I’m a little late with this one. R.I.P. Michael Crichton.
“Science Not Fiction was saddened to learn of the death of Michael Crichton yesterday. His 1969 novel, The Andromeda Strain, alone would have been enough to make him a science fiction legend, but he turned out string of taut technothrillers, even equalling The Andromeda Strain‘s iconic status with 1990’s Jurassic Park.
His greatest strength was in his ability to imbue his novels with a sense of authenticity; The Andromeda Strain was littered with realistic screenshots and computer printouts and came with a detailed (and entirely fictional) bibliography. Jurassic Park has become the cultural point of reference for discussions about biotechnology, cloning and genetic engineering. If Crichton had a weakness, it was his fondness for the theme which repeats over and over in his novels: technological hubris. Some advanced technology is confidently promoted by scientists as progress toward a better world. Unexpected side effects or interactions that the scientists overlooked in their dash to the future manifest themselves, and things get pretty messy from that point on (and to be fair, usually a really fun read.) But each time, it is implied that anyone who is not an overreaching scientist or an idiot would have known to leave well enough alone.”
(via Discover Magazine. h/t: The Daily Grail)