Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Micro in the News

Micro has been in the news quite a bit lately. I didn’t read or post links to any of the articles prior to reading the book as I wanted to avoid spoilers.

These articles and programs explore how Micro came into being and include quotes from Richard Preston.

Wall Street Journal – “Deciphering Michael Crichton's Clues”

The Telegraph – “Michael Crichton and the Mystery of the Posthumous Thriller”

USA TODAY – “The Novel Crichton Started, Longtime Fan Preston Finished”

NPR Weekend Edition – Interview with Richard Preston


The Telegraph – Mark Sanderson

Washington Post - Patrick Anderson

Los Angeles Times - Jeff VanderMeer

NPR - Alan Cheuse

Amazon - James Rollins

Publishers Weekly

Entertainment Weekly - Keith Staskiewicz

Sunday, November 27, 2011

NPR Interview with Richard Preston

Richard Preston appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition today and spoke of the challenge of finishing Michael Crichton’s novel Micro. The interview is [5:58].

Michael Crichton Trivia – 11/27/11

“Numquam Obliviscemur Michaelis Crichtonis”

What does this phrase mean and what is its significance?

Last week’s trivia question:

What book did Michael Crichton write on a bet?

Charles Epting said:
“Eaters of the Dead, wasn't it?”

Correct, Charles!

From the official Crichton website:
“The story behind this novel appears in an essay in the paperback edition. The short version is, I wrote EATERS on a bet that I could make an entertaining story out of "Beowulf."
Note from Michael

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Micro – First Thoughts

Just a few thoughts for now. As I wrote Thursday, Micro is the most enjoyable Crichton novel since Prey.

I was very happy to read the introduction Michael Crichton wrote, even if it was unfinished. I always wished he wrote more nonfiction.

By the end of Micro, I knew I wasn’t reading a Michael Crichton novel anymore. But I was enthralled by the story, and didn’t care. (How I knew I wasn’t reading a Michael Crichton novel is a discussion I’ll save for another time.)

The novel has been compared to Jurassic Park, even by Michael Crichton himself. But Micro is far more reminiscent of Timeline than Jurassic Park or Prey.

Micro is like a ship that changes direction so gently that you don’t notice. Then dawn comes and the sun rises in a different spot than expected.

You can gripe about the change or you can enjoy the sunrise.

Richard Preston took over as captain of Micro after Michael Crichton died. As the new captain, he had to sail the ship as best he could, using the former captain’s log to navigate.

Captain Preston gave the passengers a pleasantly exciting voyage, and then brought the ship safely into harbor.

What more could one ask?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from Musings!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

We have much to be thankful for with the release of Micro. I’m still collecting my thoughts on the book, but I will say that I found it the most enjoyable Crichton novel since Prey.

Here’s a post I wrote for last year’s Thanksgiving:

Michael Crichton – Favorite Holiday Recipes

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Micro Has Escaped!

Today Micro has escaped, and may be sneaking into your home as you read this. Micro will creep up to you and settle under your skin. (Makes you itch just thinking about it, doesn’t it?) Symptoms of Micro infection include obsessive reading and temporarily diminished internet activity.

It will probably take me a day to read Micro, so I’ll be posting about it sometime tomorrow. I’ll also post links to the various reviews and articles about the novel.

For those of you in the New York area, a reminder that Richard Preston will be making an appearance at the Barnes & Noble at 86th & Lexington Ave:

“Science journalist Jonathan Weiner joins Richard Preston, bestselling author of scientific works of narrative nonfiction and fiction, to discuss the iconic works of Michael Crichton, including his posthumous new release, Micro. Tuesday November 22, 2011 7:00 PM”
Video of this event will be available soon.

I am now going into seclusion to read my copy of Micro. Talk to you soon!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Michael Crichton Trivia – 11/20/11

What book did Michael Crichton write on a bet?

Last week’s trivia question:

Did any of Michael Crichton’s books win awards?

Two of Michael Crichton’s books won awards. A Case of Need (written under the pseudonym Jeffery Hudson) won the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel in 1969. Five Patients won the Association of American Medical Writers Award in 1970.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Richard Preston Appearance in New York

From Richard Preston’s Facebook page:
I'll be doing an appearance and book signing in NYC on Tue Nov 22:
Barnes & Noble
86th + Lexington Ave.
150 East 86th Street
New York, NY 10028

I'll be talking with Pulitzer-Prize author Jonathan Weiner about MICRO and writing. Come visit, I'd like to meet you!

The sound you hear emanating from the Midwest is my cry of frustration. I would so love to be there. But I'll be home reading my copy of Micro.

I’m hoping there will be video of the event. (Don’t make me beg…OH PLEEEZE!!!!)

On the plus side, my comments to Preston’s blog are now posted there. Join the conversation!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More about Micro

We have a little more info about Micro. While I very much want to read the book now, I wouldn’t have the time even if I got a hold of a copy. But I cleared my calendar for a few days starting next Tuesday, so I’ll have the chance to devour and digest Micro. Stay tuned!

Micro contains:

• Maps of Oahu on the endpapers (as Pirate Latitudes had maps)

• One epigraph by E. O. Wilson

• A unfinished introduction by Michael Crichton, dated 8/28/08

• A five-page bibliography (Hurrah! I was hoping for one!)

And here’s a little morsel to hold us for now:

The audio edition of Micro, is read by John Bedford Lloyd. Harper Collins UK has a brief audio sample featuring the Wilson epigraph and some of Crichton’s introduction.

Six days until Micro….

Monday, November 14, 2011

Michael Crichton on Filming The Andromeda Strain

Here’s a treasure I uncovered recently through Google News Archives.

“Author Strained by Movie”
By Michael Crichton for the Associated Press, The Victoria Advocate, March 22, 1971

Editor’s note – A novelist often has enough trouble with words. But his difficulties really begin when his words have to be translated to film. Michael Crichton, author of the popular “The Andromeda Strain” describes what it is like to have his book made into a movie.

Crichton writes in the first paragraph:

"The people involved just shrug their shoulders: of course there will be problems. You can expect them, you can count on them. Making a film is one long process of being surprised—by tough things that turn out to be easy, and easy things that turn out to be nightmares."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Michael Crichton Trivia – 11/12/11

Did any of Michael Crichton’s books win awards?

Last week’s trivia question:

Michael Crichton wrote and directed several films. Which films did he direct, but did not write the screenplay?

Dustin Pitan wrote:

Physical Evidence I believe is the only one. Granted, he didn't receive a screenplay credit on Pursuit, but I believe I've read he had a large hand in writing that.

Partially correct, Dustin. The screenplay for Physical Evidence was written by Bill Phillips, with the story credited to Steve Ransohoff and Bill Phillips.

As for Pursuit, while the screenplay was based on the John Lange novel Binary, Robert Dozier received sole credit for writing the screenplay.

So the correct answer is Pursuit and Physical Evidence.

Ten days until Micro….

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

While You’re Waiting for Micro…

While you're waiting for Micro, I would suggest reading Richard Preston's 1997 novel The Cobra Event. Excellent read, plus it’s a way to acclimatize to Preston’s style before reading Micro.

From Publisher’s Weekly review of The Cobra Event:

“this exciting tale of bioengineered viruses on the rampage leans on the sort of cool, fact-packed prose usually associated with nonfiction--or with the sort of cautionary science thriller aced by Michael Crichton. Like Crichton, who's an obvious influence, Preston knows how to explode from the gate: his opening, in which a schoolgirl attacked by an unknown virus spasms and bleeds and eats her own lip, will plunge readers into shock.”

14 days until Micro...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Michael Crichton Trivia – 11/5/11

Michael Crichton wrote and directed several films. Which films did he direct, but not write the screenplay?

Last week’s trivia question:
Michael Crichton’s 1972 novel The Terminal Man had a different name originally. What was it?

The Sympathetic Man.


“Mike Crichton: A Skyscraper in Any Form”, by Norma Lee Browning, Chicago Tribune, Aug. 30, 1970

“For Michael Crichton, Medicine is for Writing” by John Noble Wilford, New York Times, June 15, 1970

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Life of Michael Crichton – Part 11



2002: Crichton publishes Prey.

2004: Crichton publishes State of Fear.

2006: Crichton publishes Next.

2008: Michael Crichton, having finished one-third of his novel Micro, dies of cancer on November 4 at the age of 66.

Where were you when you heard the news?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Life of Michael Crichton – Part 10



1996: Crichton publishes Airframe. The film Twister (co-written by Crichton with then-wife Anne-Marie Martin) is released.

1999: Crichton publishes Timeline.

2000: Crichton creates the computer game Timeline (based on his novel).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Life of Michael Crichton – Part 9


1992: Crichton publishes Rising Sun.

1994: Crichton publishes Disclosure. Crichton creates the TV series ER. Crichton published a revised, expanded edition of Jasper Johns.

1995: Crichton publishes The Lost World. Time magazine publishes a cover story on Michael Crichton in the September 25 issue. Crichton receives Academy Technical Achievement Award ("for pioneering computerized motion picture budgeting and scheduling")

The Life of Michael Crichton – Part 8


1987: Crichton publishes Sphere.

1988: Crichton publishes his autobiography Travels.

1989: The film Physical Evidence (directed by Crichton) is released.

1990: Crichton publishes Jurassic Park.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Life of Michael Crichton – Part 7



1981: The film Looker (written and directed by Crichton) is released.

1982: Crichton creates the computer game Amazon.

1983: Crichton publishes Electronic Life: How to Think About Computers.

1984: The film Runaway (written and directed by Crichton) is released.