Five prominent biophysicists give the United States government an urgent warning: sterilisation procedures for returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee uncontaminated re-entry to the atmosphere. Two years later, Project Scoop sends seventeen satellites into the fringes of space in order to 'collect organisms and dust for study'.
Then a probe falls to the earth, landing in a desolate area of northeastern Arizona. A little while later, in the nearby town of Piedmont, bodies are discovered heaped and flung across the ground, faces locked in frozen surprise. But the terror has only just begun, because when they try to find the cause of death, the scientists don't realise just what kind of unearthly danger they are dealing with...
Brilliantly filmed by Robert Wise in 1971, The Andromeda Strain was the first book to introduce Michael Crichton's audacious combination of believable plots and white-knuckled excitement to a wide audience.
Born in Chicago in 1942, Michael Crichton first trained as a doctor before going on to become one of the most successful writers in the world. In 1994 he achieved a feat unmatched by any other writer: by having simultaneously a number one TV series, book and movie with, respectively, ER (which he created), Disclosure and Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park, on its release the highest-grossing film of all time. He also directed several movies, including The Great Railway Robbery with Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland. His high-concept thrillers were international bestsellers, and in total his books have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide. He died in 2008.