I'm not a big reader, apart from circling typos in every issue of Juggs magazine:
To the editor, really? two "G"s in Juggs? In Mother, Jugs & Speed, Raquel Welch was Jugs and she only earned one G, and she was Raquel freakin' Welch.
In fact, after my BA in English Lit, I didn't want to read anything, anymore, ever, and I didn't read any fiction for over a year. But it was Crichton who broke that streak with Jurassic Park. I had avoided reading it because everyone recommended it. Oh, it's so exciting, you will just plotz. You will love it.
But eventually I read it, and yes, I loved it.
But still, I'm not a big reader. So I watch movies. And Crichton contributed to some of my favorites: The Andromeda Strain, Westworld, Coma, Looker. He had a way of making science fiction fun AND educational. Even the movie version of Jurassic Park is fun despite its T-Rex ex machina ending which bothered me initially, but doesn't so much any more. I have each of those movies on DVD (except for Looker which I only have on VHS), so it'll be a marathon this weekend in his memory. And I really like The 13th Warrior for its humor and tons of action, so I'll add that one to the list.
Somewhere on my bookshelf is a copy of Crichton's computer book from the early 1980's, so I'll take a look at that tonight to remind myself of how far ahead of the curve his mind was, how he explained the complex while entertaining us. I don't know anyone (me included) who had any grasp of cloning before Jurassic Park, and when we finally do perfect humanoid robots, for many of us, it will be memories of Westworld that keep us suspicious or paranoid and sleeping with one eye open and focused on that cueball-headed bastard who never sleeps, who never stops, who hunts us forever.