Paperback - 2003
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Deep in the Nevada desert, eight scientists are trapped in their lab. Outside, waiting for them - and growing bigger - is a predatory swarm of invisible microparticles that they themselves created. How do you stop something you can't see.
Publisher: Toronto, Ont. : HarperCollins Publishers, 2003, c2002.
Edition: First mass market edition
ISBN: 9780006392972
Characteristics: xvii, 507 pages ;,18 cm.


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Oct 12, 2020

You will need to discipline yourself. I had a hard time putting it down. It moves fast though.

Apr 03, 2020

Critchon’s 2001 techno-thriller Prey catches the reader off guard with just how much life can change over the course of just seven days. Jack, a laid off Silicon Valley programming supervisor, finds himself complacent with where he is currently finds himself as a stay at home dad. Jack suddenly wakes up from a stupor when he notices just how distant and agitated his wife has become recently, concluding that she is cheating on him. How little Jack was prepared for the truth. Deep in the Nevada desert things are going wrong at the nano-technology fabrication plant for Julia’s company Xymos. While the mundane life portion of the book was plodding once Jack finds himself dragged into solving the Xymos problem it truly becomes a fast-paced cannot put down book. Critchon presents questions about playing God in a nuanced fashion that leaves the reader cautious with every newsworthy scientific breakthrough.

ArapahoeKati Jun 17, 2019

Even though this was written almost twenty years ago, the nanotechnology concept felt both realistic and then, surprisingly, dated. Maybe not one of his strongest novels, but a quick read if you want some speculative sci-fi.

Feb 26, 2019

I read this book as a teenager, and while self learning swarm of nano particles are still a long ways to go, I think we've achieved the software version of this scary concept through machine learning and neural nets

Feb 04, 2019

This is a good book to sit down and read. Nanotechnology gone wild. This book came out when nanotech was the term du jour. After reading this book, one might question the usage of some personal and home products. Good scary reading

Nov 29, 2017

Crichton is a go-to for captivating "what if" technological thrillers, and he can embed his strong and well-researched messages of technology ethics in the plot without seeming overly preachy.

Nov 12, 2017

The novel is written as a cautionary tale on the risks involved in nanotechnology and programming machines based on predator-prey algorithms and distributed intelligence. However it isn’t a dry read by any means. It really is one of those books that once you start reading it you can’t put it down. It hasn’t been made into a movie yet as far as I know but it read almost like a novel written with an eye to selling the movie rights. Apparently 20th Century Fox bought them. There are the ethnic characters in the mix that conform to ethnic stereotypes, Rosie the hot Latina, Mae the shy cerebral Oriental woman. SPOILERS AHEAD! The hero (and heroine) destroy the menacing swarms against all odds, but in real life faced by such a menace any rational person would have brought in the authorities. This might not have made for such a page-turner of a novel, but it certainly would have made for a more believable one. Although Crichton keeps repeating how rapidly self-reproducing swarms may evolve and advance the developments he shows defy belief. The chapter at the end that is supposed to wrap up all the loose ends doesn’t really do so. We never find out why Jack’s wife Julia had her car accident; it seems it was just a device thrown in to keep her away from the Nevada fabrication plant until the climax of the book.
Nevertheless, I would recommend the book. Crichton has a delightful sense of humour. I particularly liked Julia’s reference to a pair of high heels as her f—k me shoes.

Apr 17, 2017

This book was a really great read. The techno-jargon wasn't too heavy, and was always translated into something more easily understood. I feel it is a good book for early sci-fi readers.

May 04, 2013

I think this is one of Crichton's best. His ability to translate boring scientific language into something understandable to all readers, and even more, something exciting, never ceases to amaze me

Jul 16, 2012

Readable work, yet not one of Crichton's best. A good portion of the story is tecnho-jargon, and it is pretty easy to figure out what is going to happen well before the end of the book. I kept waiting for a little bit more excitement, anything more "crichton" but it never quite materialized. I wouldn't tell someone to skip it, but I'd remind them that this book isn't his best.

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