September 3, Web posted at: p. CNN -- If you had the ability to go back in time and change an aspect of your personal fate, would you? Canadian science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer takes that premise and flips it over in the thoroughly entertaining new novel "Flash Forward.
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Sawyer Goodreads Author. Millions die as planes fall from the sky, people tumble down staircases, and cars plow into each other. 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.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published April 15th by Tor Books first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Flashforward , please sign up. Lists with This Book.
Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Flashforward. Nov 23, Sarah rated it it was ok Shelves: audiobook , sf. There are so many ways I could pay tribute to this book audiobook , which was an awful piece of writing, but an entertaining way to spend ten hours in a car.
Sawyer Way: 1. Anything worth writing about is worth writing about in excrutiating detail. This includes bodily functions, routine tasks, and subway stations. The onomatopeia is your friend.
Any hackneyed action phrase worth using once is worth using once or twice more in the chapter. Get creative! Why have a character simply smile when instead you can have someone "feel his features stretch into a grin"? After all, you don't just smile with your mouth. Everything has a sound, so make sure to get those details in there. Hair rustles if you shake your head while lying on a pillow maybe I need a new conditioner?
Shoes slap against stairs at least mine do; I got them at Bozo's Clown Warehouse. Character development is crucial, and again detail is key. That's why you can't just have a character remember that he once ran a marathon. He should remember that he once ran from Marathon to Athens, a trip of precisely Don't be sexist! Women can be smart, too. They can be engineers and physicists.
They are also scared of all male strangers, and keep their eye on the exits when talking to one. The future will be very different from now. It's fun to speculate on the differences both in passing comments, like mentioning how blue jeans will be out of style, or in expositional paragraphs.
Preferably lots of them. If you get bored identifying characters by hair color, you can identify them by eye color instead. Get it in there as soon as possible, even if it means having one character see another's grey eyes in a darkened tunnel from a distance of 50 metres.
Every character should be from a different country. This is called diversity, and helps when you're trying to come up with hair colors and names. In either case, I was curious to read the book that inspired ABC's mediocre Lost-wannabe Flash Forward series, and figured it would help pass the time on a couple of roadtrips.
He was forty-five, tall, and clean-shaven. His eyes were blue and his crewcut hair so dark brown that one could get away with calling it black - except at the temples, where about half of it had turned gray. Ten years Lloyd's junior at thirty five, Michiko had a small upturned nose and lustrous black hair that she had styled in the currently popular page boy cut.
View all 59 comments. Apr 13, Cecily rated it liked it Shelves: scifi-future-speculative-fict , time-travel. In the TV series that is 6 months hence; in the book it is more than 20 years hence, so the implications are very different.
Although it is primarily sci fi set at CERN , there is a murder investigation to widen its appeal, and a poor pastiche of Arthur C Clarke's After the flashforward, people pool their sightings on a website to see if they match e. Some find their visions reaffirming and others want to fight against their apparent destiny - echoes of Oedipus and Scrooge.
Meanwhile, investigation is under way as to what caused it, amidst recriminations regarding those who died, e. Would you want a flashforward? What are the political implications for governments; insurance implications; would patent offices be swamped; would it weaken or strengthen religious belief; how would small children cope with what they see as an adult 20 years hence; could you marry someone if you knew that you would be with someone else in 20 years time?
And of course the big one: is our future immutable or do we live in a multiverse? One oddity is that most of it is set last year , which was the near future when it was written in , so there is unintended entertainment from the things he got wrong, though I do live in hope of newspapers voluntarily dropping horoscopes because "printing such nonsense was at odds with their fundamental purpose of disseminating truth".
Despite the high ideas, this book has weaknesses common to poor sci fi: teaching readers the science with dialogue between experts who would already know whatever it is along with trivial references to life in the future which irritate rather than illuminate or amuse Ikea's Billy bookcase will still be around in , but George Lucas still won't have filmed all of Star Wars.
And there is plenty of other plodding prose, "As headquarters of numerous international organisations, Geneva attracted people from all over the world. There are also odd holes in the plot; for instance we are meant to believe that CERN has no emergency procedures, even of the kind that an ordinary office has? So, read it for the concept, try to let the poor writing wash over you, and pay attention when Sanduleak is first explained.
View all 18 comments. Feb 03, Apatt rated it really liked it Shelves: sci-fi. Flashforward takes the opposing view that scientists need to experiment mess about for the sake of progress. An experiment in particle acceleration and collision causes the entire human race to blackout and experience a two minutes vision of their lives twenty years in the future from to P. Eastern Time on Wednesday, October 23, , to be precise.
Unfortunately millions of people also die from fatal accidents caused by the blackout as they were driving, sitting in planes, crossing roads, going down stairs, trimming their nasal hair etc. Theo Procopides, the other scientist in charge, does not have any vision, and subsequent investigation, with collaborating account from others, shows that he will be murdered one day prior to October 23, This sets Theo off on a mission to find out who will murder him and why.
As for Dr. However, not long after the event, the same experiment is repeated with approval from the UN and other countries because many people want to know whether the vision they had is of a fixed future or is there some wiggle room.
The best thing about Flash Forward is the aforementioned high concept. Sawyer explores some very interesting issues about fate and predestination; together with some fascinating, and even educational, science expositions not that I actually understand all of it.
While the book is very readable, though the prose and dialogue are rather workmanlike, I don't think Sawyer has used the premise to its full potential.
I wish Sawyer has explored other, less mundane avenues of the basic premise instead. There is an instant paradox in the basic premise that is not adequately explored. If you consider that the flashforward event in is probably the most monumental occurrence in history, it follows that the people in would already be aware that on October 23 at a specific time whatever they are seeing is going to be shared with their past selves, yet they seem to be completely unaware of this.
It could be argued that they are in a different timeline from their past selves of and that in their version the event did not happen. However, that sounds rather illogical, and besides, Lloyd is adamant that the future is immutable.
This issue is brought up in the narrative but not much is made of it. On the whole, though I quite enjoyed Flashforward , it could have been better but it is good enough as it is to be recommended.
Robert J. Physicists at the CERN particle collider facility in Geneva throw the switch on an experiment which they hope will detect the elusive Higgs boson particle. Instead, the scientists "Flashforward" -- experiencing visions of their lives twenty years in the future -- then return to discover that they've been unconscious for two minutes. What they don't immediately realize is that the effect was planet-wide, creating an unprecedented disaster when everyone passed out. Car wrecks strew the highways, planes have crashed, patients bled to death on operating tables, and factory workers suffered horrific accidents.
Flashforward is a science fiction novel by Canadian author Robert J. Sawyer first published in The novel is set in The experiment has a unique side effect; the entire human race loses their consciousness for about two minutes. During that time, nearly everyone sees themselves roughly twenty-one years and six months in the future.