by Greg Egan
Only the most paranoid clients phone me in my sleep.
No dreams; I simply wake, knowing:
Laura Andrews is thirty-two years old, one hundred and fifty-six centimetres tall,
and weighs forty-five kilograms. Short, straight brown hair; pale blue eyes; a long,
thin nose. Anglo-Irish features and deep black skin; like most Australians, born with
insufficient UV protection, she's been retrofitted with genes for boosted melanin
production and a thicker epidermis.
Laura Andrews has severe congenital brain damage; she can walk and eat, clumsily,
but she can't communicate in any fashion, and the experts say that she understands
the world little better than a six-month-old child. Since the age of five, she's
been an inpatient at the local Hilgemann Institute.
Four weeks ago, when an orderly unlocked her room to serve breakfast, she was gone.
After a search of the building and grounds, the police were called in. They repeated
and extended the search, and conducted a doorknock of the surrounding area, to no avail.
Laura's room bore no signs of forced entry, and recordings from security cameras proved
unenlightening. The police interviewed the staff at length, but nobody broke down and
owned up to spiriting the woman away.
In 2034, the stars went out. An unknown agency surrounded the solar system with
an impenetrable barrier, concealing the universe from humanity's gaze.
In 2067, Nick Stavrianos is hired to investigate the
disappearance of a mentally disabled woman, Laura Andrews, from the institution
where she was being cared for. Aided by a skull full of neural modifications,
he follows her trail to the Republic of New Hong Kong, where an organisation known as
the Ensemble has uncovered Laura's extraordinary secret: an ability that could
transform the world.
- Century/Legend, London, 1992. ISBN 0-71269-870-1 (hb) ISBN 0-71265-347-3 (tpb) — 1993. ISBN 0-09915-381-5 (pb) [Out of print; see reissue by Orion/Millennium below.]
- Quarantäne, Bastei Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach, 1993. Translated by Jürgen Martin. ISBN 3-40424-174-6 (pb) (German translation)
- HarperPrism, New York, 1995. ISBN 0-06105-423-2 (pb) [Out of print]
- La Terra Moltiplicata, Editrice Nord, Milan, 1995. Translated by Nicola Fantini. ISBN 8-84290-860-6 (tpb) — 1998. ISBN 8-84291-007-4 (pb) (Italian translation)
- Carantina, Editura Teora, Bucharest, 1997. Translated by Mihai-Dan Pavelescu. ISBN 9-73601-466-3 (pb) (Romanian translation)
- Cuarentena, Ediciones Gigamesh, Barcelona, 1999. Translated by Albert Solé. ISBN 8-49306-630-3 (Spanish translation)
- Orion/Millennium, London, 1999. ISBN 1-85798-590-7 (pb, reissue) — 2008. ISBN 0575081724 / ISBN13 978-0575081727 (pb, reissue)
- Tokyo Sogensha, Tokyo, 1999. ISBN 4-48871-101-4 (pb) (Japanese translation)
- Karantin, AST, Moscow, 1999. Translated by L.I. Levkovitch-Maslyuk and E. V. Marinicheva. ISBN 5-15000-123-6 [Includes the short stories “Seeing”, “A Kidnapping”, “The Safe-Deposit Box” and “Unstable Orbits in the Space of Lies”.] (Russian translation)
- Isolation, Denoël, Paris, 2000. Translated by Francis Lustman and Quarante-Deux. ISBN 2-207249-93-X (tpb) (French translation)
- Karantén, Lap-ics Kft-Aquila Kiadó, Debrecen, 2000. Translated by József Békési. (Hungarian translation)
- Karanténa, Návrat, Brno, 2002. Translated by Petr Kotrle. (Czech translation)
- Ha'hesger, Keter Publishing, Jerusalem, 2002. Translated by Itamar Paran. (Hebrew translation)
- Quarantine, Happyreading Books, Seoul, 2003. Translated by Kim Sanghoon. ISBN 89-89571-15-4 (tpb) (Korean translation)
- Kwarantanna, Solaris, Warsaw, 2006. Translated by Konrad Kozlowski. ISBN 83-89951-45-2 (pb) (Polish translation)
- Carantina, Editura Nemira, Bucharest, 2007. Translated by Mihai-Dan Pavelescu. ISBN13 978-973-569-957-4 (pb) (Romanian translation)
- Amazon Kindle (for UK), Amazon Kindle (for Australia), Orion/Gollancz, London, 2010.
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Quarantine / created Monday, 23 April 2007
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