Michael Crichton went forth from this world into that unknown country on 4 November 2009. I found Mr. Crichton's books fascinating, challenging, fantastic reads. His ability to synthesize data from a wide range of fields and craft compelling plots and stories from it was impressive and inspiring.
Though his fiction was fantastic, I found myself re-reading Travels more than his novels. The vignettes in Travels show a man with a penetrating mind, keen to understand the world around him, eager to try new things and not limited by the opinions of others.
The ideas he played with in his works could get me so excited that I even tried pitching a start-up based on an idea sparked by his novel Next a couple years back.
Mr. Crichton, rest in peace, you will be missed.