Michael Crichton passed away yesterday at age 66 after a “courageous and private battle against cancer,” according to his public relations firm’s news release. When I heard the news, I was completely surprised, as I hadn’t even known that he was sick. This comes as depressing news, for I greatly enjoyed many of Crichton’s novels (Timeline, Jurassic Park, Eaters of the Dead), and he will always be one of my favorite authors, with Timeline topping the list.
Crichton helped create the television series “ER,” and many of his novels were turned into films (Sphere, Jurassic Park, Timeline, The 13th Warrior). His first best-selling novel was the Andromeda Strain, published while he was still a student at Harvard Medical School.
So I would like to wish a grand farewell to one of the great modern authors of our age.
I’m reminded — as I close this post — of the last chapter of Timeline when the main characters are standing over the grave of one of their friends, reflecting on his life and wishing him farewell, and I feel those words are only fitting to serve the author in his passing:
The wind whined. A few leaves blew, scraping across the floor. The air was damp and cold. They stood silently.
“I wonder if he thought of us,” Chris said, looking at the stone face. “I wonder if he ever missed us.”
“Of course he did,” the Professor said. “Don’t you miss him?”
Chris nodded. Kate sniffled, and blew her nose.
“I do,” Johnston said.
They went back outside. They walked down the hill to the car. By now the rain had entirely stopped, but the clouds remained dark and heavy, hanging low over the distant hills.