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State of Fear Mass Market Paperback – April 28, 2009
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A Michael Crichton Timeline
Amazon.com reveals a few facts about the "father of the techno-thriller."
1942: John Michael Crichton is born in Chicago, Illinois on Oct. 23.
1960: Crichton graduates from Roslyn High School on Long Island, New York, with high marks and a reputation as a star basketball player. He decides to attend Harvard University to study English. During his studies, he rankles under his writing professors' criticism. As an act of rebellion, Crichton submits an essay by George Orwell as his own. The professor doesnt catch the plagiarism and gives Orwell a B-. This experience convinces Crichton to change his field of study to anthropology.
1964: Crichton graduates summa cum laude from Harvard University in anthropology. After studying further as a visiting lecturer at Cambridge University and receiving the Henry Russell Shaw Travelling Fellowship, which allowed him to travel in Europe and North Africa, Crichton begins coursework at the Harvard School of Medicine. To help fund his medical endeavors, he writes spy thrillers under several pen names. One of these works, A Case of Need, wins the 1968 Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Allan Poe Award.
1969: Crichton graduates from Harvard Medical school and is accepted as a post-doctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Science in La Jolla, Calif. However, his career in medicine is waylaid by the publication of the first novel under his own name, The Andromeda Strain. The novel, about an apocalyptic plague, climbs high on bestseller lists and is later made into a popular film. Crichton said of his decision to pursue writing full time: "To quit medicine to become a writer struck most people like quitting the Supreme Court to become a bail bondsman."
1972: Crichton's second novel under his own name The Terminal Man, is published. Also, two of Crichton's previous works under his pen names, Dealing and A Case of Need are made into movies. After watching the filming, Crichton decides to try his hand at directing. He will eventually direct seven films including the 1973 science-fiction hit Westworld, which was the first film ever to use computer-generated effects.
1980: Crichton draws on his anthropology background and fascination with new technology to create Congo, a best-selling novel about a search for industrial diamonds and a new race of gorillas. The novel, patterned after the adventure writings of H. Ryder Haggard, updates the genre with the inclusion of high-tech gadgets that, although may seem quaint 20 years later, serve to set Crichton's work apart and he begins to cement his reputation as "the father of the techno-thriller."
1990: After the 1980s, which saw the publication of the underwater adventure Sphere (1987) and an invitation to become a visiting writer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1988), Crichton begins the new decade with a bang via the publication of his most popular novel, Jurassic Park. The book is a powerful example of Crichton's use of science and technology as the bedrock for his work. Heady discussion of genetic engineering, chaos theory, and paleontology run throughout the tightly-wound thriller that strands a crew of scientists on an island populated by cloned dinosaurs run amok. The novel inspires the 1993 Steven Spielberg film, and together book and film will re-ignite the worlds fascination with dinosaurs.
1995: Crichton resurrects an idea from his medical school days to create the Emmy-Award Winning television series ER. In this year, ER won eight Emmys and Crichton received an award from the Producers Guild of America in the category of outstanding multi-episodic series. Set in an insanely busy an often dangerous Chicago emergency room, the fast-paced drama is defined by Crichton's now trademark use of technical expertise and insider jargon. The year also saw the publication of The Lost World returning readers to the dinosaur-infested island.
2000: In recognition for Crichton's contribution in popularizing paleontology, a dinosaur discovered in southern China is named after him. "Crichton's ankylosaur" is a small, armored plant-eating dinosaur that dates to the early Jurassic Period, about 180 million years ago. "For a person like me, this is much better than an Academy Award," Crichton said of the honor.
2004: Crichtons newest thriller State of Fear is published.
Amazon.com's Significant Seven
Michael Crichton kindly agreed to take the life quiz we like to give to all our authors: the Amazon.com Significant Seven.
Q: What book has had the most significant impact on your life?
A: Prisoners of Childhood by Alice Miller
Q: You are stranded on a desert island with only one book, one CD, and one DVD--what are they?
A: Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (Witter Bynner version)
Symphony #2 in D Major by Johannes Brahms (Georg Solti)
Ikiru by Akira Kurosawa
Q: What is the worst lie you've ever told?
A: Surely you're joking.
Q: Describe the perfect writing environment.
A: Small room. Shades down. No daylight. No disturbances. Macintosh with a big screen. Plenty of coffee. Quiet.
Q: If you could write your own epitaph, what would it say?
A: I don't want an epitaph. If forced, I would say "Why Are You Here? Go Live Your Life."
Q: Who is the one person living or dead that you would like to have dinner with?
A: Benjamin Franklin
Q: If you could have one superpower what would it be?
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Second, having been trained in the Earth Science; a member of local, national, and global environmental groups; and an Environmental Science teacher I LOVED THIS BOOK! Why? Because it makes you think about what you know, why you know it, and where the information comes from. Nobody should take information published second-hand and not think about how data can be misconstrued (including the data published in this book).
Third, State of Fear makes you think about the hypocrisy of American Environmentalism: living in enormous houses in the middle of forest-fire prone landscapes, driving everywhere, wasting water, and then paying money to large environmental groups who overstate scientific findings (just like the energy companies do). Assuaging our guilt isn't going to make the world a better place.
Finally, Crichton encourages us to not be sheep. Think for yourself. Read the primary sources of data with an open-mind. Live the way you wish everyone else lived. Judgement without compassion is worthless.
As a scientist familiar with the climate warming issue, having managed research in the area, I believe Crichton's book makes an important statement to the many who believe that the issue is settled, that human-induced warming is real and that catastrophe will follow.Read more ›
In State of Fear he reverses field and uses the incorrectly perceived threats of environmental disaster as the underlying impetus for a novel. In Crichton's view, the whole global warming argument is false. His view is that environmentalism has degenerated into a quasi religious system devoid of scientific veracity. Thus, the proponents of the global warming hysteria are pushing faith over fact, many of them have lost their moorings and the inevitable result is a grand conspiracy.
At the heart of this conspiracy is Nick Drake, head of a radical environmentalist group. Outraged that a significant source of funding has been closed by the donors getting Drakes science debunked by a MIT professor, drakes sets out on a murderous course that is designed to both do away with his detractors and enemies while concomitantly creating a profound state of fear about global warming among the public.
As is generally the case with Crichton, an avalanche of scientific data is imparted in Crichton's usual informative yet entertaining manner. Many will debate the validity of Crichton's "science" as regards the issue of global warming. As Crichton so deftly displays in this novel, this issue has become more political than scientific in many ways and there's no reason this novel won't be analyzed in that light.
The story has all the traditional strengths and weaknesses of a Crichton novel. Crichton is an accomplished technician and that comes through in this novel. It can justifiably be called a page turner.Read more ›
I am a specialist in mosquito-borne diseases. I worked for the CDC in the US for 22 years. Now I work for the Pasteur Institute in France.
For more than 12 years I have been battling the mis-information on my speciality that is doled out by global warming alarmists. I believe I am winning: predictions of the "spread" of malaria, dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases were once top of the list of dangers predicted by these ignorant, uninformed people.
Sadly, the alarmists have now switched to sea-level rise and other dangers, despite the protests of professional scientists. Crighton's book reveals the disgraceful way that this mis-information is peddled. Let me summarize in my own words:
More than a million articles are published in peer-reviewed scientific journals every year. The lay-public is unaware of this colossal output; popular information on research findings is limited to "newsworthy" articles, selected, described and interpreted by the media.
Professional scientists rarely draw firm conclusions from a single article, but consider its contribution in the context of other publications and their own experience, knowledge, and speculations. The complexity of this process, and the uncertainties involved, are a major obstacle to meaningful understanding of scientific issues by non-scientists.
In the age of information, popular knowledge of scientific issues-particularly on issues of health and the environment-is awash in a tide of misinformation, much of it presented in the 'big talk' of professional scientists. Alarmist activists operating in well-funded advocacy groups have a lead role in creating and promoting this misinformation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book does a good job of exposing the real reasons behind the scam being sold as global warming and related things. Book starts slow, but you will soon not be able to put down.Published 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
Made me really think about global warming and started doing my own research. The jury is still out.Published 18 days ago by Sandra Foster
This is a well written novel that is both entertaining and thought provoking. It makes you rethink how easily information can be accepted as fact, and how, more often than not,... Read morePublished 20 days ago by Lecsi
I chose this rating because I could not put this book down from the moment I started reading it! Great Read, great subject!Published 23 days ago by Kindle Customer
Crichton did a great job in this novel of presenting an unpopular view of an issue that is as talked about today as it was when the book was written. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Sandra
Im not one for fiction but this one makes you think about global warming from both sides of the argument and is a fantastic read to boot.Published 1 month ago by Kirstie
This book gives a glimpse of how government is doing to us. Or I should say, how we are doing it to ourselves.Published 1 month ago by D
It makes you think about what you believe. I wanted to find out more about different ideas and what works.Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer