I was so sorry to hear that we lost Michael Crichton on Wednesday; he was 66 years old.
Like millions of other people I'm a great admirer of his work, especially his very first novel, The Andromeda Strain, which back in the seventies ignited my interest in epidemiology. I think I can safely say that Michael Crichton's SF work definitely influenced a significant number of my own SF and dark fantasy novels.
The Andromeda Strain also led me to discover that the strange dizzy spells and blackouts my mother regularly suffered were actually epileptic seizures; something that my family never discussed or explained to me when I was a kid. To finally know what was happening to her was a huge relief.
Dr. Crichton was a genius on the page as well as the screen. I don't think there will ever be a storyteller to rival him. We all talk about dazzling the world, but he actually did it. Safe journey, Michael.