Author of Jurassic Park – and about a dozen other books I’ve read every single incredible word of multiple times – Michael Crichton passed away yesterday at only 66 after a tough battle with cancer. He’ll definitely be missed, and I think I’ll pick up my tattered, worn, well-loved copy of Jurassic Park and read it again in his honor, as it’s the book that got me started on his awesome brand of sci-fi. If you’ve only seen the movies and never read the original stories you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about, as the depth of scientific exploration and philosophical questioning woven into his captivating writing defied any other medium. I seriously carried that book around for nearly all of 7th grade, reading it straight through dozens of times or jumping to my favorite sections to repeatedly savor them. The next year, I started a multi-year Crichton binge, exploring everything Crichton I could find in the library or scoop up at the used bookstore. I think I even joined one of those annoying mail-order book clubs to get a free copy of The Andromeda Strain. From his works I branched out into dozens of amazing sci-fi authors, and i credit that chance meeting with his writing for all the literary adventures that followed. He was a brilliant author and apparently a funny, genuine man in-person, and I’m sad to see him go.