I just finished Rollback. It’s a book by Robert J Sawyer (the guy who taught at Banff). The novel is hard science fiction, so not my usual subject matter. Still, I’ve read a few of his books in the past so I really should support him.

First off, I’m not Rob’s normal target audience. I gravitate to soft sci-fi and space opera, not hard sci-fi. Because while space ships are cool (ala Battlestar Galactica), actual science is a real snore.

So as a non-SF guy, I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed Rollback. The premise is interesting: the perfect married couple, in the twilight years, are given the chance for a rollback, an extremely expensive procedure that will effectively rollback their age to 25.

Of course, nothing is ever perfect, so while Don is rejuvenated to the age of 25, his wife Sarah remains old…in her 80s, and won’t last much longer. So it deals with the complexities of age, relationships.

Rob has effectively taken a sci-fi idea (age regeneration) but wrapped it in a way that makes the science and it ramifications very personal. Sure, there’s some parts of the book where my eyes glazed over (the hard science parts) but the characters kept me reading.

There’s also a subplot about communication with aliens from another galaxy, and how to send messages back and forth (as well as deciphering a message) that was quite fascinating.

This book was very easy to read. Sounds strange, but it flowed so well, that I enjoyed just reading it.

I give this book 3.5 pseudopods out of 5. I’ll bump it to a 4 if I ignore the hard science passages.