For Bookstrs like me who love Michael Crichton’s ability to use real science within his embellished fiction, finding more authors like him can become an ongoing endeavor. Read on for five amazing books I think you should read next if you’re a fan of his work.
It is no contest that Michael Crichton created unforgettable worlds with previously unimagined ideas and technology, all made real by plausible and intriguing technical details. If you’re looking to discover more stories that blend factual science into beyond-reality worlds. Nanobots going rogue, deadly simulated realities, time travel misadventures, historical deception, and dragons (Yes, dragons!), these exciting themes are guaranteed to scratch that itch for that Crichton-ish science fiction.
Who is Michael Crichton?
A pioneer of the techno-thriller genre, the doctor-turned-writer Michael Crichton seamlessly sewed real science and embellished fiction into tapestries of bestselling novels, movies, and television shows. Globally, everyone knows what Jurassic Park is, and we have him to thank for that. He captivated millions of fans with his unbelievable stories about bioengineered dinosaurs, time travel, rogue swarm-bots, medical dramas, mind control, train robberies, and more. Sadly, we lost the great Doctor Crichton in 2008 to cancer. His literary influence lives on eternally, however, in the hearts of writers everywhere. While there may not be anyone else quite like him, here are the five must-reads if you love Michael Crichton.
When Nanotechnology Goes Rogue
Techno-Thrillers About Free-Willed Nanobot Swarms
For those of us who love speculative horror and psychological dramas that feature nanotechnology and simulated behavior, Michael Crichton set a high bar when he wrote Prey, the scientific thriller about a cloud of nanoparticles coded with a hunter-gatherer computer program that escaped the lab that created them and begins rapidly evolving into self-sustaining and self-replicating identities. If you revel in Crichton’s ability to challenge the perception of reality in Prey, you will love The Goliath Stone by Larry Niven and Matthew Harrington.
A swarm of nanobots is sent into space on an experimental mission on an asteroid, but soon, all contact is lost. Deemed a failure, the project is scrapped — until many years later when an Armageddon-sized asteroid is headed on a collision course with Earth, controlled by that same swarm, now a multiplied and evolved collective intelligence hell-bent on destroying mankind and consuming Earth’s resources to keep evolving. Looking for thrilling themes of biotechnology and rogue nanotechnology in a terrifying bot plot to destroy all humans? The Goliath Stone is a true nail-biter.
What Is Real and What Is Simulated?
Nanotechnology Can Change Reality and Your Identity
Famous for exploring unpredictable outcomes of technological inventions, Michael Crichton told a gripping story in The Terminal Man about the implications of manipulating the human brain in experimental science. A man suffers from seizures, and with the promise his condition will be cured, he agrees to undergo brain surgery to have electrodes implanted directly into the brain to intervene when a seizure starts to happen, which went terribly wrong, of course. Now addicted to the electrical impulses, he goes on a violent rampage to trigger them and feed the addiction. If you liked the deadly consequences of brain implants and mind control in The Terminal Man, then you should enjoy Full Immersion by Gemma Amor.
This fast-paced thriller challenges our view of reality as our main heroine figures out who they really are- and what is real and what is a deadly simulation of human life. Imagine finding yourself standing on a riverbank with a huge amnesia problem as you stare down at your own dead body buried in the mud. Well, that is what happens to our girl Magpie. Reality becomes a slippery concept when her whole world flips upside down, and her highly experimental journey of healing turns into a fight for survival. Do you want hard science, a terrifying plot, and twists and turns on that nightmare ride? Gemma Amor’s Full Immersion will not disappoint you.
Secret Zoos for Dangerous Dinosaurs and Dragons
“Life, ah, finds a way.”
Not many masterminds have captured the thrill and horror of bringing extinct creatures to life as Michael Crichton did in Jurassic Park. This probably needs no introduction at this point, but this book series features a park full of genetically recreated dinosaurs that soon start breeding and escaping their enclosures. While the park is investigated by a group of experts and investors, the park’s systems are sabotaged, and the dinosaurs are let loose on the island- and you have no doubt read all the books and watched all the movies by now.
If you want more stories about the deadly consequences of playing God and creating out-of-this-world life forms. Here’s what you read next: The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly. This intensely graphic thriller is about a secret zoo in China that has genetically engineered some real DRAGONS. This, too, is visited by a group of specialists, and, you guessed it, things go terribly wrong. Dangerous dragons and sinister Chinese government agendas drive this violent, action-packed story while still exploring those themes of scientific carelessness and the unpredictability of life itself.
Blending History and Fantasy
Fictional Embellishments Used on Real Historical Events
In The Great Train Robbery, Crichton put his own spin on a massive train heist in England known as the Great Gold Robbery of 1855. But this is no history book. It is a fast-paced adventure full of fictional fantasy embellishments that show an alternate view of the past with supernatural elements. If you want more historical fiction stories that blend history and fantasy, try this for your next adventure: The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers.
This adventure follows an English professor who ends up trapped in the 19th century during a time travel experiment. As if that wasn’t adventurous enough, he finds himself involved in a plot to summon ancient Egyptian gods and destroy the British Empire! The Anubis Gates weaves historical details and themes of deception and identity to create this dark and complex plot in an unbelievably mythical alternate reality.
Time Travel and Medieval England
The Challenges of Time Travel and the Everyday Realities of Medieval Life
In Timeline, Michael Crichton expertly combines technical science and historical accuracy to tell the story of a group of history students who use secret quantum technology to time-travel back to 14th-century France and rescue their professor. If you are the type to be curious and fascinated by the past, keep exploring the vivid medieval past with The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century.
Immerse yourself in the everyday realities of 14th-century life with this factual and informative non-fiction title by historian Ian Mortimer. In this informative guidebook for time travelers, Mortimer shows us how to understand and live in the medieval era prosperously and without detection, covering all the aspects of typical life for the average resident in the 14th century.
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