Sphere, by Michael Crichton
Brief Plot Summary: The military discovers a spaceship at the bottom of the ocean. A team is sent down to investigate and gets stuck down there due to a storm on the surface. A sphere is discovered inside the ship, made by an alien species. People go into the sphere and it gives them the power to create things with their minds. They realize this power is too powerful and that mankind isn’t ready for it. So they use this power to forget everything about the ship.
Brief Character Description:
Norman Johnson-53-year-old psychology professor, the last choice to be on the team because of his age. He’s always evaluating the mental stability of the team members.
Harry Adams-A mathematician. The only black member, he thinks everyone is discriminating against him. He cracks the alien code.
Beth Halpern-The team zoologist, due to bad experiences with men she doesn’t trust them. Doesn’t always think things through.
There are many very intelligent animals on our planet, but the thing that sets ups apart from them is our ability to imagine thins. We can imagine something and then strive to accomplish it. We just don’t realize how powerful or important that ability is.
I was surprised at how much the author discussed complicated matters. He mentions space-time and how we could theoretically travel in time. He talks about the “anthropomorphic problem” of how we assume that aliens would have the same thought process as humans. He also talks a lot about psychology and the human mind.
1) What kind of sea creature attacks the habitat? -A giant squid
2) What power did the sphere give to people? -The ability to manifest things with their minds
3) In the end, how many people go into the sphere and who? -3 people, Beth, Harry, and Norman
4) What did the survivors decide to do about the sphere and why? -They used their powers to forget all about it because they didn’t think mankind was ready for the power it possessed.
5) Who found the mistake that Harry made in translating the alien message? -Norman