10 Best Authors Like Michael Crichton for Science Fiction Fans

If you’re looking for authors like Michael Crichton, the authors on our list are sure to satisfy you. Discover your next favorite in our guide.

Michael Crighton was a Harvard-educated author and movie producer who grew up in Roslyn, New York. The son of a journalist, Crighton was always encouraged to write. After becoming discouraged by the English program at Harvard, Crighton traveled in Europe before returning to Harvard as a medical student. On course toward receiving his M.D., Crighton continued to write under various pseudonyms. M.D. in hand, Crighton ditched the idea of becoming a doctor, instead moving to Los Angeles to become a writer.

There, Michael Crighton achieved acclaim as a writer and filmmaker for movies and television. He’s the creative genius behind ER, the television series, and the director of numerous blockbuster movies, such as Coma, West World, The First Great Train Robbery, and Jurassic Park. Before his death in 2008, he wrote 26 best-selling novels, many of which have become huge blockbuster hits, such as Conga, The Andromeda Strain, and more.

His books typically share a theme of man against machine, with the covert dangers of technology highlighted with explosive results. If you’re interested in this, you’ll love the top writing tips from Robert Frost.

Here Are The Best Authors Like Michael Crichton

1. Isaac Asimov, 1920 – 1992

Isaac Asimov
A black and white photograph of a middle-aged man with coiffed, wavy brown hair, wearing plastic-framed eyeglasses

Isaac Asimov was a prolific science fiction writer who produced over 500 novels and short stories. His Foundation and Robot books explore themes similar to Michael Crighton’s work in that they contain the idea of man against machine. The Robot series spans many decades, beginning in the 1940s and continuing into the 1980s. The stories in the series investigate the interaction between humans and robots, as well as the ethical and moral ramifications of constructing sentient machines, and the setting of the series takes place in a future in which robots have become an essential component of human civilization. 

“Since when is the evidence of our senses any match for the clear light of rigid reason?”

Isaac Asimov, The Robot
I, Robot (The Robot Series)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Asimov, Isaac (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 06/01/2004 (Publication Date) - Spectra (Publisher)

2. James Rollins, 1961 –

James Rollins
A photograph of a blonde adult man wearing a zip-up cardigan with a fold-down color embellished with two parallel orange stripes

James Rollins is an American author known for writing action-packed, science-based thrillers, often featuring historical and scientific mysteries. His novels are often compared to those of Michael Crichton. Rollins’ novels are typically fast-paced and blend science, history, and adventure. Many of his stories follow the exploits of Sigma Force.

This fictional elite covert-ops team is called upon to investigate and solve scientific mysteries and to stop dangerous conspiracies from coming to fruition. In particular, The Doomsday Key, in which the Sigma Force team investigates a series of murders linked to an ancient, deadly substance that could threaten the future of the human race, is similar to the ideologies Michael Crighton wrote about.

“As Martin huddled deeper into his heavy cloak, he remembered the note secured by wax and imprinted by the great royal seal.”

James Rollins, The Doomsday Key
The Doomsday Key: A Sigma Force Novel (Sigma Force Series Book 6)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Rollins, James (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 451 Pages - 06/05/2009 (Publication Date) - William Morrow (Publisher)

3. Ian McDonald, 1960 –

If you enjoy Michael Crighton, you’ll enjoy Ian McDonald. McDonald is a British science fiction writer whose work often includes the ramifications of technology on society. Like Crichton, McDonald is interested in exploring how scientific advancements affect human behavior and society. However, McDonald’s works focus more on technology’s social and cultural implications than scientific or technical ones. One example of this is The Dervish House, set in a near-future Istanbul, which explores the interconnected lives of several characters as they become embroiled in a series of events involving nanotechnology, terrorism, and political intrigue.

Are you looking for more fiction books to add to your reading list? You might want to check out our round-up of the best James Michener books!

“The white bird climbs above the city of Istanbul: a stork, riding the rising air in a spiral of black-tipped wings.”

Ian McDonald, The Dervish House
The Dervish House
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • McDonald, Ian (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 484 Pages - 03/04/2018 (Publication Date) - JABberwocky Literary Agency, Inc. (Publisher)

4. Robin Cook, 1940 –

Robin Cook
A photograph of an older man with gray hair sitting behind a desk at a symposium

Robin Cook, like Michael Crighton, was educated to be a doctor. Unlike Crighton, Cook went on to practice medicine as a surgeon and ophthalmologist. His first novel didn’t win over audiences, but he went on to write one of the bestsellers of all time, ComaComa is about a black market for human organs and the illegal harvesting of organs from healthy people.

“Nancy Greenly lay on the operating table on her back, staring up at the large kettledrum-shaped lights in operating room No. 8, trying to be calm.”

Robin Cook, Coma
Coma
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Cook, Robin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 372 Pages - 09/23/2014 (Publication Date) - Mulholland Books (Publisher)

5. Richard Preston, 1954 –

Richard Preston
A photograph of an older gentleman with white hair, a beard, and tortoise-shell eyeglasses, standing in front of a promotional backboard

Preston is a non-fiction and fiction author who often writes about infectious diseases and bioterrorism. For example, his novel The Cobra Event is a fictional exploration of a bioterrorist attack. While his themes don’t specifically parallel man against machine, they explore how man uses technology against man. He’s also the author of The Hot Zone, adapted into the movie, Outbreak.

“The blood clock turned slowly, moving the blood jelly past : slit exposed to the open air.”

Richard Preston, The Cobra Event
The Cobra Event: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Preston, Richard (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 449 Pages - 04/10/2007 (Publication Date) - Ballantine Books (Publisher)

6. Dan Brown, 1964 –

Dan Brown
A photograph of a middle-aged man with strawberry blonde hair and a well-defined dimpled chin, leaning against an orange wall and wearing a green tweed sports coat

Dan Brown is the author of a string of bestselling books. While most of his books involve religious symbols, he has written several novels more closely similar to Crighton’s themes of man and machine, such as Origin, Digital Fortress, and Deception Point. Also, like Michael Crighton, Dan Brown is known for his in-depth research for his novels, which gives them a realistic basis upon which he crafts believable situations, backstories, and characters. If you like fast-paced thrillers, you’ll love reading any of Dan Brown’s many books.

“Sometimes, all you have to do is shift your perspective to see someone else’s truth.”

Dan Brown, Origin
Origin: A Novel (Robert Langdon Book 5)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Brown, Dan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 463 Pages - 10/03/2017 (Publication Date) - Anchor (Publisher)

7. Daniel H. Wilson, 1978 –

Daniel H. Wilson
A photograph of a young-looking man at a fair, holding a plastic cup of beer, smiling up into the camera

Daniel H. Wilson is a robotics engineer turned author born in Oklahoma. He’s known for his science fiction novels that explore the relationship between humans and robots. His background in robotics engineering gives his work a technological and scientific edge that readers appreciate. Wilson’s most famous works are the Robopocalypse series, which includes the novel Robopocalypse and its sequel Robogenesis. The books explore themes of artificial intelligence, the ethics of creating intelligent machines, and the consequences of technology on society.

“No matter how much kids beg to be treated like adults, nobody likes to let go of their childhood.”

Daniel H. Wilson, Robopocalypse
Robopocalypse: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Wilson, Daniel H. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 370 Pages - 06/07/2011 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)

8. Andy Weir, 1972 –

Andy Weir
A photograph of a middle-aged man in mid-sentence as he gesticulates with his left hand, wearing a pageboy cap and a dark

Andy Weir started writing science fiction as a young man, publishing his work on his website. His big break came when he published The Martian, which his fans raved over. The book was picked up by a publisher and became a blockbuster movie starring Matt Damon. Weir now writes full-time and works on other science fiction books similar to Michael Crighton’s style and favored themes.

Looking for more sci-fi novels to add to your reading list? Check out our round-up of the best Cyberpunk authors!

“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.”

Andy Weir, The Martian
The Martian: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Weir, Andy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 385 Pages - 02/11/2014 (Publication Date) - Ballantine Books (Publisher)

9. Peter Benchley, 1940 – 2006

Peter Benchley
A photograph of a middle-aged man with graying hair wearing eyeglasses

Peter Benchley was an American author and screenwriter best known for his novel Jaws, which was later adapted into a blockbuster film directed by Steven Spielberg. Jaws were published in 1974 and became a bestseller, selling over 20 million copies worldwide. The novel tells the story of a great white shark terrorizing a New England beach town. While Benchley’s books didn’t cover technology, their fast-paced and suspenseful style will appeal to fans of Michael Crighton. You might also be interested in these authors like Iain M. Banks.

“Intellectually, they knew a great deal. Practically, they chose to know almost nothing.”

Peter Benchley, Jaws
Jaws: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Benchley, Peter (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 340 Pages - 07/31/2012 (Publication Date) - Fawcett (Publisher)

10. Carl Sagan, 1934 – 1996

Carl Sagan
A photo of a middle-aged man with brown hair sitting and smiling happily into the camera

Carl Sagan was a renowned scientist, science communicator, and author who wrote several works of fiction throughout his career. One of Sagan’s most famous works of fiction is the novel Contact. The book tells the story of a scientist named Ellie Arroway, who discovers a radio signal from an extraterrestrial civilization.

The book explores the scientific, philosophical, and theological implications of this discovery, as well as the challenges that Ellie faces in convincing the world of the validity of her discovery. Looking for more? Check out our guide with writing tips from Steven Pinker!

“For all the tenure of humans on Earth, the night sky had been a companion and an inspiration.”

Carl Sagan, Contact

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  • Kate has been writing since she was 10 years old, tapping away on an old typewriter in her childhood bedroom. Today, Kate is a seasoned freelance writer with over 10 years of experience writing for print and online media. She’s an avid reader and believes in the power of words to transport readers to new worlds, and inspire and nurture creativity. Kate is also a published author and is currently working on her next project.