Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Michael Crichton Christmas - 2008

By Marla Warren

On the first day of Christmas Michael Crichton gave to me
A T-Rex who tried to eat me

On the second day of Christmas Michael Crichton gave to me
Two Lost Worlds
And a T-Rex who tried to eat me

On the third day of Christmas Michael Crichton gave to me
Three Rising Suns
Two Lost Worlds
And a T-Rex who tried to eat me

On the fourth day of Christmas Michael Crichton gave to me
Four Timelines
Three Rising Suns
Two Lost Worlds
And a T-Rex who tried to eat me

On the fifth day of Christmas Michael Crichton gave to me
Five Eaters of the Dead
Four Timelines
Three Rising Suns
Two Lost Worlds
And a T-Rex who tried to eat me
See "A Michael Crichton Christmas 2010"

Links and more info on Michael Crichton at:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Where were you when you heard the news?

Where were you when you heard the news? People of my parents’ generation remember where they were when they heard that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. The younger generation remembers where they were when they heard that John Lennon had been killed.

And now Michael Crichton is gone. I don’t expect a lot of people will clearly remember where they were or what they were doing when they heard the news. But some of us will never forget it.

I had just come home after a hectic day working at the bookstore. This was Nov. 5, the day after Obama was elected. When I got home, the CBS Nightly News was starting. Katie Couric, giving the preview of the evening news, said Michael Crichton had died. I couldn’t believe it. I thought “She must have gotten something mixed up.” But later there was a segment telling how he had died of cancer the previous day. I was so stunned, I couldn’t even think. I just couldn’t absorb it. I called a friend of mine who I had spoken to on the phone earlier that day. She had heard that Michael Crichton had died, but she didn’t tell me because she thought it would be best if I was home when I heard the news. I didn’t cry until the next day.

The next time I worked at the bookstore, I put up a memorial display to Michael Crichton. It's standard procedure to put up a display when an author dies. The manager on duty let me put it up, but she told me to make it my last task of the day. Putting up the display didn't take long. It was an endcap with two shelves and a sign that read "A Lifetime Remembered". I got to select the Crichton books I wanted to use. The manager was right to make me wait until the end of my shift. When I finished putting up the display, I had tears running down my face.

A couple of weeks later, I noticed that someone had placed a few copies of A Case of Need, a book Crichton wrote under the pseudonym Jeffery Hudson, on the display. I remember reading how that novel was republished without Crichton’s approval, and I thought, “He wouldn’t like that”. So I removed A Case of Need from the display and replaced it with Airframe, one of my favorites.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Michael Crichton - A Brilliant Philosopher

Here's a comment I posted on the New York Times website:

Michael Crichton was far more than a novelist. He was a brilliant philosopher who explored ideas and issues through fiction. On a wide range of important topics, he ignited analysis and debate among readers around the world as few writers have ever done. Crichton’s strength was not in the answers he provided, but in the questions he provoked. His death is a tragic loss, but his books will continue to entertain and educate readers.

Links and more info on Michael Crichton at:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Michael Crichton Dies of Cancer on November 4, 2008

Michael Crichton died Tuesday November 4, 2008 after a long battle with cancer. I just found out and I am stunned. I can’t even react now, except to say it was much too soon. My heart and prayers are with his family and friends now.

Michael Crichton Dies

By Dave Itzkoff, NY Times, November 5, 2008, 12:59 pm

Links and more info on Michael Crichton at:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Book Update 9/20/08

Wikipedia has deleted the information about Crichton’s new novel. Now it simply lists:
"2008 - unreleased novel - to be released on December 2"

So we’re still waiting for the official announcement. It should be soon, I would think. As far as the subject matter goes, I wonder about something. In the June 3, 2007 New York Times Sunday Book Review there was a survey titled “Read Any Good Books Lately?”which featured different celebrities giving their recommendations. Michael Crichton was one of them. He recommended three books. One was fiction: Bone in the Throat by Anthony Bourdain.

The other two were nonfiction and therefore could possibly be connected to the research Crichton was doing for his upcoming book. Here are the titles and Crichton’s comments:

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
“The second volume by the author of Fooled by Randomness continues his theme — our blindness to the randomness of life — in an even more provocative, wide-ranging and amusing mode. A book that is both entertaining and difficult.”

Problems of Empiricism (Philosophical Papers), Vol. 2
By Paul K. Feyerabend
"From 1981, a brisk reminder that the conflicts of contemporary science are not in any way new or unique. The author is reviled in many quarters, mostly by those who have not read him. He is invariably provocative."

Sunday, September 7, 2008

New Book Update - 9/7/08

Something new on the Wikipedia link:

It is proposed that this article be deleted because of the following concern:

Unsourced content and, as best as I can tell, an unverifiable title. There is a Michael Crichton untitled novel coming up, just no reliable source for this title and summary.

If you can address this concern by improving, copyediting, sourcing, renaming or merging the page, please edit this page and do so. You may remove this message if you improve the article or otherwise object to its deletion for any reason. To avoid confusion, it helps to explain why you object to the deletion, either in the edit summary or on the talk page. If this template is removed, it should not be replaced.

The article may be deleted if this message remains in place for five days.Prod, concern: Unsourced content and, as best as I can tell, an unverifiable title. There is a Michael Crichton untitled novel coming up, just no reliable source for this title and summary. This template was added 2008-09-06 05:55; five days from then is 2008-09-11 05:55.

If you created the article, please don't take offense. Instead, consider improving the article so that it is acceptable according to the deletion policy.
Author(s) notification template: {{subst:prodwarning|Final Day of Happiness (novel)}} ~~~~

We should be getting an announcement on Crichton’s website soon, so we’ll know one way or another. I wonder if there’s a leak at Harper Collins

Taking a look back, Next was announced on or around September 12, 2006. So hang on everyone!

Crichton speech from May 21, 2007
On May 21, 2007, there was a conference in Chicago on "Legal and Ethical Issues raised by Michael Crichton's Next." Here’s a link to the speech Dr. Crichton made there. I just discovered this on Crichton’s website in the Next section. It isn’t listed in the speeches section. This must have been added fairly recently to his website.

What I Have Learned From Reactions to My Books

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

And the title is...

According to Wikipedia, the title of Michael Crichton's new book is Final Day of Happiness and is about scientists working on an advanced Super-collider who inadvertently create an artificial black hole threatening all of humankind.

Final Day of Happiness - Wikipedia

There should be a formal announcement on Crichton's website soon. The new book sounds extremely interesting! (But, of course, what else would we expect from Michael Crichton?) Back in March, this article appeared in the New York Times:

Asking a Judge to Save the World, and Maybe a Whole Lot More

By DENNIS OVERBYE, NY Times, March 29, 2008

More fighting in Iraq. Somalia in chaos. People in this country can’t afford their mortgages and in some places now they can’t even afford rice.

None of this nor the rest of the grimness on the front page today will matter a bit, though, if two men pursuing a lawsuit in federal court in Hawaii turn out to be right. They think a giant particle accelerator that will begin smashing protons together outside Geneva this summer might produce a black hole or something else that will spell the end of the Earth — and maybe the universe…

I emailed the story to a friend and commented:

“Does Michael Crichton know about this? LOL! Scientific hubris strikes again!”

How did I know? (Twilight Zone music plays)

It is now possible to pre-order Michael Crichton’s new book online. However, things could still change before December. Everything is tentative for now. Here’s the online info, and as you can see, there are some discrepancies.

At Barnes and Noble:

Untitled Crichton Novel #4

By Michael Crichton

* $27.95 List price

* $20.96 Online price (Save 25%)

* $18.86 Member price

Available for Pre-Order; This item will be available on December 2.

* Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

* Pub. Date: December 02, 2008

* ISBN-13: 9780060873028

* 464pp

At Amazon:

Michael Crichton Thriller Two (Hardcover)

By Michael Crichton

Product Details

* Hardcover: 400 pages

* Publisher: Harper Collins (December 1, 2008)

* Language: English

* ISBN-10: 0007241011

* ISBN-13: 978-0007241019

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

New Book Update

The computers where I work now show Michael Crichton’s new book scheduled for release on Dec. 2, which is a Tuesday. Now that’s more like it! I can read it and write a revised “A Michael Crichton Christmas 2008”. The book is listed as Untitled Crichton Novel #4, fiction, 464 pages in length. Assuming that is the final page count (this information is subject to change as we’ve seen) here’s how the new book will rank in terms of length with Michael Crichton’s other novels:

1. State of Fear (2004) – 603

2. Untitled New Book (2008) - 464

3. Timeline (1999) – 449

4. Next (2006) – 431

5. Jurassic Park (1990) – 399

6. Disclosure (1994) – 397

7. Lost World (1995) – 393

8. Sphere (1987) – 385

9. Prey (2002) – 367

10. Rising Sun (1992) – 355

11. Airframe (1996) – 351

12. Congo (1980) – 348

13. The Andromeda Strain (1969) – 295

14. The Great Train Robbery (1975) – 266

15. Terminal Man (1972) – 247

16. Eaters of the Dead (1976) – 193


Find links and more info on Michael Crichton at:

Monday, August 4, 2008

Michael Crichton’s new book and other news

We’re all holding our breath!

Many of Crichton’s fans have been speculating on when his upcoming book will be released. (Many people inquire about his next book, but we’ve already had his ‘Next’ book.

According to the computers at the bookstore where I work, an as-yet-untitled novel by Michael Crichton is scheduled to be released on December 28, 2008. This is, of course, tentative and subject to change. I’ll keep you posted. (By the way, I’m not sharing any inside information. This information would be available to any customer who asks when Michael Crichton has a new book coming out.)

The book’s ISBN number is 9780060873028 and there are also large print and audio cd editions listed as well. So it looks like something’s definitely coming soon. I’m surprised by the date as Dec. 28 is on a Sunday. New releases, especially strict-on-sale books, are usually released on Tuesdays. Crichton’s last two books were released on a Tuesday. (Strict-on-sale is a restriction that prohibits bookstores from selling a book before a certain date, when if the books have arrived at the store before then.)

Dec. 28 will be the Sunday after Christmas, and should be completely nuts for retailers. Most people think that stores are busy right up until Christmas, and it’s over. But between returns and customers anxious to use gift cards, most retail places are hectic through the middle of January. In any case, I’ll be there bright and early to break into the first box myself.

Michael Crichton top art collector

This month’s issue of Art News magazine lists Michael Crichton as one of the top 200 art collectors in the world.

The ARTnews 200 Top Collectors:

Crichton is listed as a collector of modern art.

Find links and more info on Michael Crichton at: