Complete Michael Crichton Fiction, Page 2
(published under Michael Crichton)

Michael Crichton (rhymes with frighten!)
Fictional Books (published under the name Michael Crichton) in the order published:

1969—The Andromeda Strain
1972—The Terminal Man
1975—The Great Train Robbery
1976—Eaters of the Dead
1990—Jurassic Park
1992—Rising Sun
1995—The Lost World
2004—State of Fear
2009—Pirate Latitudes (published posthumously)
2011—Micro (published posthumously)

Rising Sun

This was the first Crichton book I read, and the one which began my love affair with his writing. It is about a murder that takes place during the grand opening of the new headquarters of a Japanese corporation, Nakamoto, in Los Angeles. As the celebration is in process on the 45th floor, Cheryl Lynn Austin is found dead on the 46th floor. They discover she is a mistress for the Yakuza (an organized crime group). Her home has also been ransacked. LAPD Peter J. Smith and retired Captain John Connor are on the case. Eddie Sakamura is at first suspected, but he is later killed in a high-speed car chase while being apprehended.

This fast-paced thriller involves a cover-up and the disappearance of security tapes. But, as in so many of Crichton's books, there are underlying issues of morality and ethics, and this one is about the Japanese and their views on what is an acceptable way to conduct business, which may be quite different than those of the Western world. (Although at this point everybody is so corrupt, there's probably little difference.) But this was written in 1992, that it was a whole 'nother world back then. Rising Sun was made into a movie starring Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes.



Will I ever reach a limit on bestowing praise upon Crichton's works? Probably not. And one of the reasons is that he was just so darn well informed about so much that was going on in the world, he was capable of spinning a thrilling drama on nearly any subject! And this book is a fine example. It doesn't use any sci-fi creepies or mutant animal/bacterial horrors, but is set in the high-tech computer industry before the onset of the World Wide Web. The main theme of the story is corporate sexual harassment with the tables turned—this time a man is the victim. Crichton based his drama on a true life incident.

Tom Sanders is on his way to the top at DigiCom. That is until the promotion he awaits is given to his ex-lover Meredith Johnson. Soon after, he has a meeting with her concerning the Twinkle CD-ROM drive being manufactured at the plant in Malaysia. Meredith, however, has other things in mind. She begins by mildly coming on to Tom, then forces herself on him. Tom, who is married with two small children is not interested and throws her off. Meredith, who has been drinking, begins to scream and swear, and threatens to kill Tom. He escapes out the door, but Meredith's drunken raving is heard by the cleaning lady.

Meanwhile DigiCom is in the process of a merger, and a possible scandal threatens the credibility of the company. Still Tom decides to file a lawsuit against Meredith, and hires Attorney Louise Fernandez, an expert in the field of labor law. Things get even worse when a gossip columnist, of sorts, begins to publish stories of the unraveling scandal, using the name "Mr. Piggy" to identify Tom. And probably worst of all, is that the company is well aware that Meredith has a history of making sexual advances to male coworkers. Little by little truths and deceptions are revealed.

One of the unfortunate points of this story is that, once the scandal is out, it really matters little who is guilty and who is innocent. Tom finds that he has fewer and fewer friends. Even though he has done nothing wrong, he risks total ruin.

Though this one isn't a sci-fi/fantasy terror, it is still a nail-biting page turner. Sometimes wicked people can be worse than a monster.

Michael Douglas and Demi Moore starred in the movie back in 1994.

The Lost World

On Crichton's website are some interesting comments about this book. First, it is the only sequel he ever wrote, (urged by fans and critics alike, with a movie in the making immediately after its publication). Apparently, with the huge success of Jurassic Park, there were those who saw dollar signs in their future, but not necessarily Crichton. He at first declined until Spielberg convinced him.

It is named after the Conan Doyle book, also called The Lost World and also about dinosaurs, written in 1912. Crichton also comments that, as in another of Conan Doyle's books, Sherlock Holmes, who had been previously thought dead, is brought back to life. In Crichton's book, Ian Malcolm, who was thought to have died in Jurassic Park, is now found to be living.

It begins six years after the disaster at Jurassic Park, and wraps up and puts an end to the whole dinosaur thing for good. It is discovered that another Costa Rican Island is still being used as the incubator for dinosaur eggs. Richard Levine has taken off without letting others know because he has found the other island, but needs help. Doc Thorne and Eddie Carr discover the Site B location with the help of a kid, Arby Benton, who is a bit of a genius, especially with computers and his friend Kelly Curtis, also a brain. Thorne makes custom vehicles for Levine's field work, and he and Eddie fly off to rescue Levine, but what they don't know is that the two kids are stowaways.

That fact alone makes this one a much less serious book than Jurassic Park. It is gory and scary, no doubt, but also has some nice dark humor.

Meanwhile, InGen's rival company, Biosyn, is also on their way, and they are not a company with scruples. Lewis Dodgson, geneticist for the company, offers Sarah Harding a boat ride to the island. She is a wildlife observer, and friend of Ian Malcolm, and when they discover her interest in the dinosaur eggs, they throw her overboard. But she survives, and her revenge against Dodgson is quite fitting and delightfully funny.

But a disease is being spread among the dinosaurs through bites, and eventually they will all die. It is caused by prions, smaller than viruses. The dinosaurs originally became infected because they were being fed ground-up sheep protein that were infected:

"Prions," Harding said, "are the simplest disease-causing entities known, even simpler than viruses. They're just protein fragments. They're so simple, they can't even invade a body—they have to be passively ingested. But once eaten, they cause disease: scrapie, in sheep; mad-cow disease; and kuru, a brain disease in human beings. And the dinosaurs developed a prion-disease called DX, from a bad batch of sheep protein extract. The lab battled it for years, trying to get rid of it."

The movie came out in 1997.



This was one of the first Crichton books I read (so it's been a while). It's about Casey Singleton, the Quality Assurance Vice-President at Norton Aircraft. The company manufactures aircraft bodies. The mystery begins when an unexplainable situation happens as a flight from Hong Kong to Denver requests an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport. The plane's body was manufactured by Norton.

What is even more strange is that the pilot gives air traffic control confusing information, which includes the fact that three passengers are dead and crew members have been injured when they encountered severe turbulence.

As Casey sets out to investigate this odd disaster, she gradually discovers that there are underhanded dealing going on, which includes her assistant Bob Richman and another employee, John Marder, who are trying to oust the present CEO Harold Edgarton, and are also doing some other underhanded deals to make themselves some big bucks. The more Casey discovers, the more her life is in danger, resulting in a typical Crichton nail-biter.

Airframe is one of the few Crichton books never to be made, or even considered as a movie because production costs would be too high. Maybe some day. . .


This one, while it still had scary parts, was more of a fun, adventure-type story. The theme here is time-travel, but without the futuristic and creepy sci-fi aspect as in Sphere.

On the Michael Crichton website, he shares some interesting thoughts about his choice and preparation for this book. He said he wanted to talk about history and create an unusual adventure. He said he spent a whole year just reading, then had to decide what era of history to cover. Since he wanted it to be accurate, he couldn't go back so far that there was no recorded information. He needed to know how the people lived, ate, dressed, spoke, and behaved. He also wanted to debunk any myths about knighthood—"women in pointy hats, everybody freezing in bare, chilly castles." He decided to choose France, around 1300-1360, because knights were still important then, and France was always at war. He decided on 1357, with the capture of King John, who was a bad tennis player. Crichton didn't know that before doing the research, and he also said he learned so much preparing to write this book. And lastly, he had to be able to describe the scenes and costumes as "seen by contemporary observers."

All his work paid off! This is a thoroughly enjoyable adventure, with more than a few chuckles. (The end, however, is a real guffaw!)

The story begins as Liz and Dan are lost in the Arizona desert land because Liz collects authentic Navajo rugs. Suddenly they hear a thud, and realize they have hit an old man with no idea where he came from. They go back to pick him up and he is dressed in a heavy brown robe, but is not hot. They get him in the car, and see that beneath the robe are jeans and a shirt and tennis shoes. He talks in nonsense rhymes, and mentions losing something. Dan finds a white ceramic square with a button in it, which he pushes, but nothing happens. It had the letters ITC stamped on it. They think he's nuts and get him to the hospital in Gallup, into the trauma unit where they do an MRI. They find a paper on him that looks like a computer printout with "mon.ste.mere" written on it. Dan and Liz see a cop examining their car.

Eventually the cop comes to speak with them, and says there was no evidence the man had been struck by their car. He has identified him as Dr. Joseph A Traub, a physicist at ITC. Meanwhile, the trauma unit notices that the man's checked shirt seems to be patched together. But that ain't nothin' compared to the fact that the MRI reveals that his veins don't match up either. The man dies of cardiac arrest. They contact ITC.

Robert Doniger, president of the company; wealthy, brilliant, and a real prick, isn't too particularly shocked about Traub's death. Vice President John Gordon, though, is the one who speaks with the cop at the hospital, giving the excuse that Traub was depressed because of his wife's death. The trauma unit and police don't buy the story, since Traub was found in the desert far from ITC. And they also contact a priest, who informs them immediately that mon.ste.mere was the Monestary of Sainte-Mère (the Virgin Mary) and it was French. However, upon doing more research, he reports that there is no monastery in the world with that name.

(These characters become irrelevant for most of the rest of the story, but serve to unfold the secret activities going on at ITC. They have built a unit that will travel back in time. The little ceramic square is the control device, but going back too many times takes it's mental and physical toll, which accounts for the strangeness of Dr. Traub and the fact that his body parts don't fit together correctly.)

Now we go to an archeolgical excavation site in Dordogne, France. A much-loved professor, Edward Johnston, is leading an archeological excavation along with some students. Chris Hughes is one of them. After his parents death in a car accident, he went a little on the wild side in promiscuous relationships. Nearly getting kicked out of school, Johnston had helped him get his life together. In fact Johnston is like a father to many of his students, helping them far beyond the requirements associated with his position. Other members of the team are Katherine Erickson, a grad student specializing in architecture and history, who loves to climb the walls getting samples of the mortar and André Marek, a Dutch graduate of Utrecht University, and an "experimental historian—one who re-created the past by living it", to the point where he felt that "his time" was really back in the Middle Ages. He speaks the languages, knows how to joust, and would feel quite comfortable in 1357.

The expedition is funded by ITC. Johnston thinks they are simply a research company, and one of their interests is dating equipment for artifacts. He has no idea. A nosy reporter, however, informs him that the company is buying up huge parcels of land in remote areas all over the world, and believes they are doing something in secret.

Meanwhile Diane Kramer, attorney for ITC is also on the site. She talks to Johnston alone, but he suspects something funny taking the radio from Chris as he leaves, but turning it on and indicating to Chris to listen in. Chris goes to the technical guy, David Stern and gets a radio to eavesdrop on their conversation. Kramer sort of drops a bomb on Johnston, saying ITC wants the site rebuilt, accurate to how it existed in medieval. Chris hears Kramer talk about a tower and the woods, and other things that no one else knew about. Johnston turns around and sees Chris at a distance, and motions for him to take off into the woods. He and David do, and sure enough, Kramer was right. They find the tower.

Around the same time David receives a phone call from the policeman who handled Dr. Traub's death. After Kramer leaves, they get the email with the photo David had requested—the one that looks like a computer printout with "mon.ste.mere" written on it—the site they are excavating. They show it to Katherine, who agrees, but there are structures they haven't uncovered yet. Now they are all suspicious, and when Johnston goes to meet Kramer for a private lunch, he has Marek and Chris with him. They pin her down and want to know what is going on. Johnston says he is flying back with her to have a talk with Doniger.

The others continue to excavate without Johnston, and then receive the shock of their lives—in the ruins they find a lens from Johnston's glasses and a parchment asking for help written in modern English. The team flies back to ITC, and learn that Johnston has time-traveled to the Middle Ages. All but Stern follow him.

And this is where the really cool stuff begins. With the help of Marek and his Medieval expertise, the team lands right in the middle of a war and puts all their knowledge to use, not only to survive, but to rescue Johnston. It is a harrowing experience, but also has some very funny parts.

This book was made into a movie in 2003.


Crichton had a gift for seeing the direction technology could conceivably go in the future, and many of his books were a dire warning that we should take care not to mess with stuff that could get out of control. This one is probably the most terrifying example, because it walks a very thin line between fiction and non-fiction. Like the very best sci-fi, there is always that slight possibility it could be true.

This one is unusual for Crichton in that it is in the first person, that person being Jack Forman. It begins almost as a diary excerpt from the end of the book. His three children are throwing up, and that is a good thing. He is terrified, and does not know how it will all end.

Then we begin the main part of the story, a week prior to this. Jack is a stay-at-home husband. He had formerly run a division of computer programming at MediaTronics. Then he gets put in charge of security, where he discovers the head of the company is engaged in criminal activity. Jack's attorney urges him to let it go and quit his job. But instead he notifies a board member who was in on the theft. Jack is fired the next day.

Jack's wife Julia works for a nanorobotics company called Xymos. They are working on imaging inside the body. Julia comes home and shows Jack a demo video of the nanorobots inside a human. But something is off with Julia. She is growing distant to Jack, and becoming abusive with the children. She is also keeping very late hours. Jack thinks she is having an affair.

That would have been easier compared to what was really going on. The next night, the baby awakes screaming in pain and covered with a rash. Jack takes her to emergency she goes into convulsions. And just as suddenly, it all stops. The next morning, Jack's son Eric tries to tell him there were men in silver suits vacuuming up everything. Of course, Jack thinks he had been dreaming or watching horror movies.

But he wasn't. Meanwhile, Julia is spending a lot of time at the plant in Nevada. Eric thinks he sees someone in the car with his mom, but she denies it. Jack wonders if she is on drugs. Then he sees someone in the car with her, right before she gets in an accident.

So now Jack is asked by Ricky, a friend who works at Xymos, to try to fix some software issues. He has no idea what he is getting into.

At the research facility in the desert is where they discover the horrifying truth: that the nanorobots, which have and organic, bacterial element have begun to mutate on their own, to rapidly multiply, and to "swarm." And the swarms attack and kill. They have gotten loose in the desert, and their building is not airtight. There is no escape.

I guarantee you will be gripping this book with white knuckles and you won't be able to put it down till it's finished.

There is a movie called Prey, from 2007, but it is not related to Crichton's book.

State of Fear

Of all of Crichton's books, this one I probably disagreed with the most, and it also contains very little humor. It is about a subject that has become dire in this current time—the issue of climate manipulation and global warming.

Like many of Crichton's books, this one has seemingly numerous plots coming from all over the world, that all come together as the message of the theme is revealed. And the main theme is global warming, which Crichton did not particularly believe in, and in the story, he places the blame on environmental activists and scientists who deliberately create weather catastrophes to make a case for global warming.

I wonder how Crichton would view things now, especially since we have overwhelming evidence that the government and military are, and have been involved in what is known as "geoengineering" since 1945, using what are commonly called "chemtrails" to spray the sky with reflective and toxic materials, including aluminum, cadmium, barium, lead, mercury, and a whole slew of other really nasty stuff. For more information of the scientific reality of this disaster, please see GeoEngineering

I want to add that just recently at the time of this writing (September 2014), NBC News online posted and archived video confirming the role of the government and military in weather manipulation. See Weather Modification.

Crichton claimed we were really in a period of global cooldown, but as we know now, it only appears to be colder in the eastern half of the United States because of the intense spraying and cloud cover created by the chemtrails. Though, as typical, Crichton did lots of research and included reference materials in the book, it still received criticism for its erroneous data. In any case, this is still a typical Crichton thriller, and worth reading.

Pirate Latitudes

This one was published posthumously a year after Crichton's death. According to Wikipedia, the complete manuscript was found on one of Crichton's computers, and he had supposedly been working on it over a long period of time, but this information is not found anywhere in the book itself. (I think this is a shortcoming of either the publisher or the Crichton estate for not stating this information somewhere in an introduction or preface of the book. When new books are published by an author after his death, people wonder, or at least I do, about their validity.) But having said that, it really does read like pure Crichton.

The book takes place in 1665, at Port Royal, Jamaica. The Governor, James Almont was known as James the Tenth because of he claimed a tenth of the share in privateering expeditions. The colony itself, though supposedly wealthy is not exactly a tropical vacation:

"Port Royal, in 1665, was a boomtown. In the decade since Cromwell's expedition had captured the island of Jamaica from the Spanish, Port Royal had grown from a miserable, deserted, disease-ridden spit of sand into a miserable, overcrowded, cutthroat-infested town of eight thousand."

When I read the critics' comments and reviews, I think people took this book way too seriously. Yes, it does have the excitement of risky adventure, gore and torture, and lust for riches that every pirate tale should have, but c'mon--when the torture consists of smearing someone with cheese and letting loose some hungry rats, well--that's funny, isn't it? Albeit a really sick and morbid funny, but this one is more satirical humor interwoven with the reality of pirate life than anything else. It is highly entertaining and amusing, but it won't give you nightmares!! After reading all of Crichton's novels, I can say with complete certainly that he absolutely had a deliciously dark sense of humor. Approach this one that way, and you will love it all the more!

In any case, Almont soon learns of a Spanish galleon filled with goods, and invites the famous Captain Hunter to dinner along with his new secretary, Hacklett, and his wife. They have just arrived on the last ship, and are not accustomed to the way things were done at the colony. Almont interests Hunter, whom he refers to as a "privateer," a perfectly legal profession on the island. Hacklett, however, makes the mistake of calling him a pirate, and ends up with his face slammed into his plate of mutton.

Of course, Hunter is happy to oblige the governor, and then the fun begins. His preparations and choice of crew is hysterical. He first finds Trencher in a bar, "drinking with his one good arm" and entreats him to gather a crew. Next he seeks advice from"Whisper"--no one knows his name and he is the only survivor of a raid at Matanceros, ruled by the ruthless Cazalla, though he had his throat cut and lost his voice. He now kept hidden. Hunter needs information, and a map. The Jew, Don Diego de Romano, better known as Black Eye, is next on Hunter's list. He only has two fingers on his left hand, and his eyes water constantly, the right having a black spot in the center. He is an explosives expert. Next Hunter finds Lazue in a "bawdy" house surrounded by girls. Hunter requests a word in private, and tells Lazue of his daring plans. Lazue is slight in build because he is actually a she, but most people don't know that. The Moor is a huge African:

"The Moor, also called Bassa was a huge man with a giant head, flat slab of muscle on his shoulders and chest, heavy arms and thick hand which curled around the playing cards and made them seem tiny. . . There was a story that he could not tolerate liquor, and that once he had gotten drunk and killed five men with his bare hands before he came to his senses."

And last, Hunter goes to Sanson, whom he finds in bed with a French whore. He doesn't trust him, but needs him for the raid. And now that Hunter has his expert. Albeit crippled, crew together, he is ready for serious business!

As of this writing, September 2014, a movie adaptations of this book is in the making supposedly by Steven Spielberg, but it has been in the making for quite a while, so I dunno . . .



    Not quite Michael Crichton, but pretty damn close. Three cheers to Richard Preston for completing this novel found on one of Crichton's computers after his death. There is no doubt in my mind that this is really Crichton's work. It has the same trademarks that I've grown to love in all his novels: Technology gone ballistic, mainly out of greed; people who unwittingly find themselves in a really terrifying, terrorizing situation, due to the previous statement; typical characters—the bitchy stone-cold woman who warms up in the end, the totally obnoxious guy that we all wish would be written out of the storyline as soon as possible; the evil villain; a sense of deliciously dark humor, and page-turning action, as we grip the book with white knuckles and find it physically impossible to put it down. And this one, as in so many of Crichton's novels such as Jurassic Park, contains educational material that older children would enjoy, except that as is always typical with Crichton, there is language inappropriate for children. I hope at some point a movie would be considered which could and should be made appropriate for children.
    In the preface to the book, Crichton laments (as is frequently the case) the lack of public education on a certain point, thus using the novel to provide informative and scientifically accurate data. In this case, it is about the natural world, and in particular, the microscopic world. He says:

Modern children, it seemed, were cut off from the experience of nature, and from play in the natural world. Many factors were held up to blame: urban living; loss of open space; computers and the internet; heavy homework schedules. But the upshot was that children were no longer being exposed to nature and no longer acquiring a direct experience of nature.

    Wikipedia quotes Crichton:

Michael Crichton spoke about working on Micro in three interviews before his death. Crichton described the project as "an adventure story like Jurassic Park. I'm enjoying myself," and said the novel "would be informative in a way that would be fun, and would give...some information about how our environment really is structured."

    And one other bit of information from Wikipedia that I never would have noticed, at least in the paperback copy I have. In the front of the book is a map of The Pali, the area in Hawai'i where the research is taking place. There is a waterfall, and behind this is inscribed in "micro" letters:

"NUMQUAM OBLIVISCEMUR MICHAELIS CRICHTONIS" which means in Latin, "We shall never forget Michael Crichton"

    With deep sadness in my heart, I most absolutely agree.

    The story is set on the island of O'ahu. It begins as Marcos Rodriguez, an investigator for a local attorney Willy Fong, is about to break in to what appears on the outside to be an unassuming corporation, a rather tacky metal building with no security guards in an industrial park, housing Nanigen Microtechnologies, Inc. He had secured a key by getting the receptionist drunk, and is now amazed at how easy it is to enter the building. But as he is searching around, he feels blood dripping down his face. Before he realizes it, his body is being slashed by what appears to be minute razor blades. He quickly makes it to Fong's office, which is still light even at 1 a.m.. By the time he enters, he is bleeding profusely. And what is even more ghastly is that soon Fong and another man in the office begin bleeding, too. When neighbors later report a smell coming from the office, the police find three dead bodies. Suicide, the papers says. But Lieutenant Dan Watanabe isn't buying it.
    Jump now to Cambridge University, Boston, where we meet our main characters, all students in science, except for one.

Rick Hutter: Ethnobiologist studying medicines used by indigenous peoples;
Karen King: Arachnologist (specialist in spiders, scorpions and mites) and skilled in the martial arts;
Peter Jansen: Expert in venom and envenomation;
Erika Moll: Entomologist and Coleopterist (beetle expert);
Amar Singh: Botanist studying plant hormones;
Jenny Linn: Biochemist studying pheromones, the signaling scents used by animals and plants;
Danny Minot: Doctoral student writing a thesis on "scientific linguistic codes" and paradigm transformation. And a general pain in the ass.



Go to Page 1

All material on this site copyright © 2014 by Laughing Crow.
This site designed and written by Laughing Crow.