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A For Andromeda (Story-Tellers)

Customer Reviews:

A for Apotheosis

By BlueJay54 - July 9, 2002

It is a sad fact that Fred Hoyle--astrophysicist, cosmologist, nucleosynthecist, panspermicist and generally polymath extraordinaire--is not better recognized as one of our greatest sci-fi authors. Without a doubt, this book is one of the best sci-fi novels I have ever read. (FYI, I also like Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Lewis Shiner, William Gibson, Philip K. Dick and H.G. Wells). All I can do is briefly outline the plot: An eccentric and somewhat egocentric radioastronmer...computer scientist detects a signal from the constellation Andromeda on Britain's largest radiotelescope that is obviously an intelligent message. Once decoded, it turns out to be a design for a highly advanced super-computer. Once built, the computer designs recombinant human DNA and grows highly advanced "human beings" with which it communicates in its apparent intent to take over the earth. Due to cold-war politics and the obvious advantages to the government of having a supercomputer,... read more

Thought provoking and mind expanding

By Peter Yard - March 16, 2005

I actually saw the TV series when I was a child. It was an amazing thing for me, it altered the way I looked at the world and the universe. The book is good, but the TV series was better. There are two main characters in the book. Dr Fleming and Andromeda. There also a female doctor Dawnay and others but I have to draw the line somewhere.

The story starts with Fleming, a radio astronomer, detecting an intelligent signal from space. It is discovered that squeezed in between the simple signal is an enormous amount of information. When decoded it is shown to be the plans for a powerful superconducting computer. OK obviously it looks like Contact ripped some of this off. So the govt decides to build the thing. They find that there is extra data which is intended to initialise the computer. After it is turned on the pace really starts to pick up. Slowly communication is establised. Then it finds out what we are made of and creates a living creature (well tells the humans how to... read more

Great story, believable characters

By Felix Sonderkammer - November 6, 2004

Plot summary: a radio signal from the Andromeda "nebula" (galaxy) is a plan for a computer. The computer, when built, asks the scientists questions about what elements they are based on, etc. It then tells them how to build a cell from scratch, which multiplies until it becomes a dog-sized amoeba with a lidless eye and primitive brain. They hook it up to the computer as an input device. The computer then gives them instructions for building a human, who functions similarly. She helps the British build a great anti-missile missile and the British get all excited about becoming a great power again. But, of course, there is one scientist who knows what is really going on...the alien intelligence is using them, not vice versa....

This is a great story, in part because it is so realistic. Andromeda is about 1,000,000 light years away, so two-way communication with someone there would take too long. But to send instructions for building something to talk to is better... read more

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