...even if you’re reading this at any other time of the year when you just managed to scrape out a whole day (or two) to read, then it wouldn’t hurt to keep this list in mind…
Dinosaurs are some of the coolest creatures to have ever lived. For generations, these extinct beasts have been inspiring us through scientific discoveries, artwork, and museum constructions. It’s no surprise dinosaurs have made a huge splash in popular culture, with blockbuster films like Jurassic Park, television shows such as Primeval, and video games such as Dino Crisis. showcasing these almost mythical creatures for our viewing pleasure. But dinosaurs have made their mark in books too and not just scientific ones but fiction too. These are some of the best series centered around dinosaurs that aren’t Jurassic Park.
5. The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle
Image Via Amazon
The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, is a classic of dinosaur literature. The novel concerns an expedition into a hidden South American plateau where prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs survive. The group must brave the perils of the titular lost world, fighting off hostile dinosaurs, dealing with the deadly terrain, and even contending with a group of primitive ape-like humanoids. Although there are many problems with this books not least the racist attitudes and the out of date depictions of the animal, the book remains a must-read for dinosaur fans and is extremely exciting in parts, especially the dinosaurs’ deadly attacks on the expedition party.
4. Dinosaur Tales by Ray Bradbury
Image Via Goodreads
Dinosaur Tales by dinosaur enthusiast Ray Bradbury contains some seminal pulp works by the renowned author. The work contains stories about dinosaurs he’s written over the years, such as The Fog Horn, Tyrannosaurus rex, and the famous The Sound of Thunder. Each story is a great piece, science fiction classics in their own right and each centered around dinosaurs in some way. The best of the collection is The Sound of Thunder, telling about the consequences of time travel and giving a name to the ‘butterfly effect’ but the others are well worth reading for any dinosaur fan.
3. The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milan
Image Via Goodreads
The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milan is described by George R.R. Martin as “a cross between Jurassic Park and Game of Thrones.“ And he’s correct. The series takes place in a world based on the 14th century Middle Ages except for the presence of domesticated dinosaurs! Dinosaurs take the place of domesticated animals, with triceratops cavalry, tyrannosaur mounts, and apatosaurus beasts of burden. Its a great concept, a medieval world full of action and intrigue but with dinosaurs involved!
2. Raptor Red by Robert T. Bakker
Image Via Goodreads
Raptor Red is a very unique novel. Instead of a human protagonist, the story unfolds through the eyes of a dinosaur. Seen through the eyes of a female raptor called Red, the novel focuses on her journey through the harsh prehistoric landscape. Although you may think it difficult to connect with an animal, much less a dinosaur, this book makes you really feel for Red’s struggle for survival in the unforgiving prehistoric wilderness. It’s a unique book and one any dinosaur fan should be checking out.
1. Dinotopia by James Gurney
Image Via Goodreads
Created by illustrator and writer James Gurney, Dinotopia is a series set in the titular Dinotopia, inhabited by shipwrecked humans and sentient dinosaurs living side by side. Creating a beautiful, fully-realized world, Dinotopia paints a picture of a true paradise, with many things to explore such as great caverns, a huge reef, deserts, and towering mountains. Each book has a different protagonist, focusing on such things such as a pterodactyl riding academy and getting lost in the wilds of Dinotopia. Although the books are aimed at young adult readers, they contain great world building elements to appease young and old alike.
Featured Image Via Goodreads
For as long as we have been granted freedoms, there have been people fighting to take those freedoms away; this is the most human of cycles. There has never been (and will likely never be, at least not right now) a time when people haven’t had to stand up against the systemic and societal oppression they’ve been forced to deal with everyday.
We’ve been warned about what can happen when we allow ourselves to stop caring about the state of the world and the other people inhabiting it by authors since the beginning of time; the entire dystopian genre is centered around it. So, don’t allow yourself to grow sedentary but also don’t grow too fearful; for as many greedy, selfish, oppressive, bad figureheads there are in existence, there are way, way more of us who really do care and move with empathy while fighting for a world of genuine equality.
So, take a look at these thirteen quotes from dystopian novels and give yourself that extra push you may need to keep marching forward!
“We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.” Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
“Every faction conditions it’s members to think and act a certain way. And most people do it. For most people, it’s not hard to learn, to find a pattern of thought that works and stay that way. But our minds move in a dozen different directions. We can’t be confined to one way of thinking, and that terrifies our leaders. It means we can’t be controlled. And it means that, no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them.” Veronica Roth, Divergent
“Did you ever feel, as though you had something inside you that was only waiting for you to give it a chance to come out? Some sort of extra power that you aren’t using – you know, like all the water that goes down the falls instead of through the turbines?” Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
“If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” George Orwell, 1984
“There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.” Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
“We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.” Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
“Of course they needed to care. It was the meaning of everything.” Lois Lowry, The Giver
“That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn’t even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn’t even an enemy you could put your finger on.” Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
“Tell freedom I said hello.” Lauren DeStefano, Wither
“But you can’t make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can’t last.” Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.” Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
“I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running, not staying, but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity’s last war, then I am the battlefield.” Rick Yancey, The 5th Wave
Featured Image via Romper
Did you know HBO is adapting Ray Bradbury’s infamous 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451? If you didn’t know, now you do, and if you did, that’s cool. Turns out, to make the adaptation, the production team had to burn some books. Several hundred, actually.
“Sadly, we had to burn several hundred books,” said Ramin Bahrani, writer, director, and executive producer of the made-for-TV film. “They were real books; there was no way around [burning them]. We had to do it for the film.”
Bahrani, an Iranian-American, put a lot of thought into the scenes where Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon burn books to censor information from the American public. “I grew up speaking and reading Persian before English, and I think a lot of people read and speak various languages,” he said. “We live in a world where people are intersecting language and cultures on a daily basis. If the firemen control things, they should control everything — not just books written by American men in English.”
According to the director, the most difficult part of the burning scenes wasn’t the selection of books or the pyrotechnics – it was the book covers. Bahrani says:
We had to design the covers for a lot of the books ourselves. That became a bizarre problem in pre-production. “We could get the rights to the books to burn them, but we could not get the rights to most of the covers, because they were very complex: There was an artist, there was a graphic designer, there was a typographer. Tracking all these things down proved impossible. It was an unexpected challenge because we were so busy, we ended up having to hire two new designers for the art department just so that they could focus on making all these books.
Some of the books shown include Zadie Smith’s White Teeth and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. In HBO’s adaptation, the firemen of the militaristic police state also burn music and computer servers. They limit access to all information, not just written word, a departure from the original storyline, however the inclusion of alternate sources of information makes the story more relevant for today.
“I thought it would be a chance to modernize and re-imagine it for a world that includes the Internet and technology,” said Bahrani. “Because if I came to your home and burned all your physical books, I’m sure you would not be happy about it, but you could just download them again from the cloud.”
Despite my mouth dropping open, aghast, when I initially found out about the burning books, it seems as if the production tried to go about this as respectfully as possible.
“Oddly, Bradbury [writes in ‘Fahrenheit 451’] about pages burning in a hypnotic or seductive way, how they curl up on each other,” says Bahrani. “But the only time this actually happened [during filming] was actually [Bradbury’s] ‘The Martian Chronicles.’ We were shooting a close-up of it burning and the page kept curling up, one page after the other. And it kept curling up by chance on the name ‘Bradbury’ over and over again, so we were filming his name burning one after another. It seemed like a good omen somehow, that he was watching over the shoot.”
Check out the teaser trailer for HBO’s adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 below!
Featured Image Via HBO.
The trailer for HBO’s upcoming Fahrenheit 451 adaptation is here, and it’s lit. Starring Michael B. Jordan fresh off the success of Black Panther, and Michael Shannon fresh off the success of The Shape of Water, the straight-to-TV movie boasts a surprising amount of star power. Celebrated director Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes) wrote and directed the film, and it looks solid sci-fi and, of course, topical.
Jordan plays fireman Guy Montag and Shannon plays his boss, Captain Beatty. As firemen, they burn books. This policy is reflective of the society they live in, as people have become increasingly dependent on TV. Montag gradually becomes disenchanted with his role in perpetuating that sort of anti-intellectualism, which is the central conflict of the book. This is all for those who didn’t read the book in high school.
Bradbury’s book is a classic, and was previously adapted in 1966 by François Truffaut. Bahrani’s film looks like a modern sci-fi classic, rivalling the likes of Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival. Let’s keep our fingers crossed! And while HBO is adapting classic works of sci-fi, how about showing Asimov and Heinlein some love? Check out Fahrenheit 451 on HBO this May, and watch the trailer here.
Feature Image Via HBO