Robert Charles Wilson’s 2001 The Chronoliths is a standalone near-future science fiction novel.
Scott Warden turned a programming contract into an extended stay in Thailand, where he became yet another expatriate beach-dwelling riff-raff (much to the displeasure of his long-suffering wife Janice). Scott’s self-indulgent adventure comes to a screeching halt one day in 2021 when a mysterious towering artifact suddenly manifests in Chumphon Province. While Scott and his sketchy pal Hitch are off investigating the artifact, Scott and Janice’s daughter Kaitlin falls ill with a life-threatening disease. Detained by the authorities, Scott has no idea what is going on. By the time he is freed and discovers that Kaitlin had been ill, the crisis is past and Janice has decided she has had enough of marriage.
Life as a 21st century divorcé stretches before Scott. The artifact, and its successors, will provide ample diversion.