The Andromeda Strain

Michael Crichton
The Andromeda Strain Cover

The Andromeda Strain


Very much hard SF; Chrichton listed the various papers and journals he quoted from in the reference section. This was the first novel published under his own name, and according to the author was inspired by The Ipcress File. I finished this while home sick from work.

The main characters are scientists, and make very human mistakes. It was refreshing to see them struggle to figure out the problem. What they think combined with the additional things we know make for very effective tension - the world may end in pandemic at any moment. Quite believable, especially in current circumstances.

Many novels from 50 years ago with a scientific focus can feel dated. This one doesn't (though the 1971 movie will probably feel so). The combination of jargon and suspense make for great tension, but the info dumps here are a bit overwhelming. The author refined this technique in later novels, with Jurassic Park as an excellent example of success. The ending also felt quite sudden.

This 50th anniversary edition also has a plug for Daniel H Wilson's sequel, The Andromeda Evolution. I do enjoy him as an author, and will probably read this in the near future. I also want to re-watch the original film, and perhaps the 2008 miniseries as well.