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Monday, July 20th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

FlashfowardI first became interested in Flashfoward by Robert J. Sawyer when I heard that it was going to be made into a TV series on ABC this fall. I heard that it was a good book and wanted to read it before the series came on.

Real life for a minute: Have you heard about the Large Hadron Collider over in Europe? It was supposed to go online last year, but didn’t because of some technical issue. The purpose of the device is to create conditions that existed shortly after the big bang so they can observe some kind of particle. Some people were concerned about this experiment because they feared it could create a black hole that would cause the end of the world. If you haven’t heard about the LHC, you can read about it here.

Back to the book: it was written in 1999, but it’s set in 2009. A group of scientists are firing up the Large Hadron Collider. At the exact second that the experiment starts, everyone blacks out. By everyone I mean the entire planet. The blackout lasts for 2 minutes. During this time everyone gets a 2 minute glimpse into their own future in the year 2030.

There was some chaos caused by the incident. People blacking out behind the wheel, pilots blacking out in the air, etc. Some were upset by the damage caused and the lives lost. For the most part, however, the world was happy to have had the visions. Some saw stuff in the future that they didn’t like and of course wanted to change it. There was a lot of debate about whether everyone saw a possible future or a fixed future. That debate gets resolved later in the book. Eventually, the scientists were able to figure out exactly how it happened.

There were a few times when the book briefly got bogged down in physics, but I just glossed over those sections. I hate physics. Overall, it would a great book and I recommend it to scifi fans. I’m even more excited about the TV series now.

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