Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Our Heroine Would Not Tamper with a Downed Satellite If She Were You


When I was in high school, I somehow got my hands on a copy of Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain. I don't know why I read it then, considering that the only books I wanted to read in high-school involved brooding heroes with wounded souls being saved by plain but sassy governesses in country houses.

But I did read it, and it was Michael Crichton's first novel, written (I think) while he was still at Harvard Medical School and before he went all Hollywood and started sticking precocious kids in every book because he's really just scripting a movie.

This book was serious, hard-core, written entertainment, laced perfectly with that ol' Aristotelian fear that, "This could happen to me."

My Pumpkins, I cannot express accurately how reading that book for the first time made me feel. It sticks in my head as one of the most exciting reading experiences of my entire life. I mean, I missed my bus stop - several times - because I was so engrossed. I didn't talk to my girlfriends for days; I just wanted to be alone to read. The book is perfect entertainment. It's really just perfect. I don't want to give too much away, but the plot involves a satellite, a collision in outer space, a top-secret government lab and a mysterious something that wreaks apocalyptic levels of death.

The book is probably my favorite science-fiction novel, and easily among the top 10 most enjoyable books I have ever read. It's totally believable. I reread it, and while the technology now seems dated, the premise still makes perfect sense.

Why am I raving about this now? Because the super-geniuses at A&E have brilliantly decided to (re)make Andromeda Strain as a movie which airs this weekend. When I saw the commercial a little while ago, I threw my cat off my lap and started running around my apartment, shrieking. And I am going down to the 7-11 when I'm done posting this to celebrate with a nice, lemony Diet Coke.

I know it's science-fiction, but will you ladies watch it if I tell you that Benjamin Bratt is playing hero-scientist, Dr. Jeremy Stone? (Megan, there are no insecty-alien creatures like the last science-fiction thing I tried to foist on you.)

Anyhoodle, before I sign off with one last whoopee of excitement, I must confess that every random science career I've ever imagined for myself was spawned from reading The Andromeda Strain, in which all the scientists were tough and smart and brave and patriotic and willing to sacrifice their lives to save the world. Sadly, I just can't do math in my head, so the science life was not to be for me.

3 comments:

RK said...

I had no idea you were such a big Andromeda fan too. It must be genetic, because I felt the same way when mom got me a copy from the library...it was the first adult novel I ever read, and has yet to be surpassed!

Nicole Genevieve said...

So, you're going to watch it, right? Then we can discuss! (Sometimes our genetic similarity is a little freaky!)

Lily said...

Where was the other cat when you threw the cat off your lap?!

And why a lemony diet coke when you can have a slurpee if only because i crave them like crazy?

oh, and THANKS! i can't do mental math! i love you soooo..!

pleaaase remind me to get this book when i go to NY!