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5 November 2008

Obituary: Michael Crichton

US author Michael Crichton, born October 23, 1942, died yesterday, November 4, 2008, at the age of 66, of cancer.

Crichton published twenty five novels, ten of them under pseudonyms, with at least nine of the remaining science fictional, beginning with bestselling The Andromeda Strain (1969), about scientists coming together in an underground lab to battle alien spores that have killed everyone in a western US town. It was filmed twice. Later SF-themed titles included The Terminal Man (1972), concerning electronic brain implants; Sphere (1987), about an alien spacecraft found on the ocean floor; Jurassic Park (1990), famously filmed by Steven Spielberg, about resurrected dinosaurs, and its sequel The Lost World (1995); Timeline (1999), about historians who time travel to 14th-century France; Prey (2002), about out-of-control nanotechnology; State of Fear (2004), a jeremiad against global warming; and Next (2006), about genetic engineering.

Other novels included The Great Train Robbery (1975), Eaters of the Dead (1976), Rising Sun (1992), Disclosure (1994), and Airframe (1996).

Crichton's work in films included directing Westworld, which he also scripted, and Coma, adapted from a novel by Robin Cook.

In television, Crichton co-created and produced series ER in 1994, which is still running in 2008.

A comprehensive obituary will be published in Locus Magazine.

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