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Flashforward Mass Market Paperback – April 15, 2000

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Mass Market Paperback, April 15, 2000
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction; 1st edition (April 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812580346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812580341
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,484,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

Customer Reviews

A very interesting book, well written.
Mona Albano
I felt the author spent too much time explaining scientific theories, technology, etc. and not enough time advancing the plot or making it interesting.
I am not saying this so that you can avoid the possibility of learning something you shouldn't know about what's coming up in the series.
A. Regolino

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

117 of 128 people found the following review helpful By Heather D. Gallay VINE VOICE on December 29, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the very near future of 2009, two physicists working on a complicated experiment accidentally thrust the collective consciousness of the entire world ahead twenty-one years. Although the "flash forward," as it's later named, lasts only minutes, the aftermath is catastrophic. Not only are millions of people killed in accidents caused by their sudden and brief departure from the present (i.e. plane and car crashes, falls down stairs, etc.), but those who survived find themselves emotionally rocked by their respective (and sometimes shared) glimpses of the future. The two scientists are left to piece together what happened, while also trying to figure out whether or not the future they all saw was fixed or just one of many possible outcomes.

I enjoyed this book very much: the story itself was fascinating, and thought-provoking, and the author is clearly an intelligent man with an intriguing imagination. However, I had a big problem with the execution of the story; Mr. Sawyer's a great storyteller, to be sure, but an awkward, almost amateurish writer. While the book was an easy, accessible read, I found it to be equally as clunky and frustrating in parts -- especially his shockingly excessive use of the word "doubtless," which was so abundant that it became distracting and, toward the end, grated on my every nerve. (How his editors let it go to press with such a glaring flaw is beyond me.)

Still, I recommend this book to anyone who's interested in time travel and is looking for some light sci-fi reading. And, in spite of my feeling toward the author's technical skill as a writer (or lack thereof), the story itself was compelling enough to make me consider the idea of reading some of his other books.
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104 of 125 people found the following review helpful By A. Regolino on April 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
If you are a fan of the TV series, DO NOT buy this book. I am not saying this so that you can avoid the possibility of learning something you shouldn't know about what's coming up in the series. I, and I'm sure others too, started reading it with that very same motive once the mid-season hiatus took place. And I can assure you, you will NOT learn ANY of the series' many secrets if you read this book. The two are as different as can be, and the only character from the book that has any prominent role in the series is Lloyd Symcoe, and his character and its circumstances are VERY different. The creators of the TV series simply took the initial idea from the book but have developed characters and situations that are entirely unique. After getting hooked on the TV series, I must say that I find the book to be very disappointing. The series drives on intrigue, suspense, action, mystery, but the book is grounded in very dry science. The selection of the main character says it all: the TV series puts a federal agent at the heart of the story and watches as he tries to uncover secrets (a very wise choice), while the book revolves around the scientist who caused the "flash forward" and his team of scientists. I can't spell it out any clearer. While I do not wish to put down the novel or the novelist (who I applaud for his capable handling of very highly scientific concepts), I am more impressed by the way the show's creators have adapted it into something much more. This is a very good example of how to take someone else's fascinating idea and turn it into something that a greater audience could appreciate.
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Louis R. Primus on August 31, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A good idea, but handled wrong. Much of it isn't very believable, and I've read some pretty far-out stuff that was made believable by skilled authors. The characters are definitely cardboard cutouts, as many other reviewers have stated. I'm not even sure the author had a clear idea who they were. (You get the idea that Lloyd Simcoe is generally reserved/timid in the beginning of the book, but then later on he walks out on a press conference, unflustered, saying something like, "That's it. I'm outta here." I think I laughed out loud at that.) The dialogue is just sad, and there's very little action. The writing is pretty terrible too, with cliches littered here and there---and a decent editor was certainly called for.

I thought the concept was good. But, as I said, the execution was poor. I would have liked to have seen how everyday citizens reacted to their future visions, and how they tried to change them or help them come to fruition. Less pseudoscience, more fiction.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kinnakeeter on October 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, don't think this is the same story you will see on the new TV show based (very loosely) on this book. The characters, circumstances and even the duration of the flash forward event are completely different. While I have enjoyed the first few TV shows, I absolutely loved this book.

Set at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN the protagonists are physicists searching for the Higgs Boson. Robert Sawyer does an excellent job at creating a believable setting and using some very good speculative theoretical physics as the basis for the story. The author clearly knows his physics. The action is fast and fascinating - this is a page turner, very hard to put down. This is a book that stretches your mind while you are reading it, and which I will remember with the best of the Sci-Fi I've read. This was the first book I have read by Sawyer, but if the other ones are similar, I will rank him up with my favorites - Clarke, Asimov, Heinlein and Pohl.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Robert J. Sawyer -- called "the dean of Canadian science fiction" by the OTTAWA CITIZEN and "just about the best science-fiction writer out there" by the Denver ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS -- is one of eight authors in history to win all three of the science-fiction field's highest honors for best novel of the year: the Hugo Award (which he won for HOMINIDS), the Nebula Award (which he won for THE TERMINAL EXPERIMENT); and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (which he won for MINDSCAN).

Rob has won Japan's Seiun Award for best foreign novel three times (for END OF AN ERA, FRAMESHIFT, and ILLEGAL ALIEN), and he's also won the world's largest cash-prize for SF writing -- the Polytechnic University of Catalonia's 6,000-euro Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficcion -- an unprecedented three times.

In 2007, he received China's Galaxy Award for most favorite foreign author. He's also won twelve Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards ("Auroras"), an Arthur Ellis Award from the Crime Writers of Canada, ANALOG magazine's Analytical Laboratory Award for Best Short Story of the Year, and the SCIENCE FICTION CHRONICLE Reader Award for Best Short Story of the Year.

Rob's novels have been top-ten national mainstream bestsellers in Canada, appearing on the GLOBE AND MAIL and MACLEAN'S bestsellers' lists, and they've hit number one on the bestsellers' list published by LOCUS, the U.S. trade journal of the SF field.

Rob is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences, teaches SF writing occasionally, and edits his own line of Canadian science-fiction novels for Red Deer Press.

His novel FLASHFORWARD (Tor Books) was the basis for the ABC TV series of the same name. He enjoyed spending time on the set and wrote the script for episode 19 "Course Correction."

His WWW trilogy, WAKE, WATCH, and WONDER (Ace Books), is all about the World Wide Web gaining consciousness.

Next up is TRIGGERS, April 2012. Set in Washington D.C., TRIGGERS is a science fiction political thriller about the nature of memory.

For more information about Rob and his award-winning books, check out his web page: http://sfwriter.com

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