Monday, December 7, 2009

Sawyer, Robert J. (Flashforward)

Forget the book, watch the series.

Sawyer is not that good a writer, but his ideas are phenomenal. There's a lot of stumbling around in the book-- mostly via descriptions of the physics that take pages, and descriptions of the characters that don't advance the plot or make us care for the characters any longer or any more than we do.

I was particularly confused by the ending. I'll admit that the physics has to be explained, and that Sawyer does not do a bad job of making it clear what the issue/solution is, but making something compelling and clarifying something are two wholly different approaches. In the ending, however, he makes a point about human consciousness and its existence negating the possibility of consciousness elsewhere in the universe-- and boom, he'd lost me. Seems like an important point, and in conjunction with the setting for the ending, really important to get it just right.

The idea for the novel, however, is what sets it apart-- everyone has a flash forward at the same time and of the same time in the future. How does that affect the world? How does the world respond? How does it affect our thinking about the future? As I said, the series is doing a far better job (we'll see how season 1 ends). Do yourself a favor and skip the reading part.

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