Very interesting article in SFGate this morning on Chrichton as genre science fiction writer :
Remembering Michael Crichton
Michael Berry Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, November 9, 2008
The headline Wednesday on the Los Angeles Times Web site was startling: "Michael Crichton, million-selling science-fiction author, dies at 66." Not only because there had been no warning that the youthful-looking novelist, screenwriter, film director and television producer was ill, but because he was being identified so prominently as a writer of science fiction.
Well, of course, right? With "The Andromeda Strain," written while he was attending Harvard Medical School, Crichton updated and inverted H.G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds." "Sphere" is "Forbidden Planet" transplanted to the ocean floor. "Timeline" plays with temporal paradoxes familiar to anyone who has read Robert A. Heinlein. In "Science Fiction of the 20th Century: An Illustrated History," Frank M. Robinson correctly identifies Crichton as "the most commercially successful science-fiction writer of all time," especially given "Jurassic Park" and its film adaptation and sequels.