Lydia's Influences

What are my sci-fi influences?

It took me forever to answer this question. My answer is almost embarrassingly obvious.

I can list a bunch of movies that scratched my geeky heart and left a mark (Blade Runner, Alien, Star Wars...) and some children's and YA books that I adore (A Wrinkle in Time, The Hunger Games, The Giver, Ship Breaker, and a bunch of League authors' books, but I don't want to make them blush).

My book, CONTROL, is part medical thriller, part sci-fi adventure (and part romance, but I'll save that for another time). And it only just occurred to me, as I opened up Blogger to type this post, that I have a major influence I haven't thought of in many, many years.

Michael Crichton. 

(Okay, okay, so maybe his books are more techno-thriller with some medical aspects thrown in, than sci-fi!)

Way back in college and med school, I read a bunch of his books. First, The Andromeda Strain (absence seizures as a plot device! Nice!) and Jurassic Park (remember when he had frog DNA inserted into dino DNA, and that was why some dinos changed gender? I'd learned about that in my own lab research). I'd also read others of his, including Travels (he got his aura fluffed in that one. Still not sure what to make of that). I really should read Coma (by Robin Cook, but Crichton directed the movie). The idea is pretty creepy. When I was a kid, visions of that movie--with the strings holding up those bodies--gave me nightmares.

And of course, there was E.R., the show he created and produced. I used to watch that show like clockwork every Thursday night! That is, until I reached my clinical years in medical school, when my life became replete with real-life medical drama. Since then, I have never, ever watched another episode of E.R. or any medical-related drama on TV (sorry to all the Grey's Anatomy and House fans!).

I loved how Crichton mixed science and sometimes medicine in his stories. It captivated me as a student way back when. So without a doubt, I must tip my virtual hat to Dr. Crichton for paving the way for doctor/writers.

How about you? Ever read a Michael Crichton novel? Have a favorite one?



p.s. I know lots of League members are posting on their agent experience this month. I've previously posted on my Querying Journey, and it's eye-opening. Check it out here.

13 comments:

Shelley Munro said...

Great post, Lydia. I've never read any of his books, but I loved Jurassic Park, the first one. I still love watching the dinosaurs. Very cool. I believe Australian scientists have made a recent announcement about some success in bringing back an extinct frog with DNA etc.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Awesome seeing who influenced you. I haven't read anything by Michael Crichton but have heard he's a great author. Thanks for sharing.

Old Kitty said...

Totally loved Adromeda Strain! And of course E.R!! Awwww I totally took that for granted but he was totally involved in it wasn't he!?!? Excellent choice!! Take care
x

Shelly said...

I so enjoy Crichton's works. Let's see- probably the one that made the most lasting impact on me is Jurassic Park. I still think about that one all these years later.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Great post, Lydia. I haven't read many of Crichton's books, but he's awesome. I really need to read the rest of them. My favorite is probably State of Fear so far.

(I had to look it up to make sure - Robin Cook wrote Coma but Crichton was involved with the movie version.)

SA Larsenッ said...

Using elements of science as plot devices is really cool. I haven't read lots of Crichton, but my dad has. Great stuff. Thanks for an awesome post, Lydia.

Catherine Stine said...

This reminds me that I still MUST read some Crichton! I love the mashup between science, biology and sci-fi/horror.

Jessie Humphries said...

Yikes, I don't think I've ever touched a Crichton novel. I'm more of a Grisham kind of gal. Which I guess makes sense since I'm an attorney. It's funny how we gravitate. You to medical fiction cuz your a doc, and me to legal fiction cuz I'm a liar...er, I mean lawyer. :) Good stuff!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Michael Crichton was a genius. I remember reading Coma and not wanting to be an organ donor (though that wasn't in the book per se). Fortunately, I got over the creeps of it and signed on the donor line.

Barbara Watson said...

I didn't know (or if I did, I forgot) that Crichton created and produced E.R.! With your interests, it's no wonder he inspires you, Lydia.

Kate said...

I love hearing about people's influences - particularly SciFi ones! Great selection!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I read Jurassic Park in less than two days, a record for me!

Bathwater said...

I've read both those books you mentioned, both before the movies were made. I find his writing interesting but his characters are not very complex. For science fiction I always thought Isaac Asimov was ahead of his time.