Wednesday, June 14, 2000

Flash Forward

by Robert J. Sawyer

What if you got a glimpse of your life twenty years in the future? How would that change you? What if everybody got that glimpse? What would that do to our world? Well, that's the premise of Flash Forward. This is a classic science fiction tale: the hero is a scientist and the narrative occasionally detours off into explanations of the latest scientific theory. An experiment in Switzerland causes everyone's consciousness to jump ahead 20 years to spend two minutes in the future. Of course, this causes problems in the present as everybody just blacks out and falls over. Annoying if you're sitting at your desk, deadly if you're on a landing plane. Sawyer then takes you through the consequences of the event -- first the response to the disasters, then the realization of what happened and the piecing together of different people's visions. (or lack of them, for those who were slated to die in the next 20 years) I found the whole story quite gripping...until the end. Unfortunately, Sawyer takes the story a bit too long and goes off into some bizarro future scenario. I suppose it's just a matter of conflicting worldviews here. (I can suspend disbelief enough to swallow that the future dead don't see visions of Heaven or Hell, but I can't buy the .... Hey, I better not spoil the ending.) That being said, I think I might try to get this one on my shelf. It's a good story and good science fiction. I've got to read more of this Sawyer guy.

LibraryThing link

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