Re: RARA-AVIS: pseudonyms: the John Langes

From: foxbrick (
Date: 16 Mar 2008

--- In, DJ-Anonyme@... wrote:
> "I asked because I didn't know. I've never read Crichton and I don't
> know his career beyond seeing his name on bestseller lists... and I
> never even heard of the "real" John Lange."
> I'm with Mario here. I thought Crichton wrote bestselling medical
> thrillers. (Wait, did he write Andromeda Strain? I did read that.)
> Did he write any crime fiction under his own name? Or just as

Well, no, Crichton's output under his own name has almost always been a sort of half-step between out-and-out sf and technothrillers, which were arising as a self-conscious field out of the tradition of Fu Manchu and such in the '60s when Michael Crichton really got going...THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY comes to mind as the primary exception, unless we want to count THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN or THE TERMINAL MAN as medical thrillers for their biological McGuffins. JURASSIC PARK would perhaps fit into the same mold. Perhaps, conveniently for how this thread is evolving, you're thinking of medical-thriller mascot Robin Cook? Or his creation of the television series ER might've diverted your thought-train.

Meanwhile, apparently Crichton inadvertantly stole another aspiring writer's real name with his pseudonym "Jeffrey Hudson" (an sf fan named Jeffrey S. Hudson published a joke story, in collaboration with Isaac Asimov, in the magazine IF in 1974). To quote the WIKIPEDIA entry about the Crichton pseuds:

"His two pen names were both created to reflect his above-average height. According to his own words, he was about 2.06 meters (6 feet 9 inches) tall in 1997. Lange means "tall one" in Danish and Dutch, and Sir Jeffrey Hudson was a famous 17th century dwarf in the court of Queen Consort Henrietta Maria of England."

I know he's tall, but wonder at that 6' 9" citation.

Todd Mason

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