The most memorable memory of Michael Crichton I have is my mom lecturing him after a reading. I was in junior high and, at the time, Crichton was my literary crush. I had been in line for over an hour and I was star struck when I finally got to the front of the line and handed him my book. My mom was not as impressed with him; as I handed him the book to sign, he coughed a sickly cough into his two hands. My mom looked at him horrified and said, “Aren’t you supposed to be a doctor?” Crichton looked at her confused and simply smiled. Then my mom said, “I can’t believe someone who is a doctor would cough all over their hands and spread their germs like that—any reasonable person would cough into there arm sleeve, so they didn’t spread whatever they were sick with to every person they shuck hands with.” I half expected Crichton to tell my mom off, and refuse to sign my book; instead he spend the next few minutes talking to me, signed several books, and stood to let me take a picture with him (a picture which my brother exposed the next day and ruined).
Crichton was the H.G. Wells and Jules Verne of my generation; he was the author that, as a young boy, I would check out at the library and whose books I would become absolutely immersed in. I can remember many occasions going to my room with the sun still up, and becoming so involved in the story that I didn’t realize it was dark until I could no longer read the page for lack of light; I often was so involved in stories like Sphere, Congo, and, of course, Jurassic Park that I would be startled when someone interrupted my reading to ask me something. He was one of the authors that made me love reading.
I owe a lot to the literature he created, and he will be missed.