Science Fiction Book Review

Dinosaur Fantastic

edited by Mike Resnick and Martin H. Greenberg
Reviewed date: 2022 Aug 16
331 pages
cover art

My thoughts
This is a lot of short stories about dinosaurs. The collection was timely, coming out in 1993 when the movie Jurassic Park was released. Personally I read the book just after watching the entire Jurassic series of six films, so I had dinosaurs on the mind.

Unfortunately I can't say I was impressed. I was disappointed. It's not that the stories are poor, but they just didn't grab my attention. Maybe it's because my own attention gravitates toward novellas and short novels. Maybe it's because I like old-fashioned science fiction short stories, like those from Asimov or Clarke or Heinlein, and these 90's-era stories are different in style.

So the verdict: it wasn't for me. I should stick to novels, early science fiction, and Analog. But for people whose tastes are more modern (and who like dinosaurs) this book might be for you.

There were a few stories I did enjoy more than the others: One Giant Step was clever. After the Comet was poignant. Whilst Slept the Sauropod was comforting.

by Mike Resnick

Just Like Old Times
by Robert J. Sawyer
Convicted serial killer sentenced to chronotransference: he will live the remainder of his life as a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Cretaceous period.

Disquisitions on the Dinosaur
by Robert Sheckley
Dinosaurs in Ancient Rome, and other random funny things involving dinosaurs. I guess if you like Sheckley this is fine. I don’t care for it.

Dino Trend
by Pat Cadigan
People use nanotechnology to change themselves into dinosaurs for amusement.

The Greatest Dying
by Frank M. Robinson
Scientist extracts soft dinosaur tissue from amber, releases the plague that killed the dinosaurs

by Judith Tarr
Little girl wants to pet the pterodactyl. This story is more about child custody disagreements between divorced parents than about dinosaurs, and I didn’t care for it.

One Giant Step
by John E. Stith
Time traveling reptiles go back 65 millions years, release a plague to kill all the dinosaurs and prevent them from inheriting the earth—on account of they have plundered the earth’s resources, hunted species extinct, warred among themselves, and live with the threat of nuclear Armageddon. Let a more deserving species inherit the earth. Next scene: time traveling cockroaches…

Last Rights
by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon
Animal rights activists try to free bioengineered dinosaurs.

After the Comet
by Bill Fawcett
Hunter the triceratops leads the herd to better feeding grounds and fights a tyrannosaurus.

Rex Tremandae Majestatis
by Kathe Koja and Barry N. Malzberg
I don’t know what this is, but I think it’s a woman named Leona going through a complete schizophrenic break from reality with hallucinations involving her son’s toy dinosaurs.

The Skull’s Tale
by Katherine Kerr
Lilas Rock-shaper, an Eater, spares a Hookclaw and chases another Eater away from her territory.

Cutting Down Fred
by Dean Wesley Smith
A man meets an oak tree named Fred who shows him ancestral oak memories of dinosaur times. In my copy of the book this story is signed by the author. Neat.

Shadow of a Change
by Michelle M. Sagara
April Stephens turns into a dinosaur.

Wise One’s Tale
by Joseph’s Sherman
Quick Trickster manipulates the Fire Being into giving him and his kind wings by using his tricks to pass the god’s tests

Curren’s Song
by Laura Resnick
Curren hears the call of the monsters living deep under the waters of Loch Ness, but the priest Columba would have him turn from the creatures and worship instead a god killed by the Romans.

Whilst Slept the Sauropod
by Nicholas A. DiChario
The people of Sleepy Mountain live simple, traditional lives—until an earthquake cracks Sleepy Mountain apart and reveals an enormous dinosaur.

by David Gerrold
Jonathan Filltree resents the miniature Tyrannosaurus Rex his spoiled daughter Jill and her manipulative mother Joyce forced him to buy, and tries to get rid of it until Rexie saves the family from a burglar

The Pangaean Principle
by Jack Nimersheim
Pietor Sinkovich works feverishly to isolate dinosaur DNA so he can resurrect a seismosaur—and more—and nearly loses his daughter Katrina in the process.

On Tiptoe
by Beth Meacham
Alice takes photographs of fuzzy shadows and thinks it’s proof there are chameleon dinosaurs in New York City.

by Susan Casper
Boy finds a sea cave with a mosasaur, keeps it a secret for years, then betrays the mosasaur by selling photos of her when he needs money. Later, another betrayal.

'Saur Spot
by Kevin O’Donnell, Jr.
Gideon Cope and his wife Mary Ann buy a small dinosaur to eat the cockroaches in their house.

by Lea Hernandez
A witch tells how she Called her familiar, a tiny pterodactyl

by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Willi, a little witch girl, starts at a new school but it’s just like every other school. She doesn’t fit in and the kids make fun of her because she’s a witch and isn’t like them. In my copy the story is signed by the author!

Fellow Passengers
by Barbara Delaplace
A tabloid reporter recounts how she broke the story of a deinonychus found attacking cattle, how the dinosaur was captured and placed in a zoo, and how it will live out its life and die alone just like the world’s last passenger pigeon.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Dinosaur
by Gregory Feeley
A series of vignettes, short-short stories, and mini essays about dinosaurs in fiction

Evolving Conspiracy
by Roger MacBride Allen
Bueber pays a visit to his friend and colleague Deblick to present his latest conspiracy theory, that God and the Cubans faked the existence of dinosaurs.

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