Speaking of Dinosaurs by Philip E. High (1974)

SpeakingDinosCover blurb

Beyond Evolution: A certain gifted engineer accepted the Theory of Evolution until he wandered by chance into a museum. In that museum was the skeleton of a dinosaur, and the skeleton got him thinking and inquiring with terrifying results. Attempts are made on his life and then, in a horrifying time-shift, he finds himself naked and unarmed in the distant past, facing one of the very creatures which had aroused his interest – a dinosaur!

My thoughts

Speaking of Dinosaurs begins with a tiny alien object entering an abandoned house and, using its “prodigious mental power,” building itself a human body while projecting new memories into the people inhabiting the surrounding community. Its mission is to keep an eye on one David Standing, an inventor who is to play a very important role in the intellectual development of humanity. Standing, of course, is not aware of any of this, and one day he decides to visit a natural history museum on a whim. His examination of the dinosaur fossils there leads him to a startling conclusion: Evolution is bunk. Aliens must have designed life on Earth. It is not long before Standing comes to realize he is being followed by mysterious forces that will go to great lengths to make sure his theory dies with him.

Speaking of Dinosaurs is a strange, slim novel that has very little to do with dinosaurs despite what is promised by the title and cover blurb. The animals make a brief appearance, but mostly the book is a tale of alien conspiracies and humanity’s next great leap in intelligence. The one thing it is not is a good novel, filled with shallow, one-dimensional characters, improbable science, and a meandering plot. I managed to read the book in a single, lazy afternoon, but it felt like a very long afternoon.


  • High was an English science fiction writer who penned 14 novels and several short stories before his death in 2006. There is a website dedicated to the author: www.philipehigh.com


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