Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Flash Forward day!

by Rob - April 21st, 2009.
Filed under: FlashForward.

Today is Flash Forward day!

My 1999 novel Flash Forward begins thus:

Chapter 1

Day One: Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A slice through spacetime …

The control building for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider was new: it had been authorized in A.D. 2004 and completed in 2006. The building enclosed a central courtyard, inevitably named “the nucleus.” Every office had a window either facing in toward the nucleus or out toward the rest of CERN’s sprawling campus. The quadrangle surrounding the nucleus was two stories tall, but the main elevators had four stops: the two above-ground levels; the basement, which housed boiler rooms and storage; and the minus-one-hundred-meter level, which exited onto a staging area for the monorail used to travel along the twenty-seven-kilometer circumference of the collider tunnel. The tunnel itself ran under farmers’ fields, the outskirts of the Geneva airport, and the foothills of the Jura mountains …

In my novel, on this day, the Large Hadron Collider is turned on for the first time, and everyone on Earth blacks out for a period of two minutes; during that time, people foresee their futures.

One thing I couldn’t foresee a decade ago when the book came out was that ABC was going to make a TV series pilot based on my novel … but they have, and it’s great.

Another thing I couldn’t foresee was that Flash Forward would still be in print (and still selling well) a decade later.

Flash Forward won Canada’s Aurora Award as well as Spain’s Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficción (the world’s largest cash prize for science fiction writing), and it got me my first-ever starred review (denoting a book of exceptional merit — an honor also bestowed on my most recent novel, Wake ) in Publishers Weekly (in the April 19, 1999, edition), which called the novel “A creative, soul-searching exploration of fate, free will, and the nature of the universe,” and said, “Sawyer shifts seamlessly among the perspectives of his many characters, anchoring the story in small details. This first-rate, philosophical journey, a terrific example of idea-driven SF, should have wide appeal.”

And, well, I guess it has. :)

Happy Flash Forward day! My all our futures turn out to be bright!

You can read more about Flash Forward (including the rest of the opening chapters) here.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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