Flashforward

A book by Robert J. Sawyer

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Great characters, compelling story!

  • Sep 30, 2004
Rating:
+4
This is about the sixth Sawyer book I have read and like the other five, it delivers! Sawyer has a way of making highly likable characters and weaving in high tech science in terms that any layman can understand.

Lloyd and Theo are scientists performing at an experiment CERN to prove a long held scientific theory. Unknown to the scientist, the earth is being bombarded by a neutrino blast, remnants of a star that went nova, at the same time they are doing their experiment. The combination of the two conditions causes the entire world population to black out and have their minds shift 20 years into the future. Each person can observe their future self for about 2 minutes, and then are shifted back to their present day self.

This creates a whole slew of problems. Many people (probably millions world-wide) in the present time die during this experiment because they blacked out while driving a car or climbing stairs or while having an operation. One of the people killed is a young daughter of Lloyd's fiancee (she was hit by an out of control car). This creates a big moral issue for Lloyd, who also has to deal with the fact that in his own glimpse of the future he is married to a woman who is not his present day fiancee.

Theo had no glimpse of the future, which means that in 20 years he will be dead. Theo later learns that he will be murdered one day prior to that future date because many people saw his obituary during their glimpse. This causes Theo to investigate who would want to kill him 20 years hence.

The whole story tries to answer the question as to whether the future is fixed or do we have free choice to make our future? Is the future that was glimpsed the only possible future, or is it one of many possible futures based on the choices we can make?

The ending of the book is a slight letdown but you will get to it so fast (the book is hard to put down) that it doesn't really matter.

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More Flashforward reviews
review by . July 26, 2007
In 2009 a team of particle physicists pursuing the Higgs Boson, a theoretical subatomic particle, flip the switch at Geneva's huge new particle accelerator. Suddenly Lloyd Simcoe, project leader, finds himself naked in bed with a stranger, an old woman whose body feels like "fruit gone bad".     Horrified, he discovers he too is old, as if 20 years has disappeared. But before he can consummate some repulsive sexual act he is jolted back to his seat at the collider controls. Only …
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I first got on this blog to discuss my first passion which is books. Since I have gotten on I find that books are only a piece of this blog and I can discuss just about anything that comes to mind. It … more
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Wiki

What would you do if you got a glimpse of your own personal future and it looked bleak? Try to change things, or accept that the future is unchangeable and make the best of it? InFlashforward, Nobel-hungry physicists conducting an unimaginably high-energy experiment accidentally induce a global consciousness shift. In an instant, everyone on Earth is "flashed forward" 21 years, experiencing several minutes of the future. But while everyone is, literally, out of their minds, their bodies drop unconscious; when the world reawakens, car wrecks, botched surgeries, falls, and other mishaps add up to massive death and destruction.

Slowly, as recovery efforts continue, people realize that during the Flashforward (as it comes to be called) they experienced a vision of the future. The range of visions is astounding--those who would be asleep in the future saw psychedelic dream landscapes, while others saw nothing at all (presumably they'd be dead). But those who saw everyday life 20 years hence have to come to grips with evidence of dreams forsaken (or realized). Soon, the physicists who caused the Flashforward are struggling to help the world decide whether the future is changeable--and whether the experiment is worth repeating. Robert J. Sawyer has captured a truly compelling idea with Flashforward, and he fully explores what such an event might mean to humanity. Fans will find this to be his best work to date, although the ending seems rushed after a detailed ...

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Tags

Books, Book, Science Fiction, Particle Physics

Details

ISBN-10: 0312867123
ISBN-13: 978-0312867126
Author: Robert J. Sawyer
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
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