Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Do You Have a Question About Michael Crichton?

I invite you to submit questions about Michael Crichton and his work—with three important caveats:

1. I will not answer or even attempt to answer questions about Crichton’s personal and private life. My blog is not a gossip site.

2. I will not do anyone’s homework for them. So I will not answer questions about Crichton’s novels that could be easily answered by reading the book. Check my blog post Michael Crichton on Yahoo Answers to see what I mean.

3. I will not answer questions that are purely subjective and a matter of interpretation. For example, is Michael Crichton a better writer than (fill in the blank).

Let me make clear that I cannot guarantee when I will be to able answer a question, so people facing deadlines for their homework should not rely on me to get back to them in time. It takes time to search my archives and library databases.

Post your questions below or email me: musingsonmichaelcrichton at gmail dot com

Questions that I think will be interesting to other readers will be answered on this blog. I’ll contact you to see if you want to be publicly credited.

Here’s your chance to let me know what you would like to see on this blog.


Narayan said...

In fact I have two questions:
1. Would Mr. Crichton really appreciate the attempt to release posthumous novels- and would this have been the way he saw his literary legacy.

2. Wouldnt MC been more happier in releasing the out-of-print novels rather than new novels in the MC name..

I dont know whether these hypotetical questions really come under the purview of this topic- but these were two doubts really bugging my mind for quite sometime

Marla Warren said...

Narayan, the problem is not only that the questions are hypothetical, but they are presumptuous as well.

You write “Would Mr. Crichton really appreciate…” and “Wouldn’t MC been more happier…”, but you didn’t know Michael Crichton personally and neither did I. Therefore neither of us is in a position to speculate on what he would appreciate and what would make him happy.

Crichton’s estate is in a trust that he himself set up. He appointed the people who are in charge of it. He would have known that they would have to make decisions about his works—published and unpublished. The details of the trust set-up are private. So we don’t know what Michael Crichton said or indicated he wanted in regards to his works. But I would venture to say that those he put in charge knew him and his wishes much better than any of us do.

You are implying that the people who are in charge of Crichton’s estate are not protecting his legacy and will not protect it in the future. That is a very presumptuous implication, not to mention somewhat insulting. It is not only disrespectful to the trustees of Crichton’s estate, it is also disrespectful of Michael Crichton’s decision to leave them in charge. He entrusted these individuals to guard his legacy—not you, and not me.

Narayan, you also wrote of “new novels in the MC name”. You have indicated to me that you are afraid that Crichton’s name will become a franchise with other writers creating entirely new works to be marketed under his name. There is absolutely no evidence that Crichton’s estate is willing to authorize anything of this nature. Crichton’s latest techno novel was one third finished when he died, and his estate and publisher are finding a writer to complete the novel based on Crichton’s notes and outline. That’s a far cry from creating a franchise of works Crichton never began.

There may be other finished works among Michael Crichton’s files. I will leave it to the judgment of the trustees of his estate to decide what should be done with them. And I suggest you do the same.

Narayan said...

I hve to agree with you on this aspect. True, Mr. Crichton would have known while creating the trust on whom he will be "trusting" his literary he would have known best...I stand corrected on the presumption/ fear i had raised.
but i wrote the aforementioned question after reading the posthumous novels written under the Mario Puzo name and that in the name of Sidney Sheldon. Both books were authroised by the Estate of either author. But the books couldnt boast of the finesses of the original masters. this is the fear i have....
An exception is Herge. He was working on the last TINTIN album when he passed away. he forbade any more corrections/ additions and finally Herge's estate published the work as it is..raw, unedited and as it is.... i would like to see future MC works of this type....take for example the second part (if any) to TRAVELS. It shoudl be published as it- unedited, with all the scribbles intact.
that said, I also would like to stress- I never intended to hurtor insult the legacy of Mr. Crichton...I would never do so anmd apologies to all who felt so on reading my first comment.

Vito Tuxedo said...

Hi Marla:

I hope this is an appropriate question for this thread as it deals with a matter of fact about Dr. Crichton, or more precisely, about his official website.

Do you know why the "Speeches" section of no longer exists? All previous links to any of that remarkable content now redirect to the home page.

I only ask because you are apparently a great deal more knowledgeable than I am on facts pertaining to Dr. Crichton. Thanks for great work in creating the Musings on Michael Crichton blog!

Marla Warren said...

It’s okay, Narayan, I know you mean well. I understand your concerns. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Marla Warren said...


Thank you for the compliments! I greatly appreciate it.

The website did not give a reason why Michael Crichton’s speeches have been removed. There was a section titled “Speeches” there until very recently. I think I last saw them there in May 2010. I’ll contact the website and see if I get a reply.

Fortunately, thanks to a web archive website, the speeches can still be found. The links are on my message board in this thread:

Michael Crichton links

Vito Tuxedo said...

Hi Marla:

Thanks so much for your speedy response. That's quite a cornucopia of material you've linked there.

Actually, I have found a great many sources for videos of Dr. Crichton's speeches, including several on the official site. It's my understanding that the now-extinct "Speeches" section of the official site contained transcripts of the speeches, which is really what I'm after.

In the time since I originally posted here, I have located some transcripts. If you are interested, I will post the URLs, or email them to you, whichever you prefer.

Marla Warren said...


Please email the URLs to me: kahlessa at gmail dot com

And thank you! I’m always on the look for more info about Michael Crichton. I am trying to track down every word he ever wrote or uttered in an interview or speech. I’ve been at this for years and I am still discovering things.

Darren said...

Hi there,

Have you seen, read or heard anything to suggest that there could be any additional Michael Crichton material published in the future? In a finished, unfinished, or completed-by-another-author form?

Many thanks

Marla Warren said...


If I hear about anything, I'll post it here right away.

I am working on a post about Crichton's unfinished/unpublished projects. Michael Crichton mentioned a few things in interviews over the years.