A team of physicists trying to prove the existence of a theoretical particle inadvertently shifts the consciousness of humankind forward 20 years. Only two minutes are “lost,” but memories of the future inspire new cults, seemingly illogical stock market speculations, and a host of new patents. Rivalry between two of the male physicists for one woman heats up, since the flash-forward has shown her to be married to the “wrong” man. One of the rivals, Lloyd Simcoe, foresees his own murder, though not his murderer. Even though the event is 21 years away, Lloyd is panic-stricken and searches worldwide for clues in the visions of others. In the end, these brief glimpses of the future prove addictive, and a new team repeats the experiment in a more controlled fashion, which treats the reader to visions of an apocalyptic, almost Wellsian future. There is also Simcoe’s sad avoidance of his own death, which he accomplishes by becoming painstakingly cautious.