Michael Crichton

Wow, shockingly Michael Crichton died of cancer yesterday at the age of 66.

When I was in my teens, Crichton was one of my favorite authors and over the years I have frequently enjoyed re-reading his works.

Of his many books, the medical thriller A Case of Need was the one I liked the most — even more than Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Disclosure, The Great Train Robbery (my second favorite Crichton book), The Andromeda Strain, or any of his other best sellers.

What I always found so interesting about A Case of Need was that Crichton originally published it under a pseudonym (Jeffrey Hudson) when he was still a 26-year-old Harvard medical student (in 1968). After it won an Edgar Allen Poe Award in 1969, it gave Crichton the confidence he needed to leave medicine and his prestigious fellowship at Jonas Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA.

I think what I loved about Crichton’s books was that they filled you with a sense of wonder about science — and as a math and science geek I appreciated that.

Now I’d like more than ever to read Crichton’s State of Fear (by the way, I recently learned that Crichton was a Visiting Writer at MIT in 1988).


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