Science Fiction and Fantasy
Author's Note from Robert J. Sawyer and an Excerpt from Triggers
Author, Robert J. Sawyer

Triggers: Flashing back to FlashForward

by Robert J. Sawyer

Triggers is my 21st novel. I’ve been doing a novel a year consistently for twenty-one years now and have built a nice audience over that time. But the biggest boost to my readership came in 2009 and 2010, when the ABC television network broadcast a TV series called FlashForward, based on my novel of the same name.

My novel FlashForward was an introspective, philosophical work about what it would be like if everyone on Earth had certain knowledge of their own future. The TV show was a liberal adaptation—a slam-bang adventure, with a pilot script by David S. Goyer, who wrote Batman Begins, and Brannon Braga, who is best known for his work on the various Star Trek TV shows. Although I was consulted on all the changes Dave and Brannon made, and approved them, there’s no doubt that the FlashForward TV series had a different feel from my novel, adding lots of action, explosions, conspiracies, and mysteries; the whole production felt like a thriller.

Well, Triggers is the first new project I’ve worked on since FlashForward went off the air, and I decided, since I’ve had a large influx of new readers because of that TV series, to try my hand at a work that incorporates the elements people associate with the FlashForward TV show. Although many reviewers have kindly referred to my books as “page turners” over the years, Triggers is the first novel by me that was actually conceived of as a thriller. It has a fast pace, a big cast of characters, a lot of action, and many secrets to be revealed.

Triggers contains a couple of in-jokes for FlashForward fans, and Courtney B. Vance, who played FBI Assistant Director Stanford Wedeck in the TV series, makes a cameo appearance in the novel. But even if you’ve never seen FlashForward or read any of my other books, fear not: Triggers is a stand-alone novel; it’s not part of any series, and—well, let’s just say it has a definitive ending.

Although I’m known as a science-fiction writer, Triggers, like many of my other works, is about inner space, rather than outer space: it’s an exploration of what goes on in people’s minds. This time I’m focusing on the nature of memory: what memory really is, how accurate it is, and how it defines who we are. Of course, my fervent hope is that readers will have a memorable reading experience.

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