Nancy Oakes's Reviews > Flashforward

Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer
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Nov 01, 2009

liked it
Read in October, 2009

okay...this one is like a 3.5 -- average. Not great, not bad.

Set in 2009, Sawyer takes as his premise that in the midst of ordinary life one day everyone on the planet loses consciousness for a few minutes and wakes up knowing his or her future in the year 2030. For some it is a good thing, but not for all. As scientists puzzle over what caused the flashforward (as the phenomenon came to be known), others are trying their best to deal with their futures that haven't yet occurred.

Sawyer offers his readers the opportunity to enter the debate over destiny vs. free will, having his characters enter into philosophical discourse as well as lectures on certain concepts of quantum physics, the nature of God, and reality.

There are really only two negatives about my experience with this book. First, the characters are a bit cardboardish and ultimately forgettable. I liked them as scientists but when they were in their own personal lives they were a bit flat. Second, the ending of the book (which I won't give away) didn't seem to fit for some reason.

Overall, the story itself was a good one, although at times it became a bit dense while trying to slog through the science. I think that people who enjoy more technical (hard) science fiction will really like this one. If you're not up on the discussion of Schrodinger's Cat, you may want to spend some time reading about it before you start this book. I spent a long time trying to figure it out, since I was not blessed with a brain that does science. Others who may be interested in the philosophy behind the story (free will vs. an immutable destiny) will also enjoy it. I can definitely recommend it.
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Nancy Oakes Personally, I tried to understand it just because I thought it would add to my reading experience, but some of it I just couldn't get. arrgh! And don't expect the series at all!


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