Monday, January 25, 2010

Flashforward (novel) by Robert J. Sawyer

Rating: 5/5

I actually sought this out after I saw the pilot to the TV series, I had found out it was loosely based on a sci-fi novel. The ideas presented in the TV series were interesting, and I searched high and low for this novel.

If you are familiar with the TV series, the novel is completely different. To be quite frank, the TV series has been dumbed down quite a lot. The novel's main characters are in fact scientists, to be more specific Physicists. We have Llyod Simcoe and Theo Procopides as our main two characters who are conducting an experiment to find the Higgs boson. At the exactly 5pm (Geneva time where they are located) the entire world blacks out. As they wake up they soon discover that they have had visions 21 years in the future.

The novel is set in a different 2009 (this was first published back in 1999), and the first part of the novel focuses on the fall out of the flashforward and the need to discover how it happened, and whether the experience they were running is in fact responsible. Much like in the TV series, one of our characters does not have a flashforward and they find out they will be murdered. The search to solve that is a major plot device in the novel, and it really works too. I thought this novel was just fantastic, it cleverly mixes sci-fi and the element of fantasy and personal drama and relationships extremely well.

I really felt strongly towards the characters, I really got caught up in their situations and their heart breaks. The ideas presented really make you think, whether or not the flashforwards are destined, can things be changed, is the timeline fixed? It makes you wonder and really is something that is thought provoking. I felt Robert J. Sawyer constructed something extremely intelligent, and it made me walk away with a new out look on things. I feel it is such a shame they made so many changes to the TV series. I think a faithful adaptation of the novel would have made for a compelling sci-fi film.

I would highly recommend this book, even if you aren't much of a sci-fi reader I think this novel does have something for everyone. Sure it has a lot of science in it but you can always use google if you do not entirely understand something. The characters are extremely well written, and the scenario's they are faced with as I said will make you think and wonder.

You can purchase the novel on Amazon or Borders Australia.

  • ISBN: 9780812580341
  • Category: Science Fiction
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
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