Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

July Books 12) Fantastic Voyage, by Isaac Asimov

"In principle we can reduce a man to the size of a bacterium, of a virus, of an atom. There is no theoretical limit to the amount of miniaturization. We can shrink an army with all its men and equipment to a size that will fit in a match-box. Ideally, we could then ship that match-box where it is needed and put the army into business after restoring it to full size. You see the significance?"
The story of a mission ministurised and injected into the bloodstream of an ailing scientist to cure him, the protagonists being four men and a woman who, this being an Asimov story, is the centre of some dubious sexual politics. The whole thing is very much in the Cold War context, the miniaturisation technology being fairly blatantly a parallel of nuclear technology.

Although I am aware of the general course of Asimov's career, I hadn't previously known some of the details of this book - that it was intended to be the novelisation of the film, but because Asimov finished faster than the studio it was actually published several months before the film was released; that he tweaked various details to make it more plausible than the film script; that the story it was based on was actually set in the nineteenth century. Asimov did his best with some tricky material; basically to keep the film plot going for the full 100 minutes there has to be an unexpected and implausible problem every few chapters which sets our team back. But this is not his greatest work.
Tags: bookblog 2013, writer: isaac asimov
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