Wednesday, November 05, 2008

RIP Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain, is dead after a private battle with cancer. He was only 66.

Crichton inspired me when I was a young writer. I loved his ability to take unique topics and use the "what if" factor to create amazing plots. I believe he is the one who taught me to do that with my own writing.

Though I snubbed him in recent years because of my own issues against bestseller lists, I've never been disappointed after reading one of his books. I may not have liked the characters or even completely believed in them, but his plotting and sneaky manipulation left me thinking, "What if?"

I hope he saves me a spot in writers' heaven because I'd love to chat.


Cris Cohen said...

I like that he wrote about really different subject matter while also weaving in commentaries on things like the modern day media. He had an interesting mind.

Jason said...

I haven't read a single Crichton book. Not because I don't want to, but because my reading list never got there.

What's the best?

Capcha: crotic as in ne:

Kristin Dodge said...

I loved Jurassic Park, but this was long before the movie and my literary mind-fuck of the MFA program. ;-)

Polly said...

Another point of view: Michael Crichton dies

Nathan said...

Polly - thanks for the alternate post. I did not realize he used a pen name or that he won an Edgar Award.

Jason - If you are looking for a sample of Crichton, Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain are probably good selections. A lot of people reacted negatively to Disclosure but I thought the book had had some interesting ideas about sexual politics.

I always thought of Crichton a bit like a contemporary Jules Verne. His novels might not be accepted as "literary" (whatever that means) but I think he presented some fun stories and speculated on where science may go in the near future.