HarperCollins Publishers has acquired world English rights to Dragon Teeth, a manuscript penned by Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton. The upcoming book, centered on the golden age of American fossil hunting, will be published in May 2017 in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India.

Harper publisher Jonathan Burnham and executive editor Jennifer Barth negotiated the deal with CrichtonSun’s Sherri Crichton through Sloan Harris and Jennifer Joel of ICM Partners and Michael S. Sherman of Reed Smith LLP. Sherri Crichton has been overseeing her late husband’s legacy, creating the Michael Crichton Archives via CrichtonSun. Michael Crichton died in 2008.

HarperCollins says the plot centers on the notorious rivalry between real-life paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh during a time of intense fossil speculation and discovery in the American West in 1878. 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.

Sherri Crichton traced the manuscript’s genesis to correspondence between Crichton and Prof. Edwin H. Colbert, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History. “Dragon Teeth was clearly a very important book for Michael. I’m so pleased to continue the long relationship that he shared with HarperCollins with its publication.”

Thirteen of Crichton’s novels have been made into movies, and he also created the NBC drama ER. His biggest franchise is Universal’s Jurassic Park — the fourth movie in the series, Jurassic World, has grossed $1.67 billion worldwide last year and a sequel is already in the works.