Michael Crichton has died

… at the untimely age of 66, of cancer.

There is a story here.


  1. #1 Virgil Samms
    November 5, 2008

    Many people hold that you shouldn’t say bad things about the dead.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    November 5, 2008

    His path and mind crossed a couple of times in real life, and that was fine. He even funded some of my research. (But it was not in climate change)

  3. #3 Phil
    November 5, 2008

    That is sad. I didn’t agree with his politics but his books made some good movies and I have never heard people say he was a mean or nasty person.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    November 5, 2008

    He was a nice guy. Totally wrong about global warming, but whatever.

    Tall as well. Really tall.

  5. #5 george.wiman
    November 5, 2008

    I just finished re-reading Andromeda Strain. It is full of authoritative-sounding details.

  6. #6 Paul Lundgren
    November 5, 2008

    I have never heard people say he was a mean or nasty person.

    Oh, really?

    In his 2006 novel Next (released November 28 of that year), Crichton introduces a character named “Mick Crowley” who is a Yale graduate and a Washington D.C.-based political columnist. “Crowley” is portrayed by Crichton as a child molester with a small penis. The character is a minor one who does not appear elsewhere in the book.[24]

    A real person named Michael Crowley is also a Yale graduate, and a senior editor of The New Republic, a Washington D.C.-based political magazine. In March 2006, the real Crowley wrote an article strongly critical of Crichton for his stance on global warming in State of Fear.[25]

  7. #7 Nick
    November 5, 2008

    According to IMDB he was on his 5th wife. Certain assumptions can be drawn from that…

  8. #8 Brian X
    November 5, 2008

    I was disgusted with his militant luddism (Prey, for example) and his author-on-board fearmongering (Rising Sun, Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park), but if you took him for what he was, a slightly-more-technically-literate-than-most pulp writer, he was pretty good. Jurassic Park was a pretty good beach read, even if in my youth I gave it more literary significance than it deserved; I do, however, wish that he’d made the girl the computer genius in the original book like she was in the movie.

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    November 5, 2008

    One thing people don’t realize is how close the book “Congo” (which was about my study area in Africa) was to real life. Except the part about King Salomon’s treasure and the strange new ape species and the talking ape, and the technology and stuff. Everything else, though, was dead on.

  10. #10 becca
    November 5, 2008

    Isn’t the real story that wealth and fame await those who give up their lousy postdocs to leave academia?

  11. #11 Mr.Mom
    November 5, 2008

    Im sorry but his ignorance and lies about our climate crisis is unforgivable. He fought hard to discredit hardwoking men and women who have devoted their lives to warning the planet(im sure im speaking about some of you regulars). I shall not mourn him.

  12. #12 Azkyroth
    November 6, 2008

    Many people hold that you shouldn’t say bad things about the dead.

    Amazing how many people think a get-out-of-criticism-free card that applies no matter how big a mess your actions have left for others to clean up – or how big a scar you’ve left the world to heal – and that can be earned as easily as lying down should be honored, isn’t it?

  13. #13 outeast
    November 7, 2008

    It was reading that Crighton was sceptical of the idea that germs cause disease (he wrote that it is ‘not as proven as people believe’, if I’ve got the quote right) that made my jaw really hit the ground. That was before I learned of his AGW beliefs… but those came as less of a surprise as a consequence.

    Science-wise, his books were often ‘full of authoritative-sounding details’ (as george.wiman put it above) but an awful lot of those details failed to stand up to scrutiny.

  14. #14 MemeInjector3000
    November 7, 2008

    Here’s a more balanced obituary of Crichton:


    It provides copious evidence of the damage Crichton did not only to climate change policy, but to the public perception of science as well.