Saturday, July 07, 2007


by Robert J. Sawyer

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 of the SETI project is certain that Dr. Halifax, who is also 87, is the person not only to decode the latest transmission, but also to maintain a dialogue with the aliens. He's so certain of this that he's willing to fund Dr. Halifax's rejuvenation--an obscenely expensive procedure called a rollback. She agrees to do it on the condition that her husband, Don, receive the procedure, too. Mr. Moneybags agrees and the rollbacks are begun. The problem is, while Don regresses to a physical age of 25, the procedure doesn't work on Sarah. What follows is the tale of a man facing a second chance at life in a world where he no longer fits in with his rapidly disappearing peer group. Intertwined with all this is the story of the alien messages. It's wonderfully written, as one expects from Mr. Sawyer. I think I especially clicked with the tale because I'm roughly the same age as the lead characters and I could relate to a lot of their reminiscing. But no matter what age you may be, this book's well worth checking out.
LibraryThing link


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