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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Flashforward.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Robert J. Sawyer(Author)

    Book details

The basis for the hit ABC TV series and 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.

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. 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 alternate Paperback edition.

3.4 (5021)
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Book details

  • PDF | 320 pages
  • Robert J. Sawyer(Author)
  • Tor Books; Reprint edition (September 1, 2009)
  • English
  • 7
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy

Read online or download a free book: Flashforward


Review Text

  • By Cadance Renene on January 6, 2016

    (Spoiler Review) The characters could have been fleshed out more and I felt that the female characters were given the short shrift when it came to character development. (But, this is a flaw of many male writers, not just this one.) There is also a mish mash mixture of sound scientific theory interwoven in a fairly strong and complex story line that is weakened considerably toward the end with the addition of a liberal wash of unsubstantiated personal gnosis which left me puzzled. Like some other readers I was drawn to the book because I loved the TV series and wanted to see what happened (the second season of the series was cancelled). I readily accepted the fact that the characters (in the book) were different than the TV series and that most of the activity took place in the EU as opposed to the US (like the TV series). The book's strength lies in the mosaic story telling about multiple characters and how they were affected by the Flashforward and how simply advanced physics concepts are explained; my favorite being how 3 dimensional reality becomes 4 dimensional reality by adding the variable of "time" along the space time continuum. I was, however, troubled by: (1) the character Mr. Cheung (who identifies himself as Christian, several times, but, does not act in the least in according to the principles of Christianity); (2) the fact that in Lloyd Simcoe's millenic tableau vision of the future (in which Mr. Cheung appears) there is only *one* instance in the universe of the collective human "consciousness" (being the one that which appears on earth which advances along the afore mentioned space-time continuum -- in accordance with accepted Biblical theology); and (3) the fact that Mr. Cheung uses his considerable financial resources to become a demi-god himself and offers the chance of demi-godery to a select few individuals (Nobel laureates)... It is a provocative read for these reasons.

  • By van on January 2, 2018

    Flashforward is a solid piece of fiction with a fast plot and good characters. It grabbed my attention and held it, which I think is high praise for a book.This is the second Robert J. Sawyer I have read. I ordered it when I was about half-way through with Red Planet Blues, and have a third Sawyer book, Starplex, on it's way. Basically I'm saying that if you haven't read Sawyer, try one of his books.

  • By Isaac Dupre on July 5, 2017

    This book is not just about the human consciousness leaping 21 years into the future. It's about the people to whom this happened. How do people who have been given a taste of their own future react to that knowledge? Humanity just had the "Fruit of Knowledge" thrust down its throat. Can we be the same after we gain that knowledge? Did that knowledge come at too high a price? Does freewill exist or is it just an illusion humanity concocted? Is the future immutable or can we make our own future? Sawyer deals with not only complex ideas, like these, but also complex emotions. He breathes life into his characters, then lets them take flight. Once I picked this book up, I could not put it down.

  • By DickStanley. on April 30, 2010

    I enjoyed the hard science aspects of the book, despite its unusual number of typos (proof that even mainstream publishing needs line editing) and Sawyer's penchant for callous heroes. I was lucky in that I'd never heard of the TV series and so was not distracted by comparing the book to it.By callous heroes, I mean the Japanese engineer's decision to leave her dead child in the street (to the care of strangers) so she can get back to work. It was of a piece with the hero of Calculating God who decides that his spiritual enrichment justifies leaving his children to grow up without him. It's really just Sawyer's hell-bent determination to move his plot at whatever cost.But the physics-philosophy of this tale---Is the future immutable? Is free will an illusion?---is worth the effort to overlook the flaws. Even the Canadian author's usual digs at American gun ownership and lack of socialized medicine. When authors like Sawyer reach a certain peak of fame, not only does the editing of their books suffer, but they feel free to push their politics. Pity that.

  • By Laura K. on February 23, 2011

    Rather you were a fan of the TV series or not this is a strong Sci-Fi buy. It's different from the TV series, but in mostly positive ways. The writer has done his research and for any science buff you will find it a mostly rewarding read. He does make a few stretches regarding how future technologies may work that are a bit ridiculous, but not so much they ruin the story. If you were a fan of the show this book will allow you to close that chapter of your life by answering the questions the show left open.Although some parts of the story can be a bit dull if you are expecting the action offered by the TV show they aren't too bad. One of my favorite aspects of the book is the opinions offered by the various character's on rather or not we live in a predetermined universe and how their view of the their future affects them.I recommended this book to anyone who enjoys concepts involving time travel, quantum physics and fate.

  • By Favorite Auntie on February 13, 2017

    I was looking to read the book behind the series and was surprised that there isn't any resemblance between them at all other than the story title and the name of the lead character. It was still good writing and a good book. *spoiler* The chase scene in the tunnel got a bit long and drawn out for me, but all in all I liked the story.

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