Two minutes and seventeen seconds that changed the world.

Flashforward is a science fiction novel by Canadian author Robert J. Sawyer first published in 1999. The novel is set in 2009. At CERN, the Large Hadron Collider accelerator is performing a run to search for the Higgs boson. The experiment has a unique side effect; suddenly, without warning, all seven billion people on Earth blackout for more than two minutes. Millions die as planes fall from the sky, people tumble down staircases, and cars plough into each other.

But that’s the least of the survivors’ challenges. During the blackout, everyone experienced a glimpse of what his or her future holds—and the interlocking mosaic of these visions threatens to unravel the present.

The novel inspired the 2009 television series FlashForward. The FlashForward television series aired on ABC between September 24, 2009, and May 27, 2010. It differs from the novel by following non-scientists, including lead characters FBI Special Agent Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes), Special Agent Demetri Noh (John Cho), and an FBI team investigating the Flashforward. The story was also changed from taking place primarily in Geneva, Switzerland, (at and around the CERN facility), to the United States, primarily Los Angeles, California.