FSFH Book Review

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Abnett, Dan
Adams, Douglas
Aguirre-Sacasa, Roberto
Allen, Roger MacBride
Allie, Scott
Allston, Aaron
Anderson, Kevin J.
Barclay, James
Barnes, Steven
Baum, L. Frank
Bear, Greg
Bendis, Brian Michael
Bischoff, David
Bisson, Terry
Blackman, Haden
Bova, Ben
Bowen, Carl
Brooks, Terry
Canavan, Trudi
Card, Orson Scott
Chadwick, Paul
Clarke, Arthur C.
Clarke, Susanna
Clemens, James
Collins, Paul
Crichton, Michael
Crispin, A. C.
Cunningham, Elaine
Daley, Brian
David, Peter
DeMatteis, J. M.
Denning, Troy
Dick, Philip K.
Dickens, Charles
Dietz, William C.
Dixon, Chuck
Donaldson, Stephen
Eddings, David
Edginton, Ian
Elrod, P. N.
Erikson, Steven
Feist, Raymond E.
Foster, Alan Dean
Fraction, Matt
Furman, Simon
Gaiman, Neil
Gemmell, David A.
Gerber, Michael
Gibbons, Dave
Golden, Christopher
Goodkind, Terry
Goodwin, Archie
Graham, Mitchell
Grant, Alan
Green, Jonathan
Green, Laurence
Guggenheim, Marc
Hagberg, David
Hambly, Barbara
Hamilton, Laurell K.
Hand, Elizabeth
Harras, Bob
Harrison, Mick
Heinlein, Robert A.
Herbert, Frank
Herbert, James
Hine, David
Hobb, Robin
Howard, Robert E.
Jacques, Brian
James, Charlie Hamilton
Jenkins, Paul
Jeter, K. W.
Johns, Geoff
Jones, J. V.
Jordan, Robert
Jurgens, Dan
Karpyshyn, Drew
Kennedy, Mike
Kerr, Katharine
Keyes, Greg
King, Stephen
King, William
Knaak, Richard A.
Kube-McDowell, Michael P.
Lawhead, Stephen
Layman, John
Le Guin, Ursula K.
Lewis, C. S.
Lieberman, A. J.
Loeb, Jeph
Lorey, Dean
Lowder, James
Luceno, James
Lumley, Brian
Macan, Darko
Manning, Russ
Martin, George R. R.
Marz, Ron
Matheson, Richard
McCaffrey, Anne
McIntosh, Neil
McIntyre, Vonda
Michelinie, David
Millar, Mark
Miller, John Jackson
Miller, Karen
Milligan, Peter
Moench, Doug
Moesta, Rebecca
Moore, Alan
Nicholls, Stan
Nicieza, Fabian
Nylund, Eric
O'Neil, Dennis
Ostrander, John
Paolini, Christopher
Perry, S. D.
Perry, Steve
Pratchett, Terry
Pullman, Philip
Quinn, David
Reaves, Michael
Reed, A. W.
Reed, Brian
Rice, Anne
Richardson, Nancy
Roberts, Adam
Rowe, Matthew
Rowling, J. K.
Rubio, Kevin
Rusch, Kristine Kathryn
Salvatore, R.A.
Shelley, Mary
Shultz, Mark
Simone, Gail
Simonson, Louise
Simonson, Walter
Smith, L. Neil
Spurrier, Simon
Stackpole, Michael A.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Stewart, Sean
Stoker, Bram
Stover, Matthew
Straczynski, J. Michael
Stradley, Randy
Strnad, Jan
Sutcliff, Rosemary
Tolkien, J.R.R.
Traviss, Karen
Truman, Tim
Turtledove, Harry
Tyers, Kathy
van Belkom, Edo
Veitch, Tom
Wagner, John
Watson, Jude
Whitman, John
Williams, Sean
Williams, Tad
Williams, Walter Jon
Windham, Ryder
Wolverton, Dave
Woodring, Jim
Wurts, Janny
Yeovil, Jack
Zahn, Timothy
Collaborations A - F
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Anthologies A - R
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Anthologies T - Z
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Reviewing Literature
The Books of Michael Crichton

Born in Chicago in 1942, Michael Crichton was educated at Harvard College and Harvard Medical School.  A man of many talents, he has written nonfiction and fiction about things ranging from sexual harassment in the workplace to alien balls.  He also directed the film version of his own novel 'The Great Train Robbery' and created the medical drama 'ER'.  In 1991 he published a book that will always be one of my favourites, prompting Steven Spielberg to make a groundbreaking movie '65 million years in the making' (which is a pretty long production time for a two hour movie!).
Average Review Score: 4.5 out of 5

Jurassic Park
A genetics company and it's misguided managing director, John Hammond, use state of the art technology to rebuild the great dinosaurs of Earth's past and create a safari park on a Costa Rican island populated with these fantastic creatures.  When an accident bring the park's safety into question, a small group of experts are invited to spend the weekend at Jurassic Park to give it their endorsement.  However, industrial espionnage and a killer storm conspire to make the weekend far from pleasurable.  Crichton's science is impeccable, giving a very real feeling to the story and, with the current controversy over genetic dabbling, the story also serves as a morality tale in the style of the classic early science fiction.  However, this book's greatest elements are it's dinosaurs and the encounters they have with the diverse and interesting collection of characters.  There are several truly awesome sequences in the book that will stick in your imagination for years to come; notably, where the tyrannosaur is swimming after the boat crocodile-like, the aviary scene (so disappointingly brought to life in the movie 'Jurassic Park III') and the scene in which the velociraptors besiege the Visitor Centre.  Crichton's excellent writing skills allow him to convey to the reader the full range of emotions from wonder through to abject terror.  This is one of my all-time favourite novels and is more than worth a look.  There's also a nice little twist at the end in which there are reports of strange creatures heading inland from the coast of Costa Rica.
5 out of 5
The Lost World
The sequel to the monumental 'Jurassic Park', is still good, but nowhere near as great as it's predecessor.  First off, be aware that there are some rather confusing continuity issues between the two books that might throw you off a bit (they did me).  Firstly, Ian Malcolm, who died of his injuries at the end of the first book, is one of the main characters.  Secondly, the tyrannosaurs CAN see you even if you don't move.  Crichton never bothers to explain these discrepancies and they're the sort of thing that bother me.  The story involves a small research team being sent to Isla Sorna, where the dinosaurs were bred before being sent to Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar.  Their mission is to discover how the dinosaurs, who should have died from lycene deficiency, have survived.  The book is pretty heavy on mathematic theories and long-winded scientific lectures, that really slow the pace of the story and can be a bit brain-frazzling.  However, once again, Crichton excels in bringing the terrible lizards to life and creates a new set of memorably stunning scenes.  There's the scene in which a Jeep and a motorbike are chased by an entire pack of raptors, a bit where one of the cars is trapped by a herd of the dome-skulled pachycephalosaurs and a great scene where the tyrannosaurs attack the expedition's trailer cab (like in the film, but ten times better).  There's also a good human element as, once again, a couple of children find themselves thrown into the mix with the prehistoric monsters and it's endlessly funny reading what Ian Malcolm says whilst heavily stoked on morphine.  All in all, a good read, but lacking the awe and grandeur of it's predecessor.
4 out of 5

If you liked Crichton:
Well, if (like me) you liked the Jurassic Park books, then you could always read Anne McCaffrey's Dinosaur Planet duology (available as an omnibus).  Personally, I'd recommend you watch 'Jurassic Park' the movie.  Don't bother with the film version of 'The Lost World' though.  And avoid 'Jurassic Park III' like the plague!

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