from ap: Michael Crichton, the million-selling author of such historic and prehistoric science thrillers as "Jurassic Park," "Timeline" and "The Andromeda Strain," has died of cancer, his family said. He died Tuesday in Los Angeles at age 66 after a long battle with the illness. Chrichton was a brand-name author, known for his stories of disaster and systematic breakdown, such as the rampant microbe of "The Andromeda Strain" or dinosaurs running amok in "Jurassic Park," one of his many books that became major Hollywood movies.
"Through his books, Michael Crichton served as an inspiration to students of all ages, challenged scientists in many fields, and illuminated the mysteries of the world in a way we could all understand," his family said in a statement... In recent years, he was the rare writer to get on well with President Bush, perhaps because of his skepticism about global warming, which Crichton addressed in the 2004 novel, "State of Fear." Crichton's views were strongly condemned by environmentalists, who alleged that the author was hurting efforts to pass legislation to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide.