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FlashForward Paperback – 9 Oct 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; paperback / softback edition (9 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575091010
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575091016
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert J. Sawyer has been described as Canada's answer to Michael Crichton. Critically acclaimed in the US he is regarded as one of SF's most significant writers and his novels are regularly voted as fan's favourites. He lives in Canada.

Product Description

Review

This is the novel that inspired the TV series. The book's cast indulges in more leisurely discussion of theories about free will, multiple universes and the like. It works rather well. There are some intriguing predictions for the year 2030, by the way: hover cars and an African-American president in the White House. (THE DAILY MAIL)

Although it was turned for TV into a race-against-time thriller, the novel is an intellectual puzzle, drawing on theoretical physics to raise questions about time and space and the existence of free will, and proves once again that good science fiction does not need visual effects to thrill. (Lisa Tuttle THE TIMES)

The novel, now published for the first time in this country, is... decent sci-fi. (THE EVENING STANDARD)

Sawyer focuses on the efforts of a small group of people to cope with their new found knowledge, showing what's going on for the rest of the world via news headlines. This gives the reader the opportunity to really get inside people's heads and experience the phenomenon at first hand... a thoughtful and exploratory piece that examines the nature of destiny and free will." (GRAEME'S FANTASY BOOK REVIEW)

Book Description

An acclaimed high concept SF novel, the basis for a new SF series, destined to be the new LOST.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Bellamy on 13 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
I bought the book after watching the American TV series, which was intriguing and complex, dealing with the aftermath of a global experiment which enabled everyone to have a glimpse of their future.

The novel, at first, disappointed: characters are changed, plot lines re-allocated and the focus shifted in the tv version to make it more dramatic. Unlike the series, which is from a security service angle, the novel shows the events from the perspective of one of the scientists, who struggles to come to terms with the implication of his vision - which shows him in a very different future than the one he's planning for himself and his fiancee.

Robert J Sawyer spends the first quarter of the novel in a mind boggling explanation of the theoretical physics underpinning the event - not for the faint-hearted. Wisely, the tv version only nods at this. Thereafter, he concentrates on the impact such a revelation has on the psyche: if we knew what the future held would we fight it, if we didn't like what we saw, or accept our fate as inevitable?
The novel wrestles with concepts of self determination, free will, fate and time as a dimension.

Don't buy the book if, like me, you want to find out how the tv series is going to end. Do buy it if you want to exercise your grey cells on some of the biggest questions we can ask about life's purpose.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Stella TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 May 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Robert Sawyer always finds great stories to write about. His ideas always draw me in and I think I'm in for a fantastic tale. Then I reach the end and I feel like it could have been more.

Flashforward had a great pull - See your own life 20 years into the future for 2 minutes and try to work out how to get there.

It was a brilliant start and a real page turner. I loved reading about everyone's flashforward, I was rivited by all the connotations that flashforward threw up. Even the loss and devestation caused by the flashforward made for interesting reading...The first half is about the here and now. It's great.

When we reach the second half, it's all about edging towards the 20 year future that had been predicted. Getting there takes a lot of technical info that frankly I could have done without. The why's and how's don't really interest me. Also the two leads at this stage become a bit whiney. Lloyd simcoe wants to be with his girl, then he's got doubts, then he's sure again, then he has doubts again....and Theo is so wrapped up in himself that he gets tedious really fast. It's all me, me, me with Theo. THEN we get to the future and it's all wraped up in a paragrah or 3. It was a bit of a let down.

The ending left me with a bit of a 'whaaat??' moment and I imagine for the hard-core sci-fi fans it was the best bit, but I just wasn't feeling it. The conclusion was over in a flash.

.....And it's nothing like the tv show...... just sayin'
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By freedomrulesok on 21 July 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is different enough to the TV series for one not to think they know the ending from the beginning (not that we know the end in the TV series).

Set around the CERN facility that borders France and Switzerland, it has Lloyd and Theo as the central characters, the scientists unable to explain the sudden flasforward.

There's no FBI or American involvement (a relief to be sure) but the novel feels lightweight. That's good in a way as it's a very easily readable 300 pages, but more could be made of the effects of possibly seeing your future - the fact that the creators of the TV series have brought much more ideas to the screen (I guess they have to fill countless hours) means they get to explore where Sawyer did not go.

Interesting. Try 'Offworld' by Robin Parrish as an alternative.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 July 1999
Format: Hardcover
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rosey Lea TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You know what you're in for when the opening pages of a book spend more time telling you what cars people drive, than on the grief of the protagonists losing their child (no spoiler, it happens in the first few pages of the book). From then on Sawyer's got his little `Boys' Book of CERN facts' open and uses it as often as possible, at the expense of the accuracy of most of the other world facts he presents. (By the end of the book Sawyer has mentioned that some people speak French so many times I think he was still in shock over it.) The book trots a long at a fine pace, but at the expense of the plot. The author spends more time praising CNN news than fleshing out characters and storyline.

It's a fair enough read to pass a train journey, but only if you don't want anything more detailed than "He said, she said, and isn't CNN great?".
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