HarperCollins will publish a new novel by the late Michael Crichton in May 2017. Dragon Teeth, which follows the rivalry between two actual paleontologists, was acquired in a world English rights deal and will be released simultaneously by the publisher in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India.

The manuscript was discovered by Crichton's wife, Sherri, who, through her company CrichtonSun, has been working on the Michael Crichton Archives. Crichton died in 2008. The book follows the real-life relationship between Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, who were competing to uncover fossils in the American West during the late 1800s. HC said Sherri Crichton traced the book's beginning back to a correspondence her husband had with a paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History named Edwin H. Colbert.

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

The novel, HC explained, is told from the perspective of a fictional character who winds up apprenticing for both fossil hunters. The publisher said the young man "not only makes discoveries of historic proportion, but transforms into an inspiring hero only Crichton could have imagined."

Harper publisher Jonathan Burnham, who acquired the novel with Harper executive editor Jennifer Barth, called it "pure Crichton." Burnham added that it "harkens back to some of the great historical novels that Michael wrote--such as The Great Train Robbery--but it also looks forward to Crichton fiction that explored more futuristic scenarios."

Burnham and Barth brokered the deal with CrichtonSun, which was represented by Sloan Harris and Jennifer Joel at ICM Partners, as well as Michael S. Sherman at Reed Smith LLP.