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TinyRedLeaf 2008-11-06 05:13

Author Michael Crichton dies of cancer
Michael Crichton (1942 - 2008)

Bestselling author Michael Crichton died unexpectedly in Los Angeles on Tuesday (Nov 4, 08) "after a courageous and private battle against cancer", his public-relations firm said in a news release. He was 66.

His works of futuristic fiction made Crichton one of the world's most successful novelists. He was also one of the richest, having thrilled millions with such works as Westworld, The Terminal Man and The Andromeda Strain.

In the 1990s he had America's number-one movie (Jurassic Park), its number-one bestseller (Disclosure) and its top TV series (ER). But his reputation suffered in 2005 when he was chided by members of the United States Congress for his scepticism over climate change.

Born in Chicago in 1942, Crichton was the eldest of four children. The son of a journalist, he always saw writing as a normal occupation.

Crichton's first bestseller, The Andromeda Strain, was published in 1969 while he was a medical student at Harvard. The book, about a deadly alien virus that threatens to wipe out life on Earth, became the first of his works to be filmed.

His involvement with Hollywood continued with the 1978 thriller Coma, about a hospital that kills its patients in order to harvest their organs.

Science and nature

Crichton's novels often dramatised the conflict between science and nature, addressing such hot-button topics as DNA manipulation, biotechnology and artificial intelligence.

Jurassic Park, about genetically-engineered dinosaurs turning on their creators, was published to huge acclaim in 1990 and spawned a blockbuster film three years later. He would also draw on real life, using his own experiences to inform the long-running medical drama ER.

But he made headlines when his novel, State of Fear, suggested that global warming was a fallacy dreamt up by environmental activists.

- BBC News

Solace 2008-11-06 05:42

Sheesh, it's been a big year for famous deaths huh. =\

yezhanquan 2008-11-06 05:45

Wah! I didn't know he was in ill health before. RIP.

TooPurePureBoy 2008-11-06 08:54

Damn. I really liked reading this guys books over the years. He really was a very deep thinker and he put out a lot of really thought provoking essays over the years on science (not the fictional science in this case).

I looked around for something better, and though the subject matter might be less the welcomed by most of the people who peruse these boards I'll post it anyway. Maybe we can just appreciate how masterful a wordsmith this guy was by listening to this reading by Chuck Heston of one of his science Essays.

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