The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

The Andromeda Strain while being Michael Crichton‘s sixth published novel was the first to be released under his own name. The book kicks off when a downed NASA satellite from project SCOOP lands near Piedmont, Arizona and locals open it, unknowingly releasing a deadly microorganism which will later be codenamed the Andromeda Strain. The organism seems to kill by clotting all of the blood of the people it infects, but it soon becomes clear that there is more going on as some people had time to go quietly insane. Even more amazing two survivors are found. An old man with a history of ulcers, and a bawling baby boy who never seems to stop crying. After rescuing the two survivors, Wildfire project head Jeremy Stone, and fellow project member Charles Burton request that a nuclear bomb be dropped on Piedmont in order to stop the spread of the organism. Unbeknown to the Wildfire team, however, the president decides to delay dropping the bomb, instead condoning of the area to prevent anyone from getting in. He does this because dropping the bomb would mean explaining to the Soviets why such a violation of the Moscow Treaty of 1963 which forbids the firing of nuclear weapons above ground was necessary, which might leave to some uncomfortable question that might reveal the fact that the scoop satellites were DESIGNED to collect microorganisms from outer space that could hopefully be used in biological warfare. It is this and other mistakes like it that while leading to near disaster in some areas fend of  disaster, by SHEER LUCK mind you, in others. To go over the various twists in turns would take to long and remove all suspense from the book, but suffice to say that this books hallmarks one of the reoccurring themes in Michael Crichton’s books. The potential for humanity to fail to live up to its technology. While Crichton is not anti-progress he does believe we should take the time to slow down and think things through as a  SOCIETY. In other words rather than trusting experts blindly we should listen to their expert opinions and contribute back. As decisions made by scientific researchers have the just as potential for good and for ill as decisions by military officers, politicians and people in the financial industry. Therefore, we should monitor them just as much.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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2 Responses to “The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton”

  1. Judy Says:

    What do you do when “expert opinion” is in disagreement?

    • animalia555 Says:

      We need to look at the data and the evidence given to us even more. To quote Michael Crichton himself, “Just as war is to important to leave to the generals, science is too important to leave to the scientists. EVERONE needs to be attentive.

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