Author Michael Crichton died yesterday after a long battle with cancer. Crichton is most famous for his science-fiction novels, including The Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park, Congo, Sphere and Prey. He was also the creator of medical drama ER.
Crichton gained fame and notoriety in his later years for his fierce scepticism towards the idea of global warming, the dangers of second-hand smoke, and the existence of extraterrestrial life.
Whether or not you're a fan of his politics (I'm not), his books are highly entertaining, particularly his earlier writing. If you've never read a Michael Crichton novel, can I suggest you all go out and commemorate his work by reading The Great Train Robbery which (a) is excellent and (b) has the most consistently absurd misuse of period dialogue ever to appear in a novel.