Monday, April 30, 2007

Pg. 69: Robert Sawyer's "Rollback"

Today's feature at the Page 69 Test: Robert Sawyer's Rollback.

About the book, from the publisher:
Dr. Sarah Halifax decoded the first-ever radio transmission received from aliens. Thirty-eight years later, a second message is received and Sarah, now 87, may hold the key to deciphering this one, too ... if she lives long enough.

A wealthy industrialist offers to pay for Sarah to have a rollback — a hugely expensive experimental rejuvenation procedure. She accepts on condition that Don, her husband of sixty years, gets a rollback, too. The process works for Don, making him physically twenty-five again. But in a tragic twist, the rollback fails for Sarah, leaving her in her eighties.

While Don tries to deal with his newfound youth and the suddenly vast age gap between him and his wife, Sarah struggles to do again what she’d done once before: figure out what a signal from the stars contains. Exploring morals and ethics on both human and cosmic scales, Rollback is the big new SF novel for 2007 by Hugo and Nebula Award-winner Robert J. Sawyer.
Among the reviews and endorsements for Rollback:
"An early candidate for sci-fi book of the year."
Kansas City Star

"Rollback gets my vote as SF novel of the year. A joy to read."
—Jack McDevitt, author of Odyssey

"Canadian author Sawyer once again presents likable characters facing big ethical dilemmas in this smoothly readable near-future SF novel. Sawyer, who has won Hugo and Nebula awards, may well win another major SF award with this superior effort."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Thoughtful, low key, and convincing. One of Robert Sawyer's strongest points as a writer is that his characters are always real people. Sawyer has repeatedly shown that he can portray very dramatic situations in an effective but unmelodramatic fashion."
Don D'Ammassa, the long-time book reviewer for Science Fiction Chronicle

"I highly recommend Robert J. Sawyer's Rollback. It's a shoo-in to be short-listed for next year's major awards."

"A fascinating human drama, where joy and tragedy take human form, rather than apocalyptic ones. All in all, it's a 'skytop' story, worth reading by genre and mainstream readers alike."
Visit Robert Sawyer's website and blog, and read an excerpt from Rollback.

See the entry for Rollback at "My Book, The Movie."

The Page 69 Test: Rollback.

--Marshal Zeringue