Stone is a story about a criminal, Ae, who lives in a utopian society, the 't'T'. This society heavily uses nanotechnology, here called 'Dot-tech'. Much of the society lives in comparatively primitive conditions but the high-technology of the 'dot-tech' enables them to survive and prosper in such conditions.
Ae has been imprisoned for a crime rarely committed in the society he lives in: murder (mainly due to the difficulty of killing a body protected by nano-tech). He is placed in a high-tech prison (a stone with an artificial environment inside held in the plasma of a sun) and has all of his nanobots purged by the jailors.
He is broken out and picked up by a sub-light ship, where he recuperates before traveling onward, employed by a mysterious agency. He travels to a planet where he learns the secret of creating black holes.
Finally, his mission is revealed. He is to kill an entire planet, and afterwards learns that he did so on the orders of the nanotech bots which because of their numbers have formed a quantum intelligence. Unfortunately, every time humans use them they collapse the quantum waveform, killing some of them. They want the planet killed so they can think more easily.
The book ends with the planet's atmosphere being scourged away by the black holes, killing sixty million people.
Some large-scale effects of the application of quantum theory are also explored in this novel.
(2002, ISBN 0-575-07396-9)