Thursday, November 6, 2008

A World Lost.

It is with disbelief and sadness that I am writing here today, that Michael Crichton, author extraordinaire, died on Tuesday after a private battle with cancer. 
From the shores of Isla Nublar to the lost city of Zinj, from mediaeval Dordogne to the Nordic lands of yore, he will be missed. The sadness is in part quite selfish, I will admit, that I will never get to read another Crichton novel for the first time. 
A generation of authors seem to be breathing their last. Robert Jordan, Arthur C. Clarke, and now Michael Crichton. Is there anyone capable enough of stepping into their shoes? One can but hope. 
Michael Crichton
October 23, 1942 - November 4, 2008
"Life breaks free. Life expands to new territories. Painfully, perhaps even dangerously. But life finds a way." -- Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park. 
If I had to pick five people who were responsible for my interest in science and a scientific career, Crichton would undoubtably be among them. 
You could find his excellent opinion piece about the death of mass media here. You should note that he wrote this in 1993, fifteen years ago. And he was vindicated 11 years later, in 2004. I should also mention that along with Al Gore, he has had a great influence on my views on global warming. (The last link seems to be temporarily down perhaps due to excessive traffic.)


shreevatsa said...

Thanks for writing this. Sad news indeed...

I started writing a comment here but it became too long and incoherent (even by my standards) so I dumped something else on my "blog" instead. There is an essay by Asimov part of which shows that Crichton was special in the world of SF...

[BTW it seems the speech is still available at this link.]

PS said...

Heh. I'm in the process of reading the essay on your blog.

Why the quotes, btw? Your webpage more than meets the requirements of a weblog, and I can't quite see you would use them.

shreevatsa said...

Good question :-) It has turned quite bloggish... but I still don't think of it as a blog, because
* No one reads it :P
* If it's a "blog" then there is the expectation that I'm writing something fit for someone to read, which is "too much pressure" :P
[Actually I feel this more generally too -- that I can no longer write, or even think clearly. Mark Twain's admonition to "Use the right word, not its second cousin." was written for exactly this kind of sloppiness. (That's from Fenimoore Cooper's Literary Offenses; you should read it if you haven't :-)]

apurva said...

hv u read his andromeda strain?