Other literary forms

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Best known as a writer of science-fiction thrillers with compulsively page-turning plots, Michael Crichton (KRI-tuhn) also wrote nonfiction books on a variety of topics: Five Patients: The Hospital Explained (1970), an exposé of the inner workings of a big-city hospital; Electronic Life: How to Think About Computers (1983), an introduction to computer programming; Jasper Johns (1977), a biography-cum-portfolio of the artist; and Travels (1988), an autobiography-cum-travelogue. He also frequently contributed opinion pieces on scientific topics to newspapers and magazines.

Other than as a novelist, however, Crichton is best known as a screenwriter. He wrote the script for the popular science-fiction film Westworld (1973) as well as the script for the film adaptation of his novel The Great Train Robbery (1979); he also directed both of those motion pictures. He also, with the help of collaborators, worked on the screenplays for the adaptations of Jurassic Park (1993) and Rising Sun (1993). Along with his then wife, Anne-Marie Martin, he wrote the script of one of the most popular films of the 1990’s, Twister (1996). In addition to his work in films, Crichton created the hugely popular television series ER, drawing on his own experiences as a doctor. He served as an executive producer for the show, which premiered in 1994, and he wrote the first three episodes.