I just got word that one of my favorite authors has died.
Michael Crichton, who wrote the books “Jurassic Park” and “The Andromeda Strain” passed away last night at the age of 66.
Crichton specialized in his science fiction and techno-thriller novels, films and television programs.
His books have sold over 150 million copies worldwide.
In addition to the books and movies he made, he also was the executive producer to the long-running NBC show, E/R, which is slated to end it’s run in 2009.
He also directed a number of movies during the 70’s, including my favorite film, “Westworld.”
In the film set in the near future, humans would vacation in a Disney style resort. The park, named Delos, is divided into three zones: WestWorld (set in the Old West), MedievalWorld (set in medieval Europe) and RomanWorld (pre-Christian Rome).
The entertainment in all three areas consists primarily of interaction by the guests with androids programmed to act in character.
The movie’s main character, played by Yul Brynner, is a robot trained to start duels. Interesting of note is that Brynner’s character looks the same as in another film he played in, “The Magnificent Seven.”
Because the interaction is staged, humans can always outdraw the Gunslinger and kill it. The guns have sensors that can sense when they are pointed at a human being, in which case they will not fire.
However, later in the film, tech personnel start to realize that there are problems starting to creep up with the androids. Pretty soon, the runs amok with the androids taking over the resort.
The formula was similar to his novel, Jurassic Park, where dinosaurs created out of DNA suddenly run amok on a resort island.