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3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  11,004 Ratings  ·  1,256 Reviews
The Hadron Collider is turned on and everyone in the world goes to sleep for a few moments. In those few moments everyone's consciousness is catapulted forward more than 20 years into the future. When it awakes the world must live with the knowledge of what is to come.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 9th 2009 by Gollancz (first published 1999)
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 30, 2009 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, audiobook
There are so many ways I could pay tribute to this book (audiobook), which was an awful piece of writing, but an entertaining way to spend ten hours in a car.
Perhaps a drinking game (NOT in the car):
RULE: Drink every time a character is identified by his or her hair color.*
RULE:Drink every time someone uses the word "indeed" in an internal monologue.
RULE: Drink every time someone answers their own question within an internal monologue a la "Yes? Yes!" or "No? No!"
RULE: Drink every time a charact
Jun 25, 2013 TK421 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Two minutes and seventeen seconds. A small amount of time for most of us, but within the confines of Robert Sawyer's fantastic science fiction novel FLASHFORWARD, 2:17 becomes more than a number; it becomes the insight to what the future holds. You see, 2:17 is the amount of time humnaity checked-out. All seven billion. As you can guess, choas ensued if you were one of the unlucky ones awake at the time. Planes crashed. Cars drove themselves. I can only guess what that unlucky skydiver experienc ...more
The only thing this shares with the TV series of the same name is the concept of everyone in the world simultaneously blacking out for two minutes, during which they have a “flashforward” of their future. In the TV series that is 6 months hence; in the book it is more than 20 years hence, so the implications are very different.

It’s a fantastic concept and it’s explored in a variety of interesting ways, but it is really badly written (how has Sawyer won literary prizes?).

Although it is primaril
Dec 17, 2008 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me, Robert J. Sawyer novels are either hit or miss. They're either incredibly brilliant and I can't turn the pages fast enough ("Rollback") or I can't wait for the final page to turn just to be done with the novel ("Homonids"). And I'll admit I picked up this one because ABC has put it on the fast-track for development for a potential TV series. One that could air after "Lost" and is being sold as a "companion" piece for one of my favorite TV shows.

Being a book-snob, I knew I had to try the
The Bird from Twin Peaks
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
As with quite a few people my first introduction to this book came through the show based on it. Very loosely based on it. I liked the show but being TV it had to take a more exciting angle on it. Turn the flashforward into some big conspiracy, with heroes and villains and a much shorter time frame.

The book though is much more peaceful. There's no conspiracy. It was an accident. And the vision was over 20 years later rather than 6 months. There is a lot of heavy science in this book but, for me,
Kat Hagedorn

Forget the book, watch the series.

Sawyer is not that good a writer, but his ideas are phenomenal. There's a lot of stumbling around in the book-- mostly via descriptions of the physics that take pages, and descriptions of the characters that don't advance the plot or make us care for the characters any longer or any more than we do.

I was particularly confused by the ending. I'll admit that the physics has to be explained, and that Sawyer does not do a bad job of making
This is a very hard book to rate. The TV show was SO much better.

I was drawn to read this because I loved the TV show Flashforward of a couple of years ago, the one that didn’t make it past two seasons. I thought it was such a fascinating premise: Everyone on earth blacks out for two minutes and sees a vision of his or her own future. They get to observe exactly what they’ll be doing six months hence, leading afterward to much contemplation by characters (and viewers) about whether the future i
(Cross-posted to Android Dreamer, my science fiction blog.)

Flashforward is the kind of novel that gradually gets better as it goes on. Despite the cool concept, I felt like early on I couldn't get into it, until I all of a sudden realized that it had suddenly become interesting on me. It isn't as outstanding as his Hugo Award winning novel Hominids but it is a strong story, a cool premise, and is made very good by particular awesome moments.

The concept is that for 2 minutes and 17 seconds, the w
Sep 14, 2011 Sandi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2011
I’ve had Flashback sitting in my to-read pile for a long time now, but I kept moving books in front of it. It was a surprisingly fast and easy read, but it missed some of the depth it could have achieved considering its themes. The largest theme is freewill vs. determinism. That’s a pretty meaty topic for such a short book. Religion has been debating this issue for millennia and hasn’t come to a full conclusion. This book tries to take a scientific approach, but it’s nothing that can really be d ...more
Dec 11, 2014 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well this was an interesting read - more for curiosity than because it was an amazing book.

Cast your memory back to a short lived TV series of the same name where an unidentified event causes every living persons consciousness to be transported forward in time for just over 2 minutes - and then returned.

The TV series deals with the events both here and now - and the implications of what people saw in the future.

Now the book - this too follows similar lines but suddenly not only are you dealing
Oct 21, 2014 Kenny rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-scifi
"FlashForward," the inspiration for the hit ABC television series, is nothing more than that: inspiration. It is hardly anything like the series, and thank goodness for that, because Sawyer is such a poor writer that one can only explain his numerous awards as being given for clever concepts, not execution. His book is full of hackneyed situations, paper-thin characters, a bumpy and unsatisfying storyline, and a climax that is not climactic but ultimately depressing and pointless. Given his view ...more
Jun 13, 2011 Kyra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
One of those very rare cases where the tv show is better than the book.(IMO)

I've discovered don't like Robert Sawyer's books.
I had previous read his attempt at "intelligent design" SciFi book called "Calculating God" (which I *LOATHED*).

However, the concept of this book was so interesting, I was intrigued.
I enjoyed the TV show adaptation but wanted more answers, so I read the book.

I had to force my way through it. I don't know why but I just don't like his writing style.

I don't think it's just
Jul 23, 2010 Alice rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because I was completely in love with the ABC series. Well, just so you know, it's COMPLETELY different.
Except for the Flashforward and Mosaic, not even the characters are the same. Lloyd Simcoe is in the series, but as a secondary character...
That being said, the book was okay. It's not something I would have picked to read had I not seen the TV series.
Lloyd Simcoe, for some reason, reminds me a lot of Robert Langdon. But Seeing as Flashforward was published in 1999 and t
Apr 28, 2009 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, lost-lit
Ok. Not offically a Lost Lit book, but it really should be. It's a pretty cool concept. Scientists try to rebuild the same situations that took place to create the Big Bang, and when they push the button to start the experiment, everyone in the world loses consciousness and jumps into their future selves for almost two minutes. The visions, or lack of, that they experience shape their actions and thoughts for the next twenty years.

Two complaints...

The author uses the word "doubtless" an amazin
Aug 02, 2011 Tracy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I actually read this book as part of a selection for my book club. I want to read the book because I think the concept is interest and can stir a lot of discussion about science and the ability to have a glimpse of your future.

I found the book too heavy on the technical and scientific description. I think the author could have use the time to better develop his characters. Getting past all the physics theories and extended descriptions, the idea behind the story is interesting. See how people co
Nov 09, 2016 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I had trouble sleeping last night, partly because I found this book so engaging. I'm about 2/3 done already, and I'm pretty sure I'll want to recommend this to others and to read more by the author.

I particularly liked that he didn't start out the way so many of these stories that have a large cast of characters do, by introducing us to each backstory before getting to the meat of the adventure. We got to know more and more people as we went along.

I also am enjoying the 'predictions.' This was w
Oct 18, 2012 V rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sci Fi fans
Shelves: reviewed, fiction
The TV adaptation of Flash Forward became something of a phenomenon a few years ago. Clever marketing campaigns hyped it up beyond belief (at least in the UK), and all my friends were talking about it. I never watched a single episode, but a friend did tell me about it in great detail – everyone in the world blacks out for two minutes. During this time, almost everybody gets a detailed view of their lives twenty or so years into the future. If they'll be alive in the future, that is...

For the hu
Aug 30, 2009 Cathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the book quite a lot. It was a very easy read, quick to get into, fast to finish. The premise is interesting, and fit nicely into place with the many books I've been reading lately about fate vs. free will. I also always enjoy when sci-fi books can teach me some interesting science lessons while still making it fun. I enjoyed the way Theo's arc read like a mystery novel within context of the greater story. What I thought worked best was the way that the book told the overall story of a g ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Oct 19, 2009 Shannon (Giraffe Days) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2009
It is 2009, and a team of international physicists working at CERN near Geneva in Switzerland (by the French border), are about to run an experiment that they hope will give them the Higg's boson, resulting in a breakthrough in generating energy. Everything's ready to go, and the computer will run the actual experiment; all they have to do is count down and hope.

At exactly 5 p.m. local time, it begins. The result is unexpected, to say the least: world-wide catastrophe.

Across the globe, every hum
Apr 10, 2013 Space rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: time-travel junkies, tech-heads
My grief, this was fantastic. Seriously. I've never read a time-travel book before that didn't have time-travel in it. Here is a completely original idea, done with superb craftsmanship. The basic premise is that an experiment at CERN using the large halon collider produces a quirk, in which the entire human race is shown a flash from the future. The whole world simultaneously sees a two-minute glimpse of the world twenty-one years in the future. Now what do we do with that knowledge?

Excellent p
Apr 22, 2009 Kemper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, time-travel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jim O.
Feb 04, 2012 Jim O. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was a huge fan of the TV series, so I thought I would try the book. I had heard that the plot was very different, and I wanted to see what those differences were. I had read Sawyer before and had enjoyed him, so picking this up was a no-brainer. Unfortunately, so was reading it. I found the characters, plot, and writing style to be so boring that I couldn't even finish it. I stopped reading it about halfway through, which was generous on my part. I had already started to get bored in the first ...more
I did enjoy this book, but I went into the book thinking it would be like the TV show; and hoped I would give me some closure. With this mentality it took me a while to get into this book. The book is nothing like the TV show. While the TV show was a fast paced, exciting show; the book was more a philosophical look at what life would be like if we knew our future mixed heavily with the scientific theories behind time travel. If you are going to read this book, you need to remember that it is not ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Interesting concept but frustrating to get taken out of the story for thinly veiled science lectures that didn't make sense for the characters having those conversations. An interesting application of quantum theory though, and I was intrigued by the immortality concept that gets mentioned in passing. Also, I'd be fine never reading the phrase "time immutable" ever again. He must use it 50 times.
Nov 25, 2016 Nyssa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nyssa by: MobileRead Book Club
There was a little too much science in the fiction for my tastes, but this was a pretty cool read.

The ending of this novel was both pleasant and anticlimactic at the same time. That's also a good way to describe the overall feel and pacing of this book. No real highs, nor any real lows, just an even ride with a few bumps in the road and sites to see along the journey.
Ben Babcock
I do not believe in free will. But more on that later.

Flashforward is in every way what you'd expect from a story about glimpsing the future. It raises questions about free will, determinism, and the nature of consciousness and time itself. However, Robert J. Sawyer has gone one step further and added to that a humbling sense of moral responsibility. The flashforwards are a global event experienced by all of humanity, but were caused by a human experiment and ended up causing, in turn, damage an
May 17, 2010 Carla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, portuguese, 2010
Since last summer, when I saw the television series being announced, that I become curious about this book. Unfortunately I haven't been able to follow the show but was happy to see the book published in Portuguese and couldn't wait to pick it up and read it.

Though it's different from the television series, as I've been told, the book starts in a similar way, with a global blackout in which every person in the world has a glimpse of their future, for 2 minutes, into 21 years time. But not everyo
I don't know what to make of this book. As a "science fiction" book, I think it failed. As a work of fiction about humanity and psychology, it wasn't all that bad. It definitely had some thriller elements to it, too, though those aspects felt unfinished at the end.

First - the science fiction. I understand that Sawyer used a scientific event to create the Flashforward. But I think he could have used that without bringing in so much of the science into it. Every time actual physics was brought up,
Caitlin W.
I always think it's interesting to read predictions of the future, especially when 'the future' has come and gone. For instance, this book was published in 1999 but took place (mostly) in 2009, and the author made a few offhand references to the fact that no young people are wearing blue jeans in 2009 because they're so old-fashioned.

The protaganist, Lloyd, is a physicist at CERN that is about to use the Large Hadron Collider to search for the Higgs boson particle. Just after he pushes the butt
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Robert J. Sawyer is one of Canada's best known and most successful science fiction writers. He is the only Canadian (and one of only 7 writers in the world) to have won all three of the top international awards for science fiction: the 1995 Nebula Award for The Terminal Experiment, the 2003 Hugo Award for Hominids, and the 2006 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Mindscan.
Robert Sawyer grew up in
More about Robert J. Sawyer...

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“Naturally, one does not normally discuss plans to commit murder with the intended victim.” 24 likes
“As laser-bright moments; diamond-hard memories; crisp and clear. A future lived, a future savored, a future of moments so sharp and pointed that they would sometimes cut and sometimes glint so brightly it would hurt to contemplate them, but sometimes, too,
would be joyous, an absolute, pure, unalloyed joy, the kind of joy he hadn't felt much if at all lo these twenty-one years.”
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