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Michael Crichton Dead At 66

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the velociraptors-confirm-it dept.

Sci-Fi 388

Many readers have submitted stories about the death of Michael Crichton. The 66-year-old author of Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain died unexpectedly Tuesday "after a courageous and private battle against cancer," a press release said. In addition to writing, he also directed such sci-fi classics as Westworld and Runaway. Crichton was married five times and had one child.

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388 comments

Guide To The Barack Obongo Presidency (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25654835)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER bitches ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

Re:Guide To The Barack Obongo Presidency (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655047)

go back to your trailer and fuck your sister you inbred douchebag

Re:Guide To The Barack Obongo Presidency (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655321)

Shut up, nigger. Go chuck a spear.

You're doing it wrong. They already chuck spears. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655393)

Commanding a nigger to chuck a spear is like commanding a Jew to steal.
You got to command the nigger to not behave as an animal; command him to put on clothes and be like the white man. Then to save his soul he must renounce his blackness before a preacher of white Jesus then baptise and slap the black out of him! Black be gone, sinner! Praise white Jesus, and you'll be accepted into white Heaven as an equal to the best president of the USA: Ronald Reagan.

Re:You're doing it wrong. They already chuck spear (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655651)

plz don't say that jews steal. i'm jewish and i can tell you MOST of us work hard for what we have. yes there ARE jews who steal just as there are people in every category who steal. but the majority of us don't like thieves anymore than you do. in the ten commandments the one about stealing (#6) correlates to "I am the Lord thy God" (#1) because there are two stone tablets and both commandments are the first on their tablet. so a jew who steals is a jew who does not believe in God. also plz dont call black people that. judge every person by the content of his character. the next president sucks not because he's black but because of the wrong ideas he believes in

Lower than this Slashdot cannot sink (-1, Offtopic)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655203)

i can't decide which is more distateful, the post or the mod-up to "Interesting."

Re:Lower than this Slashdot cannot sink (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655349)

Quit crying. Your pick obviously became President. Get a sense of humor.

Re:Lower than this Slashdot cannot sink (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655533)

Don't feed the trolls. Let them be modded down without any replies. Thanks.

disagree strongly (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655645)

if we do not take an affirmative stand against racism we are implicitly supporting it.

we tried ignoring Adolf Hitler and look what happened: 6 million jews were gassed while we sat idle.

we must never let the holocaust happen again.

Sad. RIP (5, Interesting)

zymano (581466) | more than 5 years ago | (#25654841)

Andromeda Strain was an excellent scifi movie.

Re:Sad. RIP (3, Interesting)

Q-Hack! (37846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25654931)

The 1971 version was one of my favourites as a kid... haven't seen the remake yet.

Re:Sad. RIP (5, Informative)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655145)

Stay the fuck away from the TV remake. Forgive me for beint this blunt, but it really is that bad.

The 1971 is perhaps the most accurate book-to-movie conversion i've seen. I first saw it arround 5 years ago, and it found it gripping. There was little a remake could improve over it.

Re:Sad. RIP (4, Insightful)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655917)

Listen to parent, the tv remake was one of the most retarded things I've ever seen. For example, the whole multilevel decontamination procedure was replaced by what looked like a rave party with everyone dancing through foam with lights strobing.

Re:Sad. RIP (1, Redundant)

travbrad (622986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655957)

Yep the TV remake is really horrible, it's hard to think of a worse movie actually.. The 1971 version was much better, but the book is better than either of them (as you'd expect)

I read the book (SPOILER) (4, Insightful)

joeflies (529536) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655209)

I found the book Andromeda Strain entertaining, it was something that was easy reading and there was a puzzle to unravel. Then I reached the end of the book and thought, "That's it?". Usually the protagonists are somewhat involved in the solution to the problem.

Re:I read the book (SPOILER) (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655233)

Usually the protagonists are somewhat involved in the solution to the problem.

Meh. Not in The War of the Worlds, and that's an acknowledged classic.

Re:I read the book (SPOILER) (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655581)

Which you obliquely point out is where he may have gotten his inspiration. Or he made it all up.

Re:I read the book (SPOILER) (5, Insightful)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655861)

Usually the protagonists are somewhat involved in the solution to the problem.

You must be new to Michael Crichton's work. See also Sphere, Congo, Jurassic Park, etc. All of them have a major deus ex machina component to their endings. (Technically, in Sphere, they remove themselves from relevance to the problem.)

The man knew how to write towards a climax damned well but has no idea how to resolve the story afterwards. Andromeda Strain is just one of the most jarring in that regard.

Re:I read the book (SPOILER) (-1, Troll)

macshit (157376) | more than 5 years ago | (#25656019)

Avoid "Jurassic Park" (the book) though -- it's complete drivel from beginning to end. Utterly awful writing.

[The idea behind the book is entertaining enough, it's just the execution that sucked.]

Re:Sad. RIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655859)

Andromeda Strain was an excellent scifi movie.

And I enjoyed the movie based on it.

However, his works also made him something of a cheerleader for technophobia.

Sad news ... Michael Chrichton, dead at 66 (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25654871)

I just read some sad news on Slashdot - Sci Fi writer Michael Chrichton was found dead in his Los Angeles home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

I don't think there's consensus (5, Insightful)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 5 years ago | (#25654881)

I really don't think there's consensus on whether he's actually dead or not.

Further study is required.

Re:I don't think there's consensus (5, Funny)

fyoder (857358) | more than 5 years ago | (#25654983)

I would suggest preserving some of his dna for later cloning but chaos theory dictates that something bad would happen if we tried that. Not sure why, I'm not an expert on chaos theory.

For those that don't get the joke (5, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655149)

For those that modded the parent "Troll": Michael Crichton's Web site seems to be down now, but he gave a speech called "Aliens Cause Global Warming" [crichton-official.com] in which he claimed to debunk "consensus science." The gist was that political discussion of global warming too often invoked "scientific consensus," where he argued that science was not consensus-based and that such claims were therefore meaningless.

Similarly, though we may not have consensus that Michael Crichton is dead, it makes absolutely no difference to him.

Re:For those that don't get the joke (1, Flamebait)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655207)

I'm sure whomever modded the grandparent "troll," knew to what the post was referring. In case you hadn't noticed, there's not a small population of vocal anthropogenic global warming skeptics and denialists here at Slashdot.

Re:For those that don't get the joke (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655375)

"The world is flat" and "the earth is the center of the solar system" were once consensus science too amongst other ideas considered nonsense these days. Perhaps the great grandparent will do better after December 21, 2012 if/and/or the meta-moderators step in. If the Mayan predictions are right and date is correct, then the tree of life will shine the light on many things or so goes the consensus.

Re:For those that don't get the joke (3, Informative)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655927)

Actually, both of those predate science, and have not been consensus for over two thousand years.

Re:For those that don't get the joke (4, Insightful)

Michael Wardle (50363) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655809)

Calling it denial is to equate skepticism with other taboo topics such as Holocaust denialism, and to attempt to shut down debate, rather than offering meaningful theories or evidence.

Re:For those that don't get the joke (5, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655865)

I wasn't actually referring to people with legitimate skeptical opinions. There are in fact a few scientists who potentially know what they're talking about (given education, etc) that don't buy the consensus opinion. I think they're wrong, as do most climate scientists around the world, but that's how science works - people have theories they try to test and poke holes in.

I'm talking about denialists, people whose response to the (fairly overwhelming) consensus that exists is to say stuff like "the geocentric universe and flat earth views were also scientific consensus, once upon a time." That's true as far as it goes, but it utterly fails as a critique of the science, the theories, or the models. It's not skepticism, it's just ignoring and refusing to discuss. Similarly, when people latch on to localized variations in temperature as proof that global warming doesn't exist. That's shutting down debate before it begins - it's not the presentation of an argument, or evidence, or meaningful flaws in existing theories - it's ignoring the issue, declaring victory, and plugging one's ears.

This latter category of person is primarily who you find here, and in most places on the intertubes.

Re:For those that don't get the joke (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655951)

Calling it denial is to equate skepticism with other taboo topics such as Holocaust denialism ...

In 100 years, let's take a tally on which one killed more.

Re:For those that don't get the joke (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655775)

he argued that science was not consensus-based and that such claims were therefore meaningless

.

Consensus is meaningful when you have to make decisions.

In 1952 there were 58,000 new cases of polio reported in the U.S. and over 3,000 deaths.

The vaccine that most everyone agrees will probably be ready for distribution before 1955 gets more resources than the one which most won't likely become available before 1960.

I say we clone him and bring him back (1)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655959)

Sorry for being an asshole, but someone had to say it.

You are all such bad influences on me. I used to be nice.

Is it too early.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25654947)

to talk about cloning him?

"andnothingofvaluewaslost" tag (5, Insightful)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 5 years ago | (#25654953)

At the risk of being modded troll or flamebait, let me be the first to say that whoever put that tag on this article is an asshole.

Re:"andnothingofvaluewaslost" tag (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655039)

I was about to post the same. An extremely insensitive tag. I understand some morons may be trying to rant against the commercialisation of the "Jurrasic Park" franchise, but you can't pin that on this extraordinary author. I doubt anyone who marked that tag up actually read any (of his, in particular, but not necessarily exclusively) books.

extraordinary author? (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655175)

Maybe his work isn't bad for reading that you don't have to think about, but the man was barely a cut above John Grisham as a fiction writer.

Re:extraordinary author? (1)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 5 years ago | (#25656005)

I read Jurassic Park around 6th grade, then got into his other stuff. Looking back he was probably the primary influence in terms of getting me into sci-fi and eventually wanting to become a scientist.I guess that could be good or bad depending on how you look at it. I've still got time to accidentally kill off 99 percent of the worlds population.

Re:"andnothingofvaluewaslost" tag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655481)

I'm sure Michael "900 page screenplay" Crichton will be missed, but not by everyone. Neither would Stephen King, Tom Clancy, or Stephen Hawking, for that matter. Some think they are brilliant minds, others disagree.

And besides, this is the internet. "Insensitive" doesn't exist here, you clod.

Re:"andnothingofvaluewaslost" tag (5, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655437)

Well, he's dead. His feelings can't be hurt. And really, he hadn't written anything worthwhile in the last 20 years. And some really awful stuff, most notably "State of Fear", a very dishonest attack on the global warming idea, presented as fiction, so his bogus science can't be questioned, yet often cited as fact. Like a lot of thriller writers he started with some great ideas and treatments of old themes, then with his name established and fat advance checks guaranteed for anything he put his name to, ended up with tedious sequels and curmudgeonly diatribes. (c.f. Frederik Forsyth, Tom Clancy.)

Jurassic Park succeeded because of Spielberg and CGI, not really much to do with the story, which was, if you think about it for a moment, dumb. But some of his early stuff -- books and movies like Andromeda Strain, Westworld -- was really entertaining and had a few decent ideas.

Re:"andnothingofvaluewaslost" tag (2, Interesting)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655891)

Thinking about it, the story of Jurassic Park wasn't "dumb". Whilst it is certain a broad exaggeration of a concept, that concept it is based upon is on a day by day basis, becoming more likely. It's hardly a stretch to imagine a moment in the future where extinct animals are exhibited, either.

If anything, making it a pop culture movie diminished its reputation as an interesting piece of fiction.

Re:"andnothingofvaluewaslost" tag (3, Insightful)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655987)

The basic premise of Jurassic Park wasn't dumb. The science background was, and the "chaos theory means that they must run amok and kill us all!" part was just utterly nuts.

Re:"andnothingofvaluewaslost" tag (4, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25656033)

"chaos theory means that they must run amok and kill us all!"

And also happened to be an embellishment of the film.

People should really learn to read again.. the book series was much better than the Hollywood treatment.. as is often the case.

Probably an Obama voter (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655833)

One of those sensitive, compassionate, liberal types who think Obama should be above criticism his first two years, and any negative comments about him would be "hateful" and "divisive."

truly an american icon (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25654961)

Hopefully someone will snag his DNA and clone him so he can continue pumping out tired, supermarket potboilers for pseudointellectuals.

Recently finished reading Travels (5, Interesting)

joeflies (529536) | more than 5 years ago | (#25654995)

I'm somewhat confused by why his books spend so much time writing about science (or at least science fiction) when he appears to have been personally bent on the unscientific new-age mysticism activities. Travels talks extensively about his beliefs in fortune tellers, auras, astral planes, and spending two weeks talking to a cactus. It seems contradictory to build a career on science and not approach mysticism with a more cynical eye.

Then again, the science in Critons' books usually end up trying to kill man, so perhaps it's not his love of science that drove him to write, but rather his belief that science with have its retribution on man.

Re:Recently finished reading Travels (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655053)

Travels talks extensively about his beliefs in fortune tellers, auras, astral planes, and spending two weeks talking to a cactus.

That was Marge Simpson, you insensitive clod!

Re:Recently finished reading Travels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655085)

I just read that book as well. It actually increased my respect for him as he truly does have an open mind. Rather then dismiss outright the topics you mentioned he tried to find out what exactly he was experiencing.

Re:Recently finished reading Travels (3, Informative)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655253)

I didn't exactly respect him more after reading Travels. It was hard to escape the conclusion that Crichton was a guy who would believe literally anything anyone told him. That's one reason I was somewhat surprised to see him arguing in favor of more objective thinking in the global-warming debate. His bio made him sound like a real New Age woo-woo type.

Re:Recently finished reading Travels (2, Insightful)

theodicey (662941) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655379)

It was hard to escape the conclusion that Crichton was a guy who would believe literally anything anyone told him...I was somewhat surprised to see him arguing in favor of more objective thinking in the global-warming debate

Have you considered that, well before the time Crichton wrote State of Fear, climate change denialism had become the woo-woo position?

For whatever reason, climate change denialists got to him first, and made him feel cleverer and more imaginative than everyone else for listening to them. What if climate change is a conspiracy of poor environmental interests? Well, what if a powerful woman sexually harassed a man?

Could have been much worse-- could have been 9/11 truthers.

Re:Recently finished reading Travels (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655245)

It seems contradictory to build a career on science and not approach mysticism with a more cynical eye.

.

It worked out rather well for Isaac Newton.

Re:Recently finished reading Travels (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655611)

He's an odd character. His books are all man vs science and science is always the villain. I think its sad that he will be remembered as the guy who wrote a discredited book on how global warming is a myth. Heck, Rising Sun is just an anti-Japanese screed.

I think of him as something of tragic figure. A sad person who fears science, foreigners, foreign investment, global warming, etc but had a built-in audience that agreed with him. I think at one time, especially in his early works, he was talented but fell pretty hard in the last couple of decades.

As he said in Jurassic Park: (1)

crashandburn66 (1290292) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655935)

He wasn't trying to say that we should be afraid of science backfiring and killing people. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park put it best: "Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."

A Giant Has Passed (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655003)

Michael Crichton was great author, but also a scientist. He was one of few people who warned about the the dangerous trend of mixing politics into science, especially in regards to global warming.
His Aliens Caused Global Warming speech is a must read. [michaelcrichton.net]

Funny how you never see... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655005)

"after a courageous and private battle against cancer,"

They never say stuff like "after capitulating to cancer like a big pussy,"

But anyway, to employ another cliche-- he will be missed. Forget Jurassic Park- I still get creeped out by the proto-Terminator robot in "Westworld". And who can forget the classic 1981 cloning/CG extravaganza, "Looker". Well, everyone.

Here's an hour-long video interview [google.com] with him on Charlie Rose.

Married 5 times? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655017)

Holy hell that guy got around. I have only been married once and plan to avoid that trouble in the future.

yeah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655027)

and nothing of value was lost

The Wikipedia on Michael Crichton... (5, Funny)

Mish (50810) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655073)

An earlier Wikipedia entry that told the truth about his death has been 'corrected'...

Michael Crichton has died on November 5, 2008 after a long, private battle with a velociraptor. [wikipedia.org]

Re:The Wikipedia on Michael Crichton... (1)

fracai (796392) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655311)

Is there a wiki page that catalogs these types of edits? The ReiserFS one comes to mind as well.

Re:The Wikipedia on Michael Crichton... (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655329)

You know, somewhere in a better place, I bet Michael got a chuckle out of that.

Lost World (2, Insightful)

ezratrumpet (937206) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655075)

I remember reading "The Lost World" when I was a under-read, newly minted college graduate. One of the characters, Sarah Harding, had a sequence where she talked about George Schaller reading everything that had ever been written about a subject before he began field studies - and that once he got to the field, he discovered that almost everything he had read was wrong. The two ideas - of mastering a subject and of discovering new things about that subject - intrigue me to this day. I will miss his work.

Re:Lost World (4, Interesting)

sootman (158191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655765)

I remember reading "The Lost World" when I was a under-read, newly minted college graduate.

After four years of being required to read every crappy book ever written* in high school I was pretty much burned out on reading. (I always liked reading, ever since I was young... I even remember reading Iacocca's biography instead of whatever I was supposed to be reading at the time.) But by the time Hight School was done I was only reading car magazines and stuff like that.

The summer after my first year in college I found (literally--someone left it behind in the movie theater where I was working) a copy of Jurassic Park and I started reading it. I got sucked in right away, literally to the point of hiding it in my cash drawer and reading it at the concession stand that I was working at when it was slow. I burned through it in no time, then started reading his other stuff. I remember reading Andromeda Strain and Terminal Man early on and reading Congo and Sphere later on. (Sphere and Jurassic Park are my favorite books by him and I've read and re-read them both several times.) Then I remembered liking some Stephen King stuff that I had read in the past so I went and looked for more by him (Christine, Firestarter--his early stuff) and then I found more and more authors and I got back into reading and I've been reading steadily ever since. But I'll always remember that it was him and Jurassic Park that got me back into reading for fun. Thank you, Mr. Crichton. You will be missed.

* a couple, like Mosquito Coast, were OK, and I loved Catcher in the Rye, but overall, I hated all the selections at my HS. About 10 books a year, including 2 or 3 to read over the summer. The Guns of Navarone, On the Beach, stuff like that.

Poor dude getting reamed by some on the left (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655079)

I've seen the global warming killed him on other sites and similar cracks on this very site.

Much of his career he wrote very thoughtful science-based pulp fiction that was very influential to many of us. Time and again he was very skeptical of many of the uses of technology and almost universally anti-corporate and anti-military with his evil characters. He was a friend to the techno-luddite left until he wrote one damn book that dared questioned the religious-left's view of climate catastrophe and questioned the role of science propaganda used by both the left and right. Sadly damned him forever in many eyes.

RIP Mr. Crichton (4, Interesting)

GRH (16141) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655081)

For any of you folks who have only seen some of MC's movies, don't judge his storytelling ability without reading the books first. The Andromeda Strain is clearly a classic, but some of his later books like "Airframe" and "The Rising Sun" are good reads too.

I've don't know why, but for whatever reasons, Hollywood has slaughtered just about every title they tried to turn into a movie. The ~1970 Andromeda Strain is probably about the only one where they came close (including Jurassic Park).

Rest in peace, Mr. Crichton.

Next (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655211)

I only read his most recent book, Next, and found that it didn't really live up to what I'd hoped from the dust jacket. It was full of interesting ideas, but eventually it just wandered off and I wondered what the point was. It also confirmed what I suspected about Crichton before I'd read anything of his -- that his books are basically plot-driven, which explains their success at airports etc. But he was clearly a modern man who liked to think and discuss ideas, and I think any Slashdotter should be able to respect that. Couldn't disagree with the "andnothingofvaluewaslost" tag more.

Re:RIP Mr. Crichton (1)

minvaren (854254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655287)

Terminal Man made a fair transition as well. But Sphere... ugh, I vote that it goes where the original version of Highlander 2 went.

Re:RIP Mr. Crichton (1)

Iftekhar25 (802052) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655353)

I kinda liked Sphere (the movie), it had Samuel L. Jackson in it, but I was a kid at the time, and I loved Star Trek at the time too.

I read his Jurassic Park, and quite enjoyed it.

This was sudden and unexpected. He sounds like a really nice person from what people are saying about him.

Rest in peace, Mr. Crichton.

Re:RIP Mr. Crichton (1)

mblase (200735) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655333)

For any of you folks who have only seen some of MC's movies, don't judge his storytelling ability without reading the books first.

For those who have, read the books anyway.

There's one thing I've always admired about Crichton, and that's his willingness and ability to write on just about any subject. His thrillers cover the whole range of modern science and medicine, and while no one would call his work "hard science", it's still extremely well researched by NYT-bestseller standards.

He will be missed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655155)

He was a great guy and really contributed to the science fiction genre. He was one of the many great writers of our time and he will join heinlein as one of the many great authors of the 20th century.

RIP and you will be missed.

I hope heinlein offers you a cup of coffee in heaven :)

Definitely knew how to make you think (1)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655163)

As much as his later works, particularly his stance on global warming, annoyed me, I have to say that this is a great loss to storytelling. Here was a man who know how to put the risks of heedless pursuit of science without regard to the consequences in perspective. Whether you thought his writing was any good or not, I think we can all learn from his example of serious skepticism.

anti-technologist FUD-mongerer (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655185)

For a guy who had a scientific education, he always struck me as being squarely against technology and science. I know it sells books, but why do the engineers/scientists always have to be portrayed as being arrogant and irresponsible? Surely there is some good that can come out of genetic engineering, nanotechnology, outsourcing, etc...??

Re:anti-technologist FUD-mongerer (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655419)

"Surely there is some good that can come out of genetic engineering, nanotechnology, outsourcing, etc...??"

Of course there is, but that doesn't mean we should rush into doing it just because we can without any concern for consequences and ramifications.

Also, Timeline was shite, and the movie was even worse than the book.

reading the summary... (2, Funny)

gillbates (106458) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655191)

I expected it to end with ...There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Anyone ass raped the corpse yet? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655201)

First dibs!

One of a kind... (1)

stpk4 (906462) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655285)

He was a fantastic story teller and had very good ideas and wrote fantastically.
If you get a chance you should pick up one of his novels try reading his earlier works he wrote under and pseudonym (A Case of need) and appreciate his young mind at work.
his later works were just a fraction of the greatness of his earlier works but still good.
he will be missed =(
p.s. can anyone recommend me another great author that i would like, i need another source of greatness now =(

Best "Common Sci-Tech" Writer (4, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655295)

At least of modern times, anyway. He was writing "techno-thrillers" before critics coined the term for Tom Clancy... he gave incredibly descriptive narratives about telecom technology in Congo, years before Clancy wrote The Hunt For Red October. Like many great genre authors, he could also write outside his genre... see Eaters of the Dead and The Great Train Robbery. I was completely unaware of his battle with cancer, and news of his death made an already rotten day worse.

the real cause of death (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655427)

He died because he realized that this Irish S.O.B. by the name of O'Bama was about to win the presidency by a landslide.

A private battle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655459)

No health insurance? That fucking sucks.

All I can say is... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655495)

"Thank God that's over."

take it however you like. :)

Crichton Was A Supporter of Tech Tips Website (3, Informative)

olivermomo (1245410) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655507)

This [macosxhints.com] post by the founder of the Mac tips website, macosxhints.com, states that Crichton was an early donor to the site. Although I didn't care for every one of his books, I was certainly a fan of his body of work and I find it very cool that he donated to a website that collects technical tips for Mac fans.

Travels (2, Insightful)

monkeymanatwork (653088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655599)

If you haven't read Travels, you're missing a fascinating autobiography and vicarious insight into what it was like to be a young man in the 1970's. Crichton documents his search for the meaning of life among every New Age craze and pursuit of that decade, intermixed with stories of his many bedroom conquests. It will lead the religious reader to conclude that he was looking in the wrong place, but the secular reader will realize that his search never ends -- the hallmark of a true scientist.

Then again, there's the part about the bedroom conquests.

Terminal Man (1)

raddan (519638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655625)

This was the first Crichton book I read, when I was in middle school, and it stuck with me for a long time. In fact, his writing formed part of the aura around science/technology for me that made me want to pursue an education and career in technology. I never saw his stories as warnings about science, I saw them as warnings about the failings of people who choose to ignore what science says for various reasons. Political, personal, etc. Andromeda Strain is a great example of this.

I have mixed feelings about his work. His earlier stuff was great, some of his latter stuff was terrible (Prey in particular). I've heard good things about Airframe but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Anyway, you can't deny his impact on the popular perception of science-- most for the better IMHO. Thanks for the books, Michael. RIP.

never liked his writing... (4, Insightful)

eyebum (952909) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655655)

I personally found Crichton's work to be shallow. It was not much more than a film script fleshed out with a few more articles and conjunctions. The characters were wooden and a bit too one-dimensional. His vehement rejection of global warming pretty much showed his analytical skills were out of whack too. Not such a big thing except that he bought the political lines spun to deny global warming. The movies made from his books will, in my opinion, really only be remembered for their special effects and the inclusion of the "one novel idea" that he could inject into it. Proof: Sphere.

So much for his squandered medical degree. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655661)

If he spent more time doctoring instead of writing pop kitsch, maybe he'd have known what to do to cure himself and he'd be alive.

Great Train Robbery (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655791)

Anyone else ever read the Great Train Robbery? I read it a year ago after I pretty much read everything else he ever wrote and loved it. Really surprised me the stuff he would tackle outside the realm of sci-fi.

Crichton park (1)

woof69 (952829) | more than 5 years ago | (#25655793)

I have a mosquito that bite him trapped in amber, the gnome isn't fully complete so we will have to use some frog DNA to successfully cone him, can't see what could possibly go wrong ?

Obituary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25655895)

This is a grave day. He was the only decent Sci-Fiction author available today; I have read almost all of his books, including NEXT.

I was waiting for his next book. Alas, it will never be.

RIP.

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