Wednesday, November 05, 2008

R.I.P. Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton died yesterday. I saw the news at /film. I remember reading The Andromeda Strain in high school.

This is an interview he did with Charlie Rose:


Times Online:
Michael Crichton, the bestselling author behind the fictional world of Jurassic Park, died today at the age of 66 after a battle with cancer that he hid from the public eye.

One of the trademarks of Crichton's style is clean prose, fast pacing, and impeccably-researched biotech speculation.

The Guardian:
His family said that he died after a "courageous and private battle against cancer"

His books have sold more than 150m copies. He also created the long-running US hospital TV drama ER.

E Online:
"I'm not an everyday writer," Crichton told Time in 1995, "and I never have been." But he was a dedicated writer, producing more than two dozen novels and nonfiction books. He was also a publishing phenomenon and a fixture on Forbes' wealthiest-people lists.

Crichton was a distinctive figure in the entertainment business, a trained physician whose interests included writing, filmmaking and television. (He was physically distinctive as well, standing 6 feet 9 inches.)

Spielberg added: "Michael was a gentle soul who reserved his flamboyant side for his novels. There is no one in the wings that will ever take his place."

Entertainment Weekly:
Crichton considered himself an a storyteller, not an educator or polemicist ("What I do is entertain people," he told EW in 1994, comparing himself to Dickens and Robert Louis Stevenson, masters of narrative only later inducted into the literary canon), but he still wanted you to learn something, and he was adept at sneaking the spinach in there with the cotton candy.

The tragedy in losing a voice like this so relatively young seems magnified by the fact that he was trained in science, and struggling with cancer that all his training and studying couldn't cure. But his early work was substantial, and succeded in altering the shape of popular culture--part of a scientific, pop cultural, and literary legacy. His fans will miss him.

Other obits:
Locus Online

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