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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Michael Crichton, RIP

I love a good, page-turning thriller, and I like writers who take on the conventional wisdom using reason and the facts.

As a result, I was saddened to read about author Michael Crichton’s death.

On November 6, the New York Daily News noted: “Crichton was controversial in recent years for his crusades against what he called "bad science" - including global warming, second-hand smoke, Nuclear Winter and world deforestation. He also believed it was ludicrous to search for signs of alien life with projects like SETI.”

In a March 23, 2005, SBE Council Cybercolumn that carried the title “Must Read: State of Fear,” I wrote:

Michael Crichton is a wildly successful storyteller. He has written novels like Jurassic Park, Timeline, and others that have been turned into major motion pictures. For good measure, he is the creator of one of television's most successful series -- ER.

However, I am guessing that his latest novel, titled State of Fear, will not make it to the big screen or onto television. Why? Well, I say this not because the novel somehow falls short, but due to politics. This book challenges the conventional wisdom on the environment. That's not a message welcome in Hollywood, or for that matter, in the media, academia and most political circles…

No one gets away unscathed from Crichton's pen, including lawyers, environmental activists, socially conscious Hollywood types, government bureaucrats, and politically-compromised scientists. But this is no screed. Crichton manages to use the story to raise substantive issues and questions.

That’s a rare ability, and Crichton will be missed.

Raymond J. Keating
Chief Economist
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

1 comment:

Matt Carolan said...

Interesting. I'll have to pick it up. I haven't read a novel in a while.