Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Sunday, November 09, 2008

RIP Michael Crichton

I was in my 20's when I read my very first Michael Crichton novel: The Andromeda Strain. I can still remember how deeply I fell into reading that book, with every page gripping my attention until the very end.

After that, I started reading others. Any Crichton novel I could find was one I eagerly snatched up and devoured. Eaters of the Dead. Jurassic Park. The Lost World. Congo. Disclosure. Timeline. I started listing Crichton as one of my favorite authors (and he still remains so to this day) and read everything I came across that mentioned him.

So it was with great distress and sadness when I learned that he died. On Tuesday, November 4th, he lost his private battle with cancer and departed from this world. I was so shocked and saddened. It just came so suddenly. I didn't even know he was battling cancer -- and, apparently, a lot of other writers didn't know about this, either. I guess he didn't want it to be this "big thing" with his fans. Or maybe he was too busy writing, creating and working to let something as scary as cancer be this thing he had to face, owe up to and answer questions about every day.

After I read the news story that he had died, I sadly sat on the couch holding the newspaper, my eyes welling up with tears. I almost cried as I said, "The world won't have anymore stories from him." One thing I always liked about his stories, and one thing that made them stand out, was how he was able to put all of his research into a story without making it boring. He made medicine interesting for readers. He made science interesting for readers. He made world issues interesting for readers. He took things people worried about, issues we dreaded becoming real, and turned them all into damn good stories that thousands of people enjoyed. His books became the topics of discussion among educators and scientists. They prompted debates and incited discussions. They just really took the whole "What if?" question to a whole 'nother level.

And when he created the hit TV show ER, he brought the medical world to life for all of us in a whole new way. He helped us to see that world as it really is, and he made us care. His stories, and ER, are all more than just products of his imagination. Even as we knew the characters were not real and the stories were not real, he made them real enough for us to care about a field a lot of people are not normally aware of.

Michael Crichton's death is indeed a great loss. The world has lost a very creative and productive mind. Crichton was definitely a legend in his time and he will be sorely missed.



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