A for Andromeda

Since I`m in Andromeda state of mind I just couldn`t resist from reading another science fiction novel with the "A" word in the title that I found on by wife`s book shelf. It`s a book of her father`s, as I would presume, for she has never expressed much interest for sci-fi herself, as far as I know. In comparison with that "Andromeda strain" novel this one has some advantages. First, those two British fellows write much less "generic" than Michael Chrichton - of course, every sci-fi book has its share of cliche`s but this one seems to be in a better position than the other one. Then there`s another advantage - the story is organised in a more intriguing manner. Everything starts with a huge radio telescope detecting a signal from outer space. The signal is recorded and a scientist named Flemming decodes it as an instruction for building a huge computer that would be able to solve lots and lots of problems. The problem is that when the computer is created it starts taking over the people for they are willing to pay almost everything for the power the computer can give. One of the things He (the computer) does is creating a nearly human replica of a woman He has killed - a woman named Andromeda (or Andre). This Andre has much better capabilities than the average person yet she is a bit too human in order to work perfectly. Flemming tries to stop the machine for he realises that it`s only giving something to people, so it could take much more ir return. Flemming comes out as the winner in the end, while Andre dies, although she`s become almost 100% human in her behaviour and her death doesn`t come as a relief. One thing was very funny about this book, of course, for the super advanced computer used punch cards and teletype and communication with it was done by typing lots and lots of data through the binary code. That`s a thing most sci fi books suffer from - the employed technology becomes ridiculous quite fast, never mind how great it seemed at the time the book was written. Overall: the book ain`t bad at all, once again I can say that it ain`t no Vonnegut, yet it ain`t no Michael Crichton either - it`s better.
2006-06-18
7.0
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