You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 06, 2016, 04:29:26 AM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: R.I.P. Michael Crichton  (Read 1090 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline AviTopic starter

  • I'll show you how to soar.
  • On Hiatus
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2007
  • Location: Memphis and Maury City, TN
  • Gender: Male
  • Flying by the seat of his pants...
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
R.I.P. Michael Crichton
« on: November 05, 2008, 12:46:25 PM »
Yahoo! News is reporting that Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain, and other science fiction novels, has died at the age of 66 after a battle with cancer.  I don't know about you guys, but he will be missed for me.  He wrote some of my favorite books of all time.  Rest easy, Mike.  You earned it.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081105/ap_en_ot/obit_crichton

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: R.I.P. Michael Crichton
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2008, 01:16:27 PM »
The man who made mathematicians sexy... even if they did have to rewrite the ending to the movie to do it.

Online WyldRanger

  • This Is Who We Are / Mulder to her Scully / Random PM's are always welcome
  • Knight
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2008
  • Location: Lost In Paradise
  • Gender: Male
  • Snuggled by a Starfire Goddess <3
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: R.I.P. Michael Crichton
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2008, 04:47:09 PM »
He will be greatly missed, I still remember reading Jurassic Park in two days when I first got it just after seeing the movie and realizing that it's WAAAAAAY better than the movie.

Offline Mathim

Re: R.I.P. Michael Crichton
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2008, 05:47:23 PM »
I enjoyed Prey, The Andromeda Strain, A Case of Need, Eaters of the Dead (renamed The 13th Warrior for the movie with Antonio Banderas; guess the name sounded less icky), and...I think that was it. Damn good writer. He'll be missed.

Offline CassandraNova

Re: R.I.P. Michael Crichton
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2008, 05:55:19 PM »
Oh please.  The man was a hack that used his fame as a bestselling novelist to baldly advocate his reactionary agenda and settle personal vendettas.  After he wrote the novel State of Fear, which was heavily critical the idea that humankind contributes to global warming, science writer Michael Crowley wrote an article attacking the scientific "facts" in the novel for The New Republic.

When Michael Crichton's next book, Next, came out, there was a character named Mick Crowley, a pharmaceutical industry shill who was a pedophile with a small penis. I am not making this up.

Offline Mathim

Re: R.I.P. Michael Crichton
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2008, 05:57:10 PM »
I'm talking about his early works. I never read or even knew about any of his later stuff. Besides, political crap belongs in the news, not in fiction.

Online WyldRanger

  • This Is Who We Are / Mulder to her Scully / Random PM's are always welcome
  • Knight
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2008
  • Location: Lost In Paradise
  • Gender: Male
  • Snuggled by a Starfire Goddess <3
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: R.I.P. Michael Crichton
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2008, 06:04:19 PM »
Agreed with Mathim, I lost interest in his later works since they seemed to be written for the sake of writing something to get a rise out of people as opposed to the brilliant stuff in his earlier works (like Jurassic Park, and Sphere). In fact, I would say his entire writing career went downhill after he created ER.

Offline Mathim

Re: R.I.P. Michael Crichton
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2008, 06:23:37 PM »
I forgot about Sphere! I read that one too. Hated the movie. In fact very few of his books-turned-movies were any good. The Lost World sucked, Sphere sucked, The 13 Warrior was just so-so...

Online WyldRanger

  • This Is Who We Are / Mulder to her Scully / Random PM's are always welcome
  • Knight
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2008
  • Location: Lost In Paradise
  • Gender: Male
  • Snuggled by a Starfire Goddess <3
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: R.I.P. Michael Crichton
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2008, 06:27:16 PM »
I forgot about Sphere! I read that one too. Hated the movie. In fact very few of his books-turned-movies were any good. The Lost World sucked, Sphere sucked, The 13 Warrior was just so-so...

Indeed...Jurassic Park was the only movie that was good, and it left so much good stuff out from the book that I view it as almost a completely different retelling of the same story.

Offline Moondazed

  • Hmm... plot or pleasure? Perhaps a bit of both...
  • Lady
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2006
  • Location: Virginia, US
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm a switch, name your pleasure...
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: R.I.P. Michael Crichton
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2008, 08:22:53 PM »
My husband had the same reaction, saying that he was a moron who ignored science :) 

Offline The Overlord

Re: R.I.P. Michael Crichton
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2008, 10:46:04 PM »
I'm talking about his early works. I never read or even knew about any of his later stuff. Besides, political crap belongs in the news, not in fiction.

*cough...Revenge of the Sith...cough*

Offline AviTopic starter

  • I'll show you how to soar.
  • On Hiatus
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2007
  • Location: Memphis and Maury City, TN
  • Gender: Male
  • Flying by the seat of his pants...
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: R.I.P. Michael Crichton
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2008, 10:51:09 PM »
I didn't like his later stuff either.  "Next" in particular seemed kind of convoluted, and forced at times.  Besides all the thinly-veiled political crap in it.  I still think Jurassic Park will go down as one of the top 10, or at least top 25, sci-fi novels of the 20th century.  It was brilliant, and it still is. 

Online theLeslie

Re: R.I.P. Michael Crichton
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2008, 01:41:48 AM »
Indeed...Jurassic Park was the only movie that was good, and it left so much good stuff out from the book that I view it as almost a completely different retelling of the same story.


 Please read and watch The Andromida Strain.  The movie is way old, but every bit as good as the book. 

Offline Mathim

Re: R.I.P. Michael Crichton
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2008, 12:25:21 PM »
*cough...Revenge of the Sith...cough*

I hated those movies too.

Online WyldRanger

  • This Is Who We Are / Mulder to her Scully / Random PM's are always welcome
  • Knight
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2008
  • Location: Lost In Paradise
  • Gender: Male
  • Snuggled by a Starfire Goddess <3
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: R.I.P. Michael Crichton
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2008, 02:12:34 PM »
Please read and watch The Andromida Strain.  The movie is way old, but every bit as good as the book. 

Ahh...I'll keep that one in mind, I loved the book....

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: R.I.P. Michael Crichton
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2008, 02:33:33 PM »
There were a couple movie versions.  This is the one you should look for.

Offline The Overlord

Re: R.I.P. Michael Crichton
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2008, 07:12:39 PM »
I hated those movies too.


Actually the last one, RoTS, was by far the best of them. The new trilogy lacked the character and continuity of the original, but this does not mean they didn't have their moments.


Offline CassandraNova

Re: R.I.P. Michael Crichton
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2008, 09:02:05 PM »
From The New York Times:

Quote
November 9, 2008
Ideas & Trends
When Science Fiction Morphed Into Politics
By DAVE ITZKOFF

The immediate reaction of readers who learned that Michael Crichton had died on Tuesday was surely one of sadness. They had lost a forward-looking writer whose outsize imagination and ambition, not to mention book sales, were too big for the 25-cent bin of genre fiction.

For some fans, however, grief was tempered by disappointment. To them, the author of “State of Fear” and “Next,” Mr. Crichton’s last published novels, was not the unparalleled prognosticator of “The Andromeda Strain” and “Jurassic Park.”

What they expected from Mr. Crichton was his honoring the unspoken understanding that exists between readers and writers of speculative fiction: the reader will suspend disbelief as long as the writer starts with basic scientific fact before weaving his science fiction. With these last two novels, they concluded that Mr. Crichton, in his warnings of perilous futures, had violated the pact.

“State of Fear,” in 2004, was a thriller about unlikely allies (including an environmental lawyer and a researcher turned undercover agent) who find an ecoterrorism group staging natural disasters to exaggerate the effects of global warming. But it was also a platform for Mr. Crichton to dismiss scientific concerns about climate change.

Mr. Crichton included many footnoted references to a selection of actual data — rates of sea-level rise, frequencies of hurricanes — as well as bibliographies and direct comments to the reader (“the people of 2100 will be much richer than we are,” for example). All of this advanced a thesis: that global warming isn’t as drastic as the scientific community says, that its man-made origins can’t be proved and that the debate around it has become too politicized. This argument earned Mr. Crichton invitations to visit the Bush White House, and to testify before the Senate. It also elicited harsh judgments from research and policy groups that said he had misinterpreted or misused data, and had politicized the debate himself.

Mr. Crichton’s follow-up, “Next,” in 2006, was more subtle. By imagining a world where genetic engineering could create aberrations like conversant parrots and apes that can attend grade school, it offered a seemingly uncontroversial thesis: that genetic science was evolving too quickly for legal and ethical standards to keep pace.

But “Next” also altered the factual record. One plotline appears to be modeled on the real-life story of John Moore, a leukemia patient who in 1990 sued his doctor for patenting a cell line made from tissue extracted from his body; a court ruled that the tissue was no longer Mr. Moore’s property after it was removed from him. But Mr. Crichton reconfigures the story, suggesting that companies that hold patents made from your cells can extract more tissue from you — or your descendants — whenever they need it, without your permission.

In one sense, what Mr. Crichton did in these two novels is no different than the approach that all speculative-fiction writers aspire to: Begin with some element of established fact, embroider it and entertain while illuminating. When H. G. Wells wrote “The War of the Worlds,” he did not genuinely fear a Martian invasion; he was reflecting on the growing tensions in Europe, which indeed would bring World War I. What he, Mr. Crichton and other great science-fiction writers shared was a fascination with narratives that portray where man’s capacity to create new technologies undermines his ability to foresee the consequences.

What troubled some about “State of Fear” and “Next” was not Mr. Crichton’s politics, but his tactics. For readers who trusted his intellect and reputation, there was no way to know what he had omitted from the record. He seemed to convey certainty about facts that were in dispute. His prior exaggerations had been so great that it was clear he was exaggerating. So why should there now be reason to doubt what he presented as truth?

To be sure, Mr. Crichton took on some deeply divisive issues knowing that he’d alienate many readers. In doing so, he also took the risk that events not far in the future would diverge from his visions — not drastically, but enough to show readers the difference between augury and advocacy.

Dave Itzkoff writes the Across the Universe column for The New York Times Book Review.

Offline Methos

Re: R.I.P. Michael Crichton
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2008, 04:06:45 PM »
Well no one is going to like all of any authors stories. I enjoyed a number of Michael Crichton's novels, Timeline, and Eaters of the Dead are the ones that spring most readily to mind. As for criticizing the man's politics it would be a bit more seemly to wait for him to have been dead a while.

On the other hand given that the UN Climate Pannel has to continually downgrade its disasterous predictions when none of their projects come true, the man probably had a point. There hasn't been any real 'warming' that's been recordable since 1998. A novel suggesting that concerns about a climate pandemic are overblown is hardly out of line when people are making 'serious movies' where men are being chased by the icy tendrils of climate change. The alarmist and religious tenor that so many people adopt when discussing the matter as I understand it was Crichton's reason for penning a rejoinder on the subject. There is a significant body of evidence and scientific opinion in line with Crichton's opinion on the matter, its those that disagree with that particular opinion that try to claim "no one agrees with that", despite the fact an appeal to consensus is a clear logical fallacy.

As for genetic engeering, is anyone really entirely comfortable with the pace that its progressing? Perhaps the possibilities that he presented were a bit out there, but caricature in literature is common place. How we modify life at its most fundamental levels is something we should be rather leery of, and Crichton is hardly the only author to have hit upon that theme.

And if you're irritating the New York Times - generally you're doing something right.