Published in 1988
by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Re-Issued in November 2002
by Harper Collins

Q & A with Michael Crichton: Travels

Do you still "believe" or participate in the spiritual experiences you had in Travels? What is your take on your views then, in todays world? Such as talking to plants, seeing/healing/ cleansing auras, spoon bending.... I respect your work so much but, I guess one needs to experience spoon bending himself to believe it! No, I have not continued that interest very much, but I tend to drop a topic once I finish a book. I felt satisfied with what I had learned. My mind hasn't changed, in the years since.

Of all the things I wrote about, spoon bending seems to stick in the rationalist throat. It just bugs people. I don't know why.

I don't know why spoon-bending occurs. I have no explanation. I can't describe it any better than I did in the book. But I have no doubt that it occurs. More than seeing adults bend spoons (they might be using brute force to do it, although if you believe that I suggest you try, with your bare hands, to bend a decent-weight spoon from the tip of the bowl back to the handle. I think you'd need a vise.)

But to see a little kid of 8 or 10 running around with a thick bar of aluminum that he has bent-not a lot, but enough so that if you roll it on a table, it doesn't roll flat-is to realize that whatever is going on, it's not brute force. I think that spoon bending is not "psychic" or bugga-bugga. It's something pretty normal, but we don't understand it. So we deny its existence.

Jack Houck, the aerospace engineer who has run these sessions for years, has an article on his experience over the years, and his own explanation for why it occurs, at

It seems there's a movie about these parties, too. "Jack Houck-Psychokinesis Workshop PK Party!" (I haven't seen it.) Read about it at

Why did you write Travels?

I had never written anything autobiographical, and traveling was an important part of my life. I felt as if I was kind of keeping a secret by never writing about it. Anyway, I felt unburdened in some way when it was finished.

Have any of your real-life experiences that you discuss in "Travels" made their way into your works of fiction?

The experiences in "Travels" are confined to that book. But certainly things that happen to me do sometimes find their way into books. For example, a few years ago I got lost driving in the Navajo reservation in northern Arizona. And that experience became a scene in my new book TIMELINE, which will be out this November. (And that is all I will say about that book for now, so please don't ask any more.)

What novel did you have the most fun writing? and why?

The book that I most enjoyed writing was TRAVELS, because it was autobiographical (so I knew the subject matter very well.) As I finished each chapter, I had a sense of relief, as if a weight was lifted from my shoulders. And I wrote in a very slow and orderly way, over a five month period. I really enjoyed looking back on my life and writing out sections. It was like no other book I've worked on. But they're all different. Every writing experience is different.

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