Prey

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Nov 25, 2002 - Fiction - 367 pages
68 Reviews

In the Nevada desert, an experiment has gone horribly wrong. A cloud of nanoparticles—micro-robots—has escaped from the laboratory. This cloud is self-sustaining and self-reproducing. It is intelligent and learns from experience. For all practical purposes, it is alive.

It has been programmed as a predator. It is evolving swiftly, becoming more deadly with each passing hour.

Every attempt to destroy it has failed.

And we are the prey.

As fresh as today's headlines, Michael Crichton'smost compelling novel yet tells the story of a mechanical plague and the desperate efforts of a handful of scientists to stop it. Drawing on up-to-the-minute scientific fact, Prey takes us into the emerging realms of nanotechnology and artificial distributed intelligence—in a story of breathtaking suspense. Prey is a novel you can't put down.

Because time is running out.

  

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I thought the intro was pretty good as well. - Goodreads
The plot actually makes a lot of sense. - Goodreads
So I read the introduction, which begat the Prologue. - Bookreporter.com

Review: Prey

User Review  - Daniel Splittchinzki - Goodreads

After my friend introduced me to Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, and after reading a slew of history and historical fiction, I was jonesing to read some good, classic, science fiction. I was about to head ... Read full review

Review: Prey

User Review  - Elar - Goodreads

Idea behind the book is very catching and gives small introduction to machine learning and other IT techniques. But why is the main character intelligent in one moment and dumb as as a doorstop in next? Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
7
Section 3
29
Section 4
45
Section 5
61
Section 6
72
Section 7
96
Section 8
105
Section 18
220
Section 19
233
Section 20
245
Section 21
257
Section 22
262
Section 23
271
Section 24
284
Section 25
297

Section 9
121
Section 10
130
Section 11
143
Section 12
152
Section 13
170
Section 14
178
Section 15
185
Section 16
191
Section 17
204
Section 26
308
Section 27
318
Section 28
332
Section 29
341
Section 30
349
Section 31
356
Section 32
358
Section 33
365
Copyright

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Page vii - Within fifty to a hundred years a new class of organisms is likely to emerge. These organisms will be artificial in the sense that they will originally be designed by humans. However, they will reproduce, and will evolve into something other than their initial form; they will be alive under any reasonable definition of the word.
Page vii - ... organisms, since their reproduction will be under at least partial conscious control, giving it a Lamarckian component. The pace of evolutionary change consequently will be extremely rapid. The advent of artificial life will be the most significant historical event since the emergence of human beings. The impact on humanity and the biosphere could be enormous, larger than the industrial revolution, nuclear weapons, or environmental pollution. We must take steps now to shape the emergence of artificial...
Page 305 - ... of July to-night, and there's a band playing in the open air. Couples are dancing at the end of the Rue Brea. Oh, for the peace and quiet of Calese! I remember my last night there. In spite of doctor's orders I had taken a tablet of veronal, and had fallen into a deep sleep. I awoke with a start and looked at my watch. It was one o'clock in the morning. I could hear several voices, and that frightened me. I had left the window open. There was no one in the courtyard nor in the drawing-room. I...
Page 19 - She put her arms around me and rested her head on my shoulder. "Thank you, Polly. God, when I think of that first week I just wasted...
Page 78 - The human brain is the most complicated structure in the known universe — but as practically nothing of the universe is known, it is probably fairly low in the scale of organic computers. Nevertheless, it contains powers and potentialities still largely untapped, and perhaps unguessed at.
Page xi - Ramsay, CD Christensen, S. Beaton, DF Hall, and IA Ramshaw. 2001. "Expression of Mouse Interleukin-4 by a recombinant Ectromelia virus suppresses cytolytic lymphocyte responses and overcomes genetic resistance to Mousepox.
Page x - We think we know what we are doing. We have always thought so. We never seem to acknowledge that we have been wrong in the past, and so might be wrong in the future. Instead, each generation writes off earlier errors as the result of bad thinking by less able minds — and then confidently embarks on fresh errors of its own.
Page 249 - The hell with it, I thought. I crumpled up the sheet of paper, and tossed it in the wastebasket. However this problem got solved, it wasn't going to be with computer code. That much was clear.
Page 25 - Those programs were modeled on behavior of bees. The programs had many useful characteristics. Because swarms were composed of many agents, the swarm could respond to the environment in a robust way. Faced with new and unexpected conditions, the swarm programs didn't crash; they just sort of flowed around the obstacles, and kept going.
Page ix - If we were to grasp the true nature of nature — if we could comprehend the real meaning of evolution — then we would envision a world in which every living plant, insect, and animal species is changing at every instant, in response to every other living plant, insect, and animal.

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About the author (2002)

Michael Crichton has sold over 200 million books, which have been translated into thirty-eight languages; thirteen of his books have been made into films. Also known as a filmmaker and the creator of ER, he remains the only writer to have had the number one book, movie, and TV show simultaneously. At the time of his death in 2008, Crichton was well into the writing of Micro; Richard Preston was selected to complete the novel.

Richard Preston is the internationally bestselling author of eight books, including The Hot Zone and The Wild Trees. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker. He lives with his wife and three children near Princeton, New Jersey.