The Andromeda Strain: A Critical Analysis Essay

The Andromeda Strain: A Critical Analysis Essay

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The Andromeda Strain: A Critical Analysis

In 1969 Michael Crichton wrote The Andromeda Strain, a book that would
forever expand the limits of a science fiction novel. Although written
in 1969, it deals with very current issues facing the modern day
boilogical and even political realm. Technically a science fiction
novel, the meticulously crafted plot is so intertwined with actual
science and technology that some have catagorized it as "science
fact." It is this realistic overtone that gives the impression that
perhaps, someday, events in the book could actually take place.

Plot Synopsis

The book opens up with a fictional page of acknowledgments stating
"This book recounts the five-day history of a major American
scientific crisis." From this opening sentence, the author immediately
sets the tone as one of historical narration of events that actually
took place. It is supposed to be a retelling of a scientific tradgedy
with monumental implications. From here, the story the author relates

Five years earlier the United States government initiated a program
called Project Scoop. The project's purpose was to send unmanned space
capsules into the earth's outer atmosphere to collect samples and
examine them. The hope was that undiscovered biological agents could
be found for potential use as biological weapons of war. Overall, the
Scoop program had been somewhat of a dissapointment until the seventh
launch. It reentered the earth's atmosphere over small town in
Arizona, where a team of two men were sent to retrieve it. Upon
entering the town they found no signs of life and suddenly and
unexplicably died themselves. This occurence set in motion something
the government had secretly planned for ca...

... middle of paper ...

...ploy would be to grow a
number of microorganisms that would grow uninhibited in the vastness
of space. The alien race would send them out in random directions
where they would drift perpetually until finally reaching other life.
Once reaching their destination, they would develop into full organ,
or organism capable of communication. They would inform the other race
of the presence of the other, and possible ways to communicate back.
This seemed amusing to the more practical scientists, but it had to be
considered a possibility with Andromeda.

Overall, "The Andromeda Strain's" extremely technical subject matter
made it challenging to read, but informative on a level usually not
touched on by other science fiction novels. The plot itself as well as
the concepts conveyed in this book make it relevent to the modern
biologic world, even over 30 years later.

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