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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

       
Flashforward

Copyright 1999 by Robert J. Sawyer

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Good (2/5)

I first read this in November 2000.

Lloyd Simcoe and his partner Theo Procoides are scientist at CERN working in high energy physics. Today is their big day - they expect to finally detect the Higgs bosun. Instead something very strange happens: for two minutes everyone in the world blacks out and experiences their lives as they will be twenty one years from now. Itís naturally enough, a bit of a shock, and a particular shock to everyone who is injured or dies during this two minute blackout.

So if you know your future, what do about it? Do you work to make it happen, do you relax and enjoy the wait, or do you try to change it in order to retain some semblance of free will?

This was a fairly interesting read. It started off well, but then slipped sideways into something of a detective thriller and, close to the end, drifted off into a quasi-religious overview of humanityís future through to the end of time. At this point I almost gave up and put the book down. Still in a rare episode of surprising generosity, I decided to read the book through to the end, so I made another coffee and lit another cigarette and ended up being pleasantly surprised. There was a point to it after all.

What's it got? Well, the Flashforward itself, the effect on the people who experienced - not what Iíd have expected at all - and some nice thoughts about free will, multiple universes and the effect of knowing oneís future. It also has the absolutely charming Michiko, albeit she is sorely abused. On the other hand there are absolutely no aliens, and indeed, if there were ever to be a sequel, absolutely no chance of aliens.

Loaded on the 16th May 2001.
    
Cover of Flashforward
Cover by Drive Communications New York

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