A book by Robert J. Sawyer

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What would a glimpse of the future do to you?

  • Jul 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 to discover the whole world has been thrown into pandemonium - planes fallen from the sky, cars piled up on the highway, trains derailed.

Every human on the planet lost consciousness for two minutes, and most catapulted into a vision of their future.

The facility administrator, whose wife has yet to give birth, finds himself in an ugly confrontation with a surly, hostile son. Theo, Lloyd's young research partner, had no vision at all. He won't be around. His younger brother, an aspiring writer, envisions abject failure.

Lloyd believes these future visions are immutable. Though he loves his fiancée, Michiko (whose daughter was one of the accidental victims of the flash forward), there seems no point in marrying, since he will be married to another in 20 years. Theo, discovering that his death was a murder, becomes obsessed with finding his killer. Theo must believe he can change the future.

Canadian author and Nebula Award-winner Sawyer ("Frameshift," Factoring "Humanity"), is a crisp, incisive writer with a playful and keen imagination. He generates plenty of action from his psychological and paradoxical what-ifing. Excellent sci-fi which proves, whether Sawyer thinks so or not, that a glimpse of the future is a dangerous thing.

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Lynn Harnett ()
I love to read, always have, and have been writing reviews for more years than I care to say. Early on, i realized there are more books than there is time to read, so I read only books I like and mostly … more
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About this book


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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Books, Book, Science Fiction, Particle Physics


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