The Andromeda Strain

Magic and Imagery #11

Stick to established procedures.

Establishment gonna fall down and go boom.

I can’t remember what came first for me: reading the book or seeing the movie.  No matter — they were both intense, groundbreaking experiences.
The movie was perhaps the first adult-oriented film that I truly appreciated, and I remember watching this with more awe and interest than I had with Kubrick’s 2001.  The book — to be precise, the book’s cover — instantly grabbed me when I saw it on the paperback racks at Woolworth’s in downtown Newport News in 1971.  At first, I thought it was a sex book because the naked guy was a steal from a popular sex/sociography book, The Naked Ape, not-so coincidentally published by the same publisher.
Instead, it was something better: an adult sf novel that was also mainstream, that told its story not just using narrative text, but with computer illustrations.  It was like a comic book for grown ups, and it blew me away.  It still does.
Crichton went on to create Westworld (which I will talk about eventually) and, much later, Jurassic Park.  But Andromeda still lives on for me.  It’s one of those movies I have to watch whenever I find it, just switching through the channels.  41 years later, it has lost absolutely none of its dramatic and graphics-intense impact.

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