John Michael Crichton (ˈkraɪtən; October 23, 1942 – November 4, 2008) was an American author, screenwriter, film director and producer best known for his work in the science fiction, thriller, and medical fiction genres. His books have sold over 200 million copies worldwide, and over a dozen have been adapted into films. His literary works are usually within the action genre and heavily feature technology. His novels epitomize the techno-thriller genre of literature, often exploring technology and failures of human interaction with it, especially resulting in catastrophes with biotechnology. Many of his novels have medical or scientific underpinnings, reflecting his medical training and scientific background. He wrote, among other works, The Andromeda Strain (1969); Sphere (1987); Jurassic Park (1990); Rising Sun (1992); Disclosure (1994); The Lost World (1995); Airframe (1996); Timeline (1999); Prey (2002); State of Fear (2004); and Next (2006). Films he wrote and directed included Westworld (1973), Coma (1978), The Great Train Robbery (1979), Looker (1981), and Runaway (1984).