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T2: The Future War

T2: The Future War

4.6 18
by S. M. Stirling

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The future war is now. Hiding out in Alaska, Sarah and John Connor, along with ex-counterterrorist agent, Dieter von Rossbach, are playing a waiting game -- trying to live their lives but ever watchful of Cyberdyne Corporation and the possibility of Skynet, the artificial intelligence network destined to destroy the world as we know it. They've fought for years to


The future war is now. Hiding out in Alaska, Sarah and John Connor, along with ex-counterterrorist agent, Dieter von Rossbach, are playing a waiting game -- trying to live their lives but ever watchful of Cyberdyne Corporation and the possibility of Skynet, the artificial intelligence network destined to destroy the world as we know it. They've fought for years to prevent this, and now, believing that John's love, Wendy, sacrificed herself to successfully prevent Skynet from becoming sentient, they think humanity may finally have a chance to survive.

Then the United States government announces that all military and communications systems will be placed under the command of a brand-new, extremely powerful Artificial Intelligence named Skynet, effective immediately.

Racing desperately to alert their allies, the Connors discover that Wendy's sacrifice was in vain -- far from being harmless, Skynet is active, sentient, and ready to terminate the human nuisance once and for all. Engineered by the relentless AI, the apocalypse of Judgment Day turns cities into deathtraps and releases mass destruction across the globe.

In the nuclear winter that follows, our world changes forever: Cities become deathtraps of disease and famine patrolled by implacable machines, the first Hunter-Killer and T-90 Terminator units begin to exterminate their human prey, and all human life faces a desperate battle for survival against a seemingly unstoppable enemy.

But there is still one rallying cry of hope, one man who will step to the forefront of the long fight to keep humanity from extinction: John Connor.A well-regarded author of alternate history sf novels, S. M. Stirling has written more thantwenty-five books, including acclaimed collaborations with Anne McCaffrey, Jerry Pournelle, and David Drake. His most recent novels are T2®: Rising Storm, T2®: Infiltrator, The Conquistadors, and The Peshawar Lancers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you, as shown in this above-average movie tie-in, the conclusion to Stirling's T2 trilogy (after Rising Storm and Infiltrator). Judgment Day, when the sentient computer Skynet begins using its control of the U.S. military to exterminate the human race, comes at last. In an effort to save humanity, Sarah Connor and her son and savior-in-training, John, alert their allies among the world's militaries, intelligence agencies and general populace. Serving Skynet are eco-terrorists called Luddites, who round up survivors, confine them in concentration camps and expose them to biological weapons. As the first Terminator movie foretells, the humans gain the upper hand, prompting Skynet to resort to time travel to try to kill Sarah and establish its own existence. Faithful to his source material, Stirling (Conquistador; The Peshawar Lancers) gives the book a cinematic feel and structure, with quick jumps between action scenes and large skips in time and space, not to mention robots with Austrian accents. Unfortunately, the logical gaps in the film premise continue to dog his work, and the character development and relationships are obviously predetermined. Readers who enjoyed the movies will like the added material. Newcomers had best start with the films before tackling the books. (June 17) Forecast: Publication has been moved up to take advantage of the summer release of T3: Rise of the Machines. Female fans, however, may be disappointed to find that Sarah Connor plays a diminishing role here. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
While Sarah Connor, her son John, and their friend Dieter von Rossbach take refuge in their Alaskan retreat to prepare for the inevitable war between machines and men, the sentient computer known as Skylab begins its genocidal campaign against the human race. As machines turn against humans, the Connors work with their followers to fight against Skylab and, above all, to survive. The final novel in the Terminator trilogy (after T2: Rising Storm and T2: Infiltrator) elaborate on the popular Terminator movies, fleshing out characters and describing in great detail the war that nearly abolishes the human race. Fans of the movies will enjoy this skillful spin-off, suitable for most libraries. [The third film, T3: Rise of the Machines, will be released July 2.-Ed.] Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Terminator 2 Series , #3
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

Read an Excerpt

T2: The Future War

Chapter One

John had insisted that he be the one to shoot the hog. When the big animal dropped limp and flaccid, twitching in response to neurons that hadn't yet quite gotten the news of death, Sarah took the gun and handed him the knife.

Then Dieter shackled one of its legs with a chain and hoisted it up so that its snout dangled two feet above the ground. Then he held it steady while John neatly made a short cut just above the breastbone; it was a tricky move, but he did it well. Using the breastbone as a fulcrum, he sliced down toward the backbone, severing the carotid arteries.

Sarah caught the rush of blood in a bucket, still surprised at how hot it was; the salt-iron-copper smell was strong over that of the pines and cold damp earth. Of course they only slaughtered one hog a year, but still, you'd think she'd get used to it. The smell of the blood made her stomach tighten, but it was hardly the worst thing she'd smell today.

In the background the classic radio station played the 1812 Overture; it seemed somehow appropriate.

Once the beast was sufficiently drained, John put a hook into its underjaw, and it being a smallish hog, he and Dieter dragged it to the edge of the butchering platform, where a stock tank full of boiling water waited. They submerged the animal, bobbing it up and down for about five minutes to keep it from cooking, then dragged it out again, having loosened the pig's bristles sufficiently for the scrapers to work.

Sarah helped the men hoist the steaming animal onto the sturdy board table. Then they went to work with scrapers while she removed hair from its feet with her hands.The bristly texture was oddly unorganic, like a brush -- come to that, pig bristles had been used for brushes, back before synthetics.

They worked silently except for the music or an occasional grunt of effort, Sarah doing the prep work while the men did the heavy lifting. Working methodically, they reduced the animal to individual cuts of meat that, for the most part, bore no resemblance to a once living animal.

She knew John felt sorry for the pigs. They were just smart enough, some of them, to know what was coming.

Which gives them something in common with him!

The silence that had grown among them worried Sarah. It had taken her a long time to really notice it. One of the first disciplines she'd imposed on herself was to become a woman of few words; it was safer that way. But in Paraguay she and John had bantered and laughed all the time; they never did that now. She and Dieter had once talked a lot, too. Now they spent their time reading or working quietly, moving in concert from long experience.

Sarah wondered if it meant that they'd run out of things to say to one another. Was Dieter bored? Was it time for them to move on? She thought about it, testing herself by imagining her life going on without him. No! Sarah knew that she still loved him. Often their eyes met, and the look in his told her that she was loved in return. But the silence remained, and, if anything, grew.

She sensed its origin in John. He'd grown so distant. It was grief, she knew, and she respected that. She just didn't know how to handle it. Sarah had raised him in the snap out of it! school of mothering because she thought that was what the circumstances demanded. But she knew from her own experience that what he was feeling now wasn't something you could just snap yourself out of. It made her feel helpless, and she hated that. Sometimes it made her so angry she just wanted to shake him. Instinctively Sarah knew that giving in to that impulse might just drive him away completely.

As she loaded the basket with cuts of meat to take to the smoke-house, she looked at him. He'd topped out at just under six feet, and though he'd filled out some, his was a wiry build. At least, it was compared to Dieter, who was as glorious a slab of muscle as any woman could desire. John was strong, though. He still lost to Dieter when they arm-wrestled, but not every time, not even most of the time.

He wore his dark hair on the longer side, the bangs still obscuring his brown eyes. The beard was the biggest difference. She didn't think she'd ever get used to that. It was a full-faced beard, but trimmed, not ZZ Top–style, thank God. She gave a mental shrug. This was Alaska. Men wore beards. There'd even been a few especially bitter days when she'd wished she could grow one herself. Someday, she supposed, she'd get used to the way he looked.

He looked up and caught her eye, raising a brow inquiringly.

"Just thinking," she said.

"About what?"

"The beard," she said, and walked away.

John watched her go, then went back to work.

Later he sent Dieter in for the solar shower he knew the big man lusted for. Dieter hated hog butchering, despite being raised in a little rural village in Austria, though he never complained about it.

Well, I hate it, too. Every time, I swear I'm going to turn vegetarian. But I just like meat too much!

He'd just about finished cleaning up the butchering site when his mother came toward him holding a printout.

"Listen to this," she said, and began to read.

Military puts unprecedented power in the hands of a computer

A jolt of fear chilled his stomach for an instant. Their eyes met. He forced himself to give his mother a crooked smile ...

T2: The Future War. Copyright © by S.M. Stirling. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

A well-regarded author of alternate history science-fiction novels, S.M. Stirling has written more than twenty-five books, including acclaimed collaborations with Anne McCaffrey, Jerry Pournelle, and David Drake. His most recent novels are T2: Infiltrator, The Peshawar Lancers, and the Island in the Sea of Time trilogy.

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T2: The Future War 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It very awsome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The perfect finale to a riveting series! S.M. Stirling make the story move like watching a movie. And you actually feel for the characters. If you are even remotely interested in the Terminator series, you should read this series. Start with T2-Infiltrator, T2-Rising Storm then this. Even if you're only familiar with Terminator for the movie Terminator Salvation, you'll really appreciate this series and won't get lost.
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Apophis More than 1 year ago
Good book...Loved it...couldn't put it down
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fantastic read! I had read the previous two in the series and they were both good, but this last installment was far and away the best. I only wish there was a fourth one on the way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sterling alternate storytelling was right on the money. I read Vols. 1 & 2 and they held my attention from the first page to the last. And the same with vol.3 of the series which continue to deliver the punch and excitement that first two volumes showed. And if you liked the Terminator movies,then you will love Sterling approach with these volumes
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is the complement of the first Terminator movie, T2 and T3 (due in a few weeks). Remember in T1 the glimpses of the future, showing Reese and others fighting in the rubble, amidst skeletons? It has been nineteen years since the T1 movie, but finally we can see extra details alluded to. Stylistically, this differs from most of Stirling's works. In part because he must fit it into the boundary conditions set by the movies. The narrative is sparser. Details are considerably less, especially of the scenery, which is his trademark in many other stories. There is simply not the dense weave of descriptions and subplots seen in the Nantucket trilogy or the Peshawar Lancers. Plus, the combat scenes don't have the same intensity as those in Marching Through Georgia. (One scene in Future War alludes to another in the latter; see if you can find it.) My impression is that Stirling wrote this book simply to tie up the loose ends in the movies and close out his two other Terminator novels. Just work-for-hire. Fans of the movies should check this book out for more flesh on the movies. Fans of Stirling should probably look to his other wholly-owned works.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Sarah Connor, her son John, and her lover Dieter felt destroying Clea before she activated Skynet had given them victory, but soon learn otherwise as the organic terminator managed to feed the discs to Skynet. Almost immediately Skynet concludes that humanity poses a threat to its survival and must be eradicated. Instead of complacency, Sarah and Dieter become concerned when the Pentagon announces Skynet will run all its weapon systems.

Skynet begins experimenting to prepare for Judgment Day, when the advanced computer system fires all the nuclear weapons in its arsenal. Skynet starts the nuclear end run as Sarah and her loved ones hide in a fallout shelter. With human collaborators and terminator robots with advanced weapons on its¿ side, Skynet seems on the verge of victory. Only Sarah as a rallying point and her two cohorts lead a weak resistance that over the years is becoming stronger against a god-like enemy.

T2 THE FUTURE WAR is a great action packed doomsday thriller starring three long time favorite heroes, but also provides well-rounded personality traits to Skynet so the audience knows this is an independent sentient essence. Sarah seems so much more than she was in past books and movies as she has turned into a profound leader, who recognizes she is an icon to the resistance. John has matured from his previous feelings of resentment and disbelief into the hope of the future. This finale (loosely put ¿ need to read to understand why) is a winner as S. M. Stirling terminates the series with a triumphant doomsday thriller in which humanity fights to survive against a killing machine.

Harriet Klausner