Posts Tagged ‘memorial’

I have often spoken of my admiration of my favourite authors.  Stephen King and Terry Pratchett are amongst two I have spoken of fondly.  I am sat on the night shift at work and it is 03:45 in the morning and the tiredness is hitting me hard.  I have tried to write on the projects I have spoken off, the problem is tonight is that I am running n empty.  My boys woke up this morning at 5:30 and I got up with them.  I attempted to sleep this afternoon but it was a restless sleep, and only for a few hours.

So I have set aside writing for the night.  It really is not happening for me.  So, I am reflective, thinking of who has influenced me, what authors have really made an impact on my life, and the two I have mentioned are way up there.  But there are others, and one of the biggest, and most engaging authors, now lost to us, is Michael Crichton.  I challenge anyone not to know his work, whether you have read his novels or not, you will have seen something of his vast array of works.  I am going to start by talking about his novels, for they are superb.   His first novel was ‘The Andromeda Strain’, and what a way to introduce oneself to the literary world.  Based around Dr’s trying to find a cure for a pandemic, it is just 6 characters locked in an underground installation.  A theme he would revisit with the superb time travel odyssey, ‘Sphere’.  What Crichton does best is take ordinary people, and in small numbers and place them up against nature, technology but mostly up against themselves. 

Crichton is known as a ‘Techno’ author, using technology as a protagonist and often as a vehicle for the story.  But some of his best work is just thrillers, like Disclosure or Rising Sun.  His prose is engaging and entertaining and often moves at  a brisk pace.  So, if you havent read his work (and I have no idea why you wouldn’t) then do so, and I suggest you start with his magnum opus work of man v’s technology v’s nature, Jurassic Park! (Yes it was a novel first).

Crichton did not just stop at writing good books, he wrote a TV series, ER, which launched George Clooney’s career.  A world-wide phenomenon that was unprecedented.  He was a successful film director with Westworld and Runaway.  Runaway, by the way, is a fantastically intriguing thriller set in the near future and focuses on a Police unit dedicated to robotic crime and dealing with ‘Runaway’ robots.  Starring Tom Selleck, it is a fantastic movie and often overlooked.  Watch it if you can find it, utterly brilliant, but it has dated.

If all that was not enough, he wrote non-fiction as well, his book Five Patients and Pirate Latitudes are fascinating. 

Crichton was a gift to us all, his life cut horrendously short.  he died in 2008 aged just 66.  

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