[Robert J. Sawyer] Science Fiction Writer
ROBERT J. SAWYER
Hugo and Nebula Winner


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Reading Group Guide

END OF AN ERA

by Robert J. Sawyer

Many reading groups and book clubs have enjoyed novels by Robert J. Sawyer. The following questions may help stimulate an interesting discussion about End of an Era. (These questions might also suggest essay topics for students studying the book.)


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Note that these questions reveal much of the novel's plot; to preserve your reading pleasure, please don't look at these questions until after you've finished reading the book.


  1. Looking back at the book after reading it, did the quotes at the start of each chapter add anything to your reading experience. Do they make sense only after you've read the novel? What about the cover illustration? How accurately does it depict the descriptions in the book? (The cover art is by Bob Eggleton, multiple Hugo-Award winning artist. He also did the covers for Fossil Hunter and Foreigner.)

  2. Do you believe what you see of the world in 2013 — picture phones, drought in the Midwest, growing tensions between the US and Russia? Or is this just one possible future out of many?

  3. If you could journey into the past, with no restrictions as to how far back you could go, where would you choose? Could you resist trying to change history? Should you resist?

  4. If Brandy had not received the diary from the other timeline, would he have lost Tess to Klicks in our timeline?

  5. Klicks says that Tess had used body language to express her unhappiness with Brandy. Why didn't she use words? What does this male/female miscommunication mean for our future? Will we really be able to communicate with aliens when we can't seem to communicate with our own species?

  6. If the Hets had turned out to be nice Martians, should Klicks and Brandy have brought them forward in time? Would that have really been "playing God" as Brandy said?

  7. What did you think of Brandy and Klicks? Did you believe that two very different men could love the same woman? If you are a woman, which man would you rather be married to? If you're a man, did you believe that Brandy and Klicks could have any kind of friendship after what happened with Tess?

  8. There is an incredible amount of death in this book — the destruction of the 5th planet, the demise of the Hets, the extinction of the dinosaurs, and the disappearance of the Rosetta Makers. How does this bode for the future of Humanity? How much longer do you think humans will survive?

  9. Brandy's dad had wanted to die, but he was in remission at the end of the book. If Brandy had acted right away, his dad would be dead. Does this mean that Brandy did the right thing in doing nothing? Or are we too much like Brandy, not wanting to make the tough decisions? Do you think Klicks will be ready to make that decision for his own father?

  10. When Brandy started to pray, did you think he'd get an answer? Was God there, on Earth, in the Cretaceous Era? Rob's novel Calculating God also deals with a father's death, God, and the extinction of the dinosaurs. If you've read both books, can you tell what the author's own views are?


More Good Reading

More about End of an Era

Reading Group Guide Index
Reading Group Guide for Quantum Night
Reading Group Guide for Triggers
Reading Group Guide for Wake
Reading Group Guide for Rollback
Reading Group Guide for Mindscan
Reading Group Guide for Hominids
Reading Group Guide for Calculating God
Reading Group Guide for FlashForward
Reading Group Guide for Factoring Humanity
Reading Group Guide for Frameshift
Reading Group Guide for Illegal Alien
Reading Group Guide for The Terminal Experiment
Reading Group Guide for Golden Fleece


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