He died last night, of cancer.
I always liked his work, which was eminently readable and always featured interesting ideas, even if he tended to present them in alarmist fashion (because presenting them in alarmist fashion helped to sell books). I met and interviewed him once, during the release of the Jurassic Park movie, and he said to me one of my favorite things to tell people who complain that the movie of their favorite book isn’t as rich or complex, which was that books are 400 pages long while movie scripts are the equivalent of 40 pages long, and you just have to make some choices. That was a very smart and clear answer, and not only have I never forgotten it, I incorporated it into my thinking when watching movie adaptations of books. It’s saved me from being annoyed therein countless times over the years.
So thanks, Michael Chrichton, for that, and also for the fun reads.