Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Triggers - Robert J. Sawyer
Triggers is Robert J. Sawyer's most recent book, just released this year. I have a warm spot in my heart for Sawyer, mostly because he's one of the few famous authors that I've met. (I met him at a local science fiction convention; he was a friend of a friend.)

Like many of Sawyer's books, it starts out with a fascinating premise. A scientist has developed a machine designed to erase traumatic memories, and is in the process of testing it on a PTS victim when a terrorist bomb detonates nearby, The electromagnetic pulse generated by the bomb amplifies and scrambles the effect of the device. The result is that everyone within a certain radius of the machine -- hospital workers, secret service agents, and the President himself -- now has the memories of someone else in addition to their own.

Naturally, this presents a severe threat to national security, and a great deal of the book is concerned with tracking down the various individuals and finding out whose memories they have. Are any of them lying? Are any of them a serious threat? The implications are fascinating, and Sawyer does an excellent job of considering just how those effects might play out.

The ending, however, is a little bit of a disappointment. Sawyer likes happy endings, and this one is just a little too much sweetness and light for my taste.

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