PDA

View Full Version : Michael Crichton To Publish Final Novel 'From Beyond The Grave.'



gothicangel
11-27-2011, 11:28 PM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2066873/Jurassic-Park-author-Michael-Crichtons-new-book-printed-grave.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2066873/Jurassic-Park-author-Michael-Crichtons-new-book-printed-grave.html)



Mr Crichton's widow and former personal assistant commissioned a ghost writer to help them with the incredible act of literary detective work, the Sunday Telegraph revealed.
The first third of 424-page Micro was written by the author himself, and it was completed by long-time fan Richard Preston, according to the newspaper.
The thriller features murderous micro-robots and revolves around nanotechnology - the study of manipulating matter on an atomic or molecular scale.
Harvard biology students are shrunk to less than an inch tall and then exposed to natural hazards such as killer bug.
Mr Preston, best known for his book The Hot Zone, the true story of an Ebola virus outbreak in Africa, was chosen by Mr Crichton's agent and publishers at HarperCollins for his background in science and bio-terror writing.

Drachen Jager
11-27-2011, 11:38 PM
Oh, shrinking people down to the size of a bug... That's never been done before.

Perhaps it was left unfinished on purpose. Just sayin'. The whole 'book from beyond the grave' thing didn't work so well with Tolkein, no reason to suppose it would work here, except as a quick money grab.

Susan Littlefield
11-28-2011, 02:26 AM
I have never read Michael Crichton before.

But, what a wonderful idea to hire another writer to finish the rest of the book. Tabitha King was commissioned to write the rest of Candles Burning, which Michael McDowell did not finish before his death. That was a great book.

Crichton fans might like what they read.

joeyc
11-28-2011, 02:38 AM
And Brandon Sanderson has continued The Wheel of Time after Robert Jordan passed away.

So there have been successes.

willietheshakes
11-28-2011, 06:17 AM
So far? It's pretty awful.

Susan Littlefield
11-28-2011, 07:50 AM
So far? It's pretty awful.

You mean the actual book?

willietheshakes
11-28-2011, 08:17 AM
You mean the actual book?

Yup.

Susan Littlefield
11-28-2011, 09:41 AM
Yup.

That's really too bad, because finishing a novel after an author had died can work. I'm sorry for MC fans.

willietheshakes
11-28-2011, 10:21 AM
That's really too bad, because finishing a novel after an author had died can work. I'm sorry for MC fans.

I count myself among them...

In fairness? MC's last couple of novels were no great shakes either.

The Lonely One
11-28-2011, 10:53 AM
Some people like this sort of thing, some hate it. I hate it, in general.

Okay, I liked Artificial Intelligence, but I didn't like it as a Kubrick movie, I liked it as a Spielberg movie.

As per unfinished novels, I say leave them the hell alone.

Anyone read Shirley Jackson's Come Along with Me? I would never, ever have bought this novel if someone had finished it other than Jackson herself through Mrs. Montague's planchette.

Especially with writing, the lack of a prolific writer's commanding voice in the latter half of a compelling work is painfully upsetting. Yes lots of adjectives deal with it. :)

P.S. does anyone think no one would have bought an unfinished Crichton (sp?) novel? The guy is uber famous, just sell it as an unfinished collector's manuscript.

gotchan
11-28-2011, 11:46 AM
P.S. does anyone think no one would have bought an unfinished Crichton (sp?) novel? The guy is uber famous, just sell it as an unfinished collector's manuscript.

Douglas Adams' unfinished work The Salmon of Doubt was published unfinished. If I remember correctly, there is an opening section, another section in two versions, and some author notes and fragments of an outline. The notes suggest Adams himself had not worked out how the story would finish. It's fascinating. I'm sure it didn't sell as many copies as a posthumous Douglas Adams' novel would have, but it's 100% Adams.

JimmyB27
11-28-2011, 02:13 PM
I refused to read Salmon of Doubt. I wish I'd refused to read the Dune sequels. I don't see this working out any better.
'Official' fan fiction is still fan fiction.

stray
11-28-2011, 02:25 PM
It can work. All three of Kafka's novels were incomplete. They were edited, expanded and published posthumously.

shaldna
11-28-2011, 03:15 PM
Funny how this is the second 'final' and 'not quite complete' Crichton novel in the last couple of years. The previous one was 'found' by his assistant, just like this one.

This novel, for the record, sounds awfully awfully like Prey, and I would wonder if it was related to that project at all, perhaps and abandoned draft etc.

I won't bother reading it.

I'm a huge Crichton fan though, but I don't like the idea of someone messing with a writers work after they die.

Becky Black
11-28-2011, 07:13 PM
The Daily Mail don't half seem to be getting its knickers in a twist about something that's common enough in the literary world. It's not an "incredible act of literary detective work", it's just another writer completing an unfinished book based on what the deceased writer left behind. No big deal.

I have mixed feelings about this kind of thing. It's one thing if the writer knew they were dying and wouldn't finish the work and gave their blessing to someone else to finish the book. On the other hand if it's just a case of trying to squeeze the last bit of value out of the cash cow then I'm not so sure. Who knows if Michael Crichton, or whichever author, would have ever wanted that particular book published? They might not have been happy with it even if they'd had a chance to finish it.

Susan Littlefield
11-28-2011, 08:23 PM
You guys have given me a different perspective on this.


'Official' fan fiction is still fan fiction.

I never thought of finishing another's work as fan fiction, but you could be right, as they are writing stories based on someone else's characters, world, etc. It sounds like the writer who finished MC's book was someone who was hired to finish the latter part of the book. From what I understand, in the case of Candles Burning Tabitha King was friends with Michael McDowell and was asked by his agent to have Tabitha King write the book under both of their names. I have never read McDowell or T. King before, but I loved that book. The voice was consistent, no flaws in the spooky factor, and nice writing.


...I don't like the idea of someone messing with a writers work after they die.

I think it the two writers knew each other and had worked together before one of thier deaths, then it would be appropriate to finish a book. If it just hire a writer and see what can be done, then no. It comes across too much as trying to capitalize on someone's success.

Wasn't this the case with V.C. Andrews? After she died, the books were written by other people under her name? Aren't they still being published by Simon and Schuster? As a teen, I was really into the books, but later lost interest because they all seemed the same.

The Lonely One
11-28-2011, 09:01 PM
I'm a huge Crichton fan though, but I don't like the idea of someone messing with a writers work after they die.

+1

I think I'm adding to my will that no one is going to screw with what I wrote, crappy, not, finished, not, outlined, not.

Life is messy and unfinished. Why not fiction?

I'll read novels that have no ending from authors I enjoy, just for the last ride, to pay tribute to a life-long influence.

Cheers to Crichton, his family and those who enjoyed him.

willietheshakes
11-28-2011, 09:08 PM
Cheers to Crichton, his family and those who enjoyed him.

This book does a terrible disservice not only to his readers, but to his legacy.

Finished it last night. Reviewed it this morning.

It's awful. Indescribably awful.

The Lonely One
11-28-2011, 09:28 PM
This book does a terrible disservice not only to his readers, but to his legacy.

Finished it last night. Reviewed it this morning.

It's awful. Indescribably awful.

Link to the review?

:popcorn:

willietheshakes
11-28-2011, 09:33 PM
Link to the review?

:popcorn:

Once it's published.

CaroGirl
11-28-2011, 09:42 PM
This book does a terrible disservice not only to his readers, but to his legacy.

Finished it last night. Reviewed it this morning.

It's awful. Indescribably awful.

Aw, geez. That sucks.

I love MC and Preston's The Hot Zone seriously FREAKED me out. The combination could have been great.

Phaeal
11-28-2011, 09:53 PM
Ever savvy, James Patterson has gotten a big headstart on these slacker corpses by having other people write his books WHILE STILL ALIVE.

Impressive, most impressive.

Susan Littlefield
11-29-2011, 12:43 AM
This book does a terrible disservice not only to his readers, but to his legacy.

Finished it last night. Reviewed it this morning.

It's awful. Indescribably awful.

What was it that was not good? Was it at all like Crichton's writing, or did it appear to be a copy cat?

DragonHeart
12-12-2011, 10:09 PM
I thought I read somewhere that there were three manuscripts found on his computer after he passed. Pirate Latitudes was one, Micro apparently the second. I wonder what the third was/is.

I haven't read either yet but Micro does sound an awful lot like Prey. I bet it probably was an early, possibly abandoned draft. I've read almost every one of his novels and aside from The Lost World, which he agreed to write only because if he didn't they would have made the movie anyways, he's never written about the same subject twice.

Jamesaritchie
12-12-2011, 11:19 PM
Finishing another writer's work may technically be fan fiction, but it's usually done by a highly skilled and talented professional writer, which separates it from all the actual fan fiction I've tried to read.

But it's nonsense to say it can't be done, and done well. It has been done well many times. I've very happy that Robert B. Parker finished Poodle Springs, Raymond Chandler's unfinished at death novel. He did a great job, and found a whole new way of writing in the process.

I have no idea why so many think it's a bad thing? It's just a novel, not the Ten Commandments or the Constitution. It belongs to the family, and if no one wants to read the finished product, no one makes them.

I haven't read Micro yet, other than the first few pages posted on Amazon, but I liked those enough to order the book.

If I don't like the book as a whole, I've lost a whole eighteen bucks, and it'll join the hundreds of other novels I haven't liked, even though they were completely original, written solely by one author, and were touted as great.

I do think it could be the best novel ever written, and many would still find a way to hate it. I strongly suspect that if readers had no clue such novels were finished by a new writer after the original writer died, they'd love them to death, as long as the liked that writer while he still lived.

Shadow_Ferret
12-13-2011, 12:21 AM
I'm a Michael Crichton fan.

I am a fan of long lost unfinished works.


I am not a fan of ghost written postumous novels.

I

leon66a
12-13-2011, 12:47 AM
If, by the grace of God, I have an unfinished book that someone wants to publish after I die, I hope my heirs would find someone to finish it and publish it. And I also hope that it would be total crap, so everyone would say, "Boy, it's just not the same with him gone."