Without war, we’d hardly have any history. Without murder, we’d hardly have any fiction. Then along came the Trigger … the only true promise of peace that technology has ever devised.
From the legendary Arthur C. Clarke, in collaboration with Michael Kube-McDowell of Star Wars fame, comes a chilling day-after-tomorrow thriller of huge vision and startling menace.
Jeffrey Horton of Terabyte Laboratories is the brilliant, driven and idealistic scientist responsible for the discovery of the Trigger. It was an accidental discovery: Horton was hoping to build the analogue of a laser for gravity. Instead, his experiment, when fired up for the first time, triggered all nearby explosive material. In that moment, an end to the power of the gun became feasible. In future, a firearm – or a bomb – could be made powerless to harm the innocent.
Karl Brohier, Horton’s boss and a Nobel Prive winner, has to decide what to do with the Trigger. Patriotism dictates he and Horton hand over the science to the Pentagon. Idealism demands the invention be given to the whole world, regardless of politics. But what haunts Brohier is the fear that with one wrong word to the wrong person, a convoy of black vans filled with Special Operations troops will swoop down on the Terabyte campus and cart away everything, including himself and Horton. So Brohier takes news of the Trigger direct to the White House.
President Mark Breland, former star pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, has a record of integrity and liberalism. He would rather be wrong in a hurry than agonize his way to a state of ambivalence, and he promises Horton and Brohier that the Trigger will be made available to the world. The Pentagon regards Breland’s promise as wrong to the point of being treasonous. It involves disarming the military!
In a world where violence has reached epidemic proportions, no one can be trusted. Too many people have a stake in the business of violence to give peace a chance.