In a fit of binge reading, I finished Robert Charles Wilson’s Spin in a delirious 24 hour period. It was good, much better than Rainbows End.
Anyone who enjoyed Ender’s Game would probably enjoy book too. I’m reading the sequel now (Axis) and, like Speaker for the Dead, it’s pretty enjoyable but not of the same caliber.
Spin starts with an event. One night the stars and moon “go out”. In the morning the sun rises, but it’s not the sun. It’s a flat disc that radiates the same heat and moves at the same speed, but it isn’t the sun. Earth finds itself trapped in a strange membrane that mimics the usual conditions, like a giant terrarium, with one critical difference. Inside the membrane time passes normally. Outside the membrane time is passing at an alarming fast rate, years per second. Our solar system will end in 50 years: the real sun will nova and engulf the Earth. Who did this and why? (Some of these questions will be answered by Martian Pharmaceuticals.)
This is isn’t Steinbeck, but if you like science fiction it’s a really fun read.