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Two minutes and seventeen seconds that changed the world A scientific experiment begins, and as the button is pressed, the unexpected occurs: all seven billion people on Earth black out for more than...
Two minutes and seventeen seconds that changed the world A scientific experiment begins, and as the button is pressed, the unexpected occurs: all seven billion people on Earth black out for more than...
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  • Two minutes and seventeen seconds that changed the world

    A scientific experiment begins, and as the button is pressed, the unexpected occurs: all seven billion people on Earth black out for more than two minutes. Millions die as planes fall from the sky, people tumble down staircases, and cars plow into each other. During that time, everyone's consciousness is catapulted more than twenty years into the future. At the end of those moments, when the world reawakens, all human life is transformed by foreknowledge.

    Was that shocking revelation a peek at the real, unalterable future, or was it only one of many possible futures? What happens when a man tries to change it, like the doctor who has twenty years to try to prevent his own murder? How will the foreknowledge of a part of "then" affect the experience of the "now"?

About the Author-

  • Robert J. Sawyer has written short fiction published in numerous magazines and anthologies and has published eighteen novels. He has won forty-one national and international awards for his fiction, most prominently the 1995 Nebula Award, the 2003 Hugo Award, and the 2006 John W. Campbell Memorial Award.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Imagine a world in which every human being falls asleep at exactly the same moment--and awakens with detailed knowledge of what happens twenty years in the future. In visionary science-fiction writer Sawyer's latest thriller, this unsettling event occurs when a secret experiment goes awry and forever alters the world as we know it. Sadly, narrator Mark Deakins brings little theatricality to the production and plays every character with the same disinterested tone. The result is a performance that fails to capture the drama of the story that it relates. Deakins sounds far too restrained for such an imaginative tale. L.B. (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 31, 1999
    A science experiment that unwittingly shuts down all human consciousness for two minutes is the catalyst for a creative exploration of fate, free will and the nature of the universe in Sawyer's soul-searching new work (after Factoring Humanity). In April 2009, Lloyd and Theo, two scientists at the European Organization for Particle Physics (CERN), run an experiment that accidentally transports the world's consciousness 20 years into the future. When humanity reawakens a moment later, chaos rules. Vehicles whose drivers passed out plow into one another; people fall or maim themselves. But that's just the beginning. After the horror is sorted out, each character tries desperately to ensure or avoid his or her future. Trapped by his guilt for causing so much destruction and driven by a need to rationalize, Lloyd tries to prove that free will is a myth. Theo discovers that he will be murdered and begins to hunt down his killer--tempting fate as in the Greek dramas of his ancestors. Some people start on their appointed roads early, others give up on life because of what they've seen. Using a third-person omniscient narrator, 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. (June) FYI: Sawyer is the president of the Science Fiction Writers of America.

  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "This first-rate, philosophical journey, a terrific example of idea-driven SF, should have wide appeal."

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    Blackstone Audio
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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