Crichton at Harvard University in 2002
|Born||John Michael Crichton|
October 23, 1942
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||November 4, 2008 (aged 66)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Pen name||John Lange|
|Education||Harvard College (BA) |
Harvard Medical School (MD)
|Genre||Action, adventure, science fiction, techno-thriller|
|Spouse||Joan Radam (1965–1970)|
Kathy St. Johns (1978–1980)
Suzanne Childs (1981–1983)
Anne-Marie Martin (1987–2003)
Sherri Alexander (2005–2008; his death)
John Michael Crichton (//; October 23, 1942 – November 4, 2008) was an American author and filmmaker. His books have sold over 200 million copies worldwide, and over a dozen have been adapted into films. His literary works are usually within the science fiction, techno-thriller, and medical fiction genres, and heavily feature technology. His novels often explore that technology and failures of human interaction with it, especially resulting in catastrophes with biotechnology. Many of his novels have medical or scientific underpinnings, reflecting his medical training and scientific background.
Crichton was born in Chicago in 1942. Crichton attended Harvard Medical School. He entered a medical residency, but left to focus solely on his writing. Although initially writing under a pseudonym, he wrote 26 novels, including The Andromeda Strain (1969), The Great Train Robbery (1975), Congo (1980), Sphere (1987), Jurassic Park (1990), Rising Sun (1992), Disclosure (1994), The Lost World (1995), Airframe (1996), Timeline (1999), Prey (2002), State of Fear (2004), and Next (2006).
Crichton was also involved in the film industry. In 1973, he wrote and directed Westworld, the first film to utilize 2D computer-generated imagery. He also wrote or directed Coma (1978), The First Great Train Robbery (1979), Looker (1981), and Runaway (1984).
Crichton died of lymphoma in 2008. Three novels, in various states of completion, have since been published posthumously.
John Michael Crichton was born on October 23, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois, to John Henderson Crichton, a journalist, and Zula Miller Crichton, a homemaker. He was raised on Long Island, in Roslyn, New York, and showed a keen interest in writing from a young age; at 14, he had an article about a trip he took to Sunset Crater published in The New York Times.
Crichton later recalled, "Roslyn was another world. Looking back, it's remarkable what wasn't going on. There was no terror. No fear of children being abused. No fear of random murder. No drug use we knew about. I walked to school. I rode my bike for miles and miles, to the movie on Main Street and piano lessons and the like. Kids had freedom. It wasn't such a dangerous world... We studied our butts off, and we got a tremendously good education there."
Crichton had always planned on becoming a writer and began his studies at Harvard College in 1960. During his undergraduate study in literature, he conducted an experiment to expose a professor who he believed was giving him abnormally low marks and criticizing his literary style.:4 Informing another professor of his suspicions, Crichton submitted an essay by George Orwell under his own name. The paper was returned by his unwitting professor with a mark of "B−". He later said, "Now Orwell was a wonderful writer, and if a B-minus was all he could get, I thought I'd better drop English as my major." His differences with the English department led Crichton to switch his undergraduate concentration. He obtained his bachelor's degree in biological anthropology summa cum laude in 1964 and was initiated into the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He received a Henry Russell Shaw Traveling Fellowship from 1964 to 1965 and was a visiting lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom in 1965. Crichton later enrolled at Harvard Medical School.[page needed] By this time, he had become exceptionally tall, by his own account, approximately 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 m) tall as of 1997. Crichton later said "about two weeks into medical school I realized I hated it. This isn't unusual since everyone hates medical school – even happy, practicing physicians."
Pseudonymous novels (1965–1968)
In 1965, while at Harvard Medical School, Crichton wrote a novel, Odds On. "I wrote for furniture and groceries," he said later. Odds On is a 215-page paperback novel which describes an attempted robbery in an isolated hotel on Costa Brava. The robbery is planned scientifically with the help of a critical path analysis computer program, but unforeseen events get in the way. Crichton submitted it to Doubleday, where a reader liked it but did not feel it was for the company. Doubleday passed it on to New American Library, which published it in 1966. Crichton used the pen name John Lange because he planned to become a doctor and did not want his patients to worry he would use them for his plots. The name came from fairy tale writer Andrew Lang. Crichton added an "e" to the surname and substituted his own real first name, John, for Andrew. The novel was successful enough to lead to a series of John Lange novels. Film rights were sold in 1969, but no movie resulted.
The second Lange novel, Scratch One (1967), relates the story of Roger Carr, a handsome, charming, privileged man who practices law, more as a means to support his playboy lifestyle than a career. Carr is sent to Nice, France, where he has notable political connections, but is mistaken for an assassin and finds his life in jeopardy. Crichton wrote the book while traveling through Europe on a travel fellowship. He visited the Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix, and then decided, "any idiot should be able to write a potboiler set in Cannes and Monaco", and wrote it in eleven days. He later described the book as "no good". His third John Lange novel, Easy Go (1968), is the story of Harold Barnaby, a brilliant Egyptologist who discovers a concealed message while translating hieroglyphics informing him of an unnamed pharaoh whose tomb is yet to be discovered. Crichton later said the book earned him $1,500. Crichton later said, "My feeling about the Lange books is that my competition is in-flight movies. One can read the books in an hour and a half, and be more satisfactorily amused than watching Doris Day. I write them fast and the reader reads them fast and I get things off my back."
Crichton's fourth novel was A Case of Need (1968), a medical thriller. The novel had a different tone to the Lange books; accordingly, Crichton used the pen name "Jeffrey Hudson", based on Sir Jeffrey Hudson, a 17th-century dwarf in the court of Queen consort Henrietta Maria of England.  The novel would prove a turning point in Crichton's future novels, in which technology is important in the subject matter, although this novel was as much about medical practice. The novel earned him an Edgar Award in 1969. He intended to use the "Jeffrey Hudson" for other medical novels but ended up using it only once. It would later be adapted into the film The Carey Treatment (born 1972).
Early novels and screenplays (1969–1974)
Crichton says after he finished his third year of medical school "I stopped believing that one day I'd love it and realised that what I loved was writing." He began publishing book reviews under his name. In 1969, Crichton wrote a review for The New Republic (as J. Michael Crichton), critiquing Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. He also continued to write Lange novels: Zero Cool (1969), dealt with an American radiologist on vacation in Spain who is caught in a murderous crossfire between rival gangs seeking a precious artifact. The Venom Business (1969) relates the story of a smuggler who uses his exceptional skill as a snake handler to his advantage by importing snakes to be used by drug companies and universities for medical research.
The first novel that was published under Crichton's name was The Andromeda Strain (1969), which would prove to be the most important novel of his career and establish him as a bestselling author. The novel documented the efforts of a team of scientists investigating a deadly extraterrestrial microorganism that fatally clots human blood, causing death within two minutes. Crichton was inspired to write it after reading The IPCRESS File by Len Deighton while studying in England. Crichton says he was "terrifically impressed" by the book – "a lot of Andromeda is traceable to Ipcress in terms of trying to create an imaginary world using recognizable techniques and real people." He wrote the novel over three years. The novel became an instant hit, and film rights were sold for $250,000. It was adapted into a 1971 film by director Robert Wise.
During his clinical rotations at the Boston City Hospital, Crichton grew disenchanted with the culture there, which appeared to emphasize the interests and reputations of doctors over the interests of patients.[page needed] He graduated from Harvard, obtaining an MD in 1969, and undertook a post-doctoral fellowship study at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, from 1969 to 1970. He never obtained a license to practice medicine, devoting himself to his writing career instead. Reflecting on his career in medicine years later, Crichton concluded that patients too often shunned responsibility for their own health, relying on doctors as miracle workers rather than advisors. He experimented with astral projection, aura viewing, and clairvoyance, coming to believe that these included real phenomena that scientists had too eagerly dismissed as paranormal.[page needed]
1970 saw the publication of three more Crichton books under pseudonyms. Two were Lange novels, Drug of Choice and Grave Descend. Grave Descend earned him an Edgar Award nomination the following year. There was also Dealing: or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues written with his younger brother Douglas Crichton. Dealing was written under the pen name "Michael Douglas", using their first names. Crichton wrote it "completely from beginning to end". Then his brother rewrote it from beginning to end, and then Crichton rewrote it again. This novel was made into a movie in 1972. Around this time Crichton also wrote and sold an original film script, Morton's Run. He also wrote the screenplay Lucifer Harkness in Darkness.
Aside from fiction, Crichton wrote several other books based on medical or scientific themes, often based upon his own observations in his field of expertise. In 1970, he published Five Patients, which recounts his experiences of hospital practices in the late 1960s at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.  The book follows each of five patients through their hospital experience and the context of their treatment, revealing inadequacies in the hospital institution at the time. The book relates the experiences of Ralph Orlando, a construction worker seriously injured in a scaffold collapse; John O'Connor, a middle-aged dispatcher suffering from fever that has reduced him to a delirious wreck; Peter Luchesi, a young man who severs his hand in an accident; Sylvia Thompson, an airline passenger who suffers chest pains; and Edith Murphy, a mother of three who is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. In Five Patients, Crichton examines a brief history of medicine up to 1969 to help place hospital culture and practice into context, and addresses the costs and politics of American healthcare. In 1974, he wrote the a pilot script for a medical series, "24 Hours", based on his book Five Patients, however, networks were not enthusiastic.
As a personal friend of the artist Jasper Johns, Crichton compiled many of his works in a coffee table book, published as Jasper Johns. It was originally published in 1970 by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. in association with the Whitney Museum of American Art and again in January 1977, with a second revised edition published in 1994. The psychiatrist Janet Ross owned a copy of the painting Numbers by Jasper Johns in Crichton's later novel The Terminal Man. The technophobic antagonist of the story found it odd that a person would paint numbers as they were inorganic.
In 1972, Crichton published his last novel as John Lange: Binary, relates the story of a villainous middle-class businessman, who attempts to assassinate the President of the United States by stealing an army shipment of the two precursor chemicals that form a deadly nerve agent.
The Terminal Man (1972), is about a psychomotor epileptic sufferer, Harry Benson, who, in regularly suffering seizures followed by blackouts, conducts himself inappropriately during seizures, waking up hours later with no knowledge of what he has done. Believed to be psychotic, he is investigated and electrodes are implanted in his brain. The book continued the preoccupation in Crichton's novels with machine-human interaction and technology. The novel was adapted into a 1974 film directed by Mike Hodges and starring George Segal. Crichton was hired to adapt his novel The Terminal Man into a script by Warner Bros. The studio felt he had departed from the source material too much and had another writer adapt it for the 1974 film.
ABC TV wanted to buy the film rights to Crichton's novel Binary. The author agreed on the proviso that he could direct the film. ABC agreed provided someone other than Crichton wrote the script. The result, Pursuit (1972) was a ratings success. Crichton then wrote and directed the 1973 science fiction western-thriller film Westworld about robots that run amok, which was his feature film directorial debut. It was the first feature film using 2D computer-generated imagery (CGI). The producer of Westworld hired Crichton to write an original script, which became the erotic thriller, Extreme Close-Up (1973). Directed by Jeannot Szwarc, the movie disappointed Crichton.
Period novels and directing (1975–1988)
In 1975, Crichton wrote The Great Train Robbery, which would become a bestseller. The novel is a recreation of the Great Gold Robbery of 1855, a massive gold heist, which takes place on a train traveling through Victorian era England. A considerable portion of the book was set in London. Crichton had become aware of the story when lecturing at Cambridge University. He later read the transcripts of the court trial and started researching the historical period.
In 1976, Crichton published Eaters of the Dead, a novel about a 10th-century Muslim who travels with a group of Vikings to their settlement. Eaters of the Dead is narrated as a scientific commentary on an old manuscript and was inspired by two sources. The first three chapters retell Ahmad ibn Fadlan's personal account of his journey north and his experiences in encountering the Rus', the early Ukrainian peoples, whilst the remainder is based upon the story of Beowulf, culminating in battles with the 'mist-monsters', or 'wendol', a relict group of Neanderthals.
Crichton wrote and directed the suspense film Coma (1978), adapted from the 1977 novel of the same name by Robin Cook, a friend of his. There are other similarities in terms of genre and the fact that both Cook and Crichton had medical degrees, were of similar age, and wrote about similar subjects. The film was a popular success. Crichton then wrote and directed an adaptation of his own book, The Great Train Robbery (1978) starring Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland. The film would go on to be nominated for Best Cinematography Award by the British Society of Cinematographers, also garnering an Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Motion Picture by the Mystery Writers Association of America.
In 1979 it was announced that Crichton would direct a movie version of his novel Eaters of the Dead for the newly formed Orion Pictures. This did not occur. Crichton pitched the idea of a modern day King Solomon's Mines to 20th Century Fox who paid him $1.5 million for the film rights to the novel, a screenplay and directorial fee for the movie, before a word had been written. He had never worked that way before, usually writing the book then selling it. He eventually managed to finish the book and it became a best seller. Crichton did the screenplay for Congo after he wrote and directed Looker (1981). Looker was a financial disappointment. Crichton came close to directing a film of Congo with Sean Connery but the film did not happen. Eventually a film version was made in 1995 by another director. In 1984 Telarium released a graphic adventure based on Congo. Because Crichton had sold all adaptation rights to the novel, he set the game—named Amazon—in South America, and Amy the gorilla became Paco the parrot. That year Crichton also wrote and directed Runaway (1984), a police thriller set in the near future which was a box office disappointment.
Crichton had begun writing Sphere in 1967 as a companion piece to The Andromeda Strain. His initial storyline began with American scientists discovering a 300-year-old spaceship underwater with stenciled markings in English. However, Crichton later realized that he "didn't know where to go with it" and put off completing the book until a later date. The novel was published in 1987. It relates the story of psychologist Norman Johnson, who is required by the U.S. Navy to join a team of scientists assembled by the U.S. Government to examine an enormous alien spacecraft discovered on the bed of the Pacific Ocean, and believed to have been there for over 300 years. The novel begins as a science fiction story, but rapidly changes into a psychological thriller, ultimately exploring the nature of the human imagination. The novel was adapted into the 1998 film directed by Barry Levinson and starring Dustin Hoffman.
Commercial success and collaboration with Steven Spielberg (1989–1999)
In 1990, Crichton published the novel Jurassic Park. Crichton utilized the presentation of "fiction as fact", used in his previous novels, Eaters of the Dead and The Andromeda Strain. In addition, chaos theory and its philosophical implications are used to explain the collapse of an amusement park in a "biological preserve" on Isla Nublar, a fictional island to the west of Costa Rica. The novel began as a screenplay Crichton wrote in 1983, about a graduate student who recreates a dinosaur. Eventually, given his reasoning that genetic research is expensive and "there is no pressing need to create a dinosaur", Crichton concluded that it would emerge from a "desire to entertain", leading to a wildlife park of extinct animals. Originally, the story was told from the point of view of a child, but Crichton changed it as everyone who read the draft felt it would be better if told by an adult.
Crichton originally had conceived a screenplay about a graduate student who recreates a dinosaur, but decided to put off exploring his fascination with dinosaurs and cloning until he began writing the novel. Steven Spielberg learned of the novel in October 1989 while he and Crichton were discussing a screenplay that would become the television series ER. Before the book was published, Crichton demanded a non-negotiable fee of $1.5 million as well as a substantial percentage of the gross. Warner Bros. and Tim Burton, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Richard Donner, and 20th Century Fox and Joe Dante bid for the rights, but Universal eventually acquired the rights in May 1990 for Spielberg. Universal paid Crichton a further $500,000 to adapt his own novel, which he had completed by the time Spielberg was filming Hook. Crichton noted that, because the book was "fairly long", his script only had about 10% to 20% of the novel's content. The film, directed by Spielberg, was released in 1993. The film was extremely successful; Spielberg’s third movie to become the highest grossing of all time and the earliest to receive $1 billion at the box office.
In 1992, Crichton published the novel Rising Sun, an international bestselling crime thriller about a murder in the Los Angeles headquarters of Nakamoto, a fictional Japanese corporation. The book was adapted into the 1993 film directed by Philip Kaufman and starring Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes, released the same year as the adaption of Jurassic Park.
His next novel, Disclosure, published in 1994, addresses the theme of sexual harassment previously explored in his 1972 Binary. Unlike that novel however, Crichton centers on sexual politics in the workplace, emphasizing an array of paradoxes in traditional gender functions by featuring a male protagonist who is being sexually harassed by a female executive. As a result, the book has been criticized harshly by feminist commentators and accused of anti-feminism. Crichton, anticipating this response, offered a rebuttal at the close of the novel which states that a "role-reversal" story uncovers aspects of the subject that would not be seen as easily with a female protagonist. The novel was made into a film the same year, directed by Barry Levinson and starring Michael Douglas and Demi Moore. Crichton was the creator and an executive producer of the television drama ER based on his 1974 pilot script 24 Hours. Spielberg helped develop the show, serving as an executive producer on season one and offering advice (he insisted on Julianna Margulies becoming a regular, for example). It was also through Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment that John Wells was contacted to be the show's executive producer. In 1994, Crichton achieved the unique distinction of having a No. 1 movie, Jurassic Park, a No. 1 TV show, ER, and a No. 1 book, Disclosure.
Crichton then published The Lost World in 1995 as the sequel to Jurassic Park. The title was a reference to Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World (1912). It was made into the 1997 film two years later, again directed by Spielberg. In March 1994, Crichton said there would probably be a sequel novel as well as a film adaptation, stating that he had an idea for the novel's story.
Then, in 1996, Crichton published Airframe, an aero-techno-thriller. The book continued Crichton's overall theme of the failure of humans in human-machine interaction, given that the plane worked perfectly and the accident would not have occurred had the pilot reacted properly.
In 1999, Crichton published Timeline, a science fiction novel in which experts time travel back to the medieval period. The novel, which continued Crichton's long history of combining technical details and action in his books, addresses quantum physics and time travel directly and received a warm welcome from medieval scholars, who praised his depiction of the challenges in studying the Middle Ages. In 1999, Crichton founded Timeline Computer Entertainment with David Smith. Despite signing a multi-title publishing deal with Eidos Interactive, only one game was ever published, Timeline. Released by Eidos Interactive on November 10, 2000, for the PC, the game received negative reviews. A 2003 film based on the book was directed by Richard Donner and starring Paul Walker, Gerard Butler and Frances O'Connor.
Final novels and later life (2000–2008)
In 2002, Crichton published Prey, about developments in science and technology; specifically nanotechnology. The novel explores relatively recent phenomena engendered by the work of the scientific community, such as artificial life, emergence (and by extension, complexity), genetic algorithms, and agent-based computing. In 2004, Crichton published State of Fear, a novel concerning eco-terrorists who attempt mass murder to support their views. Global warming serves as a central theme to the novel. A review in Nature found the novel "likely to mislead the unwary". The novel had an initial print run of 1.5 million copies and reached the No. 1 bestseller position at Amazon.com and No. 2 on The New York Times Best Seller list for one week in January 2005.
The last novel published while he was still living was Next in 2006. The novel follows many characters, including transgenic animals, in the quest to survive in a world dominated by genetic research, corporate greed, and legal interventions, wherein government and private investors spend billions of dollars every year on genetic research.
In 2006, Crichton clashed with journalist Michael Crowley, a senior editor of the magazine The New Republic. In March 2006, Crowley wrote a strongly critical review of State of Fear, focusing on Crichton's stance on global warming. In the same year, Crichton published the novel Next, which contains a minor character named "Mick Crowley", who is a Yale graduate and a Washington, D.C.-based political columnist. The character was portrayed as a child molester with a small penis. The character does not appear elsewhere in the book. The real Crowley, also a Yale graduate, alleged that by including a similarly named character Crichton had libeled him.
Several novels in various states of completion upon Crichton's death have since been published. The first, Pirate Latitudes, was found as a manuscript on one of his computers after his death. It centers around a finctional privateer who attempts to raid a Spanish galleon. It was published in November 2009 by HarperCollins.
Additionally, Crichton had completed the outline for and was roughly a third of the way through a novel titled Micro, a novel which centers on technology that shrinks humans into microscopic sizes. Micro was completed by Richard Preston using Crichton's notes and files, and was published in November 2011.
On July 28, 2016, Crichton's website and HarperCollins announced the publication of a third posthumous novel, titled Dragon Teeth, which he had written in 1974. It is a historical novel set during the Bone Wars, and includes the real life characters of Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope. The novel was released in May 2017.
In addition, some of his published works are being continued by other authors. On February 26, 2019, Crichton's website and HarperCollins announced the publication of The Andromeda Evolution, the sequel to The Andromeda Strain, a collaboration with CrichtonSun LLC. and author Daniel H. Wilson. It was released on November 12, 2019.
Scientific and legal career
Video games and computing
In 1983, Crichton wrote Electronic Life, a book that introduces BASIC programming to its readers. The book, written like a glossary, with entries such as "Afraid of Computers (everybody is)", "Buying a Computer", and "Computer Crime", was intended to introduce the idea of personal computers to a reader who might be faced with the hardship of using them at work or at home for the first time. It defined basic computer jargon and assured readers that they could master the machine when it inevitably arrived. In his words, being able to program a computer is liberation; "In my experience, you assert control over a computer—show it who's the boss—by making it do something unique. That means programming it. ... If you devote a couple of hours to programming a new machine, you'll feel better about it ever afterwards". In the book, Crichton predicts a number of events in the history of computer development, that computer networks would increase in importance as a matter of convenience, including the sharing of information and pictures that we see online today which the telephone never could. He also makes predictions for computer games, dismissing them as "the hula hoops of the '80s", and saying "already there are indications that the mania for twitch games may be fading." In a section of the book called "Microprocessors, or how I flunked biostatistics at Harvard", Crichton again seeks his revenge on the teacher who had given him abnormally low grades in college. Within the book, Crichton included many self-written demonstrative Applesoft (for Apple II) and BASICA (for IBM PC compatibles) programs.
Amazon is a graphical adventure game created by Crichton and produced by John Wells. Trillium released it in the United States in 1984, and the game runs on Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, and DOS. Amazon sold more than 100,000 copies, making it a significant commercial success at the time. It featured plot elements similar to those previously used in Congo.
Crichton started a company selling a computer program he had originally written to help him create budgets for his movies. He often sought to utilize computing in films, such as Westworld, which was the first film to employ computer-generated special effects. He also pushed Spielberg to include them in the Jurassic park films. For his pioneering use of computer programs in film production he was awarded the Academy Award for Technical Achievement in 1995.
Intellectual property cases
In November 2006, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Crichton joked that he considered himself an expert in intellectual property law. He had been involved in several lawsuits with others claiming credit for his work.
In 1985, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard Berkic v. Crichton, 761 F.2d 1289 (1985). Plaintiff Ted Berkic wrote a screenplay called Reincarnation Inc., which he claims Crichton plagiarized for the movie Coma. The court ruled in Crichton's favor, stating the works were not substantially similar.
In the 1996 case, Williams v. Crichton, 84 F.3d 581 (2d Cir. 1996), Geoffrey Williams claimed that Jurassic Park violated his copyright covering his dinosaur-themed children's stories published in the late 1980s. The court granted summary judgment in favor of Crichton.
In 1998, A United States District Court in Missouri heard the case of Kessler v. Crichton that actually went all the way to a jury trial, unlike the other cases. Plaintiff Stephen Kessler claimed the movie Twister (1996) was based on his work Catch the Wind. It took the jury about 45 minutes to reach a verdict in favor of Crichton. After the verdict, Crichton refused to shake Kessler's hand.
Crichton later summarized his intellectual property legal cases: "I always win."
Flawed or misleading presentations of global warming science exist in the book, including those on Arctic sea ice thinning, correction of land-based temperature measurements for the urban heat island effect, and satellite vs. ground-based measurements of Earth's warming. I will spare the reader additional details. On the positive side, Crichton does emphasize the little-appreciated fact that while most of the world has been warming the past few decades, most of Antarctica has seen a cooling trend. The Antarctic ice sheet is actually expected to increase in mass over the next 100 years due to increased precipitation, according to the IPCC.
Peter Doran, author of the paper in the January 2002 issue of Nature, which reported the finding referred to above that some areas of Antarctica had cooled between 1986 and 2000, wrote an opinion piece in the July 27, 2006, The New York Times in which he stated "Our results have been misused as 'evidence' against global warming by Michael Crichton in his novel State of Fear." Al Gore said on March 21, 2007, before a U.S. House committee: "The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor ... if your doctor tells you you need to intervene here, you don't say 'Well, I read a science fiction novel that tells me it's not a problem'." This has been interpreted by several commentators as a reference to State of Fear.
Literary technique and style
Crichton's novels, including Jurassic Park, have been described by The Guardian as "harking back to the fantasy adventure fiction of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Edgar Wallace, but with a contemporary spin, assisted by cutting-edge technology references made accessible for the general reader". According to The Guardian, "Michael Crichton wasn't really interested in characters, but his innate talent for storytelling enabled him to breathe new life into the science fiction thriller". Like The Guardian, The New York Times has also noted the boys' adventure quality to his novels interfused with modern technology and science. According to The New York Times,
All the Crichton books depend to a certain extent on a little frisson of fear and suspense: that's what kept you turning the pages. But a deeper source of their appeal was the author's extravagant care in working out the clockwork mechanics of his experiments—the DNA replication in Jurassic Park, the time travel in Timeline, the submarine technology in Sphere. The novels have embedded in them little lectures or mini-seminars on, say, the Bernoulli principle, voice-recognition software or medieval jousting etiquette ...
The best of the Crichton novels have about them a boys' adventure quality. They owe something to the Saturday-afternoon movie serials that Mr. Crichton watched as a boy and to the adventure novels of Arthur Conan Doyle (from whom Mr. Crichton borrowed the title The Lost World and whose example showed that a novel could never have too many dinosaurs). These books thrive on yarn spinning, but they also take immense delight in the inner workings of things (as opposed to people, women especially), and they make the world—or the made-up world, anyway—seem boundlessly interesting. Readers come away entertained and also with the belief, not entirely illusory, that they have actually learned something" |The New York Times on the works of Michael Crichton}}
Crichton's works were frequently cautionary; his plots often portrayed scientific advancements going awry, commonly resulting in worst-case scenarios. A notable recurring theme in Crichton's plots is the pathological failure of complex systems and their safeguards, whether biological (Jurassic Park), militaristic/organizational (The Andromeda Strain), technological (Airframe), or cybernetic (Westworld). This theme of the inevitable breakdown of "perfect" systems and the failure of "fail-safe measures" strongly can be seen in the poster for Westworld, whose slogan was, "Where nothing can possibly go worng" [sic], and in the discussion of chaos theory in Jurassic Park. His 1973 movie Westworld contains one of the earlier references to a computer virus and the first mention of the concept of a computer virus in a movie. Crichton believed, however, that his view of technology had been misunderstood as
being out there, doing bad things to us people, like we're inside the circle of covered wagons and technology is out there firing arrows at us. We're making the technology and it is a manifestation of how we think. To the extent that we think egotistically and irrationally and paranoically and foolishly, then we have technology that will give us nuclear winters or cars that won't brake. But that's because people didn't design them right.
The use of author surrogate was a feature of Crichton's writings from the beginning of his career. In A Case of Need, one of his pseudonymous whodunit stories, Crichton used first-person narrative to portray the hero, a Bostonian pathologist, who is running against the clock to clear a friend's name from medical malpractice in a girl's death from a hack-job abortion.
Crichton has used the literary technique known as the false document. Eaters of the Dead is a "recreation" of the Old English epic Beowulf presented as a scholarly translation of Ahmad ibn Fadlan's 10th century manuscript. The Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park incorporate fictionalized scientific documents in the form of diagrams, computer output, DNA sequences, footnotes and bibliography. The Terminal Man and State of Fear include authentic published scientific works which illustrate the premise point.
Crichton often employs the premise of diverse experts or specialists assembled to tackle a unique problem requiring their individual talents and knowledge. The premise was used for The Andromeda Strain, Sphere, Jurassic Park, and to a lesser extent, Timeline. Sometimes the individual characters in this dynamic work in the private sector and are suddenly called upon by the government to form an immediate response team once some incident or discovery triggers their mobilization. This premise or plot device has been imitated and used by other authors and screenwriters in several books, movies and television shows since.
As an adolescent Crichton felt isolated because of his height (6 ft 9 in, or 206 cm). During the 1970s and 1980s, he consulted psychics and enlightenment gurus to make him feel more socially acceptable and to improve his karma. As a result of these experiences, Crichton practiced meditation throughout much of his life. He is often regarded as a deist; however, he never publicly confirmed this. When asked in an online Q&A if he were a spiritual person, Crichton responded with "Yes, but it is difficult to talk about."
Crichton was a workaholic. When drafting a novel, which would typically take him six or seven weeks, Crichton withdrew completely to follow what he called "a structured approach" of ritualistic self-denial. As he neared writing the end of each book, he would rise increasingly early each day, meaning that he would sleep for less than four hours by going to bed at 10 p.m. and waking at 2 a.m.
He married five times. Four of the marriages ended in divorce: with Joan Radam (1965–1970), Kathleen St. Johns (1978–1980), Suzanna Childs (1981–1983), and actress Anne-Marie Martin (1987–2003), the mother of his daughter Taylor Anne (born 1989). At the time of his death, Crichton was married to Sherri Alexander (2005–2008), who was six months pregnant with their son, John Michael Todd Crichton, born on February 12, 2009.
Illness and death
According to Crichton's brother Douglas, Crichton was diagnosed with lymphoma in early 2008. In accordance with the private way in which Crichton lived, his cancer was not made public until his death. He was undergoing chemotherapy treatment at the time of his death, and Crichton's physicians and relatives had been expecting him to recover. He died at age 66 on November 4, 2008.
Michael's talent outscaled even his own dinosaurs of Jurassic Park. He was the greatest at blending science with big theatrical concepts, which is what gave credibility to dinosaurs walking the earth again. In the early days, Michael had just sold The Andromeda Strain to Robert Wise at Universal and I had recently signed on as a contract TV director there. My first assignment was to show Michael Crichton around the Universal lot. We became friends and professionally Jurassic Park, ER, and Twister followed. Michael was a gentle soul who reserved his flamboyant side for his novels. There is no one in the wings that will ever take his place.— Steven Spielberg on Michael Crichton's death
As a pop novelist, he was divine. A Crichton book was a headlong experience driven by a man who was both a natural storyteller and fiendishly clever when it came to verisimilitude; he made you believe that cloning dinosaurs wasn't just over the horizon but possible tomorrow. Maybe today.— Stephen King on Crichton, 2008
Crichton's science novels
Most of Crichton's novels address issues emerging in scientific research fields. In a number of his novels (Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Next, Congo), genomics plays an important role. Usually, the drama revolves around the sudden eruption of a scientific crisis, revealing the disruptive impacts new forms of knowledge and technology may have, as is stated in The Andromeda Strain, Crichton's first science novel: "This book recounts the five-day history of a major American scientific crisis" (1969, p. 3).
- Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Allan Poe Award, Best Novel, 1969 – A Case of Need
- Association of American Medical Writers Award, 1970
- Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Allan Poe Award, Best Motion Picture, 1980 – The Great Train Robbery
- Named to the list of the "Fifty Most Beautiful People" by People magazine, 1992
- Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Technical Achievement Award, 1994
- Writers Guild of America Award, Best Long Form Television Script of 1995 (The Writer Guild list the award for 1996)
- George Foster Peabody Award, 1994 – ER
- Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, 1996 – ER
- Ankylosaur named Crichtonsaurus bohlini, 2002
- American Association of Petroleum Geologists Journalism Award, 2006
In 2002, a genus of ankylosaurus, Crichtonsaurus was named in his honor. His properties continue to be adapted into films, making him the 20th highest grossing story-creator of all time.
Selected list of works
- The Andromeda Strain (1969)
- Jurassic Park (1990)
- Disclosure (1994)
- Prey (2002)
- State of Fear (2004)
- Next (2006)
- "Q & A with Michael Crichton". Michael Crichton (the official site). Retrieved May 2, 2015.
- "IHPA: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 14, 2007.
- "Michael Crichton – Filmbug".
- Featured Filmmaker: Michael Crichton. IGN. May 19, 2003.
- Michael Crichton on IMDb
- "Michael Crichton: Novelist and screenwriter responsible for 'Jurassic Park', 'Westworld' and the TV series 'ER'". The Daily Telegraph. London. November 10, 2008. Retrieved December 18, 2008.
- CLIMBING UP A CINDER CONE: A Visit to Sunset Crater Makes A Novel Side Trip in Arizona By MICHAEL CRICHTON. New York Times May 17, 1959: XX30.
- BIG MIKE MICHAEL CRICHTON WAS EASILY SPOTTED IN A ROSLYN HIGH CROWD By David Behrens Newsday October 10, 1995: B.04.
- Crichton, Michael (1989). Travels. ISBN 978-0804171274.
- "Michael Crichton's Convictions". Boston Globe. May 11, 1988.
- "King of the techno-thriller". The Observer. December 3, 2006.
- "Biography". About Michael Crichton.
- "Michael Crichton". The Oprah Winfrey Show. Archived from the original on March 25, 2005. Retrieved November 5, 2008.
- "Mean Body Weight, Height, and Body Mass Index" (PDF). CDC. 1960–2002.
- Seligson, Marcia (June 8, 1969). "The versatile Crichton". Chicago Tribune. p. k6.
- GELMIS, JOSEPH (January 4, 1974). "Author of 'Terminal Man' Building Nonterminal Career: CRICHTON". Los Angeles Times. p. d12.
- Shenker, Israel (June 8, 1969). "Michael Crichton". The New York Times (1923–Current file). New York, N.Y.] p. BR5.
- Weiler, A. H. (July 6, 1969). "No Gap Like the Generation Gap". The New York Times. p. D11.
- GELMIS, JOSEPH (January 4, 1974). "Author of 'Terminal Man' Building Nonterminal Career: CRICHTON". Los Angeles Times. p. d12.
- "John Lange Archive". crichton-official.com. Michael Crichton's official website. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "Edgar Awards throughout time". TheEdgars.com. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
- "Michael Crichton". Famous Authors. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- Dropping the Scalpel: Film Notes Columbia Frowns Speeds the Turnover Refuge From Roles By Judith Martin. The Washington Post, Times Herald February 28, 1969: B12.
- Life, Death And the Doctor By J. MICHAEL CRICHTON. New York Times November 10, 1968: BR28.
- Be careful, it's not my heart Crichton, Michael. Chicago Tribune December 22, 1968: m3.
- Crichton, Michael (September 25, 2013). "Michael Crichton's 1969 Review of Kurt Vonnegut's 'Slaughterhouse-Five'". New Republic. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- Greenspun, Roger (March 22, 1971). "Screen: Wise's 'Andromeda Strain'". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
- "Michael Crichton, novelist and filmmaker, Harvard College (Anthropology, 1964) and Harvard Medical School (1969) graduate". Harvard University Department of Global Health & Social Medicine.
- "Biography". michaelcrichton.com. 2018. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
- Jones, Jeffrey M. "'The Falling Sickness' in Literature". Southern Medical Journal. 93 (12): 1169–72.
- Elliott Gould Will Ride a 'Tiger': Plenty For Pakula Full "Speed" Ahead Elliott Gould Getting In "Sync" by A.H. Weiler. New York Times October 18, 1970: D13.
- "Edgar Award: Best Paperback Original". Cozy-Mystery.Com. Archived from the original on December 19, 2008. Retrieved December 16, 2008.
- Hollywood Today: Mike Crichton, a Skyscraper in Any Form Norma Lee Browning. Chicago Tribune August 30, 1970: s2.
- For Michael Crichton, Medicine Is for Writing By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD. New York Times June 15, 1970: 48.
- Redlich, F. C. (August 2, 1970). "Five Patients". New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
- Keenleyside, Sam (1998). Bedside manners: George Clooney and ER (Illustrated ed.). ECW Press. p. 129. ISBN 1-55022-336-4.
- Worldcat entry for 1977 ed.
- Michael Crichton The Terminal Man New York; Avon Books 2002 p.181
- Criminals At Large By NEWGATE CALLENDAR. New York Times (1923–Current file) [New York, N.Y] August 20, 1972: BR26.
- Hollywood Today: Mike Crichton, a Skyscraper in Any Form Norma Lee Browning. Chicago Tribune August 30, 1970: s2.
- Owen, Michael (January 28, 1979). "Director Michael Crichton Films a Favorite Novelist". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
- Director Michael Crichton Films a Favorite Novelist, by Michael Owen. New York Times January 28, 1979: D17.
- Crichton Debuts as Film Director, Smith, Cecil. Los Angeles Times December 11, 1972: d27.
- "Legends of Film: Paul Lazarus" (Podcast). December 27, 2004.
- Owen, Michael (January 28, 1979). "Director Michael Crichton Films a Favorite Novelist". New York Times. p. D17.
- With real and bogus footnotes: Eaters Of the Dead By JACK SULLIVAN. New York Times (1923–Current file) [New York, N.Y] April 25, 1976: 253.
- Crichton's creative play: Eaters of the Dead Oberbeck, S K. Chicago Tribune (1963–Current file) [Chicago, Ill] April 25, 1976: f6.
- Ebert, Roger (February 9, 1979). "The Great Train Robbery". Chicago Sun-Times.
- Orion: A Humanistic Production Kilday, Gregg. Los Angeles Times January 5, 1979: f13.
- CRICHTON DIPS INTO THE TANK: MICHAEL CRICHTON Los Angeles Times (1923–Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] May 6, 1980: g1.
- BEHIND THE BEST SELLERS: Michael Crichton McDOWELL, EDWIN. New York Times February 8, 1981: BR8.
- An author of pleasurable fear: Michael Crichton takes fiction where you wouldn't want to go Gorner, Peter. Chicago Tribune June 24, 1987: D1.
- Maher, Jimmy (October 11, 2013). "From Congo to Amazon". The Digital Antiquarian. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- Janet Maslin (December 14, 1984). "Screen: Tom Selleck in 'Runaway'". The New York Times. p. C20.
- Peter Gorner (June 24, 1987). "An Author Of Pleasurable Fear – tribunedigital-chicagotribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
- Maslin, Janet (February 13, 1998). "Sphere (1998)". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
- "Biography". MichaelCrichton.net.
- Bosworth, Patricia (June 26, 1988). "TOURING THE ALTERED STATES". New York City. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
- Crichton, Michael (2001). Michael Crichton on the Jurassic Park Phenomenon (DVD). Universal.
- "Return to Jurassic Park: Dawn of a New Era", Jurassic Park Blu-ray (2011)
- Michael Crichton's notes on Jurassic Park
- Michael Crichton (2001). Michael Crichton on the Jurassic Park Phenomenon (DVD). Universal.
- Joseph McBride (1997). Steven Spielberg. Faber and Faber, 416–9. ISBN 0-571-19177-0
- DVD Production Notes
- Appelo, Tim (December 7, 1990). "Leaping Lizards". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 17, 2007.
- Biodrowski, Steve. "Jurassic Park: Michael Crichton". Cinefantastique. 24 (2): 12.
- Holt, Patricia (December 5, 1996). "BOOKS – Crichton Takes to The Skies / 'Airframe' formulaic but hard to put down". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
- Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher. "A thriller not to carry on your next plane trip". The New York Times, December 5, 1996.
- "1993 Yearly Box Office Results – Box Office Mojo". www.boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
- "The end of ER: This time it's terminal". The Independent. May 21, 2009. Archived from the original on April 6, 2018.
- The New York Times Best Seller list January 23, 1994
- Publishers Weekly list of bestselling novels in the United States in the 1990s#1994
- Wilmington, Michael (June 8, 1997). "THE FIRST `LOST WORLD'". The Chicago Tribune. Chicago. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
- "In His Own Words". MichaelCrichton.com. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
- Spillman, Susan (March 11, 1994). "Crichton is plotting 'Jurassic 2'". USA Today. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
- Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher. "A thriller not to carry on your next plane trip". The New York Times, December 5, 1996.
- Daly, Steve (May 10, 1996). "The War of the Winds". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on October 18, 2015. Retrieved June 14, 2009.
- Linda Bingham, "Crossing the Timeline: Michael Crichton's Bestseller as Social Criticism and History," in: Falling into Medievalism, ed. Anne Lair and Richard Utz. Special Issue of UNIversitas: The University of Northern Iowa Journal of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity, 2.1 (2006) Archived July 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- "These are the biggest box office bombs of all time". Newsweek. July 23, 2018.
- "15 Directors Unceremoniously Fired Or Replaced On A Movie", The Playlist 22 March 2013 accessed March 27, 2013
- Allen, Myles (January 2005). "A novel view of global warming – Book Reviewed: State of Fear". Nature. 433 (7023): 198. Bibcode:2005Natur.433..198A. doi:10.1038/433198a.
- Doran, Peter (July 27, 2006). "Cold, Hard Facts". The New York Times.
- Michael Crichton's "Scientific Method". James Hansen.
- Itzkoff, D. (January 7, 2007). "Genetic Park". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
- Crowley, Michael. "Cock and Bull". The New Republic. December 25, 2006.
- Lee, Felicia (December 14, 2006). "Columnist Accuses Crichton of 'Literary Hit-and-Run'". The New York Times.
On Page 227 Mr. Crichton writes: 'Alex Burnet was in the middle of the most difficult trial of her career, a rape case involving the sexual assault of a two-year-old boy in Malibu. The defendant, thirty-year-old Mick Crowley, was a Washington-based political columnist who was visiting his sister-in-law when he experienced an overwhelming urge to have anal sex with her young son, still in diapers.' Mick Crowley is described as a 'wealthy, spoiled Yale graduate' with a small penis that nonetheless 'caused significant tears to the toddler's rectum.'
- Columnist Accuses Crichton of 'Literary Hit-and-Run'. Felicia R. Lee. New York Times, December 14, 2006
- Rich, Motoko (April 5, 2009). "Posthumous Crichton Novels on the Way". The New York Times. Retrieved July 18, 2009.
- Zorianna Kit (May 23, 2011). "Michael Crichton posthumous novel to be published". Reuters. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
- "HarperCollins to Publish Found Novel by Late Michael Crichton". PublishersWeekly.
- Archipelago, World. "Press Releases Details". HarperCollins. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
- "HarperCollins Publishers Acquires Novel by Michael Crichton – MichaelCrichton.com". MichaelCrichton.com. July 28, 2016. Archived from the original on July 31, 2016. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
- Italie, Hillel (February 26, 2019). "Sequel to Michael Crichton's 'Andromeda Strain' due in fall". AP NEWS. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
- "Michael Crichton on Instagram: "Big news Michael Crichton fans! HarperCollins will be publishing The Andromeda Evolution—the sequel to the breakthrough novel, The…"". Instagram. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
- "HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS ANNOUNCES THE PUBLICATION OF THE ANDROMEDA EVOLUTION, THE SEQUEL TO MICHAEL CRICHTON'S WORLDWIDE BESTSELLING NOVEL THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN". HarperCollins Publishers. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
- Crichton, Michael. Electronic Life, Knopf, 1983, p. 44. ISBN 0-394-53406-9
- Pournelle, Jerry (June 1985). "From the Living Room". BYTE. p. 409. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- "Home of the Underdogs".
- "Programmer". michaelcrichton.com.
- "Michael Crichton". Fora.tv. Archived from the original on March 28, 2010. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
- Berkic v. Crichton, 761 F. 2d 1289 – Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit. 1985.
- Williams v. Crichton, 84 F. 3d 581 – Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 1996. 1996.
- "Spielberg, Crichton Cleared in 'Twister' Piracy Suit". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. Associated Press. January 29, 1998. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
- "Crichton's Thriller State of Fear: Separating Fact from Fiction" Archived April 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Union of Concerned Scientists.
- Masters, Jeffery M. "Review of Michael Crichton's State of Fear". Weather Underground. Retrieved October 14, 2007.
- Knights of the Limits Ansible 237, April 2007
- Glenn, Joshua (April 1, 2007). "Climate of fear". The Boston Globe.
- "More from 'Inconvenient Gore'". Alaska Report. March 22, 2007.
- "That Inconvenient Gore". farnorthscience.com. March 13, 2007.
- Wootton, Adrian (November 6, 2008). "How Michael Crichton struck fear into the bestseller list". The Guardian. London. Retrieved December 18, 2008.
- McGrath, Charles (November 5, 2008). "Builder of Windup Realms That Thrillingly Run Amok". The New York Times. Retrieved December 18, 2008.
- https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070909/synopsis: IMDB synopsis of Westworld. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
- Yakai, Kathy (February 1985). "Michael Crichton / Reflections of a New Designer". Compute!. pp. 44–45. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
- Bosworth, Patricia (June 26, 1988). "TOURING THE ALTERED STATES". The New York Times. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
- "Michael Crichton chats about his new book and life as an author". CNN. December 12, 1999. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
- "Michael Crichton". People. 37 (17). May 4, 1992. p. 132.
- Crichton, Taylor Anne. "Biographical Summaries of Notable People". MyHeritage.com. Lehi, UT, USA. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
- Crichton, John Michael Todd. "MyHeritage". MyHeritage. Lehi, UT, USA. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
- Li, David K. (November 6, 2008). "Crichton's death ends thrilling ride". New York Post.
- "Best-Selling Author Michael Crichton Dies". CBS News. November 5, 2008.
- "Sci-Fi Author Crichton Passes". The Harvard Crimson. November 5, 2008.
- "'Jurassic Park' author, 'ER' creator Crichton dies". CNN. November 5, 2008. Retrieved November 5, 2008.
- Itzkoff, Dave (November 5, 2008). "Michael Crichton Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved December 18, 2008.
- "Stephen King Tribute to Michael Crichton". musingsonmichaelcrichton.com. January 22, 2009.
- "Jasper Johns' "Flag" brings record price at auction of Michael Crichton's estate". Culture Monster. May 11, 2010.
- Zwart, H (2015). "Genomes, gender and the psychodynamics of a scientific crisis: A psychoanalytic reading of Michael Crichton's genomics novels". New Genetics and Society. 34 (1): 1–24. doi:10.1080/14636778.2014.986570.
- "Edgar Award Winners and Nominees Database".
- Michael Crichton Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
- "Previous Nominees & Winners". The Writers Guild Awards. Archived from the original on February 24, 2015.
- Lü Junchang; Ji Qiang; Gao Yubo; Li Zhixin (2007). "A new species of the ankylosaurid dinosaur Crichtonsaurus (Ankylosauridae:Ankylosauria) from the Cretaceous of Liaoning Province, China". Acta Geologica Sinica (English Edition). 81 (6): 883–897. doi:10.1111/j.1755-6724.2007.tb01010.x.
- Arbour, Victoria M.; Currie, Philip J. (2015). "Systematics, phylogeny and palaeobiogeography of the ankylosaurid dinosaurs". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 14 (5): 1. doi:10.1080/14772019.2015.1059985.
- Golla, Robert (2011). Conversations with Michael Crichton. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 1-61703-013-9.
- Hayhurst, Robert (2004). Readings on Michael Crichton. Greenhaven Press. ISBN 0-7377-1662-2.
- Kashner, Sam (January 27, 2017). "The Hitman". Vanity Fair. 679: 172–178 and 194–195.
- Trembley, Elizabeth A. (1996). Michael Crichton: A Critical Companion. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-29414-3.
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- Official website
- Musings on Michael Crichton — News and Analysis on his Life and Works
- Michael Crichton on Charlie Rose
- Works by or about Michael Crichton in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Works by Michael Crichton at Open Library
- Michael Crichton on IMDb
- Michael Crichton at IGN
- Michael Crichton Obituary. Associated Press. Chicago Sun-Times
- McGrath, Charles (November 5, 2008). "Builder of Windup Realms That Thrillingly Run Amok". The New York Times.
- John J. Miller (November 11, 2008). "He Brought Science to Life". The Wall Street Journal.
- Michael Crichton bibliography on the Internet Book List
- Complete bibliography and cover gallery of the first editions
- Comprehensive listing and info on Michael Crichton's complete works
- "Michael Crichton". Find a Grave. Retrieved June 10, 2013.