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Dinosaurs in Fantastic Fiction: A Thematic Survey
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Dinosaurs in Fantastic Fiction: A Thematic Survey

by Allen A. Debus, Donald F. Glut (Foreword by), Mark F. Berry (Foreword by)
 

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With the first illustrated edition of Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth, 1867, readers began a fascination with the concept of dinosaurs and prehistory. Although rudimentary paleo-fiction had actually gotten its start decades earlier, it was the partnership of Verne and illustrator Edouard Riou which gave dinosaurs a visual life and essentially set the

Overview

With the first illustrated edition of Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth, 1867, readers began a fascination with the concept of dinosaurs and prehistory. Although rudimentary paleo-fiction had actually gotten its start decades earlier, it was the partnership of Verne and illustrator Edouard Riou which gave dinosaurs a visual life and essentially set the stage for their artistic and literary depiction. Over the next century or so, 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.

From Jules Verne to Michael Crichton, this literary survey examines how paleoliterature originated, developed and matured from its inception in the 1820s to the present day. It follows historical trends on the crafting of classic dinosaurs, investigating the enlivened figurative and metaphoric meaning of fictional dinosaurs and related prehistoria. 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. Texts included are limited to those which are available in English and which emphasize dinosaurs, although other favored pseudo-dinosaurs are sometimes discussed.

Featured authors include Ray Bradbury, H.G. Wells, and Poul Anderson, among others. In select cases, the novelizations of movie scripts are also utilized. An appendix provides brief summaries of deserving dinosaur texts, organized alphabetically by author. Illustrations and an index are also included.

Allen A. Debus is a dinosaur sculptor, a contributing editor of Fossil News: Journal of Avocational Paleontology and writes regularly for Prehistoric Times. The author of Paleoimagery (2002), he lives in Hanover Park, Illinois.

Editorial Reviews

Catholic Library World
comprehensive
Prehistoric Times
a great reference
www.sfsite.com
excellent
From the Publisher
“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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786426720
Publisher:
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date:
10/05/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
230
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Allen A. Debus is a dinosaur sculptor and author of multiple books. He writes regularly for Prehistoric Times, G-Fan, Mad Scientist and Scary Monsters, and was a contributing editor of Fossil News: Journal of Avocational Paleontology. He lives in Hanover Park, Illinois.

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