Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Michael Crichton Tributes - Online Friends

Featured today are tributes from two people who never met Michael Crichton, but corresponded with him online.

The first is Rob Griffiths from Macworld. Crichton was a devoted Mac user. In a November 2000 Los Angeles Times interview, Crichton said:

I started out with Macs back in the 1980s and since then I've never met anyone who could persuade me to switch or any particular piece of software that would obligate me to purchase a PC.

In his tribute Remembering Michael Crichton Griffiths recounts how he was asking for donations to support a website he had developed to provide hints for Mac users. One day he received this email from Crichton:

Your site is great. Tell me where to send a check.

Crichton eventually sent Griffiths a check, a signed copy of Timeline, and a card with handwritten message. Griffiths concludes his tribute:

Michael, thank you for the wonderful entertainment you provided over the years—and for the individual support you provided to some guy running an OS X Web site as a hobby back in 2001. The world has lost a great talent, and you will be sorely missed.

The other person who connected with Michael Crichton online, Russell Thorstenberg, shared his story in the comments section of a Los Angeles Times article:

I corresponded with Michael Crichton by e-mail for over a decade. Several years ago he did the unthinkable -- he helped my daughter, Annette, write her summer book report on "The Andromeda Strain." I was so stunned by his note to her I could only reply, "Your kindness is inspirational." This past May he gave me hiking suggestions for my trip to Hawaii. I say these things to shed light on the true gentleman who was more than a writer, filmmaker, or essayist. He was an inspiration, a role model, and a towering intellect who will not be duplicated.

In November 2005, I participated in an online discussion with Michael Crichton hosted by Barnes & Noble. He was very gracious, and, of course, utterly fascinating. I will always cherish that experience.

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