They are the supreme lords of a wild and forgotten world. Stalking the ancient forests, crushing trees underfoot, and shaking the very earth itself, the mighty “thunder lizards” ruled our planet for thousands of years — then plunged into extinction.
The age of giant reptiles is long gone. But in mankind’s darkest dreams – beyond the boundaries of time and space – they live forever…
No point beating around the bush: Dinosaurs! is the best collection of dinosaur-themed short stories ever put together.
That may sound like faint praise given the very small number of dinosaur fiction anthologies in existence, but Dann and Dozois did a fantastic job combing through decades of science fiction literature to find some real gems. And while not every story is a classic, they are all fun to read.
Standouts include L. Sprague de Camp’s dinosaur hunting tale “A Gun for Dinosaur”; “Poor Little Warrior” by Brian Aldiss; “The Last Thunder Horse West of the Mississippi” by Sharon Farber; and “Time’s Arrow” by Arthur C. Clarke. I was a bit surprised Ray Bradbury’s “A Sound of Thunder” wasn’t in the collection, but maybe the editors felt de Camp’s tale was too close in theme.
The only downside is many of the stories in Dinosaurs! were republished in other dinosaur anthologies, so readers of paleofiction may have encountered them before. But if a majority of the fiction is new to you, I highly suggest picking up this book.
- “A Gun For Dinosaur” by L. Sprague de Camp
- “Poor Little Warrior” by Brian W. Aldiss
- “Green Brother” by Howard Waldrop
- “Hunting Season” by Harry Turtledove
- “Getting Away” by Steven Utley
- “The Runners” by Bob Buckley
- “The Last Thunder Horse West of the Mississippi” by Sharon N. Farber
- “Strata” by Edward Bryant
- “Time’s Arrow” by Arthur C. Clarke
- “A Change in the Weather” by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois
- “The Night-Blooming Saurian” by James Tiptree
- “Dinosaur” by Steve Rasnic Tem
- “Dinosaurs” by Geoffrey A. Landis
- “Dinosaur on a Bicycle” by Tim Sullivan
- Baen Books recently re-released Dinosaurs! and its excellent sequel, Dinosaurs II, as ebooks. Both can be purchased from the publisher’s website.
- Both books were part of a series of science fiction and fantasy anthologies edited by Dann and Dozois and published regularly over 25 years, starting in the early 1980s. Each anthology explored a different animal or theme, so you had volumes collecting stories about cats, dragons, mermaids, time travel, etc. All the anthologies are now available through Baen’s website.