[[quoteright:226:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Michael_Crichton_1838.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:226:[[ForScience They were so busy trying to see if they could,]] [[GoneHorriblyRight that they never stopped to think if they should.]]]]

John Michael Crichton, M.D. (1942-2008) was a bestselling and often controversial writer, most commonly working in the science fiction genre. Known for his [[MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness extremely technical]] writing style which [[ShownTheirWork openly favored scientific detail over character development]] and could be somewhat formulaic. His works often expressed a cynical view of corporate America and the scientific community. Many credited him with inventing the technothriller, although he himself acknowledged precursors such as Creator/JulesVerne, Creator/HGWells and Creator/ArthurConanDoyle.

As a young man, Crichton wrote trashy spy novels under the name John Lange to pay for medical school. However, after a more serious effort written under a new alias, called ''A Case of Need'' -- a murder mystery which featured an in-depth analysis of the issue of abortion -- received widespread attention and won him an EdgarAward, Crichton decided to focus on writing rather than medicine.

His first novel under his own name was ''Literature/TheAndromedaStrain'', a very spare science fiction thriller about a team of scientists isolating and analyzing an extremely deadly single-celled organism of extra-terrestrial origin. It was a surprising runaway success, establishing Crichton very rapidly. He compounded his success with popular novels such as ''TheGreatTrainRobbery'', a somewhat fictionalized historical novel about The Great Robbery of 1885, and ''{{Congo}}'', a modern take on old-fashioned African adventure stories, as well as the less popular ''TheTerminalMan'' and ''EatersOfTheDead''. All of the aforementioned were snapped up by Hollywood, although ''Congo'' and ''Eaters of the Dead'' were not filmed until the 1990s. Nonetheless, by the end of the 1970s Crichton was a very wealthy man.

After a long hiatus during the eighties, during which Crichton traveled extensively and became interested in mystical concepts such as ESP, he returned to fiction writing with ''{{Sphere}}'', which combined his trademark hardline science with more fanciful ideas about psychic powers. Many of Crichton's fans regard ''{{Sphere}}'' as his finest work.

In 1990 he released his most successful work, the novel ''Literature/JurassicPark'', about a theme park where dinosaurs are created using genetic engineering. Not only did it sell millions of copies worldwide and get adapted into a [[Film/JurassicPark massively successful film]] by Creator/StevenSpielberg (in fact, the highest grossing ever made at the time), it sparked a renewed interest in Crichton, his older books getting reprinted and bought on a large scale, including ''ACaseOfNeed'', the non-fiction ''Five Patients'' and the John Lange-era ''{{Binary}}''. Film adaptations of Crichton's works also became suddenly commonplace, including adaptations of ''Film/{{Congo}}'' and ''Film/{{Sphere}}'', although all but ''Literature/JurassicPark'' were met with mostly negative reactions.

Crichton realized that ''Literature/JurassicPark'' provided him with significant ProtectionFromEditors, and took advantage of this to begin writing more controversial fare: ''Literature/RisingSun'', which analyzed US-Japanese relations; most specifically the statement that "Business is War". Those versed in economics point out that he [[YouFailEconomicsForever broke several laws of the universe]] (including making the standard "export good, import bad" mistake) in order to [[StrawmanPolitical set up the Japanese]] as the BigBad poised to conquer the world, though this did not seem to detract from its popularity at the time. The point was rendered moot with the collapse of the Tiger economy, making Crichton seem rather paranoid in the process. He followed that up with ''{{Disclosure}}'', [[AbuseIsOkayWhenItIsFemaleOnMale a gender role reversal of a typical sexual harassment case]] set in an early 90s technology company.

He returned to technothrillers for a while after that, calming his critics by writing ''TheLostWorld1995'', his only sequel; ''Literature/{{Airframe}}'', a book ostensibly about an incident on an airplane but more substantially about irresponsible journalism; ''Literature/{{Timeline}}'', a foray into TimeTravel which [[SubvertedTrope subverted]] YeGoodeOldeDays in a memorable fashion, and ''Literature/{{Prey}}'', about runaway nanotechnology.

His Protection thus restored, he wrote the most controversial novel of his career, the GlobalWarming-denial ''StateOfFear'', which [[BrokenBase severely divided his fanbase]]. The controversy over this novel continues to this day.

As this backlash annoyed his editors, he followed this up with ''Literature/{{Next}}'', a relatively comedic look at genetic research, technology and copyright issues. Unfortunately his tendency to run off on author tracts remained, as he spent a full page talking about a Washington journalist named Mick Crowley who was on trial for raping a baby and "had a small penis". This character just happened to share the same name and profession as a journalist who had been critical of Crichton's previous book ''State of Fear'', was [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment entirely unimportant to the plot]], and [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse never appeared again]].

He also wrote non-fiction works such as ''Five Patients'', ''Jasper Johns'', ''Electronic Life'', ''Travels'', and many essays and articles published in magazines and on his website.

Crichton was also a director and screenwriter, most famously of ''Film/{{Westworld}}'', about a futuristic fantasy resort populated by [[AIIsACrapshoot robots who eventually break down and turn on the guests]], as well as adaptations of Robin Cook's ''Literature/{{Coma}}'' and his own ''TheGreatTrainRobbery''. However, his first attempted summer blockbuster, ''Film/{{Runaway}}'', fizzled: With a multi-million dollar budget, big-name actors and a world-famous author as both writer and director, it was planned as 1984's major science fiction draw. However, it was overshadowed by a low-budget feature, starring B-list actors, and written and directed by an unknown Creator/JamesCameron's unprecedented blockbuster, ''TheTerminator''. His directorial career essentially ended, and he would not succeed with a summer blockbuster for another twelve years until the movie ''{{Twister}}'', which he co-wrote with his then-wife Anne-Marie Martin (who also played Dori Doreau from ''[[Series/SledgeHammer Sledge Hammer!]]'').

He also created and produced the hugely successful TV medical drama ''{{ER}}''.

Michael Crichton died at the age of sixty-six after a long and protracted battle with cancer on November 4, 2008.

The first of two posthumous works, ''PirateLatitudes,'' was published on November 24, 2009. It is set in seventeenth century Jamaica and follows the adventurers of Captain Edward Hunter, a {{privateer}} in service to England's King Charles II, as he raids Spanish shipping.

The second, ''{{Micro}}'', was published on November 22, 2011. It's best described as [[InTheStyleOf Crichton's version]] of ''HoneyIShrunkTheKids''.

Fun facts: He stood 6'9" (about 206 cm) tall. Before his illness, he was noted to [[OlderThanHeLooks look much younger than his actual age]] ([[http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MichaelCrichton_2.jpg here's him at 60]]). He has an uncredited cameo in the 1971 movie ''Film/TheAndromedaStrain'' as a doctor standing in the back of the operating room when Mark Hall is pulled from performing an appendectomy. He also climbed to the top of Mount Everest.

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!!Books written by him:
[[index]]
* ''Literature/{{Airframe}}''
* ''Literature/TheAndromedaStrain''
* ''Literature/{{Binary}}''
* ''Literature/ACaseOfNeed''
* ''Literature/{{Congo}}''
* ''Literature/{{Disclosure}}''
* ''Literature/DrugOfChoice''
* ''Literature/EatersOfTheDead''
* ''Literature/TheGreatTrainRobbery''
* ''Literature/JurassicPark''
* ''Literature/TheLostWorld1995''
* ''Literature/{{Micro}}''
* ''Literature/{{Next}}''
* ''Literature/PirateLatitudes''
* ''Literature/{{Prey}}''
* ''Literature/RisingSun''
* ''Literature/{{Sphere}}''
* ''Literature/StateOfFear''
* ''Literature/TheTerminalMan''
* ''Literature/{{Timeline}}''
[[/index]]
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