copyright 1999; Alfred A. Knopf publishers, New York; larger hardbound with black boards and gilt stamp lettering along spine; very good condition; dust jacket very good.
Timeline is a science fiction novel by American writer Michael Crichton, published in November 1999. It tells the story of a group of history students who travel to 14th-century France to rescue their professor. The book follows in Crichton's long history of combining technical details and action in his books, addressing quantum and multiverse theory.
The novel spawned Timeline Computer Entertainment, a computer game developer that created the Timeline PC game published by Eidos Interactive in 2000. A film based on the book was released in 2003.
In the New Mexico desert, a vacationing couple finds a wandering, ill man and brings him to a hospital. Doctors discover he has bizarre deformities in his blood vessels and is an employee of the company ITC.
In the Dordogne region of France, Professor Edward Johnston heads a team of historians and archaeologists studying the medieval towns of Castelgard and La Roque. Suspicious of the knowledge of the site shown by their financier ITC, Johnston flies to ITC's headquarters in New Mexico to investigate. While he is gone, the students make disturbing discoveries in the ruins, among them the lens of Johnston's eyeglasses and a message in modern English.
Graduate researchers Chris Hughes, Kate Erickson, André Marek, and David Stern follow Johnston to ITC and meet its founder Robert Doniger, who tells them Johnston has used their quantum technology to travel to the year 1357. Chris, Kate, and Marek agree to travel back themselves to recover him. When they arrive, though, they are immediately attacked by horsemen who kill the ITC military escorts. A grenade returns through the machine and explodes, damaging the present-day transit pad. Unable to return, Kate and Marek eventually find Johnston held by the men of Lord Oliver of Castelgard.
Separated from the others, Chris inadvertently declares himself as nobility to a boy who leads him to Castelgard. The boy is revealed to be the disguised Lady Claire, trying to escape from the leader of the horsemen, Sir Guy de Malegant. In the castle, Chris and André are challenged to a joust by Guy, which Chris survives only thanks to Marek's knowledge of the era. Oliver orders their deaths, but Kate helps them escape Castelgard, and they are pursued by Guy and his knight Robert de Kere.
Oliver believes that Johnston knows a secret passageway...