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Remembering Michael Crichton
Michael Crichton in December 2004. (AP Photo)

Michael Crichton in December 2004. (AP Photo)

For four decades in America and around the world, when technology ran amuck and humans ran scared, you could look for the hand of Michael Crichton.

In blockbuster bestsellers and movie thrillers across decades, Crichton unleashed reconstituted dinosaurs, deadly viruses, nanotech swarms, killer gorillas and more human threats to the status quo — female sexual predators and fiendishly clever bank robbers.

He created “ER” and “Jurassic Park,” “The Andromeda Strain,” “Congo,” “Prey,” “State of Fear.” This week he died at 66.

This hour, On Point: The man who gripped us, Michael Crichton.

Guests:

Lev Grossman, book critic for TIME magazine. Earlier this week he wrote an appreciation of Michael Crichton as “A Master Storyteller of Technology’s Promise and Peril.” He’s the author of the novels “Codex” and “Warp.”

Lynn Nesbit, Michael Crichton’s literary agent for 37 years. She signed him in 1965 while he was still a medical student.

Chris Mooney, contributing editor to Science Progress. His forthcoming book, “Unscientific America,” deals in part with science and Hollywood. He’s also the author of “Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming” and “The Republican War on Science.” He blogs at The Intersection.

More links:

The official Michael Crichton website has a tribute to the author and information on all of his books and movies.

NPR.org remembers Crichton here.

The New York Times’ Charles McGrath offered an appraisal of Crichton this week, headlined “Builder of Windup Realms That Thrillingly Run Amok.” The Times’ obituary is here, along with an archive of features on his work.

Last May, Slate’s Jack Shafer wrote that Crichton’s 1993 Wired magazine essay, “Mediasaurus,” in which he predicted the extinction of mass media, now looks to be on target.

The Atlantic’s James Fallows sounds a similar note, and offers a thought for his friend Michael Crichton.

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Dick West (Dr. Walter Richard West, Wah-pah-nah-yah or Wapah Nahya, Light Foot Runner), 1912−1996, Southern Cheyenne, Oklahoma. Cheyenne Sun Dance—The Third Day, 1949. Paper, casein, 24 5/8 x 35 1/8 inches. © 2013 Philbrook Museum of Art, Inc., Museum purchase, 1949.20, Photo: John Lamberton.

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Apr 24, 2015
Dick West (Dr. Walter Richard West, Wah-pah-nah-yah or Wapah Nahya, Light Foot Runner), 1912−1996, Southern Cheyenne, Oklahoma. Cheyenne Sun Dance—The Third Day, 1949. Paper, casein, 24 5/8 x 35 1/8 inches. © 2013 Philbrook Museum of Art, Inc., Museum purchase, 1949.20, Photo: John Lamberton.

Artists of earth and sky. Rawhide, bear claw, eagle feathers and the glory of America’s Plans Indians, on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 
Apr 24, 2015
The Rev. Jamal Bryant leads a rally outside of the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a march and vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP)

Loretta Lynch gets a vote. Race and anger in Baltimore. Migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. Petraeus, sentenced. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

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