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"We [science fiction writers] always wanted to believe in "private sector" space -- hucksters make better characters than a government does."
- Larry Niven

Stopper Bubble  
  Device that halts time within its boundaries.  

"Well, what it look like, and what it feel like, is that time stops inside that stopper bubble, so that's what I call 'em."

"So, for all practical purposes..."

Jubal thought about it. "Yeah, I squinched up real tight, me, and I turn on de stopper bubble, and as soon as I touch that button... dere I am wit' you guys, and I'm fallin'..."

From Red Lightning, by John Varley.
Published by Ace in 2006
Additional resources -

Here are a few more details:

"...Jubal, tell me about the black bubbles. The... what did you call them?"

"Stoppers," he said. "See, there ain't really no bubbles at all, no. I mean, they look like bubbles, so that's what I call 'em, but they really... the word the other folks use for 'em is superstrings, but that's stupid. They ain't strings and they ain't super."

"...the bubbles don't have no insides, see. They's not even really all here, the silvery part you see is just the part that sticks out from where they really are into where we really are."

"Well, time is different in 'em. Maybe time is zeroed out, I still haven't figgered out all the equations for that one."

Compare to the Slaver stasis field from Larry Niven's 1970 novel Ringworld, the stasis box from Niven's 1968 story There is a Tide and the nullentropy bin from Frank Herbert's 1984 novel Heretics of Dune.

Thanks to reader Erik Glenn for mentioning this item in comments.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Red Lightning
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