The Sciences

CERN, Flash Forward, and Robert Sawyer

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitNov 29, 2009 1:00 PM


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[Edited to add: I didn't consider this when I wrote the post, since the book makes things a lot clearer than the TV show, but this post kinda sorta has spoilers for the TV show "FlashForward". If you are watching the show or want to, best not to read this post. I loathe it when people don't warn me about spoilers, so I sincerely apologize to anyone who read this and may have found spoilers to the show.]

Earlier this year, I spent a few days in Wyoming attending Launch Pad, a NASA-sponsored workshop for science fiction writers to help familiarize themselves with astronomy. It's run by Mike Brotherton, himself an astronomer and science fiction author. It's a great way for writers to learn more science, and pass it on to their readers. While I was there I got to hang out with a lot of very cool people (Joe Haldeman! Scott Sigler!), and meet other writers I've known through their writing (but not IRL) for years. At the time, Robert Sawyer's name was familiar to me, but I hadn't yet read any of his stuff. After Launch Pad, I remedied that: I read his Neanderthal stories, as well as a book called Flash Forward, about an accident at CERN that causes everyone on Earth to get a glimpse of their future years hence. If that sounds familiar, it's because it's been made into a TV show on ABC. I don't have a lot of time to watch TV but I made sure I watched "FlashForward". I like it! Different than the book, but interesting nonetheless. Science comedian Brian Malow (also a Launch Pad attendee) interviewed Robert about the book and show for Time Magazine: There's also a longer interview on the CERN site, too. And if you get a chance to watch the show, take a look. I hear it's on hiatus right now, but I'm hoping it comes back soon. I'm enjoying it.

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