978-0-00-648383-0 / 9780006483830

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About the book:

Set in a future of in which virtual trials are a reality, and when a "Windows era" PC can be bought for 25 US dollars, The Trigger is a hi-tech science-fiction thriller which follows a discovery by physicist Jeffrey Horton which can render weaponry harmless. The promise is an end to warfare, and to the arms industry. Vested interests are not about to allow this to happen, and Horton finds himself caught in a deadly, escalating crisis, as the world spirals towards war and expediency comes face to face with morality. Horton's breakthrough offers a last chance for peace, but once the genie has been let out of the bottle, can it ever be contained again?

On the surface this is a most unusual book for Arthur C. Clarke. There is none of the interplanetary questing of 2001: A Space Odyssey, or Rendezvous With Rama, and while in the past Clarke's books have been almost totally devoid of violence, here is a direct confrontation with the subject. As such The Trigger reads less like Clarke's previous fiction than a liberal answer to the blockbusting adventure novels of Tom Clancy. Likewise, the flashes of humour, the sharp dialogue and the political intrigue will be more familiar to readers of Michael Kube-McDowell's Alternities and the Trigon Disunity. However, the result of this collaboration is an epic thriller, as well as a surprising change of direction for Arthur C. Clarke, undoubtedly the most famous science fiction writer in the world. --Gary S. Dalkin

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