Michael Crichton, one of the most popular science fiction novelists of our time, died of cancer on November 4, 2008 at Los Angeles. He was aged 66.
I see Michael Crichton more as an educator than a novelist. He made scientific research thrilling and interesting. Each of his novel revolves around a particular field of modern science. He covered artificial intelligence in ‘Prey’, evolution in ‘Jurassic Park’, quantum physics in ‘Timeline’, aerospace engineering in ‘Airframe’ and so on. He conducted extensive research for each his books, going through a long list of scientific documents and research papers, and he included that list at the bibliography of his book. Reading a Michael Crichton book means having a sound understanding in a specific field of science.
His most prominent work was ‘Jurassic Park’ which was adopted as a Hollywood blockbuster by Steven Spielberg. Michael’s idea of bringing back the pre-historic dinosaurs by genetic engineering made scientists wonder. Perhaps his most controversial creation was ‘State of Fear’. Environmentalists condemned it for hurting efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emission. For me this book was his best work. I would urge to read it. If you think you know everything you have to know about ‘Global Warming’ from the media, you are wrong. ‘State of Fear’ will change the way you think about environment. It will truly enlighten you.
Crichton also made his opinions on other non-science issues in our society. He questioned the ethics of electronic journalism in ‘Airframe’. He provoked a debated on reverse sexual discrimination on ‘Disclosure’.
His death is loss of modern science as it has lost its biggest popularizer. Quoting from his family statement:
[Michael Crichton] served as an inspiration to student of all ages, challenged scientists in many fields, and illuminated mysteries of the world in a way we all could understand.
May his soul rest in peace.