All the Dinosaurs That are Fit to Print

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting paleobiologist Michael Brett-Surman at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. I was glad to have the chance to chat with him about dinosaurs, but I am even more pleased to pass along a wonderful resource that he has created.

In the 1980s, Brett-Surman began compiling a list of all the appearances of dinosaurs in science fiction. This list was printed in 1997's The Complete Dinosaur, a book that Brett-Surman helped edit. In the past twelve years, however, new titles have appeared and long-lost ones have come to light. Brett-Surman has continued to add these to the list which can be freely accessed here.

The list is an excellent resource for anyone with an interest in dinosaurs. There are popular favorites like Jurassic Park as well as more obscure titles like The Great Beast of Kafue and Corrupting Dr. Nice. One of my personal favorites on the list is a time-travel tale written by the late paleontologist G.G. Simpson called The Dechronization of Sam Magruder. Many of the books and stories may be hard to find, but the list is a good starting place for avid readers of dinosaur lit and those who want to track the evolution of pop culture dinosaurs.

Brett-Surman's list is impressive and always growing, but it is still just a sampling of the dinosaur fiction that is out there. It does not include comics or children's books, which means that someone could (and should) start a similar project for such titles. Those looking for descriptions of paleo-literature as a genre should check out Allen Debus' Dinosaurs in Fantastic Fiction, as well.

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