A great Science Fiction author has passed away

michaelchrichtonI don’t know where I’ve been for the last few days but tonight I received the upsetting news that my favourite Science Fiction author, Michael Crichton has passed away. As reported on Deems’ weblog, Michael Crichton died on Tuesday the 4th of November 2008, aged 66.

According to the official Michael Crichton website he died suddenly after a private battle with cancer. A good synopsis of his career and the effect that his work has had on the entertainment industry can be found on The New York Times website.

From the moment I read Jurassic Park as a teenager, I knew that I would read every story the man ever wrote. He will be missed.

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~ by James on 8 November 2008.

7 Responses to “A great Science Fiction author has passed away”

  1. Wow. Thanks for the news…I haven’t been able to keep up on the news lately (try since this college semester started!) I am browsing through blogs for a non-fiction class I am taking and had to stop and thank you for this. I haven’t watched any television for so long I forgot what shows are on any more. But the last full-length movie I saw on television was Jurassic Park, so this news got my attention. I remember when Ray Bradbury passed away and his will stated he wanted his ashes scattered in orbit…they were eventually!

  2. I’m sorry that one of your favorite authors has died – I enjoyed some of his books too (starting with Andromeda Strain when it was first released) – but it’s wrong to identify him as an SF author – he denied that connection himself and considering the negative bent of much of his depiction of science in addition to his attitude towards the genre, I’m kind of glad he doesn’t want to be known as an SF author

  3. I don’t know if I agree that Crichton should not be considered a sci-fi author – even if he refused to label himself that way. Yes, his stories were mostly about human drama, but they always revolved around a semi-scientific plot device which is neither science fact nor what the reader consideres impossible fiction. Themes of time travel, creating living creatures from extinct DNA and “faxing” a complex living being through quantum bubbles are just a few examples used in five of his books that modern science considers so highly improbable that it is labelled “impossible”. There is no way that these could be considered factual plot devices, nor could removing them from the story leave the plotline intact (the story depends on fictitious science: sci-fi).

    For these reasons I think he was a sci-fi writer, even if he didn’t think so himself. It is also a possibility that he wanted to distance himself from the sci-fi genre to try to get his anti-climate change views more broadly accepted as fact.

  4. How sad. He was a good writer; I thoroughly enjoyed the ones that I have read. 😦

  5. I haven’t read much of his more recent work but I do adore the Andromeda Strain and of course Jurassic Park. He definitely knew how to spin a good tale. Although I am saddened to hear that he didn’t wish to identify himself as a science fiction author. His ideas clearly leaned in that direction, and that just seems to show the kind of prejudice people still have against the genre.

  6. Sad news, but the unfortunate truth (IMHO of course!) is that Crichton was a very mediocre writer, sci-fi or otherwise. Was he really your favourite, against candidates like Philip K Dick, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke (also deceased this year), William Gibson and Robert Heinlein, to name but a few?

    Enjoying your blog… hope to look in more often from now on.

  7. What can I say? Indeed it is true that I haven’t read the works of any of those sci-fi authors, but it is mostly because I am not a sci-fi aficionado or even a big fan of the strictly sci-fi authors. Dune was an excellent book, but Herbert failed to grab me in the sequels (I think I stopped during God Emperor) and I have read quite a few of the various authors of Star Trek and Star Wars novels and found them exceedingly poor reads and I was perhaps burned by those experiences as a teenager. But it was around this time that I started reading Crichton and the stories struck a cord with me.

    It is true that you are probably better versed than I to analyse who was the greatest sci-fi author of all time, but that is not a claim I was trying to make. It was a personal perspective; my own favourite sci-fi author.

    Even amongst the non-sci-fi authors I have read (of which I have read many more compared to my limited sci-fi exposure), he stood out as one of my favourite authors, just as an author. Anyone who has asked which is my favourite book has heard the same answer for the last five years; Timeline. And that’s saying a lot because it only just beats many hot contenders from Pratchett’s Discworld series and Adams’ HHGG in the comedy genre.

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