Published in 2006
by HarperCollins
Published in 2007
by HarperCollins
Published in 2009
by HarperCollins
Enhanced eBook
Published in 2011
by HarperCollins

In 2005, Michael returned to the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, where he had done postdoctoral work, to attend a conference on Genetics and Law sponsored by the Jefferson Institute. He was surprised and outraged by what he learned about the current laws regarding a range of issues in genetics. He immediately put aside what he had been working on, and began research for the book that became NEXT. He modeled the structure after the genome itself, incorporating fragments of popular culture, and writing a series of stories that sometimes interconnected, and sometimes didn't. The result was a very atypical novel.

Reviewer response was positive. Publisher's Weekly called it
    "an ambitious effort to show what's wrong with the U.S.'s current handling of gene patents and with the laws governing human tissues...few can match Crichton in crafting page-turners with intellectual substance."
NPR liked the
    "fascinating dramatic situations that hold a reader's attention down to the last page."
The Wall Street Journal referred to
    "his uncanny prescience in choosing subjects where fact will soon catch up with his fiction...He makes five eminently sensible policy suggestions...they might chafe some biotech companies, but they are essentially pro-market and pro-research."
In early 2007, Xavier Becerra (D-Calif) and Dave Weldon (R-Fla) introduced legislation to ban gene patents—HR. 977, the Genomic Research and Accessibility Act.

In 2007, a conference was held on "Legal and Ethical Issues in Michael Crichton's 'NEXT'".

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