For all you readers out there, you've probably heard by now that Michael Crichton passed away on November 4th after a battle with cancer. He was most famous for his novel, Jurassic Park, which was made into a movie with the same name, and the tv show he created, ER, which I watched with crack addiction-like fervor all the way up until they killed off Dr. Green. It went downhill after that, if you ask me. He also wrote The Lost World as a sequel to Jurassic Park and also as a demonstration of his ability to rake in money for a really lame book and movie, but let's not speak ill of the dead.
My first encounter with Crichton was in the form of a cute boy in my Spanish 2 class in the eighth grade. He was reading Jurassic Park during his free moments, and since I spent a lot of time staring at him while he was reading (or at any other time), I became curious about this book with the dinosaur on the front. Plus, I thought if I read it, I might have something to talk to him about. I had no idea that the book would be so completely over my head in vocabulary and content and that it would captivate me from beginning to end. I had never read anything like it, especially since I was in this Mary Higgins Clark stage and nothing could be more different from her books than Crichton's. I read all of his books I could get a hold of after that and even though some of them I liked less than others, I always looked forward to his next book.
I considered going through each of his books and writing about what I thought about each one, but I decided not to. The short version is that he wrote about topics that were current and controversial and on uncertain ground and most of the time, I had no opinion on the subject until I read his book. I didn't always agree with his opinion, but he forced me into thinking about it and coming up with my own. I loved how he would take ideas from the actual world and blow them up into awesome science fiction adventures. You knew there was some actual science being applied, but the rest was pure imagination.
When he wrote State of Fear, he was publicly condemned for claiming that there was no scientific basis for global warming. If it had been a hundred years earlier, he would have been tarred and feathered. "How dare he! Kill the beast!" was the common response. He didn't say there was no Holocaust, people. He pointed out how religious evironmentalism has become, with the young being indoctrinated early. This will point out how naive I am, but before I read this book, I had no idea that there was an argument against the validity of global warming. Like I wrote before, I don't always agree with what he writes, but he brought up a point of view I didn't even know existed. I admire how brave he was to write it, knowing what reaction it would cause. Kudos.
It was a sad day when I read that he had passed away. His books were always something I looked forward to and I'm sure if had been given more time, he could have kept me entertained for many years to come. He was a man of great talents and he will be missed.