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cbc.ca - Monday, April 6, 2009

Michael Crichton will have another chance at the bestseller lists, after HarperCollins announced plans on Monday to release two unpublished novels he left behind at his death last fall.

A 17th-century adventure tale set in Jamaica, entitled Pirate Latitudes, will hit stores this fall, the publisher said Monday.

Another work, an untitled techno-thriller that Crichton left incomplete upon his death, will be finished by a yet-to-be-determined co-author. That book is slated for release in 2010.

Both works were recently discovered among Crichton's files, the publisher said.

Crichton's death in Los Angeles in November shocked readers and the entertainment world alike. According to his family, the 66-year-old had been battling cancer but chose to keep it private.

Trained as a doctor, Crichton was a significant influencer of North American pop culture, with a host of his bestselling, often science-based books turned into films over the years, including The Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure, Sphere and Congo.

He also created the long-running TV medical drama ER, which began in 1994 and had its series finale last week, and penned a number of screenplays, including for movies such as Twister.

"No lunch with Michael lasted less than three hours and no subject was too prosaic or obscure to attract his interest," John Wells, executive producer of ER, said following Crichton's death.

"Sexual politics, medical and scientific ethics, anthropology, archeology, economics, astronomy, astrology, quantum physics, and molecular biology were all regular topics of conversation."

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