Dinosaurs in Fantastic Fiction

A Thematic Survey


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About the Book

From the first illustrated edition of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth in 1867, dinosaurs and prehistory have fascinated readers. Writers would time and again come back to dinosaurs as an element of fantastic fiction, often using these creatures—through the venue of the written word—to reflect the world of the writers’ own time. This literary survey examines how “paleoliterature” originated, developed and matured to the present day. Also discussed are the ways in which dinosaur fiction mirrors contemporary ideas about subjects such as geology, the Cold War, environmentalism, time travel, evolution and bioengineering. Featured authors include Ray Bradbury, H.G. Wells, and Poul Anderson, among others. In select cases, the novelizations of movie scripts are also examined. An appendix provides brief summaries of deserving dinosaur texts.

About the Author(s)

Allen A. Debus, a retired environmental chemist, has long been infatuated with dinosaurs, paleontology, science fiction, Godzilla and King Kong. He has written several books addressing prehistoric creatures—both real and fictional—in popular culture, and attends Chicagoland’s Wizard World and G-Fest. He is a member of the G-Fan Hall of Fame and lives in Hanover Park, Illinois.

Bibliographic Details

Allen A. Debus

Foreword by Donald F. Glut
Foreword by Mark F. Berry

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 230
Bibliographic Info: 32 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013 [2006]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7510-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0302-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments       vii
Foreword by Donald F. Glut      1
Foreword by Mark F. Berry      3
Preface      7
Introduction      13

1. Verne’s Subterranean “Museum”      17
2. Lost and Found: The Mystique of Lost Worlds      36
3. At War with Dinosaurs      56
4. Shadow of Gojira      73
5. Time-Relativistic Dinosaurs: Bradbury’s Legacy      85
6. Dino-Trek      103
7. Rise of the Raptor      124
8. Infiltration: Living with Dinosaurs      146

Appendix      157
Notes      187
Select Bibliography      211
Index      217

Book Reviews & Awards

“comprehensive”—Catholic Library World; “a great reference”—Prehistoric Times; “excellent”—www.sfsite.com; “well designed…authoritatively researched”—www.sfrevu.com; “an interesting history of how dinosaurs have been treated in SF”—Critical Mass; “if you are interested in the history of dinosaurs in popular culture, Debus is an author you simply cannot ignore…Debus does a huge service to those who work in the history of science”—H-Net Reviews.