- Posted November 5, 2008 by
Albuquerque, New Mexico
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Your Michael Crichton tributes
Timeline to eternity
Just as the election of Barack Obama makes us live in a better world, in a social sense, so did Michael Crichton's work made all of us experience a better world, in a personal sense. Although considered science fiction, most of Michael Crichton's books had a cautionary tale embedded into the story. Although his "humanzee" ("Next") may seem far-fetched today, it is not impossible that this is where genetic engineering could head, if left unsupervised.
For me, the Crichton adventure began with the Romanian translation of "The Andromena Strain", in 1979. I was 14 at the time, the perfect age for a seed to flower, or an unintended, chaotic consequence, as Jurassic Park's Ian Malcolm would have taught us. Andromeda Strain was one of those books that remains eerily prescient, and certainly one of the few that pushed me inevitably onto the path to science. Active in biomedical sciences for two decades, I continue to regard Crichton's work as well grounded and documented. A tongue-in-cheek exception, I must say that I did not recognize any Romanian in Congo's (Romanian) ruthless adventurer, Homulka, and I doubt other Romanians did...
I enjoyed reading his books, among which Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Airframe and State of Fear I still consider as favorite. As a frequent flier (over 100,000 miles a year), I even got used to looking for his new books in airport bookstores, every 2-3 years. That his was truly a remarkable gift is witnessed by the fact that Crichton's books were always placed under "Authors, alphabetical", not in "Science Fiction", unless they happened to be on the bestseller's list...
While his stance on global warming (State of Fear) was controversial, it certainly helped bring the topic to the general public attention. Indeed, I cannot think of a Crichton book that did not help make the world a better place. As for his timeline to eternity, I believe that it extends far beyond his immediate work, be it cinematic or written. Indeed, he chose to tackle issues of a global scale, which made him a true citizen of this planet.