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Triggers Hardcover – April 3, 2012

3.7 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Triggers is constantly gripping on the surface and seriously provocative deep down.”—Wall Street Journal
“Enthralling. Despite the near-dystopian setting, Triggers is haunting in its optimism. It was a joy to read.” —San Francisco Book Review
Triggers has the hard-core military/political insights of Robert A. Heinlein, and the compassion of Theodore Sturgeon.”—Jonathan Vos Post

“No one digs into a sci-fi thought experiment with quite the zest that Robert J. Sawyer does. Sawyer doesn’t stint the thriller framework, but the story’s real joy is the care he takes in exploring the details of the memory-sharing.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“First and foremost, Robert J. Sawyer is a rip-roaring good storyteller...There are few authors writing today that bring such a strong combination of literate storytelling and complex ideas to the page. Robert J. Sawyer is one of the best in the business right now, and Triggers is him at his finest.”—The Maine Edge (Bangor, Maine)

“Robert J. Sawyer pulls together elements of a gripping political thriller with cutting-edge psychological insights to create a story that works on many levels. Triggers has the pacing of an episode of 24 and the philosophical sensibilities of an Isaac Asimov novel, so any readers who were introduced to Sawyer through his television series FlashForward will find it particularly interesting.”—Black Gate

About the Author

Robert J. Sawyer has been called “the dean of Canadian science fiction” by The Ottawa Citizen.

He is one of only seven writers in history—and the only Canadian—to win all three of the world’s top awards for best science-fiction novel of the year: the Hugo (which he won in 2003 for Hominids), the Nebula (which he won in 1995 for The Terminal Experiment), and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (which he won in 2005 for Mindscan).

In total, Rob has authored over 18 science-fiction novels and won forty-one national and international awards for his fiction, including a record-setting ten Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards (“Auroras”) and the Toronto Public Library Celebrates Reading Award, one of Canada’s most significant literary honors. In 2008, he received his tenth Hugo Award nomination for his novel Rollback.

His novels have been translated into 14 languages. They are top-ten national mainstream bestsellers in Canada and have hit number one on the Locus bestsellers’ list.

Born in Ottawa in 1960, Rob grew up in Toronto and now lives in Mississauga (just west of Toronto), with poet Carolyn Clink, his wife of twenty-four years.

He was the first science-fiction writer to have a website, and that site now contains more than one million words of material.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; 1 edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781937007164
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937007164
  • ASIN: 1937007162
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,743,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Cassel VINE VOICE on April 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm sure the author thought this was science fiction laced into a political thriller but if fails on both counts. It's not science fiction - it's a fantasy which is the same for some readers but not or all. Per the blurbs, the setup is an unexplained phenom causes people to be able to read each other's memories, but only in a daisy chain. So A can read B who can read C but A can't read C. The science doesn't exist in the book either in the phenom or anything else. Even known science such as an EMP burst is portrayed incorrectly. Electrical equipment which is blown by an EMP / surge doesn't repair itself.

This phenom leads one newly minted mind reader to discover, by reading the president's brains, that the US is planning a strike to make a revenge for stepped up Muslim terror attacks on the US. The problem with this intriguing setup is that the planned on revenge is silly. It would never be done nor would it have the desired effect - just the opposite really.

Along the way we're treated to a left wing Canadian's (the author, apparently) view of the US where the reliable news sources are MSNBC, Huffington Post and Time magazine. All white people are either evil, unremarkable, wife beaters or raging racists. Meanwhile, black folks are all long suffering, patient deep thinkers. The president is a new Bush as viewed by the left. He's a Republican we're told over and over portrayed as a weak bumbler who's easily led by his evil advisor (Cheney / Rove combo) into a grotesque, revolting attack on Muslims.

C'mon authors. All black folks are not duplicates of Morgan Freeman and it's really really OK for them to be portrayed as humans rather than paragons. White people sometimes do things which are interesting but not evil as well.
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Format: Hardcover
"Triggers" is a thought-provoking, compelling read full of suspense and intriguing characters. Robert J. Sawyer's latest meets and exceeds his standard of excellence in writing and story-telling.

In the midst of home-grown terror and a major national defensive initiative, there is an assassination attempt on the American President. At the same time the President is the operating room, Doctor Singh is attempting a new proceedure to treat the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder of an Iraq War Vet by altering his memories. The White House is bombed and the electro-magnetic pulse affects Dr. Sighn's treatment process. Minds and memories are linked, including the Iraq War Vet and the President.

Set against the backdrop of a political thriller, Sawyer masterfully weaves in discussion of racism, abuse, the affects of war on our soldiers, and political responsibility. And once again, in true Sawyer fashion, he shows us that there is an acceptable, preferred alternative to what we know and the direction society is going.

"Triggers" is filled with non-stop action and touching interpersonal moments between characters. I couldn't put it down. If you've read any of Sawyer's previous books, you will love this one. If you've only started reading Sawyer after watching "FlashForward", you will love this book. Whether you love thrillers or Science Fiction, or interpersonal drama, you will love this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a long time Sawyer fan and always enjoy his new releases - he is always a lot of fun to read. In this book, which doesn't disappoint, he gets a bit preachy which degrades the ending somewhat. The author in my opinion is supposed to speak through his characters, not talk to us about Darwin or Atheism directly, which he seems to do here. I don't know why he does this and instead of raising questions he simply answers them, such as life after death issues. Come on, Robert, just give us a good novel, not the sermon. Thanks.
PS A small point for some, but please give us a good cover too - this one does not have distinct colors or interesting images - this is important to at least a few Sci-Fi ers.
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Format: Hardcover
During a speech, President Seth Jerrison is shot by an assassin and rushed to the hospital. Meanwhile, at the same hospital, Dr. Ranjip Singh is conducting an experimental procedure to alter memories on a veteran with PTSD. But when a bomb explodes nearby, it sets off an electromagnetic pulse, causing a power surge and brief outage - and affecting Dr. Singh's equipment. Following the power outage, several people suddenly have access to strange memories that aren't their own. The President's security detail soon realizes a group of people within a certain distance to Dr. Singh's experiment were all affected by having access to someone else's memories. This means someone now knows everything the President does - on the brink of a top secret mission.

With a large cast of characters, Sawyer does a great job of giving each their own story and enough depth for the reader to easily keep them all straight. Surprisingly, the drama and how relationships are formed/affected by the memory-swapping was actually my favorite part of the story. The only other book I've read by Sawyer is FlashForward (developed into the short-lived TV show). I have found I really enjoy his writing style, and will definitely be reading his other books that I have on my shelves. Intriguing, with plenty of suspense - Triggers was fast-paced and exciting. This science fiction thriller was completely riveting from beginning to its climactic end.
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