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

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Reviews of the Novel

Robert J. Sawyer's FlashForward


"A creative, soul-searching exploration of fate, free will, and the nature of the universe. 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." — Publishers Weekly (starred review, denoting a book of exceptional merit)

"If you had the ability to go back in time and change an aspect of your personal fate, would you? Canadian science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer takes that premise and flips it over in the thoroughly entertaining new novel FlashForward. Like all good science fiction novels, Sawyer gives us characters to care about by painting their humanity in ways the reader can relate to. FlashForward is a quick, fun read. The characters and story keep you turning the pages to see how this future turns out." — CNN

"An intricate examination of fate and free will. The core of the novel turns on the consensus among most physicists that past, present and future all exist simultaneously. The future, therefore, may be glimpsed but not changed. Sawyer's ingenious response to that conundrum and his deft handling of his characters' differing viewpoints make FlashForward a provoking read." — Maclean's: Canada's Weekly Newsmagazine

"A novel full of very human pain and confusion on several levels, from the emotional ones of grief and love to the intellectual ones of theoretical physics and philosophy. If you've enjoyed Sawyer's novels before, you'll have fun with this one." — Analog

"Robert J. Sawyer consistently makes intelligent, mind-blowing science fiction accessible to the mainstream reader with his efficient, easy-flowing prose, his exciting ideas, and his superior character development. Over the past several years, Sawyer's stunning thrillers have produced multiple Hugo and Nebula nominations, enough for most to recognize him as the leader of SF's next-generation pack. His newest novel, the near-future FlashForward, is every bit as good, if not better, than his previously recognized high-tech whirlwinds. One of 1999's greatest science-fiction reads." — Barnes & Noble

"FlashForward explores many of the questions of time travel and has well-developed characters that you care about. Great storytelling with good science knowledge and speculation." — The Boston Globe

"FlashForward treats the reader to visions of an almost Wellsian future. The reliable Sawyer turns in another solid performance." — Booklist

"FlashForward presents disturbing questions. Robert Sawyer once again challenges his readers to think and think deeply. By focusing on the effects of the experiment on a small group of individuals he brings his frightening vision of tomorrow heavily to bare on his readers. FlashForward is a flash of genius." — Comics Corner

"Sawyer's strength lies in combining human-sized problems with cutting-edge science ... he does a masterful job of blending them here." — The Davis Enterprise (Davis, California)

"Pure science fiction and very good. A well-told story about a phenomenon that gives the world two minutes to look into the future. It is as philosophical as it is scientific, with weight placed on fatalism and free will. And, while there is no time travel actually taking place, this is at its core a time-travel novel." — Winston-Salem Journal

"Sawyer presents scientific scenarios that directly affect his characters' lives. The science-humanity interplay illuminates both the ideas and the characters." — Denver Post

"A great novel." — The Trentonian (Trenton, New Jersey)

"Robert J. Sawyer is a master at tackling the Fascinating Big Idea, shaking it, twisting it, and then extrapolating it into all its myriad tributaries. If you want a vision bigger than yours, bigger than your neighbor's, read FlashForward, sit back in wonder and pleasure, and enjoy the ride." — Terence M. Green, author of A Witness to Life

"Entertaining and thought-provoking. Sawyer — a crisp, incisive writer with a playful and keen imagination — generates plenty of action from his psychological and paradoxical whatifing. Excellent sci-fi." — Sunday Herald (Nevada, Missouri)

"Sawyer brings a fresh and startling approach to the familiar theme of time travel in a tale that explores the repercussions of knowing the future. A solid choice for most sf collections." — Library Journal

"Science fiction readers are in for a treat with FlashForward; a great read." — News (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)

"The novel evokes the sense of wonder that we all hope to find when we pick up a hard sf novel. FlashForward proposes an extremely interesting situation, and then explores that situation through the eyes of a diverse cast of characters." — The New York Review of Science Fiction

"FlashForward is another of the author's intriguing thought-experiment science fiction novels in the vein of Factoring Humanity. Sawyer's book is both intellectually and dramatically satisfying." — The Orlando Sentinel

"Toronto's science fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer has made a name for himself by finding intriguing premises and relentlessly pursuing their repercussions. With FlashForward he does this again and does it well. Sawyer is deft at creating interesting and believable characters. The premise here is provocative and Sawyer skillfully speculates on the impact of this sneak peek into the future." — Quill & Quire

"Needless to say, I like FlashForward. Sawyer manipulates an intricate plot brilliantly." — Rocky Mountain News

"This well-written page-turner provides readers with plot twists and turns and plenty to think about." — School Library Journal

"FlashForward has an innovative core concept, and Sawyer fully examines the double-edged sword of foreknowledge. Readers who like full closure will enjoy FlashForward's stunningly neat wrap-up. The idea behind this book is unbelievably cool, and the science is well handled." — SciFi Weekly

"A gripping novel." — SciFi Wire

"Really thought-provoking. Excellent book." — SFFaudio

A compelling novel ... with much of the usual Sawyer research and dimensionalised characters that you should expect from all his fiction." — SF Crowsnest

"Four stars. FlashForward is a book with a difference; thought-provoking. Call it nourishment for the mind and soul; intriguing and insightful. One can only predict 20 years from now, Sawyer will still be at the top of his game." — Shelf Life

"An excellent SF novel, a perfect blend of cosmic speculation and human drama, and Sawyer's best book yet. FlashForward's plot lets Sawyer muse on true love, free will, quantum reality and the nature of consciousness while telling a funny, wrenching tale of fallible humans in a mystifying universe." — Starlog

"Sawyer compels us to think in a concrete way about concepts that we usually dismiss as being too metaphysical to grapple with. As he is clearly aware, the essence of science fiction isn't starships, robots or virtual reality, but a unique philosophical inquiry into the evolution of the human spirit." — The Toronto Star

"An utterly fascinating premise and hard questions about free will and determinism. Sawyer imagines both the poignant and the darkly humorous sides to knowing one's own future." — Winnipeg Free Press (1999)

"The novel's set-up is clever. The novel is full of carefully drawn characters — including one man who's desperate to prevent his own murder — and big ideas. An excellent novel. Really makes you think." — Winnipeg Free Press (2009)

More Good Reading

More about FlashForward

An essay about writing FlashForward
The opening chapters of FlashForward

Robert J. Sawyer's awards and honors
What's a Rob Sawyer novel like?
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