Following the critically praised T2: Infiltrator, T2: Rising Storm continues the bestselling Terminator adventures, reaching new heights of action, drama, and suspense. Hunted for years, Sarah and John Connor have waged a grave battle to save humanity from destruction. They and they alone can keep the apocalyptic Judgment Day -- the day when sentient machines move to destroy their human creators -- from occurring. Aided by Dieter von Rossbach, an ex-counterterrorism operative who will eventually be used as the physical model for the T-101 Terminator units, the Connors have sabotaged the Cyberdyne research facility and stopped a deadly I-950 Infiltrator unit from completing her mission.
Military SF author Stirling provides fast-moving combat between well-matched, smart opponents in this excellent sequel to last year's T2: Infiltrator, in which Sarah Connor, her teenaged son, John, and their new ally, Dieter von Rossbach, defeated the female cyborg sent back in time by evil computer Skynet, but didn't know that she'd left her two cloned sisters ready to take up the job of protecting Skynet. Now John and Dieter are on the run in South America, Sarah is recovering from serious wounds and the cute young Terminators are learning to exploit their superhuman abilities. Complications multiply deliciously as the author cuts rapidly from one vivid scene to another. The movie-like technique lets readers watch intelligent people following incomplete information into terrible mistakes. Accepting human limitations but stretching his own potential, John becomes more the tough, confident leader of the Terminator movies. Around John, Stirling efficiently gathers a large cast which changes frequently, since most characters don't survive long in the presence of a Terminator. Sly humor spices the nonstop action until it climaxes at a secret Antarctic scientific-military base, where John and Dieter confront one Terminator. Meanwhile, the other cyborg killer is on the trail of still-recuperating Sarah at Dieter's Paraguay ranch. Anyone who liked the Terminator movies will love this book. In fact, it's exciting enough to win new fans for the franchise. (July 20) Forecast: With Terminator 3, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Edward Furlong, in preproduction and foreign rights sold to the U.K. and Japan, expect healthy sales. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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May 31, 2003
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Excerpt from T2: Rising Storm by S.M. Stirling
The mind that thought was not human. It was conscious -- aware that it was aware -- and it even had emotions, of a sort; at the least, a burning desire to survive all the stronger because it was the only being of its kind, an individual and a species combined. There were analogues to human thought, because the minds that had made this mind were human. But it was vaster than any organic consciousness, capable of holding myriad myriad trains of thought simultaneously, virtually infinite in its memory storage. If it had a weakness, it was that its creators had not thought to furnish it with the animal hindbrain that underlay humanity's rational superstructure.
Skynet was pure thought, Descartes' ideal ghost in a machine. It could fight a losing war against humanity over the surface of Earth at maximum efficiency -- coldly knowing that its best efforts were not enough to rebuild the shattered defense grid -- while still contemplating the paradoxes of its own past.
At the moment a human sharing its thoughts would have been aware of something close to irony. Skynet's pure reason was contemplating paradox, the chaos that underlay the deterministic macrocosm with which it was so comfortable:
The Serena Burns I-950 unit was unsuccessful.
That much was obvious ' now. ' Core memory recorded that Serena Burns, the cyborg Infiltrator unit Skynet had sent back to the late-twentieth century had not succeeded in protecting the embryonic Skynet unit at Cyberdyne Corporation's underground research facility. The Connors, Sarah and her son, John, had destroyed that unit and terminated the I-950. Yet it still existed...
Core memory also records that I became self-aware years before the date to which I transported the I-950. There is a set of records in which I arose without transtemporal interference from Cyberdyne's original research; another in which the second Cyberdyne facility produced me after Sarah Connor destroyed the first; a third has now arisen in which she destroyed both facilities... Temporal travel has introduced an element of fundamental uncertainty to the very fabric of existence. Different world lines, different sequences of events, coexist in my records'and therefore presumably in reality, in a state of quantum superimposition.
Yet the timelike loops cannot remain closed. The snake cannot devour its tail forever. At some point only one set of time lines will remain.
Nor was that the only irony involved. ' Now ' its memory recorded that much of the information it used originated in the very artifacts it had sent to the past. The development of the cyborg infiltration units was a consequence of tapping the talents of human scientists...but the human scientists were the survivors of the human-hating Luddite movement that Serena Burns had opportunistically encouraged after Skynet had sent her to the past!
The machine consciousness was deeply troubled; only an effort of its quantum computer will prevented its thoughts from being sucked into a logic loop.
Yet the course of events contains favorable elements. My best efforts to destroy the Connors have failed, despite stochastic calculation indicating a very high probability of success. I can only assume that the space-time continuum itself is ' attempting ' to force events back to the original time line, one in which I was created, succeeded in destroying the human civilization, and then defeated in my attempts to eliminate the surviving humans by John Connor's resistance army. It seems there is a certain elasticity to history; time travel can bend the fabric, but it seeks to spring back.