Cover image for Force 12 : a novel
Force 12 : a novel
Thayer, James, 1949-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster, [2001]

Physical Description:
347 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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From the author of Terminal Event comes the tale of Rex Wyman, a world-famous software billionaire who is determined to win the world's longest and most challenging yacht race through some of the roughest seas in the world. When a huge storm engulfs the Victory, the stakes become not just win or lose but life and death.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Faced with obsolescence in an ever-changing industry, software magnate Rex Wyman bets his company's future on a technology that he hopes will give the company new life. He has built the world's first fully automated boat. The racing yacht, armed with powerful processors and decision software, can run without a crew, adjusting speed and course based on currents and weather conditions. As a publicity stunt to unveil his technological marvel, Wyman organizes a long and dangerous race across the Pacific, goading the best mariners from around the world to enter. As the race progresses, unseen glitches in the yacht's systems confound the programmers on land and threaten the few crew members. When the boat plunges toward a severe storm that its computers fail to recognize, simmering fear and suspicion erupt and the crew struggle for their lives against the fury of the storm and the unseen hand that guides their destruction. Although the ending is somewhat predictable, the momentum of the plot nonetheless keeps the reader turning the pages of this thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile read. --Gavin Quinn

Publisher's Weekly Review

After Terminal Event, Thayer's well-received air-crash novel, this altogether amateurish, irritatingly overwritten techno-thriller imagining the Pacific Winter Challenge, an international sailing race from San Francisco to Japan on a northerly course, disappoints as it sinks in an ocean of technobabble and pulp romance. In a last desperate effort to keep his software empire afloat, Rex Wyman, CEO of Microsoft-like WorldQuest, comes up with the idea of a perilous world-class sailing event, intended as a publicity stunt. The craft he plans to help crew himself, the $50 million Victory, is a totally computer-automated yacht. WorldQuest VP Gwen Weld, the womanizing Rex's current sex kitten and a savvy programming prodigy, is key to the CEO's plans she will run the Victory's computers. Toby Odell, Rex's ex-partner, is also along for the ride, and tensions on board are evident immediately. The mayhem begins when, almost before the boat sails out of sight of the Golden Gate Bridge, the infallible software onboard shows an alarming glitch, then computer problems proliferate as a "storm of the century" engulfs the Victory. Up to her monitors trying to stay afloat on the deadly sea, Gwen receives help by e-mail from Capt. Jess McKay, a dashing parachutist with the rescue squadron of the Alaska Air National Guard. Jess, haunted by the role he believes he played in his older brother's death, is grateful for this chance to redeem himself. Wave by wave, clich‚ by clich‚, the soggy saga sloshes toward a foreseeable finale. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved