I was shocked to just discover that Michael Crichton died from a “private battle with cancer” yesterday.

Crichton is not the type of writer I typically blog about here. His work was very commercial, very popular, and occasionally predictable. However, he was a great storyteller. When I was 12 years old he got my imagination running with Jurassic Park. When I read Sphere, I doubted I would ever find a more enthralling book. I read Crichton’s work voraciously, consuming most of what he had written up until Timeline. It was always riveting, always intellectual, and (despite his reputation) was about much more than rampaging dinosaurs and far-fetched sci-action plots. Like all great science-fiction writers, he warned of the danger of human beings meddling too much in the business of God. And he did so while entertaining the hell out of his readers.

I for one am thankful for his career. Though I haven’t read his work in many years, I am convinced that I would not be writing or creating today were it not for his influence. Perhaps it was his grasp of science and technology (or his incredible ability to fake it!) that influenced me the most. Though I have never tried to emulate that in my own writing, his ability to talk just enough over my head for it to seem believable, and just enough on my level for me to understand it, made me believe that the impossible is POSSIBLE.

You will be missed, sir.