Michael Crichton

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Michael CrichtonThe American author and film director who made the techno thriller genre his own over the course of his succesful career. His books tend to have memorable plots involving rather forgetable characters dealing with advanced technology, including a minor hit called Jurassic Park. He wrote the screenplays for other notable SF milestones such as The Andromeda Strain, Westworld (which he also directed) and Congo. Plus he was the creative force behind the popular US TV medical drama E.R.

A strong theme over Crichton's creative career was the tendancy for humans to over estimate their ability to impose order in the face of random events and the forces of nature. So in The Andromeda Strain the containment of a virus almost fails due to one person's epilepsy and a paper jam in a printer; Westworld (A prequel to Jurassic park that just happened to come first) saw a theme park go out of control due to computer malfunctions, Airframe: Airplanes are the most complex machines ever and we leave it to mere humans to make and maintain them, and several of his later works have new science having unexpected, dangerous consequences, mainly due to human folly. It's all very Promethean; "Humanity plays with matches and fate intervenes to burn down the house". In the Jurassic Park works chaos theory is just the contemporary way of saying hey, don't play with that; it's really dangerous and you're stupid...