For almost three decades, Michael Crichton has written novels that appeal to his reader=s imagination and take a firm hold of their pocketbooks. Crichton=s writing stands out as much as his 6=9@ frame. He has become one of the most widely read and bought science fiction authors of the past three decades. From his first novel The Andromeda Strain, which he published while in medical school, to his most recent Airframe, Crichton has captivated his readers and left them craving more. What makes Crichton=s novels unique are their topics. Criction=s fiction novels have topics that range from little known historical events to indistinct scientific topics, such as cloning and primate communication. Crichton=s novels intertwine factual information with his own fictional ideas to produce stories that sell.

Crichton=s research is very accurate and detailed. This fact can be traced to Crichton=s extensive education, both formal and informal. Born John Michael Crichton in Chicago, Illinois, he was raised in Roslyn, New York. Crichton graduated from Harvard University, were studied to become an English major, but converted to studies in anthropology. After graduating summa cum laude, Crichton taught anthropology for one year at Cambridge University in England. After his tenure at Cambridge, Crichton attended Harvard Medical School, where he earned his doctorate. Crichton also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute in California. (Jaynes 1)

Crichton=s writing experienced a dry spell in the early eighties, when he said, A Writing was very difficult for me.@ Instead of writing Crichton traveled the world. Being an anthropologist, Crichton explored civilizations that are hard to reach. He traveled from Malaysia to Pakistan. He also made a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro, and spent time in the South Pacific. (Jaynes 2) Crichton has had many experiences and gained enormous amounts of knowledge, which he employs in his novels, and uses to create stories that climb the best seller list quickly.

Crichton also experimented with psychic phenomenon and became a professed spiritual pilgrim. Crichton admits to participating in practices such as acupuncture and Aaura-fluffing.@ (Jaynes 2) Crichton himself says, A Sometimes I thought, *You=ve been in California too long, and you=ve gone from a perfectly O.K. doctor to a guy who lies on a couch while someone puts crystals on him and you actually think it means something, but it=s nothing but a lot of hippie-dippy-airy-fairy baloneyY.@ (qtd. in Jaynes 2) Crichton has explored the landscape of the mind and the planet, and uses what he has discovered to create stories that sell.

Michael Crichton is the author of eleven thrillers under his given name. All eleven of these novels have made the best-seller list, and earned Crichton a notable reputation. Crichton=s first novel The Andromeda Strain was written as a means of income for Crichton while he was in school. When the novel was published Crichton experienced minimal fame around the Harvard campus. More importantly, however, this novel established Crichton=s reputation as a writer. The novel itself is about an alien virus that lands in the remote New Mexico desert, and the scientists that study and ultimately get rid of the virus. This novel contains subtle hints comparing it the alleged alien landings in Roswel, New Mexico and alien studies conducted in Area 51 in Nevada. Crichton puts his own creativeness into this work using the general public=s curiosity concerning alien matters, only this time the invader is a virus. Another aspect of this novel that makes it so compelling is as Richard Shickel of Harper=s Magazine states, AMr. Crichton has spared no effort in his attempt to make us believe that The Andromeda Strain could happen here.@ The factual information and even the fiction aspects of this work are a product of Crichton=s exposure to the medical field at school. Crichton uses computer printouts, biological references, and fictional government documents to lend authenticity to this story. (Marowski 1) This is the first of many instances where Crichton uses his knowledge and experience to excite his readers.

Another Atechno-thriller@ that Crichton is more popular for is Jurassic Park. In an article for the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Andrew Ferguson stated that Jurassic Park=s Areal virtue@ is A its genuinely interesting discussion of dinosaurs, DNA research, paleontology, and the chaos theory.@ This work does indeed display an acute knowledge of the scientific fields mentioned above.