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The Terminator is a novelization of the film The Terminator and written by Randall Frakes and Bill Wisher.

Publisher's summary[]

Back cover[]

"More deadly than any man alive."

The time is now...but he comes from the Year of Darkness, 2029. He was created to reshape the future by destroying the present. He feels no pity, no pain, no fear. He feels nothing. He is an unstoppable killing machine programmed for murder. He is...

The Terminator.

Inside front[]

A mission of hate and destruction from the dark future. An innocent woman caught between forces beyond her control. A man in pursuit of justice across the boundaries of time itself. And a cold, cruel, inhuman creation they call... the Terminator.


Main article: The Terminator (film)
Note: The novel shares the same story with the film The Terminator, although there are differences between the two.


Main Characters[]


People related to Sarah Connor[]

  • Ginger Ventura
  • Matt Buchanan
  • Pugsly
  • Pugsly Jr.
  • Stan Morsky, a man Sarah had a date planned with.
  • Charlie, Sarah Connor's boyfriend in junior high.
  • Rich Welker, a short fling of Sarah's from high school.
  • Professor Miller, who taught Sarah's Linguistics class in college.
  • Rod Smith, a guy in Sarah's psychology class.
  • Nancy Dizon
  • Chuck Breen, Sarah's manager at Big Jeff's



  • The book was initially released in limited numbers, in decent condition the novel currently fetches approximately $25.
  • The first 16 pages extend the scenes involving the garbage man and the three punks.
  • Further detail is provided on the Terminator's preparations for its mission, including visiting a hardware store and killing its owner to secure tools, additional clothing such as the glasses and leather coat worn during the assault on the police station, and money it uses to rent a room at the Panama Hotel to act as its base of operations, giving it a safe haven to modify and prep its weapons, perform repairs from damage and to review its resources.
  • The book states that Sarah is 19 years old, which was only mentioned elsewhere in the original script for The Terminator.
  • The novel makes use of the film script's unused concept of Sarah having a metal pin in her leg, with the Terminator mutilating its victims in order to find this identifying pin and confirm the termination of the correct Sarah Connor. Where the original script attributed it to a skating injury, the Frakes novel alters the origin of the pin so that Sarah receives it as the result of shrapnel damage from destroying the Terminator, further cementing the predestination paradox of the first film.

Continuity notes[]

The novel states that the day is March 9, 1984 (which was actually a Friday), and the time the T-800 Terminator arrived from the future was around 3:48 A.M with a mission to kill Sarah Connor. Sergeant Kyle Reese of the Resistance arrived from 2029 to protect Sarah Connor some 24 minutes later at 4:12 A.M.

Differences between the film and novel[]

  • The novel starts on March 9, 1984, whereas the main events of the film are set between 13th to 15th May 1984.
  • Ginger has the job of an aerobics instructor, though there is no mention of her occupation in the film.
  • The gunstore is called Garrett's Gun Shop in the novel but Alamo Sport Shop in the film.
  • In the novel, while at the gunstore, the Terminator requests a SPAS-12, a Colt .45 Longslide with laser sighting and an Uzi 9mm like in the film. but instead of an ArmaLite AR-18, he asks for an ArmaLite AR-180 and an ArmaLite AR-15, as well as a Desert Eagle .357 Magnum pistol.
  • The novel names the second Wrong Sarah killed by the Terminator as Sarah Helene Connor, whereas in the film she is named Sarah Louise Connor. There is the same confusion as in the film over the order of the death's, as Sergeant Hal Vukovich references Sarah Anne Connor as "Dead girl two",
  • In the novel, the Terminator says to the motel janitor, "Fuck you, asshole," and the latter replies, "Fuck you too, pal," but in the movie, he does not respond.
  • The Series 700 Terminator is mentioned.


  • The novel breaks up sections with timestamps which show the flow of the story and highlights the key actions of the protagonists. On page 42 it lists The Terminator being at is hotel room at 10:20 A.M. At the end of this section The Terminator leaves the hotel by the fire escape. The next section picks up with The Terminator arriving at Garrett's Gun Shop at 10:23 P.M. The section after this has The Terminator back at his hotel room modifying the weapons at 11:19 A.M. It is inconceivable that it would take twelve hours between each entry, especially as the novel does not mention a change in day as it does in later sections.
  • Detective Hal Vukovich confuses the details of the two wrong Sarah's killed by The Terminator, stating that Sarah Helene Connor was the first victim, a mother of two, and that Sarah Ann Connor was the second victim as he shows the case files to Lieutenant Ed Traxler. Earlier in the novel it shows that The Terminators first victim was killed at 12:02 P.M. and the second victim was killed at 6:12 P.M. and her name was Sarah Helene Connor, who according to the newsreader was a 24 year old legal secretary. This can be chalked up to a mistake by the Police in this case.


Publisher Region Type Date ISBN
Spectra / Bantam North America Paperback October 1, 1985 0-553-25317-4
Sphere Books UK Paperback October 17, 1991 0-74741195-6
Warner Books Paperback 1993 0-75150634-6



External links[]

Terminator film novelizations