Truly sad news to report here . . .
Popular sci-fi novelist Michael Crichton has died at the age of 66. He died of cancer which he was battling privately, according to his fantasy. Whether you're an avid reader or not isn't a necessity to appreciate the author's work since he was also quite prominent in The Biz, both in film and television. His novels (often involving cutting edge science and technology gone awry) were criticized for being too mainstream and movies-in-the making. However no one could so easily dismiss the man's talent in which he was able to make detailed scientific explanations both fun and entertaining to read.
His most prominent credit, of course, is JURASSIC PARK, directed by Steven Spielberg. It spawned two sequels (THE LOST WORLD very loosed based on Crichton's own novel sequel) with a third currently in pre-production. Crichton's novels were also responsible for such sci-fi film classics as WESTWORLD (A remake is also in pre-production) and THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN (Remade last summer as a crappy TV miniseries produced by Ridley and Tony Scott). His lesser, but successful efforts, include RISING SUN, DISCLOSURE and TWISTER (based on his screenplay). He also wrote and directed the pair of overlooked "guilty pleasures" LOOKER and RUNAWAY. Crichton even had television success from being the creator of E.R., which ironically enough is this year wrapping after fourteen seasons(!).
A new novel by Crichton had been tentatively scheduled to come next month, but publisher HarperCollins said the book was postponed indefinitely because of his illness.
"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," his family said in a statement, according to the Associated Press.
And lets certainly not forget all the entertainment he brought to us -- The moviegoing audience.
God speed, Michael Crichton.