History Literature / TheAndromedaStrain

17th Feb '18 2:44:38 PM JakesBrain
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* BodyHorror: Andromeda dispatches its victims by near-instant clotting of blood - such that most of Piedmont was "cut down in mid-stride." The team get to see wonderful visages, such as a smiling family gathered around rotting food. The autopsy on the man who opened the probe carrying Andromeda also counts, as they chop him open - and only get clotted blood. It's hinted that a few survived long enough to "go quietly nuts". [[spoiler:The identities of this latter group - among them, a diabetic, a teen who built model airplanes, a UsefulNotes/WW1 vet, and an old chain-smoking lady - provide an early hint to how Andromeda targets its victims. All would have been mildly acidotic, from uncontrolled diabetes, the paint thinner they worked with, old age, and COPD respectively, which allowed them to survive long enough to develop dementia. All cases commit suicide in an unnatural and/or painful way in Piedmont, such as one via self-immolation, and the diabetic literally filling a tub with water and holding his head inside until he drowned, and nearly all leave ranting, paranoid notes. A final case which appears later - a diabetic cop that survived initial infection and then shot up a diner - which cements the acidosis theory.]]

to:

* BodyHorror: Andromeda dispatches its victims by near-instant clotting of blood - -- such that most of Piedmont was "cut down in mid-stride." The team get to see wonderful visages, such as a smiling family gathered around rotting food. The autopsy on the man who opened the probe carrying Andromeda also counts, as they chop him open - -- and only get clotted blood. It's hinted that a few survived long enough to "go quietly nuts". [[spoiler:The identities of this latter group - -- among them, a diabetic, a teen who built model airplanes, a UsefulNotes/WW1 vet, and an old chain-smoking lady - -- provide an early hint to how Andromeda targets its victims. All would have been mildly acidotic, from uncontrolled diabetes, the paint thinner they worked with, old age, and COPD respectively, which allowed them to survive long enough to develop dementia. All cases commit suicide in an unnatural and/or painful way in Piedmont, such as one via self-immolation, and the diabetic literally filling a tub with water and holding his head inside until he drowned, and nearly all leave ranting, paranoid notes. A final case which appears later - -- a diabetic cop that survived initial infection and then shot up a diner - -- which cements the acidosis theory.]]



** This is in-universe FanService, as the book points out that the most sexy voice the military could find is used for voice reminder systems on the theory that men will pay more attention to it. It also turns into in-universe FetishRetardant when the same voice also plainly announces the [[spoiler: nuclear countdown.]] Stone finds this extremely infuriating.

to:

** This is in-universe FanService, as the book points out that the most sexy voice the military could find is used for voice reminder systems on the theory that men will pay more attention to it. It also turns into in-universe FetishRetardant when the same voice also plainly announces the [[spoiler: nuclear countdown.]] Stone finds and Hall find this extremely infuriating.



* {{Mockumentary}}: Crichton presents himself, via LiteraryAgentHypothesis, as a historian reconstructing the course of "a major American scientific crisis" through examination of relevant declassified materials and interviews with the scientists involved; he frequently quotes from these interviews and from several {{Fictional Document}}s supposedly out of his research. He even cites fake papers written by his characters alongside ''real'' ones in his bibliography at the end of the book.

to:

* {{Mockumentary}}: Crichton presents himself, via LiteraryAgentHypothesis, himself as a historian reconstructing the "the five-day course of "a a major American scientific crisis" through examination of relevant declassified materials and interviews with the scientists involved; he frequently quotes from these interviews and from several {{Fictional Document}}s supposedly out part of his research. He even cites fake papers written by his characters alongside ''real'' ones in his bibliography at the end of the book.



** Like the other suicide victims, the teen's death is a clue. [[spoiler: Paint thinner and glue both contain methylated spirits (methanol, methyl ethyl ketone and acetone), all of which cause massive metabolic acidosis - well enough to defeat Andromeda. The victim likely survived infection, only to die of his toxidrome shortly afterward.]]
* YouCanPanicNow: One of Crichton's seminal works on the subject. The scientists are able to rationally tear Andromeda to pieces save when they panic and try to take shortcuts. Things go haywire every time someone makes a decision out of fear rather than logic. The story has been hailed as, [[http://www.yacoset.com/why-the-andromeda-strain-is-the-greatest-debugging-tutorial-ever-made "The greatest debugging tutorial ever made."]]

to:

** Like the other suicide victims, the teen's death is a clue. [[spoiler: Paint thinner and glue both contain methylated spirits (methanol, methyl ethyl ketone and acetone), all of which cause massive metabolic acidosis - -- well enough to defeat Andromeda. The victim likely survived infection, only to die of his toxidrome shortly afterward.]]
* YouCanPanicNow: One of Crichton's seminal works on the subject. The scientists are able to rationally tear Andromeda to pieces save when they panic and try to take shortcuts. Things go haywire every time someone makes a decision out of fear rather than logic. The story has been hailed as, as [[http://www.yacoset.com/why-the-andromeda-strain-is-the-greatest-debugging-tutorial-ever-made "The "the greatest debugging tutorial ever made."]]
17th Feb '18 12:57:03 PM JakesBrain
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* MagicCountdown: [[spoiler:Averted in that Hall disarms the nuclear self-destruct with more than half a minute to spare. Subverted in that the lowest level of the facility is ''evacuated of atmosphere'' '''thirty seconds before detonation''' to increase the yield of the nuke - the researchers were only seconds from being '''''asphyxiated.''''']]
* SelfDestructMechanism: The Wildfire facility has a nuclear device beneath it that is set to automatically go off in the event of a breach to prevent any nasty diseases from getting out. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, the scientists calculate that the heat and radiation from a nuclear blast would cause the virus to mutate into a potentially much deadlier form.]] In addition, the book goes into detail about the necessarily psychological profile of the one person who should be entrusted with the "off" key. The people in charge calculated that an unmarried male with no strong family connections would be best able to make the decision to allow the bomb to go off. And the device is even designed so only Hall can use it, so another person less willing to sacrifice himself than Hall can't just take take the key from him and stop the countdown.

to:

* MagicCountdown: [[spoiler:Averted in that Hall disarms the nuclear self-destruct with more than half a minute to spare. Subverted in that the lowest level of the facility is ''evacuated of atmosphere'' '''thirty seconds before detonation''' to increase the yield of the nuke - -- the researchers were only seconds from being '''''asphyxiated.''''']]
* {{Mockumentary}}: Crichton presents himself, via LiteraryAgentHypothesis, as a historian reconstructing the course of "a major American scientific crisis" through examination of relevant declassified materials and interviews with the scientists involved; he frequently quotes from these interviews and from several {{Fictional Document}}s supposedly out of his research. He even cites fake papers written by his characters alongside ''real'' ones in his bibliography at the end of the book.
* SelfDestructMechanism: The Wildfire facility has a nuclear device beneath it that is set to automatically go off in the event of a breach to prevent any nasty diseases from getting out. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, the scientists calculate that the heat and radiation from a nuclear blast would cause the virus to mutate into a potentially much deadlier form.]] In addition, the book goes into detail about the necessarily necessary psychological profile of the one person who should be entrusted with the "off" key. The people in charge calculated that an unmarried male with no strong family connections would be best able to make the decision to allow the bomb to go off. And the device is even designed so only Hall can use it, so another person less willing to sacrifice himself than Hall can't just take take the key from him and stop the countdown.countdown. (All of which just goes to show how many hoops the Wildfire scientists had to jump through to get the government to trust even a single civilian with control over a nuclear weapon.)



--> '''Leavitt:''' Just passing through. On the way to Rome.
--> '''Guard:''' Have you got the time?
--> '''Leavitt:''' My watch stopped yesterday.
--> '''Guard:''' Durn shame.
--> '''Leavitt:''' It's because of the heat.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: There's one anomaly in the "suicidal" vs. "dropped dead" Piedmont population - a teenage boy who decided to ingest paint thinner and glue to kill himself. It's not known if he was affected by Andromeda, or was driven to despair after seeing his entire family die immediately.

to:

--> '''Leavitt:''' Just passing through. On the way to Rome.
-->
Rome.\\
'''Guard:''' Have you got the time?
-->
time?\\
'''Leavitt:''' My watch stopped yesterday.
-->
yesterday.\\
'''Guard:''' Durn shame.
-->
shame.\\
'''Leavitt:''' It's because of the heat.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: There's one anomaly in the "suicidal" vs. "dropped dead" Piedmont population - -- a teenage boy who decided to ingest paint thinner and glue to kill himself. It's not known if he was affected by Andromeda, or was driven to despair after seeing his entire family die immediately.




to:

-->''As in most crises, the events surrounding the Andromeda Strain were a compound of foresight and foolishness, innocence and ignorance. Nearly everyone involved had moments of great brilliance, and moments of unaccountable stupidity. It is therefore impossible to write about the events without offending some of the participants.\\
However, I think it is important that the story be told. This country supports the largest scientific establishment in the history of mankind [...] Thus I believe it is useful for the public to be made aware of the way in which scientific crises arise, and are dealt with.''
8th Dec '17 4:26:28 PM trumpetmarietta
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* MagicCountdown: [[spoiler:Averted in that Hall disarms the nuclear self-destruct with more than half a minute to spare. Subverted in that the lowest level of the facility is ''evacuated of atmosphere'' '''thirty seconds before detonation''' to increase the yield of the nuke - the researchers were only seconds from being '''''suffocated.''''']]

to:

* MagicCountdown: [[spoiler:Averted in that Hall disarms the nuclear self-destruct with more than half a minute to spare. Subverted in that the lowest level of the facility is ''evacuated of atmosphere'' '''thirty seconds before detonation''' to increase the yield of the nuke - the researchers were only seconds from being '''''suffocated.'''''asphyxiated.''''']]



--> '''Guard:''' You got the time?
--> '''Stone:''' My watch stopped at 10:46.
--> '''Guard:''' Darn shame.
--> '''Stone:''' Must be the heat.

to:

--> '''Leavitt:''' Just passing through. On the way to Rome.
--> '''Guard:''' You Have you got the time?
--> '''Stone:''' '''Leavitt:''' My watch stopped at 10:46.
yesterday.
--> '''Guard:''' Darn Durn shame.
--> '''Stone:''' Must be '''Leavitt:''' It's because of the heat.
8th Dec '17 3:47:12 PM trumpetmarietta
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** [[ShownTheirWork The action in the novel takes place in 1967. The United States did not renounce the use of offensive biological warfare until 1969.]]

to:

** [[ShownTheirWork The action in the novel takes place in 1967. The United States did not renounce the use of end its offensive biological warfare program until 1969.]]



** It's also briefly mentioned that the helicopter pilot that drops the Wildfire team off at the site of first infection is under orders that if the team on the ground is overwhelmed by Andromeda, he is to return to a designated "clean" area at his base where both he and his aircraft will be incinerated as a sterilization measure. And he's being shadowed by a fighter jet that will shoot him down if he doesn't comply.

to:

** It's also briefly mentioned that the helicopter pilot that drops the Wildfire team off at the site of first infection is under orders that if the team on the ground is overwhelmed by Andromeda, he is to return proceed directly to a designated "clean" area at his base the Wildfire facility, where both he and his aircraft will be incinerated as a sterilization measure. And he's being shadowed by a fighter jet that will shoot him down if he doesn't comply.
8th Dec '17 3:41:56 PM trumpetmarietta
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* GovernmentConspiracy: The SCOOP Project was developed to try to find elements on the upper atmosphere or low earth orbit that could be developed into newer biological weapons, with the SCOOP Seven satellite (which obtained Andromeda from space) having GoneHorriblyRight. [[AdaptationalAngstUpgrade Interestingly]], the characters make more of a fuzz about it in the film than in the novel (which presents this fact as early as the second chapter, while on the film is reserved to a twist near the climax).

to:

* GovernmentConspiracy: The SCOOP Project Scoop was developed to try to find elements on the upper atmosphere or low earth orbit that could be developed into newer biological weapons, with the SCOOP Seven Scoop VII satellite (which obtained Andromeda from space) having GoneHorriblyRight. [[AdaptationalAngstUpgrade Interestingly]], the characters make more of a fuzz fuss about it in the film than in the novel (which presents this fact as early as the second chapter, while on the film is reserved to a twist near the climax).climax).
** [[ShownTheirWork The action in the novel takes place in 1967. The United States did not renounce the use of offensive biological warfare until 1969.]]
12th Jul '17 2:37:17 PM TvTroper20152014
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* ItsTheOnlyWayToBeSure: The back-up plan to prevent a release of agent from the Wildfire facility was to destroy the site with a nuke. Heroically averted, as a nuclear detonation might only have fueled Andromeda's rampant growth.

to:

* ItsTheOnlyWayToBeSure: The back-up plan to prevent a release of agent from the Wildfire facility was to destroy the site with a nuke. Heroically [[spoiler:Heroically averted, as a nuclear detonation might only have fueled Andromeda's rampant growth.]]



* MagicCountdown: Averted in that Hall disarms the nuclear self-destruct with more than half a minute to spare. Subverted in that the lowest level of the facility is ''evacuated of atmosphere'' '''thirty seconds before detonation''' to increase the yield of the nuke - the researchers were only seconds from being '''''suffocated.'''''
* SelfDestructMechanism: The Wildfire facility has a nuclear device beneath it that is set to automatically go off in the event of a breach to prevent any nasty diseases from getting out. Unfortunately, the scientists calculate that the heat and radiation from a nuclear blast would cause the virus to mutate into a potentially much deadlier form. In addition, the book goes into detail about the necessarily psychological profile of the one person who should be entrusted with the "off" key. The people in charge calculated that an unmarried male with no strong family connections would be best able to make the decision to allow the bomb to go off. And the device is even designed so only Hall can use it, so another person less willing to sacrifice himself than Hall can't just take take the key from him and stop the countdown.

to:

* MagicCountdown: Averted [[spoiler:Averted in that Hall disarms the nuclear self-destruct with more than half a minute to spare. Subverted in that the lowest level of the facility is ''evacuated of atmosphere'' '''thirty seconds before detonation''' to increase the yield of the nuke - the researchers were only seconds from being '''''suffocated.'''''
''''']]
* SelfDestructMechanism: The Wildfire facility has a nuclear device beneath it that is set to automatically go off in the event of a breach to prevent any nasty diseases from getting out. Unfortunately, [[spoiler:Unfortunately, the scientists calculate that the heat and radiation from a nuclear blast would cause the virus to mutate into a potentially much deadlier form. form.]] In addition, the book goes into detail about the necessarily psychological profile of the one person who should be entrusted with the "off" key. The people in charge calculated that an unmarried male with no strong family connections would be best able to make the decision to allow the bomb to go off. And the device is even designed so only Hall can use it, so another person less willing to sacrifice himself than Hall can't just take take the key from him and stop the countdown.
12th Jul '17 2:32:49 PM TvTroper20152014
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** The government never considered a possibility that the nuclear-sterilization protocol going off could make things ''[[ILoveNuclearPower worse]]'', so they purposefully left out any means to shut it off from inside the facility once it's been armed. Once the scientists discover that Andromeda not only ''eats'' radiation but uses it to evolve, they have to begin an extensive off-site procedure to shut it down. [[spoiler:When Andromeda eats through the plastic gaskets in the containment areas, this threatens the ''entire world'', and Hall is sent scurrying through a DeathCourse to shut it down]].

to:

** The government never considered a possibility that the nuclear-sterilization protocol going off could make things ''[[ILoveNuclearPower worse]]'', so they purposefully left out any means to shut it off from inside the facility once it's been armed. Once [[spoiler:Once the scientists discover that Andromeda not only ''eats'' radiation but uses it to evolve, they have to begin an extensive off-site procedure to shut it down. [[spoiler:When When Andromeda eats through the plastic gaskets in the containment areas, this threatens the ''entire world'', and Hall is sent scurrying through a DeathCourse to shut it down]].
12th Jul '17 2:31:41 PM TvTroper20152014
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* DisabilityImmunity: the eponymous Strain kills an entire town save a baby and an old man. Turns out that the contagion is actually extremely sensitive to abnormal [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/pH pH]] levels - outside the range of normal blood pH (7.35-7.45), the organism dies. The old man was an alcoholic who drank denatured alcohol from canned stove fuel, resulting in metabolic acidosis, and the baby had cried himself into respiratory alkalosis due to a combination of infantile colic, hunger and fear.

to:

* DisabilityImmunity: the eponymous Strain kills an entire town save a baby and an old man. Turns [[spoiler:Turns out that the contagion is actually extremely sensitive to abnormal [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/pH pH]] levels - outside the range of normal blood pH (7.35-7.45), the organism dies. The old man was an alcoholic who drank denatured alcohol from canned stove fuel, resulting in metabolic acidosis, and the baby had cried himself into respiratory alkalosis due to a combination of infantile colic, hunger and fear.]]
17th Jun '17 1:27:15 PM nombretomado
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* BodyHorror: Andromeda dispatches its victims by near-instant clotting of blood - such that most of Piedmont was "cut down in mid-stride." The team get to see wonderful visages, such as a smiling family gathered around rotting food. The autopsy on the man who opened the probe carrying Andromeda also counts, as they chop him open - and only get clotted blood. It's hinted that a few survived long enough to "go quietly nuts". [[spoiler:The identities of this latter group - among them, a diabetic, a teen who built model airplanes, a WW1 vet, and an old chain-smoking lady - provide an early hint to how Andromeda targets its victims. All would have been mildly acidotic, from uncontrolled diabetes, the paint thinner they worked with, old age, and COPD respectively, which allowed them to survive long enough to develop dementia. All cases commit suicide in an unnatural and/or painful way in Piedmont, such as one via self-immolation, and the diabetic literally filling a tub with water and holding his head inside until he drowned, and nearly all leave ranting, paranoid notes. A final case which appears later - a diabetic cop that survived initial infection and then shot up a diner - which cements the acidosis theory.]]

to:

* BodyHorror: Andromeda dispatches its victims by near-instant clotting of blood - such that most of Piedmont was "cut down in mid-stride." The team get to see wonderful visages, such as a smiling family gathered around rotting food. The autopsy on the man who opened the probe carrying Andromeda also counts, as they chop him open - and only get clotted blood. It's hinted that a few survived long enough to "go quietly nuts". [[spoiler:The identities of this latter group - among them, a diabetic, a teen who built model airplanes, a WW1 UsefulNotes/WW1 vet, and an old chain-smoking lady - provide an early hint to how Andromeda targets its victims. All would have been mildly acidotic, from uncontrolled diabetes, the paint thinner they worked with, old age, and COPD respectively, which allowed them to survive long enough to develop dementia. All cases commit suicide in an unnatural and/or painful way in Piedmont, such as one via self-immolation, and the diabetic literally filling a tub with water and holding his head inside until he drowned, and nearly all leave ranting, paranoid notes. A final case which appears later - a diabetic cop that survived initial infection and then shot up a diner - which cements the acidosis theory.]]
13th Jun '17 12:25:35 PM ironballs16
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* ComputerVoice: The computer in the Wildfire secret underground base plays pre-recorded messages spoken by a pleasant female voice. It is revealed that the voice, which one scientist describes as "luscious," is that of a woman in her 60's, turning it into in-universe FetishRetardant.

to:

* ComputerVoice: The computer in the Wildfire secret underground base plays pre-recorded messages spoken by a pleasant female voice. It is revealed that the voice, [[ArousedByTheirVoice which one scientist describes as "luscious," "luscious,"]] is that of a woman in her 60's, turning it into in-universe FetishRetardant.
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