Category Archives: Uncategorized

9 Dinosaur Books to Read (That Aren’t “Jurassic Park”)

May 15th was National Dinosaur Day. It’s been said that the reason dinosaurs went extinct is because they didn’t read. But they sure make for memorable literary protagonists. So to celebrate Dinosaur Day, let’s look at nine memorable titles about our prehistoric pals.

Note: I will leave out Jurassic Park because it was probably the 1st title that popped into your head when you hear the word “dinosaur literature” and both the book and the films it inspired have been done to death (though I’d still like to wish it a happy 25th anniversary).

Image result for the lost world doyle

The Lost World (1912)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle




You know him best as the creator of Sherlock Holmes but Doyle also wrote this novel that popularized the concept of a “hidden world” where dinosaurs, prehistoric creatures and even early humans survived extinction and lived undetected from modern civilization for millennia.

Image result for the land that time forgot

The Land That Time Forgot (first published in serial form in 1918, then published as a novel in 1924)

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Following in the footsteps of Doyle, Burroughs also wrote about an undiscovered world where dinosaurs were alive and well, but set the story against the backdrop of World War 1 and U boat warfare.

Image result for dinosaur tales

Dinosaur Tales (1983)

Ray Bradbury

I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows and gorillas. When this occurs I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.

Five stories, one poem and illustrations by Steranko, Moebius and William Stout, make up this unique collection of every dino story penned by the master himself. These include “The Fog Horn”, “A Sound of Thunder” and “Besides a Dinosaur, Whatta Ya Wanna Be When You Grow Up?” Despite being published by Barnes and Noble Books, I found this hidden treasure at Half Price Books.

Image result for dinotopia

The Dinotopia Series (1992-2007)

James Gurney

When I was in elementary school, Dinotopia mania was at its peak, thanks to all the merchandise many of my male classmates were taking with them to school (like folders and backpacks). Why I didn’t beg my mother for some Dinotopia swag is beyond me. Maybe because I hadn’t read the book. In fact I didn’t read the series until I was in college(!) and I fell madly in love with James Gurney’s lush, Pre-Raphaelite influenced artwork. I even used one of the procession scenes as a wallpaper for my office computer when I worked as a school attendance clerk and received a lot of complements from passing co-workers. Part travelogue and part adventure story, Dinotopia tells the story of scientist Arthur Denison as he and his son wash upon a mysterious island where dinosaurs and humans live in peaceful interdependence.

Image result for dinosaur fantastic


Dinosaur Fantastic (1993)

Edited by Mike Resnick and Martin H. Greenberg

From Goodreads: Mike Resnick and Martin H. Greenberg have called upon such gifted writers as Robert Sheckley, Pat Cadigan, Frank M. Robinson, Judith Tarr, Mercedes Lackey, Larry Dixon, Bill Fawcett, Katherine Kerr, David Gerrold, and Kristine Kathryn Rusch to create these twenty-five stories of the most terrifying and fascinating creatures to ever inhabit the Earth: the dinosaurs. From their native Jurassic landscape to your own backyard, from their ancient mastery of the planet to modern-day curiosities trapped in an age not their own, from the earth-shaking tyrannosaur to the sky-soaring pterodactyl, here are unforgettable tales-some poignant, some humorous, some offering answers to the greatest puzzle of prehistory. But all are certain to capture the hearts and imaginations of dinosaur lovers of all ages.

I can’t tell you what stories are in the anthology but I hope to read it someday.

Image result for anonymous rex

Anonymous Rex (2000)

Eric Garcia)

Dinosaurs disguised as (human) detectives to determine whodunnit. A notable entry in the “hard boiled sci-fi” subgenre.

Xenozoic Tales a.k.a. Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (1987-1994)

Mark Schultz

I remember seeing CBS promos for this show (Cadillacs and Dinosaurs) in the early ’90s (“IN YOUR EYE!!!”) but I didn’t know it was based on a comic (Xenozoic Tales) until now. This video below explains how the cartoon and the comic differ (and why the show failed miserably):

While TV Tropes gives more info on the comic/franchise. Another title I look forward to reading someday.

Age of Reptiles (1993-2015)

Ricardo Delgado

One day I googled “Ricardo Delgado” and I got some muscled guy in a thong. Oops. With all of that bodybuilding and posing, I don’t think he has the time to draw dino comics. So if you ever run into him don’t ask him to sign your copy of Age of Reptiles, a series published by Dark Horse about the everyday struggles of various dinosaurs throughout the – you guessed it – Age of Reptiles. There’s been four titles published so far: Tribal Warfare, The Hunt, The Journey and Ancient Egyptians. The most notable aspect of the series is that there’s no words or sounds. The stories rely on the pictures alone.

Oh and this is the Ricardo Delgardo who created the series.

Related image


Dinosaurs vs Aliens (2012)

Grant Morrison

Did you know that during the Mesozoic Era an alien invasion was thwarted by intelligent dinosaurs? YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT?!?! IF DINOSAURS HADN’T INTERVENED WE WOULDN’T BE HERE!!! THIS IS WHY DINOSAURS DESERVE OUR RESPECT!!!! That’s why to this very day we honor dinosaurs with…Dinosaur Day!

Happy (Belated) Dinosaur Day.



Leave a comment

Filed under comics, dinosaurs, paleontology, Uncategorized

Great Whale Moments In SF History

Today is World Whale Day! As we use this day to think about how we can help out and appreciate our cetacean friends, I will take this opportunity to list all the whales that swam into our hearts via science fiction. So pour a glass of water, get out your copy of Songs of the Humpback Whale, and have a whale of a time perusing this list.

Image result for the godwhale

Rorqual Maru, The Godwhale (1974)

Somewhat of a sequel to T.J. Bass’ Half Past Human, this novel is one of the earliest examples of “biopunk” a subgenre related to cyberpunk and steampunk but with biotechnology. Rorqual Maru (is that a cool name or what?) is the titular Godwhale, a cyborg/blue whale hybrid that helps the novel’s protagonist in his search for answers.

Image result for leviathan scott westerfeld

The Leviathan, The Leviathan Trilogy (2009)

What if Britain & it’s allies used genetically modified animals to fight World War 1? Scott Westerfeld answers that question with the Leviathan, a giant airship made (literally) of a whale that can fly through the air (airwhale) thanks to a combination of animal genetics (because Darwin was able to crack the DNA code a century ahead of schedule). Whether you think this is ethical or not is up for debate.

Image result for orca dc comics

Orca, Batman

Introduced in Batman Issue #579 (2000)

Experiments with killer whale tissue turns marine biologist Dr. Grace Balin into Orca, one of Batman’s lesser known antagonists. More info on her here and here.

Image result for orka marvel

Orka, Marvel Comics

First introduced in Prince Namor, The Sub-Mariner #23 (1970). With the help of his psionic amplifier belt, fallen Atlantean soldier Orka has the powers of a killer whale and uses those powers to fight various heroes in the Marvel universe (so why is he blue?) Read more about him here and here.

The Whaladon, Star Wars: The Jedi Prince Series (1992-1993)

First introduced in The Glove of Darth Vader, Whaladons are a species of intelligent creatures in the Star Wars galaxy that our heroes fight to protect from poaching. Detractors of the kids-centered books will summarize the series as “The Rebel Alliance Saves the Whales”. But hey, they can’t be worse than Aftermath, right?


(The one under Kenix Kil’s foot is a Herglic.)

Herglic, Star Wars Legends

These sentient, bipedal, water-based aliens are native to the planet Giju and have appeared in various SW comics and role playing games throughout the years. They made their first appearance in Dark Force Rising, the 2nd book in Timothy Zahn’s beloved Thrawn Trilogy. Because of their large size, it’s difficult for them to enter buildings and ships causing much embarrassment. Nevertheless they are peaceful, easygoing creatures. You can read more about them here.

Image result for star trek the voyage home

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

For all of Star Trek’s optimism, it seems illogical (no pun intended) that in the 23rd century humpback whales would be an extinct species. But they are and that’s bad for the crew of the Enterprise when they discover that a deadly probe is orbiting Earth. Spock comes to the conclusion that the “call” the probe sends matches the “songs” of humpback whales and will continue to wreak havoc until its call is answered. So the only solution is to go back in time to the 20th Century, capture some humpback whales, bring them forward in time to the 23rd Century and use them to respond to the probe’s signal. Not an easy task.

Didn’t they have a copy of Songs of the Humpback Whale on the Enterprise?

Image result for star trek where sea meets sky

Star Trek: Where Sea Meets Sky (1998)

Written by Jerry Oltion and part of The Captain’s Table Series. This is Captain Christopher Pike’s story. He and his crew encounter airwhales known as “titans” who, in Oltion’s words: “scooped hydrogen from the atmospheres of gas giants for food and laid their eggs on terrestrial planets.” Unfortunately this causes a lot of collateral damage to the inhabitants of the terrestrial planets so of course it’s up to the Enterprise to find a solution.


Aiwha, Star Wars: Episode 2 – Attack of the Clones

Non-sentient cetacean creatures native to Kamino and Naboo, they can launch into the air from the sea. Their names are taken from the word “airwhale”. They were designed by Terryl Whitlatch though an early concept was made by Ralph McQuarrie for The Empire Strikes Back. You can learn more about them on Wookiepedia.

And now to conclude this list, here’s some pictures of space whales:

Image result for space whale Image result for space whale

Image result for space whale

And an air whale:

Leave a comment

Filed under science fiction, Uncategorized

An Announcement…

Greetings Earthlings. Forget May the Fourth and Revenge of the Sixth, May is Star Wars month. Why do I say that? Because May 25th marks the 40th anniversary of A New Hope, the one that started it all. But the other five films were released in May and their celebrating their milestones as well. May 21st marks the 37th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back. May 25th also marks the 34th anniversary of Return of the Jedi. Attack of the Clones celebrated its 15th anniversary on the 16th while The Phantom Menace and Revenge of the Sith celebrated their 18th and 12th anniversaries respectively on the 19th. George Lucas also turned 73 on the 14th.

To mark this occasion, I’ve opened a shop on Etsy to sell some sci-fi themed keychains and jewelry. It’s called – what else? – The Lady From Planet X. Star Wars isn’t the only franchise I’m selling. Since we’re still in Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary, I’m selling some ST keychains. This year marks the 30th anniversary of The Next Generation and I hope to add some TNG themed items soon. It’s also Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary and I’ll add some Wondy items as soon as their ready. In the meantime, stop to peruse the Xena keychains I’ve made.






























Leave a comment

Filed under fandom, Uncategorized

Anthology Films We’d Like to See #5: ‘Alderaan Reborn’

This is a story suggestion I submitted to Clone Corridor about the continuing saga of the Skywalker family. This character has been in my mind for years and I’m open to any story suggestions.

Clone Corridor

Today we’ve got another instalment of Anthology Films We’d Like to See, this time from The Lady from Planet X, go check our her blog where she writes about TV shows, books and, of course, Star Wars. This one is about one of my favourite planets, Alderaan, and it not only focuses on a generation even further removed than the one we’re seeing now in the Sequels. It also works on the basis of the old Expanded Universe, which is fun, and I love the idea of a healer, rather than a warrior, a a hero. The story is also partially based on the Starkiller action-figure below.

Alderaan Reborn
The Lady from Planet X

60 years after A New Hope, Ben Skywalker’s daughter and Luke Skywalker’s granddaughter, Nehmiah is following in her father, grandfather and great grandfather’s footsteps as a Jedi Knight. She has Luke’s sandy-colored hair and…

View original post 282 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Nazis Weren’t The Only Monsters

From the positive reception for Amazon Prime’s ambitious new show, The Man in the High Castle, to Jeb Bush’s recent remarks about killing baby Hitler, American pop culture loves to kick Nazi butt. We cheer when our heroes, be they Captain America, Wonder Woman, Indiana Jones or the Rocketeer, take on The Third Reich and help the Allies win World War 2. It’s understandable, the Nazis committed one of the nastiest crimes against humanity in history as well as plunged the world into an unecessary bloodbath for the second time.

But the problem with this is that they’re portrayed as the only villains of World War 2 and frankly it’s starting to get very predictable and boring.

The Problem With The Man in the High Castle

I’ve seen the trailers, clips and even the opening titles for TMITHC. I read the 1962 novel by Philip K. Dick. And while the idea of pretending what the US would be like if the Axis Powers won WW2 is both fascinating and horrifying, I’m not too pleased with the way certain events are depicted in both the book and the series (but moreso the series).

For those not familiar with the story: it’s 1962 and the Axis Powers consisting of Germany and Japan have won. The Allies lost. To add insult to injury, the U.S. has been conquered by said powers and split in two. More than half of America (now called The Greater Nazi Reich) is under Hitler’s rule, while the West Coast (“Pacific States of America”) is under Imperial Japan’s thumb. While we read/hear about the further atrocities the Nazis commit to the rest of the world, a majority of the novel’s action takes place in I.J. – controlled California (For simplicity’s sake, I’m going to refer to the Japan of that era as Imperial Japan) and an untouched area in the middle where the Rocky Mountains are. And therein lies the problem.

The human rights violations Imperial Japan committed before and during WW2 are never mentioned or discussed. While the main characters secretly harbor resentment against their imperial “overlords”, even calling them “Japs” behind their back, life under I.J. rule, is…not so bad, compared to the Nazis. But all of the American characters in TMITHC are white or Jewish. There’re no black, Korean, Chinese or Filipino-American characters in the story. How would these groups be treated under the Imperial Japanese? Considering what Japan did to China, Taiwan, Korea and the Philippines before and during WW2, I think it’s regrettable that Dick or Amazon didn’t incorporate references to The Nanking Massacre or Unit 731. I hold Amazon more accountable because in 2015 we have more historical evidence of these atrocities than Dick did in the 1960s. Would it have hurt Amazon to add some new characters of Chinese or Filippino descent who fear being rounded up and sent to units for human experimentation? Who harbor resentment towards Imperial Japan for killing their loved ones and destroying their lives in their native countries?

Some would argue that depicting the Imperial Japanese as villains would seem racist and promote another white hero vs. Asian villain argument, especially with regards to the internment of Japanese-Americans and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But these dark events in American history doesn’t excuse those dark events in Japanese history. Even though America has forgiven Japan, China has not. And to this day some still deny the existence of those events.

The Problem With Killing Hitler

Every time I hear someone talk about going back in time to assassinate/kill Hitler, I make one massive internal eyeroll, not because I believe in Hitler’s right to live but because killing him would only be cutting a slice of the evil pie.

The 20s, 30s and 40s were the era of dictators, two of them even deadlier than Hitler. Heck, the 20th century was full of deadly dictators.

Sure, you killed Hitler but what about Joseph Stalin, his contemporary? Did you know that he’s responsible for the worst famine in history? And why aren’t there more comic book superheroes beating the living daylights out of him? Why haven’t there been more movies about his human rights violations?

Or what about going back in time and killing Mao Zedong? Or Hideki Tojo, the man who orchestrated the Pearl Harbor attacks?

“But”, you might argue, “by killing Hitler I stopped World War 2 and Pearl Harbor from happening.”

Maybe. Maybe not. But you still have the problem with its predecessor.

That’s right, Tojo was born in 1884. Hitler was born in 1889. Stalin was born in 1878 and Zedong was born in 1893. What do these men have in common? They lived through World War 1 – the war that changed world and changed them for the worst. The first war to severely affect civilian life, the war that introduced the affliction of PTSD, the war that brought the first modern genocide.

Some are now saying that it would be better to go back in time and stop Gavrilo Princip’s bullet from hitting Archduke Franz Ferdinand instead. Then there’d be no WW1, no Armenian Genocide, no WW2 and no Holocaust.

Maybe. Maybe not.

But while there’s nothing we can do about the past, there is something we should do about the present. While we shouldn’t forget about the Nazis or the Holocaust, we should stop focusing solely on them and direct our attention to other villains of the past, whether we’re writing science fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction, or comic books so that other victims and heroes can have their voices be heard.

Read: The Man in the High Castle: When a Nazi-Run Dystopia Isn’t So Dystopian

Watch: 10 Myths About the Nazis (some of the facts may shock you.)




Leave a comment

Filed under Alternate History, Philip K. Dick, Uncategorized