In the minds of most mainstream publishers, stories about dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures are extinct, unless you’re writing for kids. Fortunately, paleofiction for adults lives on in the world of self-published ebooks.
Below are a few titles that have popped up recently on Amazon.com. I haven’t read any of them, so I can’t vouch for their quality. I may throw up some reviews in the future, but as a general rule I don’t review self-published works unless I think they are worthy of a larger audience. Yes, it’s a blind spot, but I’m only one man with a limited amount of time, and there are quite a lot of self-published ebooks.
Prehistorics & Primevals: Short Stories of Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Other Extinct Creatures, collected and illustrated by Benjamin Chandler
Here is an anthology of 12 stories about dinosaurs and other extinct animals from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Included in the collection is “The Monster of Lake LaMetrie” by Wardon Allan Curtis, which may qualify as the strangest work of paleofiction ever written. Fun fact: The “monster” of the story makes a cameo appearance in Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic.
Chandler provides the illustrations that accompany the stories. He also maintains a blog of short paleofiction inspired by paleoart: antediluvianechoes.tumblr.com
The Dinosaur Four by Geoff Jones
First, I owe this author an apology: He sent me an email a few months back telling me about this book, but it was during my summer hiatus and I missed it. Luckily, he didn’t need my help as the novel seems to have done pretty well in sales on Amazon.com.
Ten strangers trapped in time... and one of them is just as dangerous as the dinosaurs.
A ticking sound fills the air as Tim MacGregor enters The Daily Edition Café to meet his new girlfriend for coffee. Moments later, the café is transported 67 million years back in time, along with everyone inside.
Time is running out as ten unlikely companions search for a way home, while one member of the group plots to keep them all in the past.
- - - Who will survive? - - -
Author website: www.geoffjoneswriter.com
Kronos Rising by Max Hawthorne
I found out about this one through Prehistoric Times, which interviewed the author in its most recent issue.
Steve refused to surrender. Even though he knew the creature was right behind him, he wouldn't quit. He would make it. Just as that beacon of hope began to shine down upon him, the bright sun overhead vanished from view. Confused, he gazed wide-eyed as the daylight grew dim. Then he realized the ultimate horror: the creature had overtaken him, its jaws opened wide.
He was in its mouth.
A coastal community faces the wrath of a prehistoric sea beast in Max Hawthorne’s heart-pounding new novel, Kronos Rising.
Devastated by his wife’s tragic drowning, Olympic hopeful Jake Braddock turns his back on fame and fortune and retreats to his childhood home of Paradise Cove, Florida. He accepts the job of town sheriff, hoping to find the solace he so desperately craves.
He finds anything but.
A series of horrifying deaths and disappearances send a flood of panic through the idyllic town. It is only after the ravaged carcass of a full-grown whale surfaces, however, that the real terror begins.
Soon Jake finds himself drawn into an ancient mystery—a mystery that ends with him adrift at sea, battling for survival against the deadliest predator the world has ever seen. It is a creature whose ancestors ruled the prehistoric seas. Now freed after eons of imprisonment, it has risen to reclaim the oceans of the world as its own.
And it's hungry.
Book website: www.kronosrising.com
Here are some quick hits:
Jurassic Dead by Rick Chelser and David Sakmyster: Dinosaur zombies in Antarctica.
The Burial Ground by David Brookover: Magically resurrected dinosaurs in North Dakota.
Extinction Island by Catt Dahman: Shipwrecked survivors on a lost island in the Bermuda Triangle must contend with raptors and other beasts.
Orishadaon: To the Ends of the Urth by Brandon R.J. Rowling: A sword-and-sorcery tale that replaces dragons with dinosaurs.
Charon’s Children and Charon is Coming by Rick Gauger: These two books are sequels to Gauger’s 1987 novel Charon’s Ark. The author originally intended the Charon’s Ark to be the first in a trilogy, but the publisher didn’t oblige. He instead has released the works as self-published ebooks. Worth a look if you are a fan of the original novel.