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Flashforward [Mass Market Paperback]

Robert J. Sawyer
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 15 2000

The Aurora Award-winning novel that started it all!


Two minutes and seventeen seconds that changed the world

Suddenly, without warning, all seven billion people on Earth black out for more than two minutes. Millions die as planes fall from the sky, people tumble down staircases, and cars plow into each other.

But that’s the least of the survivors’ challenges. During the blackout, everyone experienced a glimpse of what his or her future holds—and the interlocking mosaic of these visions threatens to unravel the present.

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Product Description

From Amazon

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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The control building for CERN's Large Hadron Collider was new: it had been authorized in A.D. 2004 and completed in 2006. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars TV Series is better Feb. 15 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
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. Thought book might give some closure to the subject. Book does give closure but is way different than the TV series. While TV series was very good, book is only okay.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great concept, short on delivery Dec 7 2012
By Patrice
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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 to delivering a satisfying finale.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's ok May 3 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
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. Far greater than that TV series that was based on it, but still. I'm not regretting having read it, but I'm not about to try to convince everyone to read it, either.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, horrific result June 22 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 us what happened*! I was so angry I wanted to throw the book out the window. I thought only beginning (unpublished) writers pulled that sort of trick on the reader.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just so-so Sept. 16 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It's an interesting concept, although Sawyer does not present the science in a way that makes it believable and his ability to draw characters is limited. But if you're not too picky and you're willing to read a book just for the unusual ideas, then give it a try.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Idea but.......... June 27 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Coming up with original and interesting storylines in science fiction is always difficult. So as an avid sci-fi reader I found the basic idea very fascinating.
That is where it ends. The scientific theories etc. in the book are well thought out and presented very well but the characters are extremely one dimensional and for intelligent people, their quests for the truth are nonsensical. Why read chapters in a book when it adds nothing new to the story and does not move the plotline along?
The ending of a book is obviously very important. No matter how intriguing the rest of the book has been, you have to get it right. Robert J. Sawyer's attempt to be profound fails miserably and it just ends up being corny.
Buy this one at a garage sale.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could Be Better March 4 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer is overall a pretty interesting book, and it might have been great, except for a couple of flaws.
First off, there's way too much physics in this book. I had two physics classes in college and had no interest to take more, so after a while all of the physics and quantum mechanics, and whatever else, really got tiresome. It distracted me from the story, that classic story of whether a person's fate can be avoided.
Secondly, the ending was weird, it totally threw me. Out of nowhere the main character gets offered the immortality syrum, it just didn't make any sense with the rest of the story.
Other than those flaws, this book is good enough. Maybe not a "thriller", but it's interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars re: Make Time to Read This Book May 25 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found "Flash Forward" to be one of the best time travel books I've ever read. Some of the technology was over my head but the premise of the book is great. Due to an experiment, everyone on earth flashes forward to their life in the future. Based on that glimpse, many try to change the way their future is going to pan out. This book really makes you think. I've read 3 books by Sawyer and I'm going to continue because so far, they are mind-blowingly fun!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating concept well developed
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 more
Published on Oct. 12 2010 by Rodge
5.0 out of 5 stars So much better than expected !
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 more
Published on Dec 31 2009 by ada
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for the tv series!
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 more
Published on Sept. 14 2009 by Sheila J. Croome
3.0 out of 5 stars It Could Have Been Better
I was writing my review for this book and realized, after writing it, that my initial review and grade was too high. Read more
Published on May 14 2004 by Trebuchet
4.0 out of 5 stars Living your life on "Hold"
Classic science fiction. "What if" one thing were different -- how would that change everything else? A very interesting book, well written. Read more
Published on Nov. 23 2003 by Mona Albano
4.0 out of 5 stars Overreaching
The one thing that made this novel a somewhat mixed pleasure is the authors need to explain all. Not only the question why and how a flash forward is possible, if we live in a... Read more
Published on July 6 2003 by WFK
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly original and engaging story
What if everyone in the world was given a 2 minute glimpse into their lives 21 years in the future? How would they deal with that knowledge? Read more
Published on Nov. 22 2002
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