Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Michael Crichton dies aged 66

Michael Crichton, author of more than a dozen best-sellers including "Jurassic Park" and "The Andromeda Strain," has died of cancer in Los Angeles, aged 66, his family said Wednesday 5th November in a statement.

"Michael Crichton died unexpectedly in Los Angeles Tuesday, November 4, 2008 after a courageous and private battle against cancer," said a statement posted on the author's website.

Crichton was the author of numerous blockbusters, some of which sold over 100 million copies, and which were translated in 30 languages worldwide.

He was also the creator of the international hit television hospital drama series "E.R."

"The world knew him as a great story teller that challenged our preconceived notions about the world around us -- and entertained us all while doing so," the statement said.

His most recent novel was "Next" published in 2006. Crichton was famed for his historic and prehistoric science fantasies like Jurassic Park, Timeline and The Andromeda Strain - all of which were made into hit movies.

Crichton was born in Chicago on October 23, 1942 and wrote his first novels under pen names while attending Harvard Medical School. "The Andromeda Strain," which was published in 1969, became his first best-seller.

Read more at the BBC

1 comment:

Ali Karim said...

As I said at The Rap Sheet, this is just awful news -

This is just terrible news, really terrible news. I have followed Mr Crichton's work for many years and even have a UK first edition of THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN - a book that got me excited about science. In fact Crichton was one of the reasons that I studied science. He influenced the direction of my life.

I never got to meet him, and now curse at missing him last time he was in London when he came over to promote STATE OF FEAR. I had been invited by HarperCollins to a reception after a signing in the West End. Unfortunatley there was a major clash in my diary as Crichton was over only for the weekend. I had to miss the event, and now I will never have the chance to tell him how important his work was to me.

I also wanted to tell him this story.

There had been a gap in Crichton's publishing - due his movie work, then in either 1989 or 1990 my wife had a friend over the weekend and wanted me to take them to a huge mall that had opened in the area for a days shopping.

I cursed as I hated shopping, but on entry to the mall, I noticed a bookshop 'Dillons' and in a big window display was a stack of 'JURASSIC PARK' by Michael Crichton. I got so excited and bought the book and told my wife and her friend to take their time shopping as I was going back to the car to read. They laughed at my excitement as I was raving - A NEW MICHAEL CRICHTON NOVEL I roared running back to the car.

Anyway, 6 hours later my wife and friend came back to the car loaded with the clothes they bought. I was on the last chapter and told them to please get a coffee while I finshed my book.

When they returned, my wife sensed my excitement. I was raving that one of my favourite writers, and a main reason why I studied science at university had written the most amazing book. She asked me what it was about - when I told her the plot about the genetic cloning of dinosaurs, she replied in a statement that I often replay at dinner parties -

"Ali, that sounds such a stupid idea, you read such rubbish, that will never sell, in fact that's why your own writing is always rejected, you read and write such uncommercial tripe. What a stupid idea, genetic cloning of dinosaurs indeed, I expect to see the book in remainder bins within a month....."

The rest they say is history

Mr Crichton, a salute to you.

Your books, screenplays, films and of course your hieght made you a special man - You stood as tall in your writing as you did in your stature.

You will be missed by many, but from this scientist - you changed my life.