03 June 2011

Flash Forward

I read the book by Robert Sawyer. B listened to it and recommended it. I've not seen the show, though B described it to me after i'd read the book, and it seems to be very, very different from what appeared on tv.

Right when Lloyd and Theo, two scientists at CERN, run their experiment to find the Higgs boson, everyone on earth blacks out for about 2 minutes. Many people experience visions, like Lloyd who find himself in bed with a much older woman, but a few do not, like Theo. Once everyone wakes up, they find chaos as planes, cars, and other machinery had no operators for those two minutes. In the aftermath, the scientists discover that the visions showed a coherent future 21 years away and those without visions have died before the day that everyone saw. This explanation sends the book off into 3 storylines: the scientists' research into discovering why the flash forward happened, Theo's search for the person who is going to kill him, and a discourse on free will vs. determinism.

There is a lot of science and philosophy in this book which will turn off some who like their sci-fi a bit more straightforward. I liked some of the characters but found Lloyd to be a bit annoying and wishy-washy to me. overall, i give it a 5.

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