November 5, 2008
Author Michael Crichton Dead at 66
Michael Crichton, author of many bestsellers including "Jurassic Park" and "The Andromeda Strain" died on Tuesday. Although he'd been battling cancer, a statement on MichaelCrichton.net said that the death was unexpected.
My Dad was kind enough to forward me the news, and I found myself feeling very sad. I tried MichaelCrichton.net and the official Michael Crichton biography site, and both seem to be completely overloaded as people get the news and head there to find out what happened. It's hard for me to believe that I won't be able to look forward to any more books from this amazing author.
"Jurassic Park" is undoubtedly one of my favorite books. I've read it more than 10 times, and I always enjoy it. In fact, last time I re-read it was fairly recently, earlier this year, and I also re-read "The Lost World" for the fourth or fifth time. I loved almost all of Crichton's books, and will always remember how I actually jumped during one scene in "The Terminal Man". When does that ever happen?! I jump at movies or TV when startled, but an author that can evoke the same response is rare.
Not only was he a brilliant author, but Crichton was also a doctor, and creator of the TV show E.R., co-writer of Twister (with the way I feel about disaster movies, a man after my own heart...), and of course co-wrote the screenplay for Jurassic Park. I can't imagine a world without these, and their effect on their various genres. From Wikipedia:
Most significantly, when many filmmakers saw Jurassic Park's use of computer-generated imagery, they realized that many of their visions, previously thought unfeasible or too expensive, were now possible. Stanley Kubrick contacted Spielberg to direct A.I., George Lucas started to make the Star Wars prequels, and Peter Jackson began to re-explore his childhood love of fantasy films, a path that led him to The Lord of the Rings and King Kong. Jurassic Park has also inspired films and documentaries such as Godzilla, Carnosaur, and Walking with Dinosaurs, as well as numerous parodies.
Crichton also wrote several earlier novels under the name John Lange, which I have not read, but you can bet your butt that now that I haven't got any new releases to look forward to, I'll be hunting those down. A brilliant mind, and a pioneer in movies and TV with the movies/shows he wrote and created, he will be missed greatly.