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Publisher's Summary

A scientific experiment begins, and as the button is pressed, the unexpected occurs: everyone in the world goes to sleep for a few moments while everyone's consciousness is catapulted more than 20 years into the future. At the end of those moments, when the world reawakens, all human life is transformed by foreknowledge.
©1999 Robert J. Sawyer (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"This first-rate, philosophical journey, a terrific example of idea-driven SF, should have wide appeal." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Phelix_da_Kat on 07-23-08

How would you digest the fruits of knowledge??

You know how you sometimes wish you did something different after some event has happened.. well Robert J. Sawyer explores this here.

Based around a group of scientists who are conducting an experiment at CERN (the place where they have a massive collider running thats SO large it spans 3 different boarders/countries) in Switzerland. The results are not as they expect..

What would be your path in life if.. for 2 mins, you could see 20 years in to the future.. would you be with that person you thought you loved? If not, how would that affect you today... with that person you're with now... hhmm.. how does fore knowledge affect your daily decisions in life??

As with his other books - the science behind his stories are not outrageous, indeed they are scientifically sound (reference to SCI-FI weekly). Enjoy it, its a great story..

If you enjoyed this I would recommend one of his other books: Terminal Experiment.

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44 of 45 people found this review helpful

By Jim "The Impatient" on 05-14-11

real Science fiction

This is not Sci-Fi, this is Science fiction at it's best. I have not seen the t.v. series, but the book makes me want to watch. The miles past by so quick as I listened to this book. I usually like to listen to NPR in the morning and then listen to a book, but I kept finding reasons to leave NPR and listen to this book. The science is not over your head and RS keeps your interest all the way. It is not a time travel book, it is a glimpse into the future and the results that causes and there are some very interesting causes. RS is the Asimov of our age.

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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By Kathy on 08-14-08


It might help if you have a smattering of physics - but if you do- it's great! what would you do if you knew a snippet of the future - could you/would you change it? Excellent storyline, well read, good pace. I love SF that is possible.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

By Alan on 09-14-13

Great concept, enjoyable read, weak ending

The concept of the novel is great - an experiment at a particle accelerator produces a glimpse of 21 years into the future for the whole of humanity.

The book follows the story of the scientists as they attempt to work out what happened and follows the debate over whether the future is fixed or can be changed. One strand of the story follows a character as he tries to find out what happened in his life that meant his future self is not around in 21 years time.

For the most part the book is enjoyable and engaging and kept me coming back for more. The last third of the book ties up some of the loose ends but takes an odd direction for one of the characters and I didn't buy in to the end of his story.

Overall though I enjoyed the book and found it a real page turner.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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By Dane on 11-26-15

Better than I expected

After the TV show was cancelled years ago I finally got a chance to get closure on the FLASH FORWARD events. Kept me entertained on my commute to and fro work and with enough distractions going on in the real world this was a great escape which is why I gave it 4/5 rating.

Likes - storyline was captivating enough for me to keep me listening and wanting to find out the who what and why's
Dislike - my personal opinion ending could've been better it's a bit harsh but like the movie INTERSTELLAR it had me all the way up until that last bit which left a slightly funky taste in my mouth. Just me I know but not a fan of these out there endings.

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By Penny on 01-31-14

Geek Speak A-plenty and an Ending that is Wanting

I liked the idea of "Flash Forward" but the scientific theory did not get me engaged. I love my Sci-fi and a good "time travel" idea but this did leave me disappointed.

The scientific explanations should have been dialled back. Some are helpful, but I felt there was too much in this novel and it became frustrating. With an audio book you listen to every word. You don't skip past in case there is some important information key to the storyline so you slog through.

The narrator does a great job with some amazingly complicated terms, names and foreign languages.

I got to the end though and went, "Really, that's it?" It had some good moments, interesting concepts and left you thinking about many things, but I did feel let down by the conclusion.

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