Last week a truly great man lost his fight against cancer and died on November 4th, aged 66. I am of course referring to the tragic loss of Michael Crichton. I found out just before the Bryan Adams gig started on Wednesday night, which made the gig very hard for me.
I’ve actually spent ages trying to work out how I’m going to write this post, and now that I’m actually writing it, all my thoughts about it have gone. This news upset me, a lot. This wasn’t just a case of this being my favourite author, he was my childhood idol! I talked about this when I reviewed his last book. His death has a big impact on me not just because of that, but because I’ve actually met him!
When State of Fear came out, he did a book signing at the Waterstones in Piccadilly and, not wanting to miss the opportunity of meeting him, I drove all the way up to London, just for that one thing. I was actually later getting there than planned, and was worried that I would miss him, especially if there was any kind of queue. Fortunately, there was no queue and I was able to just walk straight up to him and get my book signed, and even had a chat with him. I told him about how he had inspired me to write my novel when I was just 15, and that fact actually impressed him! That was an amazing feeling that will stay with me my whole life. Although only brief, I found him to be a really nice guy, who enjoyed chatting with his fans, which to me makes all the difference in the world to fans. I was so nervous about meeting him but his casualness just helped to alleviate that. Having said that, my nerves were still there, and looking back, there’s so much more I wish I’d told him, like how one of his books actually plays a part in my own novel as a plot point.
Crichton was due to release a new book in the States next month, but the publishers have said they have postponed that indefinitely, presumably to get the permission of the family and let them have some mourning time. I’m sure the book will come out, and I hope it’s better than Next! I would hate for his last published book to be shit!
I think what I liked most about him is he didn’t give a crap. He got so much criticism for State of Fear and his views on global warming, but he didn’t care, he stuck to his point of view. I just have so much respect for him and it’s just not going to be the same without his new books.
Michael, you will be missed by so many!