Book Review: Flashforward

Flashforward

Flashforward, by Robert J. Sawyer, is the basis for the new hit show on ABC.

In an experiment gone awry, the entire population of the world loses consciousness for two minutes and has a vision 21 years in the future. Then the world wakes up to chaos. As a result of the world-wide blackout, there were countless accidents and deaths. And it seems that scientists Lloyd and Theo from CERN are responsible. In Lloyd’s vision, he is married to a different woman than his current fiancé. And Theo didn’t have a vision at all. Which leads people to believe that he will be dead within the next 21 years. When someone steps forward to say they have information on his death, Theo begins an investigation into his own future murder.

This story is so unique, that I had no idea what to expect. The main characters are completely wrapped up in worrying about their own futures, even though that future is quite far off. Guilt about the aftermath of the Flashforward seems to be secondary to everyone involved. In a lame attempt at shifting blame, Lloyd insists that there is no free will, and that the future will happen no matter what.

It will certainly make readers think and ponder over the future and reality. Those not into physics, may gloss over at some of the long descriptions. But overall, the story is suspenseful and complex. The jump to 21 years later, at the end of the book, seemed abrupt. But the threads of the story were wrapped up. And with a few interesting twists to the story, I thoroughly enjoyed this distinctive science fiction tale.

R.A. Salvatore Blog Tour and Giveaway!

R.A. SalvatoreThe Ghost King

Today, R.A. Salvatore visits SciFiChick.com to discuss and offer a chance to win his latest book, The Ghost King!

Can you talk a bit about The Ghost King in your own words?

Well, the name of the series is Transitions, and The Ghost King certainly lives up to that description. It was time to shake things up for these characters I’ve known and loved for more than twenty years now. The Forgotten Realms have been changing dramatically, moving into the future, which of course has led to severe implications for many of my characters. So I had to go there, that dark place, and let the story be told correctly.

What inspired you to start writing fantasy and sci-fi?

Tolkien, plain and simple. I loved to read and write when I was a kid – Kindergarten, first grade – but then something happened. I believe that school beat the reading out of me by giving me books totally irrelevant to me at critical times in my life. You might argue that “Ethan Fromme” is a great book, but when I was in the eighth grade, I assure you, it was not. It got so bad that by the time I graduated from high school, I hated reading and writing; in fact, I started college as a math major. But in that freshman year, my sister gave me a white slipcover set of four books, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series. A couple of months later, we had this historic blizzard in New England and I was trapped in my Mom’s house for a week. Except I wasn’t trapped there. I opened those books and started reading and was taken away to a magical place called Middle Earth by a hobbit named Bilbo.

What inspires you?

Good music, a starry sky, memories of simple moments made special by great friends and certain places where the ghosts walk. I once went to Duntulme, Scotland on the Isle of Skye, and when I got back home, I couldn’t stop writing for weeks on end.

The Shadowmask is also releasing this fall. How has the process developed, writing with your son?

It’s been a blast watching him develop his voice as a writer. This is really his series much more than mine. I held his hand through the plotting, outlining and pacing of the first book, but was much more hands off with this one – and let him run free on the third book, which he’s finishing now. It was a hard process for me emotionally because it became obvious very quickly that Geno didn’t need me. It was also a wonderful experience for me emotionally for the very same reason!

What do you do in your spare time, when you’re not writing?

I’m back to playing softball – I was leading the team in hitting until a late-in-the-year slump, and wound up second. (My shortstop, yep, Geno, passed me in the last week.) I still held the RBI lead and pitched almost every game. Not bad for a fifty-year-old. A couple of years ago, I could hardly swing a bat, and certainly couldn’t run without falling on my face. Seeing my deteriorating health, my wife dragged me to this Fit Camp program, and honestly, it’s been a new lease on life for me.

In the off season, I play my video games – currently playing Warcraft, mostly. It’s a wonderful distraction and a way to keep in touch with many old friends. And of course, we still have our Sunday night game at my house, whether Dungeons and Dragons or a round of Warcraft on the many laptops. Thank god for FIOS!

Courtesy of Wizards of the Coast, I have a giveaway copy of The Ghost King, by R.A. Salvatore for five lucky winners!

Contest is open to U.S. residents. To enter, just fill out the form below.
Contest ends October 30. I’ll draw names on October 31, and notify winners via email.

Good luck!

Read moreR.A. Salvatore Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Book Review: Hunting Memories

Hunting Memories

Hunting Memories, by Barb Hendee, is the 2nd book in the Vampire Memories series.

Following the concluding events in Blood Memories, the ruthless vampire Julian Ashton has fled back to Europe. And Eleisha Clevon has forged a new life with fellow vampire Phillip and the psychic human Wade. But she has been secretly corresponding with another vampire. Eleisha and Rose have a vision to provide a safe haven for vampires that don’t want to kill humans, safe from Julian. It seems there are other vampires out there that have escaped Julian’s killing spree.

Barb Hendee has created a different world of vampires, where the vampires are the hunted and live in hiding. Each character is given a dramatic backstory, with complex relationships and motivations. Incredibly suspenseful and eerily vivid, this sequel is once again fast-paced and hard to put down.

This fantasy series continues to impress me. I enjoyed this installment even more than the first. It wasn’t quite as dark and bleak, with Eleisha and Rose’s idea of a better life for everyone. With powerful characters and an impressive storyline, vampire and urban fantasy fans shouldn’t miss this unique series.

Leonard Nimoy Interview!

Tonight at 9:00 p.m. the Fringe episode “Momentum Deferred” will air, with Leonard Nimoy as a special guest star. SciFiChick.com was recently able to participate in a conference call with Leonard Nimoy to discuss his recent role as William Bell, in FOX’s hit show Fringe. Below is a transcript of that call.

Did you have any reservations on taking another role with the potential of such a fanatic following?

I love this question. I can’t help but laugh because you’re absolutely right. It’s an interesting set of circumstances. What attracted me to it was several things. J.J. Abrams, Bob Orci, and Alex Kurtzman, who I worked with on the Star Trek movie, I admire their talent and the work that they do. The series is at the very least to say intriguing. The character was somewhat of a blank slate, but we began talking about it and, therefore, attracted because there’s an opportunity to build an interesting and unpredictable character. I’m enjoying it a lot.

When will William Bell and Walter Bishop face off?

Unpredictable at the moment. In the episode tomorrow night, the scene in between myself and Olivia, I think we will learn a lot more than we have known in the past about what their relationship is all about and what William Bell’s intentions are, or at least we will be told what his intentions are. We’re not really quite sure that everything that he says is accurate or true.

Well, to follow up, what does William Bell do when he’s over there? Who is he spending time with?

William Bell is sort of a “master of the universe,” a brilliant man, very wealthy man, very powerful. We’ll find out a lot more about him in future episodes.

Read moreLeonard Nimoy Interview!

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