Prey by Michael Crichton

I’ve mentioned before that I try to snag an audio book to listen to on my way back and forth home during breaks. Makes the trip seem not quite so long (though 6 hours isn’t really that long of a trip). For my trip during last break between quarters, I picked up Prey, by Michael Crichton.

Prey addresses possible problems with nanotechnology and distributed networks in the near future. I was facinated by the perspective Crichton chose for his main character. Probably a more common occurrance in our day than we might want to admit, the story is told by a recently out of work computer programmer who is playing full-time dad. His wife is working for a company who has figured out how to get nano-machines built in enough quantities that they are able to consider selling them.

The problem comes when the nanos have trouble with staying together in wind so, knowingly, the company releases a bunch of nanos into the desert around their lab hoping that the nanos would resolve the problem on their own. The programmer finally takes a job…with this same company…to help resolve the problem. Unfortunately, it’s much bigger a problem than the supervisor in charge wants to explain.

Overall, I thought the book along the same sort of lines as the other Crichton books I’ve read in the past — an interesting, and fairly believable story about the consequences – and dangers – of some of the forefront technologies we find exciting, but without proper balance quickly get out of control.


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