Flashforward Paperback – Sep 1 2009
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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? In Flashforward, 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 buildup. --Therese Littleton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
A science experiment that unwittingly shuts down all human consciousness for two minutes is the catalyst for a creative exploration of fate, free will and the nature of the universe in Sawyer's soul-searching new work (after Factoring Humanity). In April 2009, Lloyd and Theo, two scientists at the European Organization for Particle Physics (CERN), run an experiment that accidentally transports the world's consciousness 20 years into the future. When humanity reawakens a moment later, chaos rules. Vehicles whose drivers passed out plow into one another; people fall or maim themselves. But that's just the beginning. After the horror is sorted out, each character tries desperately to ensure or avoid his or her future. Trapped by his guilt for causing so much destruction and driven by a need to rationalize, Lloyd tries to prove that free will is a myth. Theo discovers that he will be murdered and begins to hunt down his killerAtempting fate as in the Greek dramas of his ancestors. Some people start on their appointed roads early, others give up on life because of what they've seen. Using a third-person omniscient narrator, Sawyer shifts seamlessly among the perspectives of his many characters, anchoring the story in small details. This first-rate, philosophical journey, a terrific example of idea-driven SF, should have wide appeal. (June) FYI: Sawyer is the president of the Science Fiction Writers of America.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's fascinating to read critiques of Sawyer's characterizations. Depicting persona is easily Sawyer's finest quality as a writer. His characters may not be charming nor even heroic, but they are certainly real people in every sense of the term. Lloyd Simcoe [how Canadian!!] can be readily condemned for his waffling, but the description of his mental gyrations are portrayed with fidelity. Theo's obsession with avoiding an untimely demise is hardly far- fetched under the circumstances. Even Cheung, a man of vast wealth and power, while not an original figure, is certainly conveyed from genuine models. What person of his status wouldn't undertake the realization of immortality if the chance presented itself?
Those critical of Sawyer's scientific basis are simplistic. His science is sound, but shouldn't be taken as providing any final resolution to the many questions he raises. The issues remain open until we've delved much further into ourselves and the universe around us. The real problem with this story is Sawyer's ultimate acceptance of the Frank Tipler model of the future of humanity.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I picked this up after having watched the series, and wanted to find out more after the show was cancelled. Read morePublished 5 months ago by M Sockel
Interesting concept. Liked it a lot. There are similarities with Calculating God from the same writer ,
even though the topic is different.
The concept is one we've probably all thought of, and it's great that this book was written. Other than that, however, it was just another book. Read morePublished on May 3 2013 by Torstang
My wife and I really got into the ABC TV series based upon this book, but it kind of leaves you hanging because it was cancelled after the first season. Read morePublished on Feb. 15 2013 by Trevor Howell
I was looking for closure after the anticlimactic TV series and at least found some in the book.
Unfortunately, the author seemed more interested in selling Canada as opposed... Read more
The concept of seeing a small glimpse of the future and all the complications such foresight would entail is developed into a strong sci-fi novel here. Read morePublished on Oct. 12 2010 by Rodge
I watched the handfull of episodes of the TV series and I liked the premises for the plot; then I checked for the book. What a difference ! Read morePublished on Dec 31 2009 by ada
I purchased this solely because of the details on the book cover. I didn't know that it was going to be a new tv series this fall. Read morePublished on Sept. 14 2009 by Sheila J. Croome
The main character had 2 main turning points in his life. One was done in summary. The last one -- the big one -- took place "on screen" but the author *would not tell... Read morePublished on June 22 2004