HOMER71
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Author Michael Crichton Dies

Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:57 pm

Breaking on CNN, no link (just a banner on cnn.com)

RIP, loved his books, especially State of Fear and, of course, Airframe

And, let's not forget his contributions to TV (ER) and movies (Westworld, Coma, Twister).

[Edited 2008-11-05 09:58:22]
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N867DA
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:10 pm

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jurassic Park I & II and Timelines are amazing. Rest in Peace, Crichton!

I thought he was quite young. Relatively, anyway.
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GDB
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:12 pm

That's a shock.
I loved his early works like The Andromeda Strain but thought as a writer he lost his way in the last decade.
However, he was an intelligent man who leaves behind a substantial body of work.
 
HOMER71
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:17 pm



Quoting N867DA (Reply 1):
I thought he was quite young. Relatively, anyway.

I believe he was battling cancer...
"On spaceship earth there are no passengers...only crew."
 
GerbenYYZ
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:01 pm

from CNN.com

"Crichton died unexpectedly Tuesday "after a courageous and private battle against cancer," the release said.

He was 66."

RIP
 
rfields5421
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:13 pm

One thing I knew when I picked up a book of his - it would be an interesting read, and would probably be so good I could not put it down until I finished the book.
 
MYT332
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:20 pm

I was only watching Jurassic Park II last night, weird timing.
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ANITIX87
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:35 pm

Oh no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What terrible, terrible news! My favorite author!

I hope his latest book still gets released, even if it is in its unfinished form. (Originally slated for December 2, 2008 release).

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rampart
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:41 pm

Fascinating author, great books, one of my favorites from early one, but he recently lost a little credibility with me in the "fear of science" stance. Sad to see him pass.

Not a good month for authors. Tony Hillerman. Studs Terkel. Now Crichton.

-Rampart
 
PPVRA
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:06 am

Jurassic Park is legendary.

RIP  Sad
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allrite
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:19 am



Quoting PPVRA (Reply 9):
Jurassic Park is legendary.

While many of his ideas were interesting I found his prose and characterisation to be dreadful. Very disappointed with his novel Jurassic Park in contrast with the film, which was at least visually awesome (and had great John Williams music  Smile). Usually it's the other way around for me.
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ANITIX87
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:59 am



Quoting Allrite (Reply 10):
Usually it's the other way around for me.

Which did you experience first, though? That always influences you a lot, and I've never met anybody who likes whichever they experienced second better.

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vikkyvik
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Thu Nov 06, 2008 5:48 am

That's a shame. Definitely one of my favorite and most-read authors as I was growing up.

Quoting GDB (Reply 2):
I loved his early works like The Andromeda Strain but thought as a writer he lost his way in the last decade.

Yeah, I thought in the late 90's or so his stories became a little less well-written and more farfetched.

I loved Jurassic Park, Airframe, Congo, The Terminal man, and others. The first third of Timeline was good, but when it became more of a fantasy story (what with travelling to medieval times and whatnot), it went downhill.

I wasn't very impressed with Prey, and even less so with State of Fear.

However, despite my opinions of the books, what I can definitely say is that once you picked them up, you couldn't put them down.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 11):

Which did you experience first, though? That always influences you a lot, and I've never met anybody who likes whichever they experienced second better.

Interestingly, I saw the movie of Jurassic Park before I read the book. And the book is far better, in my opinion.
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ANITIX87
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:23 am



Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 12):
Interestingly, I saw the movie of Jurassic Park before I read the book. And the book is far better, in my opinion.

So did I, and I agree that the book is phenomenal.

Also, I checked online, and his book WILL be published posthumously, but has been pushed back to May 2009.

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Elite
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:11 am

That's shocking . . . I had no idea he was already 66 though. He is the first person to have a bestselling book, movie, and TV series . . . we will miss him. RIP.
 
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allrite
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:22 am



Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 11):
Which did you experience first, though? That always influences you a lot, and I've never met anybody who likes whichever they experienced second better.

I admit to seeing the movie first - had no choice in that case as I had just done a newspaper interview about a talk I was giving on chaos theory and the reporter kept referring to Jeff Goldblum's "chaotician" character.

I've read other Crichton novels though and thought them "airport novel" quality. But hey, that should be a recommendation on a.net!  Smile

I liked ER though... at least for the first few series.
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ferengi80
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:56 am

Superb author, he is going to be greatly missed. Airframe is by far my favourite Crichton novel. I remember hearing somewhere that he got his ideas for Airframe from teething problems with the McDonnell-Douglas MD-11. Don't know how true this is though.
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GDB
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:43 pm

I sort of gave up on him after the paranoia of Rising Sun (just as Japan went into a very long slump) and the poor Disclosure .
(Bad film adaptations too, what chance also did Disclosure have with hatchet faced Demi Moore in it).

Sphere was a good book but badly adapted for the screen (how hard can it be? He wrote them with film versions in mind).

The First Great Train Robbery was a good one, good on capturing the society of England in the 1850's too.
Crichton himself directed a competent movie version too.

Almost unknown now, but The Terminal Man was a very good early one, with a decent film version.

Jurassic Park was a good book, clearly a massive film, here though he let his usual scientific rigour slip.

I did read Airframe , I agree that clearly Crichton was thinking of McDonnell Douglas here.
It was OK.

Under a pen name, he did medical thriller novel A Case Of Need prior to Andromeda Strain, and a decent film version was made.

His non fiction book Travels is worth a look too.

A shorter story from 1972, Binary was pretty good.

His best for me, still is The Andromeda Strain though.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:08 am

My favorite author.

Jurassic Park is still probably the only (long) book I read over and over again, practically have the thing memorized.

RIP
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vikkyvik
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:13 am



Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 18):
Jurassic Park is still probably the only (long) book I read over and over again, practically have the thing memorized.

Haha, same here. I can't count how many times I've read that book.

Quoting GDB (Reply 17):
Sphere was a good book but badly adapted for the screen (how hard can it be? He wrote them with film versions in mind).

Speaking of bad film adaptations, the film version of The Lost World was completely ridiculous. The book wasn't the greatest in the world (tough to follow Jurassic Park, I suppose), but the movie was just atrocious.

Quoting GDB (Reply 17):

His non fiction book Travels is worth a look too.

I completely forgot about that one. That was quite an interesting read.
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ConcordeBoy
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:01 am



Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 19):
Haha, same here. I can't count how many times I've read that book.

Thing is, I find something new/missed just about every time I read it... it's incredible the amount of research/education he would've had to put in to write something like that, and it contained (what was at that point) the absolutely cutting edge information in the field at that time.




Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 19):
The Lost World was completely ridiculous.

 checkmark 
...well, it was a'ight until the ridiculous plot of the T-Rex getting loose in SAN




Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 19):
The book wasn't the greatest in the world (tough to follow Jurassic Park, I suppose), but the movie was just atrocious.

True, though do keep in mind that a lot of what was actually in the book was also integrated into Jurassic Park III as well.

The alleged upcoming JP IV is supposed to feature a chase scene between raptors and people on motorbikes... that was also (vaguely) alluded to in the book, so should be interesting to see if/when that finally comes out.
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vikkyvik
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:17 am



Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 20):
Thing is, I find something new/missed just about every time I read it... it's incredible the amount of research/education he would've had to put in to write something like that, and it contained (what was at that point) the absolutely cutting edge information in the field at that time.

Yep. Just recently, I found myself looking up Cray XMP's on Wikipedia. Had never bothered to actually read about them before.

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 20):
True, though do keep in mind that a lot of what was actually in the book was also integrated into Jurassic Park III as well.

Ah. I never actually saw III. No real interest.
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ANITIX87
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:38 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 17):
I sort of gave up on him after the paranoia of Rising Sun (just as Japan went into a very long slump) and the poor Disclosure .
(Bad film adaptations too, what chance also did Disclosure have with hatchet faced Demi Moore in it).

Sphere was a good book but badly adapted for the screen (how hard can it be? He wrote them with film versions in mind).

It's funny, I actually think the exact opposite. Rising Sun is one of my favorites because it's one of the most plausible ones, and Disclosure, while a bit bizarre compared to his usual stuff, was well-written.

Sphere, I thought, was just horrible. The first time I read it, all I could think the entire time was, "What the hell?? A talking Squid??" I didn't understand a lot of what was going on. The second time I read it, I understood it far better, but I hated the ending. "Oh, let's just pretend it didn't happen!" While the book was well-written and very suspenseful, I hated the plot.

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ConcordeBoy
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:05 am



Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 21):
Ah. I never actually saw III. No real interest.

...should. The CGI is miles beyond the original, and the plot is much more tolerable than II.
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MD-90
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:00 am



Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 23):
The CGI is miles beyond the original

Of course, for 1994 the original's CGI was revolutionary.
 
CPH-R
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:50 am



Quoting MD-90 (Reply 24):
Of course, for 1994 the original's CGI was revolutionary.

It speaks volumes that they were actually considering using claymation for the dinosaurs.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Sun Nov 09, 2008 6:38 pm



Quoting MD-90 (Reply 24):
Of course, for 1994 the original's CGI was revolutionary

1993, and no one said it wasn't...
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aerorobnz
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Sun Nov 09, 2008 6:56 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 17):
His non fiction book Travels is worth a look too

It was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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SKY1
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:21 am



Quoting Homer71 (Thread starter):
RIP, loved his books, especially State of Fear and, of course, Airframe

I did enjoy a lot reading "Airframe" ...I know people who after reading that book had a new interest in aviation.

Yes, M. Crichton was a great author. I'm very sorry he is pass away. We will always have his books to be enjoyed.

Quoting GDB (Reply 17):
I agree that clearly Crichton was thinking of McDonnell Douglas here

I don't have it so clear ...why do you think such thing?
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GDB
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:34 pm



Quoting SKY1 (Reply 28):
I don't have it so clear ...why do you think such thing?

Crichton would have done his research, he would have looked at a US airframer with a small product line compared to Boeing.
Problems with the MD-11, the company being too reliant on one major order as in the story.
He would also have noted how MDD proposed to outsource a lot of the planned MD-12 VLA to the Far East, the MD production line in China.

Though he mentioned MDD in the book, as in story narrative.
 
HOMER71
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:03 pm

I believe the slats deployed incident in the novel was based on a real-life event (transpacific flight, early 90s?) - was the plane involved an MD-11?
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MD11junkie
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:23 pm

Quoting Homer71 (Reply 30):
I believe the slats deployed incident in the novel was based on a real-life event (transpacific flight, early 90s?) - was the plane involved an MD-11?

In the novel it's a Norton N-22, but the accounts are a true (I don't know if they were COMPLETELY true) problem of the MD-11 and Douglas.

Saludos.

[Edited 2008-11-11 05:27:22]
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prosa
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:59 pm

Crichton trivia: What unusual "title" did he hold, possibly shared with John Kenneth Galbraith until the latter's death a few years ago? Answer below.
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Answer: the tallest famous person to be famous for reasons unrelated to his height, in other words excluding athletes and actors.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:45 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 17):
Jurassic Park was a good book, clearly a massive film, here though he let his usual scientific rigour slip.

Actually this book was recomended to me by my late father, a vertebrate palaeontologist (dinosaur specialist) for including the, at the time it was written, lastest research results in palaeontology.

Quoting GDB (Reply 17):
I did read Airframe , I agree that clearly Crichton was thinking of McDonnell Douglas here.
It was OK.

While I like the story in general, some parts are a bit farfetched, like the selftest of the N-22 in the dark hangar (just power up the plane and let a computer run all tests). Aircraft troubleshooting is not THAT automated and I think it will never be.
Also I disn't like how he placed Airbus in the role of the villain.

Jan
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vikkyvik
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:53 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 33):
While I like the story in general, some parts are a bit farfetched, like the selftest of the N-22 in the dark hangar (just power up the plane and let a computer run all tests). Aircraft troubleshooting is not THAT automated and I think it will never be.

I was actually more surprised at the part where they take the aircraft involved in the incident, and fly it through the same porpoising again.

I would assume that they probably don't do that in real life.
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ConcordeBoy
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:17 am



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 33):

Actually this book was recomended to me by my late father, a vertebrate palaeontologist (dinosaur specialist) for including the, at the time it was written, lastest research results in palaeontology.

No joke, he started writing Jurassic Park not long after the K-T boundary was just discovered!!!
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GDB
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:35 pm

Sure he was, as still usual then, excellent on many details.
Except the process of making the Dinos from DNA, extracted from prehistoric insects encased in tree sap.
Since, if possible-apparently most unlikely, would have been a sort of biological Manhatten Project , not some rogue company doing it all in secret over many years.

But he was writing a work of fiction here after all, interesting than he used chaos theory to track the story too.
And a new species of Dinosaur was named after him too!

But I really liked the earlier, spare, stark style as in Andromeda Strain , I think this suited him the best, character development not being his strongest asset.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Author Michael Crichton Dies

Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:52 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 36):
extracted from prehistoric insects encased in tree sap.
Since, if possible-apparently most unlikely,

One of Discovery's channels did a thing on that... determined that it'd be impossible to extract DNA from fossilized amber, but did determine that the next best thing (and most realistic alternative) would be to start with prehistoric-like birds (namely, the Emu and Hoatzin) and retro-genetically-engineer them to basically create a dino.

The Emu was chosen as the baseline, due to its size, ease of manipulation, and commonality. The Hoatzin (which for those who may not know: is a bird so prehistoric that it has fingers & claws instead of wings, immediately after its hatched) would've been more difficult to work with.
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