Posted on

Lifelike Dinosaurs Not Coming to A Theater Near You

I don’t know if you have noticed but the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park have never been what science would call accurate. When you go into a JP movie you are going there to see “real” dinosaur come to life. Just like you aren’t going to see any other Hollywood give you a look at reality with its other offerings. Yet I have heard from a number of people that they want accuracy for the movie, if only to “enlighten the general public.” The general public are exactly the people who would be turned off by a raptor that’s 3 feet tall and feathered. If you want accuracy from the world you will need to read the book. Michael Crichton did a lot of research going into writing the original Jurassic Park. Every decision he made was based off of something he found in his research; even the Velociraptor-Deinonychus name change was based on a hypothesis that Deinonychus was another species of Velociraptor. Though that hypothesis was later disproven, but still, that’s where it came from. I think Crichton was of two minds– for one thing, he favored research and he himself felt obligated to go through painstaking details to bring his story to life. However, he also knew that audiences expected entertainment and ultimately they were looking for entertainment first before learning about dinosaur accuracy. For as much research as Crichton put into his work, he also indulged the truth quite a bit for thematic purposes. If he wrote Jurassic Park in the present day, I can guarantee the raptors would be feathered and the dinosaurs overall would be far more bird like. Most people don’t care about being knowledgeable about dinosaurs, truthfully. And the fact is that every single JP movie, even the worst and least accurate ones, has contributed to getting a bunch of little kids hooked on dinosaurs where they will learn on their own what’s real and what isn’t. Bottom line is, just because the original JP was nice enough to provide fairly accurate (for its time) dinosaurs, and is a science fiction movie that leans hard into the science aspect, doesn’t mean they ‘owe’ us scientifically-accurate dinosaurs. Jurassic Park was praised for when it came out, both the book and the movie: for such an updated look at how dinosaurs behaved and looked. Wouldn’t you say the series has a standard to live up to in that regard? To live up to Crichton’s hard research and creative work that spawned from that research? I do. ~XO
Posted on


When it comes to Michael Crichton you sort of get a mixed bag, his books can be great and they turn into disappointing movies.

Or vice versa.

I really liked Timeline. I really felt like I was back there. I love the whole idea of time travel, and he captured it so well. I was really sad when the book was over, like I was yanked out of reality and back to the present. I really felt like I was back there. I was really sad when the book was over, like I was yanked out of reality and back to the present.

But I also enjoyed a couple of his really old ones: The Andromeda Strain and The Terminal Man. Both of which were turned into good movies. Even though both of them are about 40 years old.


Posted on

I Miss Crichton

We don't have anybody like Michael Crichton anymore. People will tell you to try Brown (Dan) if you say that too loudly, but it is true.

Sure you can read Brown, but only if you consider dumbed-down pseudo-science and poorly researched historical conspiracies presented as fact 'the exact same', then maybe.

I suppose Dan Brown is Michael Crichton for the masses; he draws normally uninterested readers in with socially controversial topics and makes them feel like they have some ridiculous new insight into them. Dan Brown writes basically the exact same kind of books Michael Crichton does.

The big difference is that with Dan Brown books he throws in cliffhangers at the end of every chapter.

I have yet to find any other author that matches Michael Crichton's dedication to proper research for a novel nor one that understands the topics he writes about as well as he did.

Read some of his older books (Terminal Man, Congo) and nothing in them seems all the extraordinary because today all of that technology is commonplace. Apply that to his newer books (Prey, Jurassic Park, etc. even aspects of Timeline) and consider that he might able to give a very real view of the future and problems we might want to contemplate before it's too late.

If we're able to produce enough anti-matter to blow up the Vatican (or do anything useful), measure the weight of someone's soul, or even create a practical rifle that can compress/heat snow/sand into ice/glass bullets in the next 40 years, I'll come back here for my public shaming.

As far as I know, there's currently no replacement for Michael Crichton.

Posted on

My Favorite Crichton Book

I really enjoyed The Andromeda Strain, which is one of his earlier books. I wish that I could go back and read it for the first time again. It has all of the exceptional things that you want out of a Crichton book. Including dangerous science fiction tech issue, the unlikeable characters that die and you’re happy about it, and people making mistakes that make the problem bigger. In fact, one of the things that still stands out to me after all these years is the part where Crichton is describing someone’s actions and basically states that this is the point where he made a mistake. If he did the other thing, it would have ended. But he didn’t and it all gets out of hand. Jurassic Park is an epic classic of course. I also liked Congo and Sphere. Congo was one of his books that freaked me out. ~XO