Michael Crichton, the master of techno thrillers, has died aged 66. His family said the author passed away following a "courageous and private battle against cancer".
"He will be profoundly missed by those whose lives he touched," said a statement from his wife Sherri and daughter Taylor.
Several of the author's books depicting a world in which science goes wrong have been made into films, while his novels have sold over 150 million copies. He penned classics like Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain and also created the long-running US hospital TV drama ER.
Steven Spielberg, the director of dinosaur blockbuster Jurassic Park, paid homage to his pal's creative abilities saying, "Michael's talent out-scaled even his own dinosaurs".
"He was the greatest at blending science with big theatrical concepts, which is what gave credibility to dinosaurs again walking the Earth."
The filmmaker went on to describe Michael as "a gentle soul who reserved his flamboyant side for his novels".