Rollback

Rollback

Book - 2007
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Baker & Taylor
Accepting a rollback, an expensive, experimental rejuvenation procedure, for herself and her husband of sixty years in exchange for deciphering a message from aliens, Dr. Sarah Halifax is faced with a dilemma when the procedure works on her husband, making him physically twenty-five again, but not on her, leaving her in her eighties. 25,000 first printing.

McMillan Palgrave
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.


Holtzbrinck
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.


Blackwell North Amer
Dr. Sarah Halifax decoded the first-ever radio transmission received from aliens. Thirty-eight years later, a second message is received, and Sarah, now eighty-seven, 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 the 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.

Baker
& Taylor

Accepting a rollback--an experimental rejuvenation procedure--for herself and her husband in exchange for deciphering a message from aliens, Dr. Sarah Halifax is faced with a dilemma when the procedure works on her husband, but not on her.

Publisher: New York : Tor Books, 2007
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780765311085
0765311089
Characteristics: 320 p. ; 22 cm

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b
BritCrimeDramaFan
Jul 15, 2016

Fun read, especially for those of us old enough to remember events of more than 50 years ago and what it might be like to be rejuvenated. The blending of future possibilities with past memories is what makes this story stand out. Sawyer paints characters that come to life including a robot named Mozo that reminded me of Robby.

a
amalyndb
Jan 16, 2016

Rollback is a great example of speculative science fiction. Yes there is lovely shiny technology more advanced than present day, but there are also deep questions on aging, morality, and etchics.

Faced with the opportunity to rejuvenate oneself at the age of 87, for the purpose of continuing her work on SETI and interpreting a signal, Sarah mandates that her husband of 60 years must also receive the procedure. Hers goes awry, his recreates him as biologically 25.

He grapples with the issues of hormones, youth, in contrast to his wife's age and slower pace of life - which previously had not bothered him. He also faces the question of what to do with himself, how he will deal with Sarah's approaching end of life.

I enjoyed the passages through time between the current time of the story and the past -- it felt very much like the train of thought of an elderly relative sifting through a skein of memories.

l
lonewolf8
Aug 30, 2015

The summary on the back of the book was quite misleading, but I still enjoyed it. There was a strong female character (Sarah) that was mostly relegated to the background which was a shame because the events occurring were connected to her. The questions raised about the ethics of returning to a younger age while all your friends and family die, while society, culture keep moving are valid, but I think don't go far enough.

j
june2813
Jul 04, 2011

This was my first reluctant step back into the waters of Sci Fi since high school many moons ago. I was intrigued by Mr. Sawyer's premise of the myriad of moral and ethical dilemmas presented by interaction with an alien culture and the "rollback" of the aging process for one of the main characters. The questions of what it means to be human underscore the story line, but I don't know if any real new light was cast on the challenges of aging or aliens.
Mr. Sawyer does his homework, so the discussions that take place between characters are thoughtful on science, morality and ethics. It's a quick read and accessible, but, frankly, his writing style almost falls into the romance genre. I really disliked the epilogue, being a firm believer, if it wasn't relevant enough to be included in the main body of the text, leave it out. The epilogue dropped the whole storyline a level and tied us up in the smarmy conclusion that everyone lived happily ever after and might continue to do so ad infinitum, or ad nauseum, depending on your point of view, now that "rollbacks" had become affordable. There was rich territory to mine here with aliens living among us and a population that was going to make every effort not to die. But Mr. Sawyer went at it with a trowel and gardening gloves. I was disappointed.

z
zipread
May 02, 2011

Robert Sawyer is an accomplished and acclaimed science fiction author who has been practicing his craft for so long that he must certainly rank among the stars of sci-fi: Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov and Le Guin.
“Rollback” is an interesting story. It is based on the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. It also deals with aging and what happens if you outlive your wife, your grandchildren, you era. That is where the book finds its poignancy, a term I don’t find myself using often when it comes to discussing the science-fiction genre.
So how do the two plot components relate to one another? Now that would be giving away too much. You’ll just have to read “Rollback” to find out for yourself.
Would I recommend you read this book? Certainly. And by the way, for those who haven’t read anhy Sawyer before, his novels are realistically set in Canada --- Toronto specifically. So if that’s where you call home, you’ll be able to visualize the setting to a tee.

Scooteriffic Feb 26, 2011

Robert Sawyer manages to find the perfect balance between the fascinating science and the roller-coaster ride of personal relationships in this book. I recommend it highly all the time, especially to women who would otherwise not read hard science.

n
nitetraino
Jun 21, 2009

Very well written novel focussed on human interaction with a bit of sci-fi. 9 of 10 stars

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l
lonewolf8
Aug 30, 2015

"Better to produce something that people only listen to in the car than something they only read on the toilet."

l
lonewolf8
Aug 30, 2015

"Virtual reality is nothing but air guitar writ large."

l
lonewolf8
Aug 30, 2015

"-but every race that survives long enough will eventually struggle with the ramifications of getting to play God."

l
lonewolf8
Aug 30, 2015

"Just because something is unique doesn't make it valuable - especially when everything in that class of entities is unique."

l
lonewolf8
Aug 30, 2015

Everything has a price, he thought, even if you can't see it.

Summary

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l
lonewolf8
Aug 30, 2015

Don's scientist wife decoded a message from aliens years ago. Now that the reply has come, both Don and his wife (Sarah) are 87 years old and neither might live to see the reply decoded. However, a rich businessman agrees to give them both a 'rollback', a new medical procedure where one's physical age is rolled back. But this fountain of youth doesn't work for Sarah and raises ethical questions about living forever.

z
zipread
May 02, 2011

see John DeNardo's review at http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2008/02/review-rollback-by-robert-j-sawyer/

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