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The Secrets Behind Pop Culture's Most Mysterious Pseudonyms
J. K. Rowling, Stephen King and other covert authors

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The Secrets Behind Pop Culture's Most Mysterious Pseudonyms | Michael Crichton
Michael Crichton

Pseudonym: ‘John Lange’

Jurassic Parker Crichton was published as John Lange long before he started writing under his own name. He seems to have taken the pseudonym decision to keep his writing separate and anonymous from the medical career he was pursuing in the 1960s. ‘Lange’ was a joke: the German for “long” and a reference to his immense height (Crichton was 6'9").

As Lange, his novels performed well enough, but the first effort under his own name was his biggest success to date: The Andromeda Strain, published in 1969, put Crichton on the bestseller lists and was filmed by Robert Wise in 1971. Other Lange books followed – as well as one by ‘Jeffery Hudson’ and one by ‘Michael Douglas’ – but Crichton dropped the pen names when he dropped medicine in 1970. Surprisingly few of the Lange books have been brought back into print under Crichton’s own name in the years since, but they seem to be on their way to Kindle as “Crichton: The Med School Years”.

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