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Frameshift Paperback – October 13, 2005

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Editorial Reviews Review

There is a 50 percent chance that geneticist Pierre Tardivel is carrying the gene for Huntington's Disease, a fatal disorder. That knowledge drives Pierre in his work on the Human Genome Project, an attempt by scientists to map human genes. But a strange set of circumstances--including a knife attack, the in vitro fertilization of his wife, and an insurance company plot to use DNA samples to weed out clients predisposed to early deaths--draw Tardivel into a story that will ultimately involve the hunt for a Nazi death camp doctor. Frameshift shows why the New York Times calls Robert J. Sawyer "a writer of boundless confidence." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

A Nebula Award winner and Hugo Award nominee, Sawyer has created a gripping medical sf thriller. Pierre Tardivel, a French Canadian geneticist, works on identifying junk DNA for the Human Genome Project. At risk for contracting Huntington's chorea, Tardivel drives himself to succeed in a race against time to complete his research. Skillfully interwoven is the misidentification of John Demjanjuk as the Treblinka death camp's Ivan the Terrible, the cloning of Neanderthal genes, and a greedy insurance company that illegally and clandestinely takes DNA samples from its policy owners and kills high-risk clients before it has to pay out large claims. Highly recommended for sf collections.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765313162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765313164
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,907,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 fourteen 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 edited 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.

RED PLANET BLUES is Rob's noir detective novel about the only private detective working the mean streets of Mars. It's his most-recent novel in paperback.

Next up is Quantum Night (Ace Books), March 2016. Set in the present day, QUANTUM NIGHT is an exploration of the concept of the Philosophical Zombie: someone whose lights are on but no one is home. Sawyer posits that our population is dominated by these easily led, emotionally vacant followers. And who leads this vast mob? Psychopaths.

For more information about Rob and his award-winning books, check out his web page:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on October 12, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There's no doubt that Robert Sawyer can merge the most recent scientific concepts with fictional narrative flawlessly. Frameshift brings the latest revelations in genetic research to a story of murder and conspiracy. To that, he's added a strong historical element, rarely found in speculative fiction. The combination makes an overwhelming tale of perseverance in the quest for justice. This story is astonishingly relevant to today's circumstances.
Sawyer's characters are always excellent images. His Canadians are a wonderfully disparate group [Illegal Alien provides another good example]. Pierre's character is well drawn, although probably the most 'heroic' of all Sawyer's characters. It was surprising that he remains silent on the issue of Quebec independence. That Molly loves Pierre him because he thinks in French, which doesn't intrude on her 'space', was a charming idea.
At first, Molly's telepathic abilities seemed to suggest Sawyer had finally exceeded credibility. Telepathy, mysticism and inspiration from some divinity have too often been brought together to inspire religion with all its hurtful dogmas. That reaction was quelled after reading a fellow Canadian, Sharon Butala. Her non-fiction book, Wild Stone Heart, depicts a perfectly rational person subjected to 'experiences' she can't explain. Why do some people have these 'visions' while others don't? Perhaps, as Sawyer suggests here, there really is a genetic base for telepathy. It's an intriguing notion.
As usual, Sawyer's science is up to the minute. The current attempts to restore extinct species include the quagga, the thylacine [Tasmanian Devil] and even the Neanderthals Sawyer depicts here.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Burgoine on July 13, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book really weaves some very diverse elements into a single plot, and has you guessing right up to the end.
The true strength of this book is the core protagonist of Pierre Tardivel, a french-Canadian genetecist who has to battle the uncertainty of being a man who may - or may not - have inherited Huntington's Disease. His struggle with his own genetic future is centre stage in this story.
But woven into this tale is a woman who can read minds, Molly. Though a genetic quirk of fate, her ability puts her in the forefront of a potential murder, and the story picks up steam from there.
Evolution, genetics, Nazi experimentation, murder, and a whole stream of incredibly rich plotlines cumulate into one great showdown of SF writing. As always, Sawyer's strong characterizaitons and his respect for science shine through, and I was gripped right to the end.
Give this a shot, you won't regret it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 19, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a terrific book about genetic destiny. The chapter in Treblinka is incredibly powerful stuff, some of the most moving and disturbing prose I have ever read. And the tale that grows out of that --- of a Nazi-hunter, a man who might have Huntington's disease, a mute child, and a telepathic (and very convincing, for a male author) woman --- is affecting, memorable and deeply moving. I recommend this book both to SF readers AND to mainstream readers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Brian Watkins VINE VOICE on August 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
The strength of this work is in its characters, which are drawn well enough that it is hard to put down the book. The plot moves forward quickly and sustains reader interest as well as any thriller. Both main characters are genetics researchers and, therefore, all plot complications revolve around the science of genetics and some pretty good speculation as to the future impacts of genetic research. A superior work of science-fiction in just about every respect.

The politics are clearly Canadian. But such politics are a staple of science-fiction. If you wish to draw a different world, it is your right as an author. Mr. Sawyer is better than most and seems to have made some good guesses about the future of medical insurance here in the US.

The flaw? Completely unnecessary and sexually explicit dialogue. I'm not talking about the depiction of ugliness in the concentration camp--that has, arguably, some necessary link to the story. And, let us stipulate that losers trying to pick up women might not have G-rated thoughts. However, the worst and most offensive writing inexplicably takes place in the description of a marital relationship where the emotional attachment of the characters did not require any further exposition. Why take a fine story that could potentially fire the imagination of a young person to study genetics and mar it with cheesy pornographic references? It is just a waste; takes a four-star book down to three.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By carol irvin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 25, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sawyer again used a professional couple, but at a California university, and explored fascinating aspects of genetics. Central to the story, but a gut wrenching part of it, is the hero's dealing with the likelihood that he suffers from an incurable genetic illness while he's a practicing geneticist. This brings out the utmost good in his character but his boss is the geneticist from hell. Very gripping story that once again shows this writer has a terrific imagination. I am not highly knowledgable in science myself but I can follow the vast majority of the science he presents, which is a big plus in any sci-fi writer I choose to read.

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
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