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Vuelta atrás

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,774 Ratings  ·  267 Reviews
Dr. Sarah Halifax decoded the first-ever radio transmission received from aliens. Thirty-eight years later, a second message is received and Sarah, now 87, may hold the key to deciphering this one, too... if she lives long enough.

A wealthy industrialist offers to pay for Sarah to have a rollback—a hugely expensive experimental rejuvenation procedure. She accepts on conditi
Tapa flexible con solapas, 320 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Ediciones B (first published April 3rd 2007)
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About halfway through "Rollback" by Robert J. Sawyer, I had a scathing review all ready to go. I hated the first half. There were way too many brand names used. There were way too many Star Trek references. There was this horribly long exposition about the movie "Contact" starring Jodie Foster. The couple around whom the story centers were born a year before me and I had a hard time relating to their thought processes. If I were reminiscing about a pizza dinner from 40 years earlier, I certainly ...more
Apr 08, 2008 Roger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is up for the Best Novel Hugo this year and it deserves it, although I'll reserve final judgment on that until I've read the other four in the category. It is a STRONG contender, though.

The year is 2048. Sarah Halifax, a SETI researcher, who cracked the first alien transmission to earth in 2009 and who helped craft the reply, is 87 and living in quiet retirement. On her 60th wedding anniversary, the aliens have responded with an encrypted message. A wealthy industrialist, convinced she
Mar 09, 2008 Heather rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
this is an extremely character-driven book, to the degree that i wished for a little less dialogue. and certainly less posturing or lecturing, because boy is this book full of discussions where people preach the merits of this position or that. the fact that i shared some of his characters' beliefs? maybe that made it worse, i don't know. but it seemed heavy-handed.

there are some cool ideas, but the particular way he blended pop culture references in was somehow annoying rather than charming. e
Jul 02, 2008 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book has a fascinating premise: An astronomer decodes a message from an alien race who live on a planet 18 light years away. She sends a reply and 36 years in the future another message is received. However, she is now in her 80s. A rich supporter of scientific efforts to contact alien species offers to fund a "rollback": give the astronomer her youth again so she can continue to communicate with the alien species (at one point, someone says she is their penpal). She will only have the roll ...more
Jun 08, 2008 Kristin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For brevity's sake, I've cut and pasted a synopis from the site from Publisher's Weekly: Astronomer Sarah Halifax, who translated the first message from aliens and helped prepare humanity's response, is 87 when the second, encrypted message arrives 38 years later. To aid the decoding, a tycoon buys rejuvenation treatment for Sarah and Don, her husband of 60 years; however, only Don becomes young again. While coping with the physical indignities of old age, Sarah tries to figure out th ...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

Regular readers know that July has been somewhat of a special month for me, in that I was accidentally able to get ahold of eight out of the twelve science-fiction novels nominated this year for either the Hugo or Philip K Dick award, and have been reviewing all of them here throughout the month; toda
The other John
Mar 14, 2008 The other John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed, sf
An interesting tale about an 87-year-old man who receives the "gift" of rejuvenation. The biggest problem was that it really wasn't intended for him. The year is 2048. Thirty-eight years earlier, Earth had received the first ever radio transmission from another world. Many folks puzzled over the message, trying to figure it out, but it was Dr. Sarah Halifax who made the breakthrough and allowed Earth to understand the message and respond. Now the second message has arrived and the main financier ...more
Robert J. Sawyer es un buen escritor con grandes ideas, no cabe duda. Además, los más de cuarenta premios internacionales que lo avalan son otro punto a su favor. Como se suele decir, tanta gente no puede estar equivocada. Y aún así, siempre hay algo en su escritura que me impide colocarlo junto a mis autores favoritos dentro y fuera del género de la ciencia ficción.

'Vuelta atrás (Rollback)' es una historia humana de alcance moral, ético y cultural. Año 2048. Han pasado 38 años desde que Sarah H
Jul 16, 2008 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a fun, easy read. Nominally sci-fi, it reads more like mainstream fiction. True, there are aliens, but they are 18.8 light years away. This book is about ethics. SETI finally recieved a radio message from the stars in 2009. Sarah was integral to decoding that message then, at age 49, and sending Earth's reply. Now in 2047, we've finally received a reply that nobody can figure out. Sarah, unfortunately, is in her late 80's now and knocking on death's door. But a super-rich SETI-love ...more
May 20, 2010 Jamie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: liberal sci-fi fans (but not conservatives or religious)
First, what I liked:
The book had an interesting premise: it's about both first contact and aging (or the lack thereof - almost like time travel). Some of the concepts the explored about extra-terrestials were quite novel, blowing away some of the widely-held beliefs that were put in place by the likes of Carl Sagan.

However... there was a lot that I didn't care for in the book.

The first was the author's idea of what things might be like 30-40 years from now. I'm not talking about "futuristic" th
Oct 09, 2009 Amber rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was intrigued enough by the premise on the back of this book to buy it, but sadly it wasn't worth the money. It takes way too long for all the events described on the back of the book to actually happen and it's boring to wait for them to happen since you already know from the back of the book that they will happen. The book is set in 2048, was published in 2007, and yet the pop culture references within (Seinfeld, the movie Contact) already feel dated.

Once the "Rollback" occurs, I found the
Katya Epstein
Jul 26, 2011 Katya Epstein rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm in chapter 15 and I've decided not to finish reading it. The main character/narrator, Don, is just dull, in both senses. The interesting actions in the book are taken by the people around him; things happen to him. When he finally does make a decision for himself, it's so despicable and utterly thoughtless that I have no interest in finding out if he redeems himself. The part of the book that actually interests me, the mysterious message from outer space, is largely ignored; it seems to be t ...more

3.5 stars

Octogenarian Sarah Halifax decoded the original message from Sigma Draconis. Now, the second signal comes in, and a billionaire eager to read it pays to rejuvenate Sarah and her husband. The rejuvenation process works for Sarah's husband, but not for her.

I've only read one other Robert Sawyer book (Illegal Alien), and didn't care for it much. But I saw this at a discount store, and the concept looked interesting. I'm glad I picked it up.

Much of the book is crowde
-Intrascendente desde la Ciencia-Ficción, muy entretenido como novela.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. El día que Donald y Sarah celebran su sexagésimo aniversario de bodas, a punto de rematar la primera mitad del siglo XXI, llega la noticia de que el mensaje que Sarah mandó hacia Sigma Draconis bastantes años antes en respuesta al recibido desde allí en 2009 ha sido contestado por los alienígenas. Las peculiaridades de la comunicación hacen que un multimillonario ofrezca a Sarah, de
Jun 19, 2015 Karin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwe2015
I make it no secret that I don't really enjoy Robert J Sawyer's books. So I'll pre-empt this all by saying that if you already didn't like a Sawyer book, you probably won't like this one either, though depending on which of his other books you disliked, this one will probably make you roll your eyes slightly less violently.

The problem is that he starts off with a science premise that sounds fascinating.

Ex: What if we were communicating with an alien race 18.8 light years away and we had a way to
Cynthia Nomanee
After several months, I finally settled to finish the last pages of this book yesterday. After reading Illegal Alien by Sawyer (which I actually liked), I expected this book to be as equally thought provoking and enjoyable, but no.
I expected it to explore the scientific and philosophical concepts that were portrayed in the premise. The bio-engineering, the alien life, the ethics, the regaining of youth, the capability of human emotions by robots and all that other jazz. What I got instead was a
Feb 13, 2015 Aleeda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-read
Some people believe that good sci-fi might simply read like good fiction. If that's your take, Robert Sawyer's Rollback is for you.

Sarah Halifax is a scientist affilated with SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). When a message from Draconis Sigma is received, Sarah is the one who decodes it, and is one of 100 people whose response is included in the message sent in return. Because of the distance, the roundtrip for each message is 40 years. When a second message is received, Sarah i
Brent Werness
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diane V-R
Jan 03, 2011 Diane V-R rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
I'm becoming a fast fan of Robert J Sawyer and this book has certainly cemented the relationship. Amongst many other things, it explores the relationship between a couple married for 60 years and the stress on their relationship when the husband (Don Halifax) has his age physically rolled-back to age 25 (or thereabouts). Sarah Halifax (the wife) remains 87 years old after her rollback is unsuccessful.

Sawyer raises many angles to this complex issue. Such as how would Don's 50 year old children re
Someone in my bookclub suggested this book, and as far as books for bookclubs, this one should generate very interesting discussions when we do meet. To be fair to Robert J. Sawyer, it already has created an array of discussions around the kitchen table with my husband and kids. But, in many ways I feel it was not executed with the mastery it deserved. The author utilizes dialogue as a form of explaining ideas to no end, making the reading a bit tiring. The ending is too nice and the characters ...more
Aug 02, 2007 Jack rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
A sweet little confection. The book is all set up to work through the philosophical implications of a radical life-extending medical treatment so expensive that only a handful of people on earth can afford it. Thrown into the mix are marital infidelity, the death of a longtime partner, and an alien radio transmission that amounts to a survey on species ethics.

This is a fun read, though the treatment of these topics turns out to be a bit shallow. Sawyer has lots of good and interesting ideas, but
May 06, 2014 Pablos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Jak już czasem wspominałem przy okazji wyrażania opinii na temat powieści Roberta J. Sawyera - uwielbiam tego gościa. Od lat nie trafiłem na autora, który miałby chociaż cień szansy na zajęcie miejsca tego wesołego Kanadyjczyka na mojej top liście. Powód uwielbienia jest prosty: Robert J. Sawyer to człowiek, który jest urodzonym nauczycielem, facet przekazując wiedzę czuje się jak ryba w wodzie, a przy tym jest także bardzo dokładnym, pedantycznym wręcz twórcą literatury. W jego książkach wszyst ...more
Clay Brown
Sarah and Don Halifax are the main ingredients to Rollback a Science Fiction novel by Robert J. Sawyer. When we first meet them they are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, both are in their 80’s. Rollback isn’t a very long book to read and its tone and state are generally quick and easy to understand and get through. As we proceed through Rollback Mr. Sawyer does a pretty good job in expressing the aged married couple.

We soon learn that there is something pretty special about Sarah, Don
Marcus George
Feb 24, 2014 Marcus George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, sf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 04, 2015 Oscar_LRB rated it really liked it
¿Qué puedo decir de Sawyer... que no se haya dicho ya?
Es un autor que consigue atraparte. Capaz de "facilitar" la comprensión de las partes más complicadas de la ciencia, al menos para los neófitos, o no tan neófitos (como es mi caso) que no tienen formación científica y se les puede escapar más de un concepto.

Me queda claro, tras la lectura de varias de sus novelas, que el fuerte de Sawyer es la repercusión moral de los hechos. Siempre envuelve sus novelas con ese componente. De hecho, es una d
R.L. Stedman
intriguing story, about a message from outer space and a researcher and her husband who are both offered 'rollbacks' - their genes restored, to give them extra life; time to decode the gene. It works for the husband, not the researcher. Rollback packs a lot in - mortality, age, fidelity, love, let alone the scifi of messages and alien life. I enjoyed the story, but with some caveats. even though its set in the future, i don't think any medical clinic would do as much surgery on really elderly pe ...more
May 10, 2010 Jerjonji rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
By the author of the book Flashforward (which is on reserve at the library), which is why it came home with us, but it should have stayed at the library. In which a man gets to be 27 again while his aging wife dies and he raises alien twins boys for her... sounds absurb? Yep, it is. A self-indulengent writer who needed a good editor to save a story about second changes.
Not my favorite book by this author. I would say this is mainly a romance novel with a setting in the future. The talk and story about SETI is just some background noise to me to be honest.

The author focused more on the characters and their past lives, love and how the rollback affected their marriage and his behaviour. Very predictable though.

I totally didn't like the amount of mentioning 20 ct brands, people, food etc....especially the ones from the period 2000-2010 because this is an even mor
May 11, 2009 Lawrence rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm putting this book down because it sucks. It is told from the near future and reads like a summary of late 90's early 2000's pop culture, "oh, yeah, back in the day, seinfeld was this hilarious show." Boring. Another book that would appear to be about first contact, but isn't. How did this win whatever award it won (hugo? nebula?)
Niente di che.
Se da una parte l'idea è interessante ed il colloquio a distanza con i Draconiani è potenzialmente interessante, ad un certo punto l'autore prende la tangente e diventa veramente difficile seguirlo senza sorridere. La metodologia immaginata per fare ringiovanire fino a 25 anni spaccati non può che lasciare perplesso chi come me lavora su tematiche molecolari. Lo avrei perdonato alla SF anni '50 ma non ad un autore contemporaneo. La pensata poi degli ET di inviare i progetti per sin
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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
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