Field Guide to the Mesozoic Megafauna
(Tachyon Publications, $8.95, 32 pages, saddle-stitched paperback;
2003, but dated February 2004.)
first viewed this booklet -- for booklet it is -- when I received my
laden membership tote bag at the World Fantasy Convention in Washington
this past Halloween weekend. Initially, I tossed it aside with those
booklets containing sample excerpts of novels, and I didn't look at
it again until I was packing to go home. A closer inspection revealed
that it is, in fact, a very short anthology of even shorter short stories
-- and my first introduction to Swanwick's prose. I chortled or smiled
my way through every one of the eighteen stories: cameos of clever wit
and imagination, mostly less than a page in length. Better yet, they
were about dinosaurs. A very nice combination. Also, I managed to finish
the book on the flight home: considering this was a 45-minute flight
and I spent only 30 of those minutes reading...
Mesozoic Megafauna is a delightful collection of dinosaur stories
exposing these reptiles to a myriad of entertaining, if highly improbable,
situations. The multiple award-winning Swanwick proves himself an absolute
master of extremely short fiction, packing quite a lot of story into
just a few words, or even a single scene. I for one am looking forward
to reading more of his works. In the meantime, why not check out Mesozoic
Megafauna just to find out what the "old theropod-in-a-rubber-tenontosaur-suit
trick" is; discover the dangers of dueling with Mosasaurs; learn how
the West was really won; and find that proving hypotheses can often
be hazardous to health and machinery.
What I want to know is: What about Woolly Mammoth stories? Maybe they'll
appear in his next short-short-stories collection. I wish.
Review by Marianne Plumridge.
Elsewhere in infinity plus: