid) detail by someone who you know knows better and partly because the idea is reused many times in the second half of the book so there's no chance that it will be buried by other events.
While I've been rather critical, Egan has been courageous to have chosen this topic and has shown considerable skill in putting over the fundaments of the measurement problem in a painless way. I shall certainly buy more of his books.