Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A SHOW WITH EVERYTHING BUT INCLUDING YUL BRYNNER: Michael Crichton, author of the Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park, and dozens of other novels, as well as various writing/producing/directing credits for Westworld, ER, and the Great Train Robbery, has died.

More than most science fiction writers, and like the best of them, Crichton spotted trends well ahead of the public and wrote tautly written little novels. Nothing grand, but I loved his novels because they did no more than what they set out to do: provide a quick, coherent techno-thriller story without a lot of overhead: a crazy billionaire clones dinosaurs, people get eaten, good guys escape. Government scientists discover a nasty bug from outer space, try to kill it, decide they need to kill themselves to save the world, and then find a way out at the last possible moment. (Granted, Sphere did something remarkably stupid: scientists discover an American spaceship from the future and decide that that is not interesting enough, discover an alien artifact, and then completely forget that it happened).

He'll be missed.

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