Hugosauriad Update

The Jurassic is circling the airport as I’m still waiting for a copy of Dinosaur Planet by Anne McCaffrey to be delivered. Otherwise, the only other story that I’ve not sourced yet is “Brontë’s Egg” by Richard Chwedyk (appears in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, August 2002 and in Nebula Awards Showcase 2004 but otherwise hasn’t been anthologised as far as I can tell).

I went down a bit of a rabbit hole trying to track 1990’s internet science fiction communities, the brief life of the HOMer Awards (and Compuserve forums) and also some of the history behind Robert J Sawyer’s short time as President of the SWFA. How much of that, if anything, will work its way in I have no idea.

I think I also need to write something about how our understanding of the extinction of the dinosaurs have changed their representation thematically. There is still a metaphorical use of ‘dinosaur’ as something outdated and past its time but from the 1980s on, there’s a sense of dinosaurs just being unlucky and deserving of a second chance. Presumably because of how the idea of a catastrophic event killing the dinosaurs changes the ‘moral’ of their story. Also maybe as our understanding that mammals were not new comers at the end of the age of dinosaurs makes the idea of furry ancestors superseding the dinosaurs by being smarter or quicker less tenable.

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8 thoughts on “Hugosauriad Update

  1. I remember liking Dinosaur Planet as a teen, but the Suck Fairy may have visited.
    IIRC quite a lot isn’t really resolved until the second book The Survivors.

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      1. Speaking of Robert J. Sawyer, I don’t know if I remember you mentioning his Quintaglio Ascension trilogy (Far-Seer, Fossil Hunter, Foreigner)? Also End of an Era, a time-travel tale with a rather unique antagonist. All published in the early 90’s. (Which doesn’t fit into the Hugosauriad, but just as a general rec.)

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      2. Yes, there will be an entry for Far-Seer (I haven’t read the other Quintaglio books) when I get to the 1990s. It’s the pretext for working Sawyer into mix and why the HOMer awards get talked about. Changing fannish ways and online etc.

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  2. There was a nonfiction book a couple of decades back that argued part of the appeal of dinosaurs in pop culture is that they’re such a fluid metaphor, both lumbering stupid giants outmatched by the nimble mammals and terrifying engines of destruction before which we’re helpless. Unfortunately the book did a thuddingly dreadful job exploring the concept.

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    1. One thing I didn’t expect out of what I’m doing is to find that dinosaurs are frequently *revolutionaries* or agents of change. Nor is that new – my first example is A Case of Conscience, so it’s there in the 1950s when lumbering-dinos were still the norm.

      Atheist dinosaurs was a surprise too but that makes more sense on reflection.

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