Release Michael Crichton's Notes From His Novels
Michael Crichton’s death back in 2008 was a bitter blow to the world of science fiction readers, writers, and filmmakers. Gone was a man whose intellect in the medical and science field spliced with his own imaginative style created stories and ideas that will never be forgotten. Some of his ideas were so close to reality that they actually ended up happening later on after they had been written. In some ways, Crichton was a fortune-teller for the world, and was never afraid to point out potential dire consequences. At the same time, he had a fascination with the past, and commonly used it as a back drop, and attempted to bring it back to life as accurately as he could in the world of fiction, and even non-fiction.
However, after his unfortunate death, HarperCollins was allowed access to Crichton’s computer files that contained lengthy notes on his works. Among their findings, they discovered a complete manuscript of a novel that was never published titled Pirate Latitudes. Also found was a third of a techno-thriller novel he was working on to the time of his death, with numerous notes and plot outlines, which were then completed by Richard Preston. The book was later titled Micro, and along with Pirate Latitudes, both were published for all of his eager fans to see.
Some may think seeing a posthumous work is a violation of what an author would want. However, the undersigned and I believe that Crichton would always want to see the entire picture, and want more revealed of any scenario. He was never shy with his readers, had plenty of interviews about his work, and liked to participate in the adaptations of his stories, if only just to oversee. He even directed some film versions of his very own works (Great Train Robbery) and became the creator of a massively popular TV series (“ER”). He genuinely loved to discuss his works and the issues they addressed. He thought they were important. We did, too.
An author as important and popular as Michael Crichton deserves an important legacy. While his novels and other works alone are enough to keep fans satisfied for a lifetime, the fact that HarperCollins has access to files and notes generates intriguing questions. Despite finding a complete manuscript of a novel, and the remains of another, what else was found, or still yet to be found, in all of these files? Crichton seemed to be a very organized person, and perhaps kept everything he did. What if there was more?
What if, in Crichton’s files, there were more notes on his previous novels, films, etc.? Wouldn’t it be amazing to read more about the characters and Crichton’s use of quantum mechanics from Timeline? What other manifestations did he have in mind for the Sphere to generate? Was there ever a draft of Prey that was in third person? What plotlines were lost from The Lost World? Was there an alternate ending for Congo? What were the other stories he had in store for Next? Did Crichton have more notes on the story and characters of Westworld?
And here is something many fans have wanted to see for years since it was known from an interview… What was the early draft from Jurassic Park like? Apparently it was told from the kids’ point of view. Wouldn’t it be amazing to read that version of perhaps Crichton’s most popular work? It’d be like an alternate perspective of the same amazing story, with many other changes in the plot and character, I am sure.
What about other works that were also never published? Maybe there were no other complete manuscripts in his files, but maybe there plot outlines for stories Crichton abandoned early on. Or maybe they were to be done after his techno-thriller that he never got to finish? What would they have been like?
Crichton also loved to use plenty of diagrams and in some cases have maps created for his novels. Perhaps his files and notes have much more of these, and maybe even sketches of what he believed certain things looked like. Was there even, perhaps, a map of Jurassic Park, like there was for The Lost World, that never saw the light of day? How amazing would it be to uncover that?
Rather than have another writer take these notes (if they exist) and make a whole new novel out of them, the undersigned and I believe something else would be far more satisfying, and stay truer to the words of the writer.
We, the undersigned, would like to propose to HarperCollins Publishing to release a unique encyclopedia-style book of the writing process of Michael Crichton. From using any notes available from his computer files, and other sources allowed by his estate (including relatives or friends); they will be collected and organized into a fascinating book, or even series of books, of unique notes on character details, lost plotlines, altered events, and further details on any past and unknown works. We would also like released, in the same book or another, any older drafts of previous novels that display a significant difference compared to the finished novel. One that may exist is an early draft of Jurassic Park, told from the kids’ point of view, that fans have been curious to read for a very long time. If needed, please hire an editor or author devoted to Crichton’s legacy to present this material in an engaging way. One title for consideration, using the overall appeal of the discovery of lost story ideas and other content on previous novels could be: The Lost Words Of Michael Crichton.
If publishing a book is unlikely or out of the question, perhaps an online version of these findings can be displayed on the official Michael Crichton site? Author J.K. Rowling of the Harry Potter series is actually doing this in an extravagant way with the creation of “Pottermore”. Doesn’t Crichton deserve the same extensive revelation of his material?
In short: we simply want more information of Crichton’s past and lost works presented for all of us to see. J.R.R. Tolkien had this treatment done with The Histories of Middle Earth, so why can’t Crichton? Isn’t he a Tolkien for the science fiction genre?
Crichton is a national and even worldwide bestseller with most, if not all, of his written works. An important compilation like this would certainly garner just as much interest, if not more, from all of his readers.
Thank you, and we do hope you consider this exciting proposition.