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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    Default Michael Crichton dies

    'Jurassic Park' author, 'ER' creator Crichton dies

    LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Michael Crichton, who helped create the TV show "ER" and wrote the best-sellers "Jurassic Park," "The Andromeda Strain," "Sphere" and "Rising Sun," has died in Los Angeles, his public relations firm said in a news release.

    Crichton died unexpectedly Tuesday "after a courageous and private battle against cancer," the release said.

    He was 66.

    Crichton, a medical doctor, was attracted to cautionary science tales.

    "Jurassic Park" -- perhaps his best-known work -- concerned capturing the DNA of dinosaurs and bringing them to life on a modern island, where they soon run amok; "The Andromeda Strain," his first major fiction success, involves an alien microorganism that's studied in a special military compound after causing death in a nearby community.

    Crichton also invited controversy with some of his scientific views. He was an avowed skeptic of global climate change, giving lectures warning against "consensus science." He later took on global warming and the theories surrounding it in his 2004 novel, "State of Fear," which attracted attacks in its own right from scientists, including NASA climatologist James Hansen.

    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.)

    He published "The Andromeda Strain" while he was still a medical student at Harvard Medical School. He wrote a story about a 19th-century train robbery, called "The Great Train Robbery," and then directed the 1979 film version.

    He also directed several other films, including "Westworld" (1973), "Coma" (1978), "Looker" (1981) and "Runaway" (1984).

    In 1993, while working on the film version of "Jurassic Park" with Steven Spielberg, he teamed with the director to create "ER." The NBC series set in a Chicago emergency room debuted in 1994 and became a huge hit, making a star of George Clooney. Crichton originally wrote the script for the pilot in 1974.

    Though most of Crichton's books were major best-sellers, he could ruffle feathers when he took on social issues. "Rising Sun" (1992) came out during a time when Americans feared Japanese ascendance, particularly when it came to technology. "Disclosure" (1994) was about a sexual harassment case.

    Crichton won an Emmy, a Peabody, a Writers Guild of America Award for "ER," and won other awards as well.

    "Through his books, Michael Crichton served as an inspiration to students of all ages, challenged scientists in many fields, and illuminated the mysteries of the world in a way we could all understand," the news release said.

    A private funeral service is expected.
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  2. #2
    Future's in the past....
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    Damn, that sucks. It is probably a little known fact that Spielberg was ready to take ER to the big screen when he asked Crichton about this "dinosaur" thing he was working on.

    RIP, Michael.
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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk sixstring's Avatar
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    WOW. One of my favorite authors of all time. Didn't even know he was sick...

    RIP, Mike - you will be missed...
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  4. #4
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    Crud! I love all his stuff. I, too, didn't know he was sick....RIP
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  5. #5
    Unchained Ellen83's Avatar
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    "Disclosure" was a great movie. What a shame. He'll be missed.

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  6. #6
    Baluchitherium steve mcqueen's Avatar
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    Very sad news.....he was one of my favorite authors.....I used to look forward to his books coming out and often bought them on the first day of release....a true pioneer in the "Speculative Fiction" genre.....Terminal Man and Andromeda Strain were some of the best books in that catagory and influenced many writer to follow.....

    Much like one of my favorite bands....he was frequently copied....yet rarely rivaled..

    RIP MC.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    This shocked me. One of the few fiction writers where the news of a new release got me excited, and I bought it on day one (though his most recent was sub-par, IMO). I even liked State of Fear, as controversial as it was. He also wrote an interesting autobiography, Travels.

    Apparently, he never released that he had cancer. I wonder what type, and when it was diagnosed?

    Either way, this guy gave me countless hours of joy through the entertainment and stories he created. RIP.

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk MF5150's Avatar
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    The only book I read of his was Airframe, I believe the title was called.

    Great novel.

    That's a damn shame.

    RIP Mr.Crichton
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  9. #9
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    When the Jurassic Park film first came out, I couldn't get over how much it borrowed from West World. Imagine my surprise when I found out later that both were by the same author.

    RIP Mr. Crichton.
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  10. #10
    Romeo Delight knarfO's Avatar
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    One of my favorite things about Crichton was his attention to detail and factual analysis. He would spend months researching the topics his books would cover, so he rarely (if ever) made you stretch to believe what he was writing about.

    Fav books include:

    Andromeda Strain
    Congo
    Jurasic Park
    Lost World
    Prey

  11. #11
    Baluchitherium steve mcqueen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig View Post
    When the Jurassic Park film first came out, I couldn't get over how much it borrowed from West World. Imagine my surprise when I found out later that both were by the same author.

    RIP Mr. Crichton.
    Yes...Crichton wrote and directed West World.....he is credited as the first director to use some kind of new-fangled special effects called CGI......

    To my knowledge James Cameron has never acknowledged this but, Terminator borrowed heavily from West World as well....

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    RIP....

  13. #13
    On Fire DirtyWaterDoggie's Avatar
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    Shit, this sucks. I am a big fan of his work. I loved State of Fear, JP and Airframe. He made complex scientific/technological topics easy to digest, while not totally watering it down.

    He will be missed.

  14. #14
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    According to his wikipedia page, he finished one last book that will be released in 2009.

    In modern times, it's too bad so many of his great books were bad movies. JP and Rising Sun were good movies, but Sphere, Congo, Timeline, Lost World were not....I didn't think Disclosure was THAT great either, but better than those, and another good book. Airframe at one time was a WIP starrring Sigourney Weaver, but never got off the ground (pun intended).

    I also read A Case of Need which was released by him under the pseuduonym Jeffery Hudson (apparently, he also wrote many books under the name John Lange). I may have to check those out, since we won't be getting anything else from him (except the supposed posthumous release). I am pretty bummed.

  15. #15
    Baluchitherium sisca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixstring View Post

    RIP, Mike - you will be missed...
    bill, i just have to say that for some reason, i was a little bit freaked out when i saw this. thought you knew something i didnt....lol
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