I learned last night that Michael Crichton died from complications of cancer. Crichton was one of a handful of writers that I read voraciously as a teenager. His later work tended to straddle the line between science fiction and thriller. His earlier work was made of slim 1970s-style thrillers, two of which have been re-published by Hard Case Crime over the past few years.
I read everything Crichton published up through the mid-1990s. I would anxiously mark the calendar when one of his novels would be published; I would mark it about a year later when the mass market paperback would be released because I could never afford the hardcover. Jurrasic Park was a big novel that carried punch and I remember being mesmerized by the world Mr Crichton created. I carried it everywhere hoping I would get time to read a page or two.
My favorites of his novels are Grave Descend and The Great Train Robbery, with Binary as a close third for one simple reason. It is the first novel I read with a scene in Utah. It was a short scene on a train leaving the Dugway Proving Grounds in the desert just west of Salt Lake City. I loved it. Mr Crichton and his work will be missed.
Here is an interview Mr Crichton did with Charlie Rose. It is long clocking in at 57 minutes, but it reveals Mr Crichton as intelligent—if his work isn’t indication enough—and interesting.