Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New book roundup: Dinosaur invasions and alien dinosaurs

Sadly it appears the premier of Jurassic World in June isn’t going to result in the same deluge of dinosaur-themed media that surrounded the release of Jurassic Park in 1993. I only know of two new works of fiction about dinosaurs coming from mainstream publishers, and there isn't a single anthology in sight. Fortunately there are several self-published titles available for readers wanting some prehistoric action.

As always, a disclaimer: I haven’t read any of these books so I can’t vouch for their quality. I’m simply providing this list as a service to readers. Also, this list relies heavily on titles published through If you know of any other publishing formats that include titles I’m missing, please let me know in the comments.

Doctor Who and the Dinosaur Invasion by Malcolm Hulke

This isn’t a self-published title but a novelization of one of the classic show’s most notorious episodes. (Turns out puppets do not make convincing dinosaurs.) However, the novelization is unusual in that it was penned by the writer of the episode. Here’s the cover blurb:
Three hundred and fifty million years ago, dinosaurs crawled the Earth, devouring everything in sight. But then they disappeared. Certainly, no one ever expected them to return ... When Doctor Who lands in London and finds the entire city deserted - except for dinosaurs - he figures something really weird is going on. It is. A clever group of misguided idealists is at the centre of a bizarre plot to reverse Time to a golden era - an era before technology, before pollution, before the hydrogen bomb. The group is going to give the human race a second chance. But, to implement Operation Golden Age, the past must be eliminated. The present will not exist - and only the chosen will survive. Doctor Who must turn the clock forward to stop Operation Golden Age, but will he be able to do it before Earth's Time runs out?

Planets that Time Forgot: Classic Tales of Otherworldly Dinosaurs, edited by Benjamin Chandler

In my essay about the different plot devices authors used to bring dinosaurs back to life, one of the more unusual ones mentioned was transporting dinosaurs to alien planets. Benjamin Chandler has collected and illustrated six classic stories using this device. Cover blurb:
The dinosaurs are long gone on this world, but what if they existed elsewhere? Would they evolve to build modern civilizations? Overrun planets in primordial violence? Come to be worshiped as gods? What if they were to re-evolve in Earth's distant future?
Here are six newly illustrated classic sci-fi stories that try to answer these questions, exploring worlds where dinosaurs still reign, from pulpy adventures on the far side of the moon to giant alien monster satire. Featuring the works of Henry Kuttner, Arthur K. Barnes, Milton Lesser, and others.

Dino Hunt by Max Davine

Here’s a title from a small publisher that is available as both a physical book and digital download:
Jimmy Reeves is a down on his luck wildlife wrangler, his career once saw him traveling the globe, working on relocation programs and starring in documentary films. Now, he and his business partner Paul Franciscus are lucky if they can get a gig wrangling bulls in Arizona. Until one day, when they receive a massive advance payment from a mysterious company based in Florida. In return, they are to do what once brought them glory the world over; trap and relocated endangered animals. Little do they know they're not going to the Everglades to trap alligators, they're going through time and space to rescue great, big dinosaurs!
But others have come to pillage the Cretaceous world for its natural resources, and to enslave and exploit the prehistoric inhabitants. They are ruthless, they are well equipped, and they will stop at nothing. It's up to unwitting Reeves to make a stand not just for the dinosaurs, but to save his own life, teaming up with an alluring paleontologist and a helicopter pilot nicknamed “Crash” to save the land of the forgotten from human annihilation.

Other titles

Crockatiel - An O.C.L.T. Novel by David Niall Wilson: The latest in a series of novels about an international agency that investigates paranormal mysteries, this time about a mysterious creature living in the swamps of South Carolina.

The Island in the Mist by G.G. Mosely: The fountain of youth is discovered on a lost island in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle.

The Valley by Rick Jones: The Hunger Games meets Jurassic Park as convicted criminals are forced to cross a valley filled with resurrected dinosaurs while being filmed for the amusement of the masses.

Return to Skull Island by Ron Miller and Darrell Funk: An unofficial sequel to the original King Kong. Miller is an illustrator and writer who has received the Hugo Award.

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