Among recent fact based techno-thrillers, Michael Crichton‘s “State of Fear” is amazing. There are people whom consider this book a “hit job” on global warming, and others whom consider it their prime source for science against global warming.
For me personally, the book made me more skeptical of the doomsayers and publicity boiler plates that are served up to us by the media. As someone whom aspires to be a paid writer of fiction and/or movies, there’s something to be learned from Michael Crichton whether or not you “agree or disagree” with the argument he presents. Moreover, as one of the most successful writers of our time, who has had many “number one” books, a number one TV show “ER”, and a number one movie “Jurassic Park” — it begs to say that he’s doing something right.
With that in mind, “State of Fear” is an awesome thriller. The evil villains are on a quest to change the world to suit their point of view and no cost in human life is too high for them. While that statement is probably true of most thrillers, Crichton manages to make the typical good guys into deranged bad guys — the unwitting environmentalist is transformed not into an unwitting hero but into an eco terrorist lacking anything that resembles a human conscience.
Furthermore, he gives the scientific arguments and the evidence to those whom are typically considered the bad guys (the naysayers of global warming). If you put your personal feelings aside and look at this from a more literary perspective, it’s impressive how he manages to create the ultimate “anti-hero” (at least in the popular mind) and the ultimate “do-gooder” villains.
There are many other lessons an aspiring writing could gain from reading “State of Fear”, another being how to present a philosophical or political point of view in the form of a novel. Perhaps it’s redundant of me to say — but the most important lesson though might be “how to tell a story.” This book is a definite recommend.