[[caption-width-right:226:[[ForScience They were so busy trying to see if they could]], [[GoneHorriblyRight they never stopped to think if they should.]]]]

John Michael Crichton, M.D. (October 23, 1942 – November 4, 2008) was a bestselling American writer, most commonly working in the science fiction genre. He is known for his [[MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness extremely technical]] writing style which [[ShownTheirWork openly favored scientific detail over character development]] and could be somewhat formulaic. The overall thrust of his books was the threat posed by [[ForScience blundering scientists who toyed with nature]]. Toward the end of his life, his stories were becoming more political and thus controversial.

His works often expressed a cynical view of corporate America and the scientific community. Many credited him with inventing the techno-thriller, although he himself acknowledged precursors such as Creator/JulesVerne, Creator/HGWells and Creator/ArthurConanDoyle.

As a young man, Crichton wrote 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 Edgar Award, 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 ''Literature/TheGreatTrainRobbery'', a somewhat fictionalized historical novel about the Great Robbery of 1885, and ''Literature/{{Congo}}'', a modern take on old-fashioned African adventure stories, as well as the less popular ''Literature/TheTerminalMan'' and ''Literature/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 ''Literature/{{Sphere}}'', which combined his trademark hard-line 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 ''A Case of Need'', the nonfiction ''Five Patients'', and the John Lange-era ''Literature/{{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 [[StrawCharacter 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 ''Literature/{{Disclosure}}'', [[DoubleStandardAbuseFemaleOnMale 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 ''Literature/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-critique ''Literature/StateOfFear'', which [[BrokenBase severely divided his fan base]]. 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 ''State of Fear'', was [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment entirely unimportant to the plot]], and [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse never appeared again]].

He also wrote nonfiction 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 ''Literature/TheGreatTrainRobbery''. However, his first attempted summer blockbuster, ''Film/{{Runaway}}'', fizzled: With a multimillion-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, ''Film/TheTerminator''. His directorial career essentially ended, and he would not succeed with a summer blockbuster for another twelve years until the movie ''Film/{{Twister}}'', which he co-wrote with his then-wife Anne-Marie Martin (who also played Dori Doreau on ''Series/SledgeHammer'').

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

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

The first of three posthumous works, ''Literature/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, ''Literature/{{Micro}}'', was published on November 22, 2011. It's best described as [[InTheStyleOf Crichton's version]] of ''Film/HoneyIShrunkTheKids''.

A third posthumous novel, ''Dragon Teeth'', based on the notorious real-life rivalry between paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh in the 1870s, is set for publication in May 2017.

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 he is 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.

!!Books written by him:
* ''Literature/ACaseOfNeed'' (1968)
* ''Literature/TheAndromedaStrain'' (1969)
* ''Literature/DrugOfChoice'' (1970)
* ''Literature/{{Binary}}'' (1972)
* ''Literature/TheTerminalMan'' (1972)
* ''Literature/TheGreatTrainRobbery'' (1975)
* ''[[Literature/EatersOfTheDead Eaters of the Dead]]'' (1976)
* ''Literature/{{Congo}}'' (1980)
* ''Literature/{{Sphere}}'' (1987)
* ''Literature/JurassicPark'' (1990)
* ''Literature/RisingSun'' (1992)
* ''Literature/{{Disclosure}}'' (1994)
* ''[[Literature/TheLostWorld1995 The Lost World]]'' (1995)
* ''Literature/{{Airframe}}'' (1996)
* ''Literature/{{Timeline}}'' (1999)
* ''Literature/{{Prey}}'' (2002)
* ''Literature/StateOfFear'' (2004)
* ''Literature/{{Next}}'' (2006)
* ''Literature/PirateLatitudes'' (2009)
* ''Literature/{{Micro}}'' (2011)

!!His works contain examples of:
* ActionGirl: In most of his works there's a woman in the band of protagonists who really can kick ass, to the point that she has a skill that ends up being critical to saving others.
** ''Literature/{{Micro}}'': Karen is fully trained in martial arts, plus has extensive knowledge of weapons. When the main characters are turned into micro-humans, she's the best fighter in the situations they get in where they have to survive - better than the men.
** ''Literature/{{Timeline}}'': Kate is an avid rock climber, a skill which turns out to save the characters when they are in the Middle Ages.
** ''Literature/{{The Lost World|1995}}'': Malcolm's daughter does cheerleading. She uses these skills to defeat a dinosaur.
* AssholeVictim: There's usually one character (either the outright BigBad, or a minor (but crucial to the story) character who's betraying both the bad and good guys) that is a complete jerk with no redeeming qualities - and they usually get a CruelAndUnusualDeath.
* CharactersDroppingLikeFlies: Most of his books start with a band of 6 to 8 "good" people, and only about 2 of them survive until the end. And make no mistake, "bad" guys drop like flies too.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: ''How'' [[CharactersDroppingLikeFlies the characters drop like flies]] is described in gruesome detail, and it's nasty.
* DecoyProtagonist: His books' first one or two chapters often follow a person, only to then switch to and introduce the ''real'' protagonists. Usually because they are killed or harmed (i.e. in Literature/TheAndromedaStrain, the protagonists of the 1st chapter quickly die; in Literature/JurassicPark they are attacked by dinosaurs).
* GoneHorriblyWrong: Rich men developing new technology often results in this: Hammond's dinosaur park goes horribly wrong in Literature/JurassicPark when the dinosaurs break loose and even escape the island; the time travelling to the middle ages in Timeline also results in a disaster for all involved [[spoiler:(well, except for [[BornInTheWrongCentury Marek]])]].
* HoistByTheirOwnPetard: Frequently happens to the villains, or to well-meaning but reckless characters.
** ''Literature/JurassicPark'': [[spoiler:John Hammond, the owner / inventor of the titular park, is killed by his own dinosaurs he created]]. In the book at least - the movie changed the character's nature and motivation, and his fate at the end.
** ''Literature/{{Micro}}'': [[spoiler:Nanogen CEO Vincent Drake is killed by his own microbots]].