, 1942-2008, American novelist, screenwriter, and director, b. Chicago, grad. Harvard Medical School (1969). He wrote several thrillers under a pseudonym while a student and left medicine soon after his first bestseller, the medical thriller The Andromeda Strain
(1969, film 1971). Scientific and technological subjects—epidemiology, chaos theory, genetic engineering, medical and computer technology—became essential elements in his suspenseful page-turners, many of which becames movies (some with his own screenplays). Among his other novels are The Terminal Man
(1972, film 1972), Congo
(1980, film 1995), the blockbuster Jurassic Park
(1990, film 1994) and its sequel The Lost World
(1995, film 1997), Rising Sun
(1992, film 1993), Prey
(2002), State of Fear
(2004), and Next
(2006). He also wrote original screenplays and directed several films, e.g., Westworld
(1973) and Coma
(1978), and created the television series E.R.
His nonfiction includes a biography of artist Jasper Johns
(1977, rev. ed. 1994) and the autobiographical Travels
See biography by N. Aaseng (2002); E. A. Trembley, Michael Crichton: A Critical Companion (1996).
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