Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Listen to an Audio Sample of Pirate Latitudes!

Harper Collins UK has provided us with another treat!

Now you can listen to a six and a half minute audio sample of the first chapter of Pirate Latitudes, read by actor John Bedford Lloyd.

Links and more info on Michael Crichton at:

Friday, October 23, 2009

On the Day Michael Crichton Was Born

Today Michael Crichton would have been 67 years old.

I felt his absence the first thing this morning, when my clock radio went off. The station always lists the famous people having birthdays that day. And Michael Crichton wasn’t on that list anymore. There’s also a section in the newspaper of famous people’s birthdays, and he’s not there either.

I remember starting threads wishing him a happy birthday on the message board on his official website a few times. I hope he enjoyed them. He never posted to the board himself, though the administrator told us that he read the messages there frequently.

There are a number of important events that occurred and famous people who were born on October 23. You can check it out at Wikipedia.

But I find myself taking note of an important event that occurred on October 23, 1942, the very day Michael Crichton was born.

The Second Battle of El Alamein

On October 23, 1942, Allied troops, under the command of British general Bernard Montgomery, attacked German troops under Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in North Africa. While some accounts list the battle as ending on November 5, 1942, Rommel gave the order to retreat on November 4, which effectively ended the battle.

Michael Crichton died on November 4, 2008.

The Allied victory at El Alamein prevented Nazi Germany from gaining control of the Suez Canal and the oil fields in the Middle East. Winston Churchill said, "Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat."

Michael Crichton’s life and the Second Battle of El Alamein both began on the same day. Both endured intense struggles that resulted in ultimate triumph. Both were very significant, though in different ways.

And Michael Crichton fought the battles he felt needed to be fought.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Michael Crichton's Pirate Latitudes UK Trailer

The marketing department at Harper Collins UK sent me a link for a video trailer for Pirate Latitudes:

Pirate Latitudes UK Trailer

Also on YouTube is:

The Making of Pirate Latitudes
, a short video on the making of the promotional trailer.

The promotional video is very well done and really whets my appetite for the novel. Though I have to suppress my scream at the end when it reads:

“Available from 16th November”

Pirate Latitudes is also scheduled for release on Monday Nov. 16 in France and Germany, according to the Amazon France and Amazon Germany websites.

I still don’t have an answer from Harper Collins as to why Pirate Latitudes is coming out in Europe eight days before it is scheduled for release on Tuesday Nov. 24 in the US. Perhaps the publisher wants the US edition to come out right before the Thanksgiving weekend holiday shopping. The Friday after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, is the busiest shopping day of the entire year. Some say the name comes from retailers getting back in the black on that day. But for retail store employees, the name tends to reflect our mood at the end of that extremely hectic day.

Whatever the reason, I’m going to be very irked if I have to wait eight days longer for Pirate Latitudes because I live in the US. (In fact, “very irked” is an understatement.)

Links and more info on Michael Crichton at:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Who Said It: Carl Sagan or Michael Crichton?

See how you do on this:

Quiz - Who Said It: Carl Sagan or Michael Crichton?

Today we're contemplating a verbal battle between two dearly departed authors. In one corner, we have Carl Sagan, the noted astronomer, astrochemist, author, alien hunter and host of TV's "Cosmos." In the other, we have Michael Crichton, the author, producer, physician and lecturer responsible for all those "Jurassic Park" films. Both men loved science and helped popularize it with their work, but they strongly disagreed on issues such as global warming. So which one said the following quotes? It's the creator of "The Andromeda Strain" versus the creator of "Contact."

It's trickier than it looks. There are three possible answers so occasionally the correct answer is neither Crichton nor Sagan.

Links and more info on Michael Crichton at:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pirate Latitudes to be Released in UK Before US?

According to the Harper Collins UK and Amazon UK websites, the UK edition of Michael Crichton’s new novel Pirate Latitudes is scheduled for a Monday November 16 release—a full eight days before the US release on Tuesday November 24 according to the Harper Collins, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble websites. I’ll make some inquiries and see what I can find out. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a book by an American author released abroad before being released in the US.

Side note: Actor John Bedford Lloyd will be reading the audio book of Pirate Latitudes. Lloyd also did the audio edition of Crichton’s State of Fear

(Thank you, Pavel, for bring this to my attention!)

Links and more info on Michael Crichton at: