Transreal Fiction

Scotland’s sf & fantasy bookstore

Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton died of cancer on Tuesday.

I first read him back in the early 70s when I bought The Andromeda Strain, which was, I think, his first novel. I enjoyed it, although it did seem rather dry, and I later enjoyed the film made of the book… I liked it enough to pick up The Terminal Man (although maybe it was the weird cut-a-way cover that clinched it!) and, in 1976, the paperback of Eaters of the Dead, with the dense black illustrations by Ian Miller; great stuff, and I still like Miller a lot today.
I continued reading him and feel he probably peaked with the book Jurassic Park; excellent, adventurous stuff but a couple of years later my expectations were dashed by how poor the sequel was. I was on holiday abroad, but felt I couldn’t wait a week to buy it back in the UK, so I bought it knowing I’d have to lug it around with me – big mistake. It’s still on the shelf at home but I’ve not felt any interest in re-reading it… I did continue to read his other books occasionally but finding them less satisfying; I solved Airframe very early in the book, Prey was The Andromeda Strain diluted and inverted so the problem was on the outside, not the inside…

His trave/autobiography book was an interesting read, and he certainly seems to have led an interesting life, together with writing or creating several iconic popular cultural books, films and shows…

I’m not sure if I’ll read anything in memory of him, but I’ll probably dig out my old Eaters of the Dead and admire the illustrations, at least. Or I might even pull down The Lost World and see if it’s better than I remember… Or, actually, as somebody best known latterly for film and tv work, maybe I should just watch some top dinosaur movie action on dvd!


November 6, 2008 - Posted by | Author News, Shop News & Chat


  1. Gosh, I’d forgotten that cutout cover – that brings back memories!

    Comment by walkinghometo50 | November 7, 2008 | Reply

  2. A human figure with a little heart-shaped cut-out on the front, lots of blue and red and, under the flap a human figure with gold circuit board wiring throughout his body, connected to his heart.

    Or something like that! I’ve not seen it for a very long time…
    Ian Miller’s site has some neat stuff, but no art from Eaters of the Dead, as far as I can tell:

    Comment by transrealfiction | November 8, 2008 | Reply

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