Best-selling author Michael Crichton, whose books coined the term tecno-thriller, died on Nov. 4th due to a long battle with Cancer.
A Harvard Medical School graduate, Chicago-born Crichton became the toast of Hollywood when his 1971 novel The Andromeda Strain was turned into a film.
Many of his novels and screenplays were adapted for cinema. The most successful were Jurassic Park, which burst onto the screen in 1993, and its sequel The Lost World.
ER has won a host of Emmys since it began in 1994, and helped launch the career of George Clooney.
I personally have a great personal debt to Crichton. Not only he became my favorite author during the 90s, but his books helped me rekindle my passion for Science—as well as helping me tune my English reading skills!— I remember that trip to visit my sister living in New England, when I read Jurassic Park in 5 days or less just before going to see the movie; we also went to the Museum of National History where they held an special exhibition of the movie’s props and models of the dinosaurs. That was a GREAT experience.
True, I became a little disenchanted with him after ‘Timeline’; and ‘State of Fear’ may be regarded in the future as his biggest blunder, in which he labeled environmental groups as ‘scare-mongers’—ironic, because the success of his books came from the fact that he made us fear the possible consequences of Scientific progress if left unchecked— Nevertheless, the Scientific world owes a great debt to Crichton, for introducing into popular culture many terms that before were considered too difficult and arcane for ordinary folks; because of Crichton, even a 5-year-old could begin to understand what a DNA strand is! And that has very possitive repercussions in our world.
So Rest in Peace, Mr. Crichton. And thank you for the wonderful images and ideas you introduced in my brain; now I always carry a little Ian Malcolm that keeps whispering in my ear things about Chaos and the ethical responsibility of Science.
Oh! & thanks for the Dino movies, too.