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BrianTubbs
12-15-2006, 08:58 AM
I know there are quite a few sci-fi/fantasy novels (mainly sci-fi I would guess) that involve time travel back to the time of the dinosaurs. The fantasy novel I'm currently working has dinosaurs co-existing with humans.

I'm sure this has been done as well, so I'm not claiming originality here. But I wanted to avoid the cliche fire-breathing dragon thing. Instead, I want to mix a little Jurassic Park in. Was wondering if you all have any book recommendations along those lines.

As FYI...my fantasy world is typical medieval setting - along the lines of the Arthurian legends, the Lord of the Rings series, Ranger's Apprentice, etc. So, do you know of any fantasy authors w/ similar worlds that have dinosaurs co-existing with humans?

What's tripping me up is that I don't know what to call the dinosaurs. It just doesn't feel / sound right to have my characters (again, in a medieval setting) talking about raptors, T-rexes, etc.

Any suggestions?

badducky
12-15-2006, 09:02 AM
Oh, gosh, there was a whole series of this stuff and they turned it into a mediocre television series...

(googling...)

Here's a useful list:

http://www.scifan.com/themes/themes.asp?Th_themeid=93&Page=1&Items=30

Don't be discouraged by how many others have done this. Most of these aren't major titles. There's room for someone to come along and blow the whole egg open.

Lyra Jean
12-15-2006, 09:19 AM
Dinotopia is the first title that comes to mind.

AnnieColleen
12-15-2006, 09:30 AM
Kurt Giambastiani ('http://www.amazon.com/Year-Cloud-Fell-Roc-Book/dp/0451458214/sr=1-1/qid=1166160444/ref=sr_1_1/102-0626208-4021722?ie=UTF8&s=books') has a series where the dinosaurs survived in North America and were tamed by the Plains Indians.

Kentuk
12-15-2006, 09:38 AM
Use localized names let people figure out slowly they are actually dinosours. Feathers, wings and warm blooded behavior can help delay recognition.

WildScribe
12-15-2006, 09:43 AM
Sounds like a fun story. Are the dinos friendly or predatorial-like? (It's late)

badducky
12-15-2006, 11:17 AM
My absolute favorite story of dinosaurs, by the way. and one of my favorite short stories in the known universe is from the book "Cosmicomics" by Italo Calvino called "Dinosaurs".

Haunting doesn't begin to describe it.

Of course, if you haven't read Italo Calvino, consider this your personal invitation.

Sean D. Schaffer
12-15-2006, 10:47 PM
Dinotopia is the first title that comes to mind.


I thought about that title too.

Also, I remember a TV show I watched when I was a child, which was called Land of the Lost. It had an Allosaurus the people called 'Alice', as I recall. Maybe you could do something similar to that with the dinosaur names in your own manuscript.

Higgins
12-15-2006, 11:53 PM
Okay, I'm going to get it over with.

The Flintstones.

You've hit my simple child-like faith in large archesauria with a rock.

Tallymark
12-16-2006, 01:08 AM
Dinotopia is a BIG one, definately worth a look at. In it, humans and dinosaurs coexist to form a society (though in the deep jungle there are still dinosaurs who hunt and are dangerous). Hmm, Anne McCaffrey's Dinosaur planet has people landing on a planet where, well, dinosaurs still survive and where one or two are sentient and the rest are hungry beasts--but I'm not sure that's what you're looking for.

I was always fond of Saurians, which was the name used for dinosaurs in the Book of Night With Moon (which was really more about cat wizards than dinosaurs, but its still a good name). But it sounds like you want something non-latin in any way, like a medieval person with no science whatsoever would use...really, this is just your chance to be creative. Odds are they'd use sort of descriptive names, maybe--like sickle-claws, or fin-backs.

AnnieColleen
12-16-2006, 03:30 AM
Odds are they'd use sort of descriptive names, maybe--like sickle-claws, or fin-backs.

Dinosaur Planet actually does this, even though the character is a xenobiologist - fang-face, golden fliers, etc. It's definitely a good option.

BrianTubbs
12-16-2006, 03:31 AM
I can't believe I forgot about Dinotopia. Big brain cramp. But admittedly I haven't read it or watched the miniseries all the way through.

Here's a website on the series:

http://www.dinotopia.com/

alaskamatt17
12-16-2006, 04:14 AM
I am definitely all for dinosaurs in speculative fiction. I used to frequent these boards a lot, but I kind of stopped writing for a couple months. Now I'm getting back into it.

My major work for the last few years has been a science fiction trilogy about a planet filled with sentient dinosaurs. Of course, I get the benefit of having it set in the future, so I get to use scientific names.

Dinotopia uses genus names, so there's nothing there to help, although I would still recommend reading the books that are actually by James Gurney. The story is good and the illustrations are gorgeous.

A lot of dinosaur fiction uses descriptive names as mentioned further up the list. Hookclaw is probably one the most overused for Dromaeosaurids. If you're setting is in medieval Europe, maybe try translating simple descriptive phrases into German, French, or Gaelic. That might even be a good idea if you want to have an alternate language.

I don't know if you want to have your dinosaurs be sentient or not. If so, the option arises to give them names that sound like what we would imagine dinosaur speech to be. Growly, hissy sounds for small theropods, clumsy, drawn-out names for larger herbivores, powerful names for the Allosaurids and Tyrannosaurids.

How much of a fantasy is this going to be? Magic or no magic? What are you going to do to distinguish the dinosaurs from dragons? Do the dinosaurs very commonly interact with humans, or is it something rare that could create something like a mythical overblown hype about the dinosaurs?

These could all be important. If the animals are common, people aren't likely to be as impressed with them, they'll just kind of steer clear of the dangerous ones and maybe try to domesticate the others. If the dinosaurs are sentient, there could be allies and enemies of humanity, that sort of thing. If the dinosaurs are really rare then you don't have to be as worrried about letting yourself sound impressed by the majesty of the creatures whenever one of your characters sees one (they'll be in awe too).

Just some ideas.

Alex Bravo
12-16-2006, 06:22 AM
Wouldn't that age just call them dragons?

Vincent
12-16-2006, 06:37 AM
Dinoriders. An 80's cartoon designed to sell toys.

EDIT:

In a world with dino's, I'm guessing you might not have a blanket name for the whole lot. Just as we don't usually lump all mammals together. So, different species, different names. 'big flying biting thing' comes to mind.

Tanatra
12-21-2006, 11:04 AM
EDIT: How about a dinosaur ghost story? I have yet to see a single one, despite the fact that they've been dead for millions of years.

alaskamatt17
12-21-2006, 01:15 PM
Tanatra, I'm glad to see somebody else who realizes how utterly awesome theropods are! I've been fed up with the greenie attitude toward dinosaurs for quite a while now. Theropods can't help it if eating meat is in their nature, we don't need to villify them for it.

I've got a dinosaur WIP featuring mostly theropod protagonists (though there's humans and herbivores thrown into the mix as well) that I've been dying to blab about to someone (everyone, in fact) for longer than I care to admit.

I'd be glad to start another topic about dinosaur stories where we can share more about what we're working on. In fact, I think I'm going to do that right now, and leave this thread for answering the original poster's question.

See you there.

LloydBrown
12-21-2006, 07:11 PM
There's a humorous roleplaying game called Og in which your caveman characters only know a few words, so a t-rex is a "big big smelly bang thing." "Go thing" is a raptor and "big big thing" refers to any of the giant sauropods.

That might be a little more extreme than you were looking for.

truelyana
12-21-2006, 07:28 PM
I love Dinosaurs

They are real, real i tell you :D

On that note, i think i am one heehee :D

Del
12-21-2006, 08:01 PM
I have a dino story too. You have to love dinosaurs! I hope my twist is unique enough. But don't we all...

I recall a TV show. Land of the Lost. It must not have been very good. I cannot recall one episode. :e2shrug:

Dinos have been done to death but so has everything else. Go for it!

truelyana
12-21-2006, 08:02 PM
Was it about dinousars that went to work in the woods?

badducky
12-21-2006, 09:05 PM
Speaking from the evolutionary standpoint, I suspect T-Rex tastes an awful lot like emu.

alaskamatt17
12-21-2006, 11:41 PM
I don't know if T-rex would taste much like emu. Paleontologists and evolutionary biologists usually pinpoint smaller theropods as bird ancestors, and the first birds appeared quite a while before Tyrannosaurus rex. Still, there is a relation, so maybe ...

Back to BrianTubbs' question, I'm now not really sure that some of my previous advice would be good. A lot of animals in English don't have names that bring up their physical characteristics. Hogs, goats, elk, bears, lizards, frogs. I guess I should look up the etymology for these names to see if thy meant something in Old or Middle English, but it seems to me like anyone naming animals would name dinosaurs along similar lines if dinosaurs were common. That would make writing them much more difficult, though.

Del
12-22-2006, 12:34 AM
Naming dinos;

I like the Finback and Hooktoe idea. If this is a YA then it could be a plus. Naming something that looks like a rex, Bidantical, for instance, is going to be trouble. Your readers shouldn't need to study your characters to understand the story. If it isn't immediately recognizable it should be familiar.

Tanatra
12-22-2006, 05:54 AM
Tanatra, I'm glad to see somebody else who realizes how utterly awesome theropods are! I've been fed up with the greenie attitude toward dinosaurs for quite a while now. Theropods can't help it if eating meat is in their nature, we don't need to villify them for it.

I've got a dinosaur WIP featuring mostly theropod protagonists (though there's humans and herbivores thrown into the mix as well) that I've been dying to blab about to someone (everyone, in fact) for longer than I care to admit.

I'd be glad to start another topic about dinosaur stories where we can share more about what we're working on. In fact, I think I'm going to do that right now, and leave this thread for answering the original poster's question.

See you there.

Hmm, good idea. I'll strip down my post in this topic to what's necessary and just post in the one you've started. There's no point in copy/pasting the same thing all over this message board.

As for the comment about dinosaurs being done to death, for every tale about dinosaurs there's at least 100 fantasy stories about wizards and/or dragons. Just about everything has been done, sure, but another aspect of originality is using established standards in unestablished ways.

Concerning dinosaur names, quite a few of mine are variations of Greek/Roman names. "Arkavian" was derived from the Roman name "Octavian".

Some dinosaurs are also named in relation to their environment, like the name Aeros, Ascric and Ayreon for some of my Pterodactyl characters. All of those names are reminescent of air (at least I thought so).

Of course, some were just lifted directly from real life. I named one Deinonychus "Celestion" after my favorite brand of guitar speakers. He justifies his name in the story as "I was named for the coloring on my back. It reflected the night sky under which I hatched."