Science Fiction Reviews

T2: Infiltrator

(2001) S. M. Stirling, Gollancz, 9.99, pbk, 389pp, ISBN 0-575-07155-9


Generally I do not review film spin-off novels, largely because the publisher's motivation is not so much quality but because they anticipate sales due to the original film's popularity. Indeed the general (though not exacting) philosophy behind Concatenation reviews is in the main to highlight good reads or to warn when established authors have strayed from the path. However I am pleased to report that T2: Infiltrator is a worthy follow-up to the two Terminator films(and indeed, should the film makers want it) has the potential to provide a logical rationale as to why the two Arnie Terminators appeared to age between the two films.

Plot (assuming you've seen the films): Sarah and John Connor have made a new life for themselves in hiding but one day Sarah spots what she takes to be an 'Arnold' terminator. It turns out that he his a retired secret agent that Skynet would use to model androids.

In the future Skynet realises that the war is almost over and that it has lost. It realises that probability continuums exist as its complex artificial intelligence contains conflicting memories. It must still turn the tide. Do to so it sends back a human with cyborg implants (as clearly its previous attempts with pure androids failed). The female human cyborg has the ability to make several 'Arnolds'. Its mission is to first protect the embryonic Skynet of the past and second to deal with John Connor.

As indicated this is a most satisfying follow-up, and the studio producers - who we understand are currently considering a Terminator 3 films - could do far worse than to firmly base their next cinematic offering on this novelization.

My one criticism... well I would have like to have seen more than we were given of the Terminator future. But I guess one can't have everything and this is decidely a very good spin-off novel. In fact would that the film Terminator 3 been as good.

Jonathan Cowie

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