Flashforward

by Robert J. Sawyer

Tom Doherty Associates | April 15, 2000 | Mass Market Paperbound

4.125 out of 5 rating. 8 Reviews
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The Aurora Award-winning novel that started it all!

FLASH FORWARD

Two minutes and seventeen seconds that changed the world

Suddenly, without warning, all seven billion people on Earth black out for more than two minutes. Millions die as planes fall from the sky, people tumble down staircases, and cars plow into each other.

But that's the least of the survivors' challenges. During the blackout, everyone experienced a glimpse of what his or her future holds-and the interlocking mosaic of these visions threatens to unravel the present.

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Dimensions: 320 pages, 6.7 × 4.26 × 0.83 in

Published: April 15, 2000

Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0812580346

ISBN - 13: 9780812580341

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– More About This Product –

Flashforward

by Robert J. Sawyer

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Dimensions: 320 pages, 6.7 × 4.26 × 0.83 in

Published: April 15, 2000

Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0812580346

ISBN - 13: 9780812580341

Read from the Book

1   Day One: Tuesday, April 21, 2009   A slice through spacetime … The control building for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider was new: it had been authorized in A.D. 2004 and completed in 2006. The building enclosed a central courtyard, inevitably named “the nucleus.” Every office had a window either facing in toward the nucleus or out toward the rest of CERN’s sprawling campus. The quadrangle surrounding the nucleus was two stories tall, but the main elevators had four stops: the two above-ground levels; the basement, which housed boiler rooms and storage; and the minus-one-hundred-meter level, which exited onto a staging area for the monorail used to travel along the twenty-seven-kilometer circumference of the collider tunnel. The tunnel itself ran under farmers’ fields, the outskirts of the Geneva, airport, and the foothills of the Jura mountains. The south wall of the control building’s main corridor was divided into nineteen long sections, each of which had been decorated with a mosaic made by an artist from one of CERN’s member countries. The one from Greece depicted Democritus and the origin of atomic theory; the one from Germany portrayed the life of Einstein; the one from Denmark, that of Niels Bohr. Not all of the mosaics had physics as their themes, though: the French one depicted the skyline of Paris, and the Italian one showed a vineyard with thousands of polished amethysts representing individual grapes. The a
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From the Publisher

The Aurora Award-winning novel that started it all!

FLASH FORWARD

Two minutes and seventeen seconds that changed the world

Suddenly, without warning, all seven billion people on Earth black out for more than two minutes. Millions die as planes fall from the sky, people tumble down staircases, and cars plow into each other.

But that's the least of the survivors' challenges. During the blackout, everyone experienced a glimpse of what his or her future holds-and the interlocking mosaic of these visions threatens to unravel the present.

About the Author

Robert J. Sawyer is the Aurora Award-winning author of FlashForward, basis for the ABC TV series, the Hugo Award-winning author of Hominids, and the Nebula Award-winning author of The Terminal Experiment. He is also the author of Calculating God, Mindscan, the WWW series-Wake, Watch and Wonder-and many other books. He was born in Ottawa and lives in Toronto.

From Our Editors

A scientific experiment crumbles when the world`s population is accidentally put to sleep for several minutes, thrusting everyone`s consciousness 21 years into the future. However, while everyone is looking into the future, their bodies fall unconscious, leaving them to awaken to car wrecks, botched surgeries and destruction. Author Robert J. Sawyer takes an incredible idea in his novel Flashforward and turns it into a compelling work that will make you question whether the future is really changeable.

Editorial Reviews

"This first-rate, philosophical journey, a terrific example of idea-driven SF, should have wide appeal."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Sawyer is a writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation."--The New York Times Book Review

Bookclub Guide

Note that these questions reveal much of the novel's plot; to preserve your reading pleasure, please don't look at these questions until after you've finished reading the book.
  1. Because Lloyd Simcoe doesn't want to feel responsible for all the death and destruction that occurs during the Flashforward, he's desperate to believe that the past, present, and future are fixed; if they are fixed, then what happened was inevitable and therefore not truly Lloyd's fault. Theo Procopides, meanwhile, discovering that he'll be dead in two decades, desperately wishes to believe that the future is not fixed. Do you believe the future is fixed, or can it be changed? Do you feel Lloyd is to blame for Tamiko's death?
  2. If you were in the same situation as Lloyd and Michiko, knowing that twenty-one years down the road you would no longer be together, would you go ahead with the planned wedding? If you were in the same situation as Theo's brother, Dim, and discovered that your dreams were never going to come true, what would you do?
  3. In the novel, people had no choice about seeing their lives in the future. If you were given a choice, would you choose to have a glimpse of what the future hold for you? How would you react if, like Theo, you discovered that you would be dead twenty-one years in the future.
  4. Reverse the premise: What one piece of information from today would you want to tell yourself twenty-one years ago? Job advice? A hot stock tip? Something about your interpersonal relationships? What truth about your life as it is today would you have been grateful to know twenty-one years ago?
  5. In the novel, author Sawyer says the majority of the human race would decide that they want to have the CERN experiment reproduced. Granted the insights into the future are fascinating, but given all the carnage that occurred the first time, do you think it's realistic that most people would be willing to try again? What could go wrong with Project Klaatu (the attempt to make sure no one gets hurt the second time the experiment is run)?
  6. Flashforward is full of scientists. Did they seem like real people to you? Could you identify with them, even if you, yourself, are not a scientist? Why or why not?
  7. What, if anything, is Theo's hamartia -- his fatal flaw? Do all of the characters have a fatal flaw? What is your fatal flaw? Does knowing what our flaws are help us? Or are we blind to our own flaws, and can only see them in others?
  8. Theo Procopides survives at the end, even though he had no vision. In essence, his future is now a blank slate. Do you accept his sudden need for family, for someone to fill that void? What do you think the future holds for Theo and Michiko?
  9. Lloyd is offered immortality -- but with strings attached. Would you take the opportunity to live forever? What if your spouse could not live forever with you? Did you believe Lloyd's choice, turning down immortality in favor of living out the rest of a normal life with Doreen? What if you were the only immortal, and you outlived the rest of the human race -- would you want to live forever even if it meant you would be all alone?
  10. Young Jacob Horowitz makes his vision come true. At the end of the novel, he and Carly Tompkins are happily married with children. Did their relationship succeed because of their mutual visions? Would Lloyd Simcoe have said they were "fated" to be together?
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