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New Michael Crichton novel due in 2017

Associated Press Associated Press 28/07/2016

A completed and unpublished Michael Crichton novel, recently discovered by his widow, is coming out next year.

HarperCollins Publishers told The Associated Press on Thursday Dragon Teeth was scheduled for May 2017.

According to HarperCollins, the book is based on the rivalry between 19th-century palaeontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh as both explored fossils in the American West.

"The story unfolds through the adventures of a young fictional character named William Johnson who is apprenticed first to one, then to the other and not only makes discoveries of historic proportion, but transforms into an inspiring hero only Crichton could have imagined," the publisher said.

"Known for his meticulous research, Crichton uses Marsh and Copes' heated competition during the 'Bone Wars', the golden age of American fossil hunting, as the basis for a thrilling story set in the wilds of the American West."

Sherri Crichton found the book in her late husband's archives and thinks it was inspired by his correspondence with Professor Edwin H. Colbert, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History.

"When I came across the Dragon Teeth manuscript in the files, I was immediately captivated," she said. "It has Michael's voice, his love of history, research and science all dynamically woven into an epic tale."

Michael Crichton, known for such blockbusters as Jurassic Park and Rising Sun, died in 2008 at the age of 66.

The following year HarperCollins released Pirate Latitudes, which an assistant found on his computer after his death. Crichton's Micro, based on an unfinished book that was completed by The Hot Zone author Richard Preston, came out in 2011.

According to HarperCollins, Dragon Teeth will be published without additional writing or major editing.

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