Just when I thought nothing could wipe this grin off my face today, I hear that Michael Crichton has died at the age of 66 after a private battle with cancer. I think I have read every one of his books. He's the only bestseller author I can say that about. His books were quite formulaic: a group of intelligent experts in different fields are brought together to solve a crisis. The formula worked well. Since each character was ignorant in the other experts' fields, they had to explain everything to each other in layman's terms, thus informing the reader as well. What I loved about his books was that he took a field of science and blended smoothly the known reality of the field into a science fiction "what if" scenario. None of his work is classic literature, but it's all excellent reading for scientifically inquisitive. Below is one of my favorite interviews with Michael Crichton. His intelligence is obvious.
He has one final book, untitled but with ISBN 9780060873028, scheduled for release on December 2, 2008.