Michael Crichton is famous for his bestselling novels about Jurassic Park, as well as Congo and Timeline. His novels are not only popular for readers; they’ve also been widely adapted to the big screen. Then, Crichton passed away in 2008. Instead of putting a stop to the publication of novels, the novels have continued to appear — Dragon Bones is the third novel to be published since Crichton’s death (according to The Hollywood Reporter).
Posthumous novels are a bit of a curiosity. We wonder if there’s a reason why the book wasn’t published earlier. We sometimes assume that either the author decided not to publish for some reason; or, the novel was not published for some other reason — whether because of the controversial topic or the wish to avoid offense. In this case, HarperCollins reported that the novel was discovered by Crichton’s wife, Sherri. (There’s no mention of how “complete” the novel was at the time it was discovered.)
Crichton’s latest novel retells the contentious relationship between Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh — they were dinosaur hunters in the 1870s. HarperCollins further elaborates: “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.”
Publisher Jonathan Burnham is also quoted by Publishers Weekly, saying that the book “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.”