Category: Book Reviews

The Princeton Field Guide to Prehistoric Mammals Reviewed

A Review of The Princeton Field Guide to Prehistoric Mammals

Had you been around in the middle of the 19th Century and taken the opportunity to visit any one of the burgeoning number of natural history museums, you would not have found fossils of dinosaurs dominating the main galleries.  Prior to the American “bone wars” that led to the naming and describing of a number of iconic dinosaurs from the western United States, it was the many and varied prehistoric mammals that held centre stage.  Visitors would have marvelled at the fossilised bones of giant sloths, the antlers of immense ancient elks, bizarre elephants with downward pointing tusks and long-extinct cats with sabre-teeth.

Today, we have a much better understanding of the animals that came to dominate the Earth after the demise of the dinosaurs, more knowledge than the Victorians would ever have imagined.  These prehistoric beasts, their evolutionary history, diversity and variety are documented in a new book by Princeton University Press – “The Princeton Field Guide to Prehistoric Mammals”.  Written by American palaeontologist Donald Ross Prothero (Natural History Museum of Los Angeles and Professor Emeritus of Geology at Occidental College) and beautifully illustrated by renowned scientific illustrator Mary Persis Williams, this publication is a “must have” for academics and for fans of fossils as well as anyone with an interest in general science.

The Front Cover of “The Princeton Field Guide to Prehistoric Mammals”

Documenting prehistoric mammals.

“The Princeton Field Guide to Prehistoric Mammals”.

Picture Credit: Princeton University Press

A Comprehensive Inventory of Prehistoric Mammals

Following a similar format to “The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs”, compiled by Gregory S. Paul (expect a review of the second edition of this excellent dinosaur book shortly on this blog site), the author provides a general overview on the evolutionary history of the Mammalia before moving on to describe in detail representatives of each of the major groups of fossil mammals.  Mary’s fantastic drawings are augmented with stunning pictures of key fossils and the easy-to-follow text is supported by numerous cladistic diagrams that help to demonstrate the taxonomic relationships between the different types of prehistoric mammal featured in this comprehensive overview.

The Messel Shale Beds of Germany

Highlights include an extensive cataloguing of insectivorous mammals, bats (Chiroptera) and early primates illustrated by a number of detailed images showcasing the exquisite mammal fossils excavated from the UNESCO World Heritage site known as the Messel Shales.  Readers can learn how, over time, horses evolved from cat-sized forest creatures to the long-limbed animals of today, or indeed how the ancestry of dolphins and whales can be traced back to hoofed, terrestrials.

The Fossil Jaws of the Eocene Toothed Whale Basilosaurus

Basilosaurus whale skull.

The primitive whale Basilosaurus is featured in chapter 14 (pp 162-163).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

 There is certainly a great deal to commend this book.  Each of the major groups of mammals is discussed in turn, no mean feat, given the great abundance and variety of Cenozoic mammals that are recorded in the fossil record.  After all, dinosaur discoveries may make headlines, but as any vertebrate palaeontologist will tell you, the fossil record of the Mammalia over the last sixty-six million years or so is much more complete and arguably, a lot more complicated.

It is the little flourishes that appeal the most, those little details that demonstrate that this was a book that has been crafted, with the author and illustrator united in the desire to tell the story of our closest relatives in the tree of life.  For example, there is an extensive “Further Reading” section at the end of the book and within the index a handy pronunciation guide has been provided.

Thoughtful and Provocative

The closing chapter, (chapter 18), sets out to answer some of the questions associated with mammalian evolution after the Cretaceous mass extinction event that saw the end of the non-avian dinosaurs and many other kinds of giant reptile.  The author tackles questions such as “how did mammals diversify after the dinosaurs vanished?”  “Why were some prehistoric mammals so big and why have most of the huge mammals disappeared?”  These are the sort of questions that may well have vexed those Victorian visitors to museums, such questions still fascinate and Donald R. Prothero skilfully constructs answers, illustrating the points made in support of his arguments with some of the latest research on prehistoric mammals.  As to the future, the closing remarks in this 240-page volume, make sober reading.  Many mammals are on the brink of extinction, iconic mammals of today, may not be around within the lifetime of the people reading this book.

Due out towards the end of November 2016, “The Princeton Field Guide to Prehistoric Mammals” is highly recommended.

More details and book orders can be made here: “Princeton University Press”

Book Details:

Title: “The Princeton Field Guide to Prehistoric Mammals” by by Donald R. Prothero, with illustrations by Mary Persis Williams

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691156828

Prehistoric Times (Issue 119) Reviewed

A Review of Prehistoric Times Magazine (Autumn 2016)

The bumper autumn edition of Prehistoric Times has hit the office mat and Everything Dinosaur team members have been eagerly thumbing through its colourful pages.  All hail talented palaeoartist Fabio Pastori whose depiction of the tyrannosaurid affectionately known as Stan (STAN-BHI3033) adorns the front cover.  This is the fifth time that Fabio has produced front cover artwork for Prehistoric Times, it is always a pleasure to see his work and sure enough, there is plenty of Fabio’s amazing prehistoric themed artwork to marvel at inside, look out for the “picture perfect Cryolophosaurus” article.

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times Magazine (Issue 119)

The front cover of Prehistoric Times magazine (issue 119)

A very colourful and action packed front cover.

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks

Acrocanthosaurus and Eohippus Inside

 The two featured prehistoric animals in this issue are the monstrous Acrocanthosaurus and the diminutive “dawn horse” Eohippus, Phil Hore does a good job producing updates on these two ancient creatures and both his articles are embellished with plenty of reader submitted artwork.  Amongst our favourites in the Acrocanthosaurus dedicated copy is the line drawing by Rich Morris and the image created by Manuel Gil Jaramallo, which reminded us of the Battat Acrocanthosaurus replica.  Look out for the wonderful model of Eohippus made by the great and sadly no longer with us, Ray Harryhausen, for the 1969 fantasy adventure film “Valley of the Gwangi”.

Regular contributor Tracy Lee Ford dedicates his how to draw dinosaurs series to Torosaurus and unravelling the rather complicated relationship this large herbivore has with other Late Cretaceous members of the Chasmosaurinae clade.  Once again this is a very well written and informative piece.  Fabio Pastori’s artwork can be seen throughout much of this edition of Prehistoric Times.  For example, in an article on spectacular Upper Jurassic fossils “What is Quarry 5?”  Fabio’s illustrations are used to bring various Stegosaurs and Sauropods to life.

To visit the Prehistoric Times website and for information on how to subscribe to Prehistoric Times magazine: Prehistoric Times

Don’t forget to check out part two of the excellent article on dinosaur name pronunciation and the third part of the Golden Age of Burian and his wonderful illustrations of prehistoric landscapes (article by John R. Lavas), this article is worth the cover price alone.

Once again Prehistoric Times delivers, it is jam-packed full of fascinating articles and features, enough to satisfy the appetite of even the most enthusiastic dinosaur fan.

Countdown to the Frankfurt Book Fair

One Week Until the Frankfurt Book Fair

Just under a week to go now until the grand opening of the Frankfurt Book Fair (19th-23rd October).  The “Frankfurter Buchmesse” is the world’s largest trade fair for books and publications, based on the number of print houses and publishing companies that exhibit in the vast and sprawling trade halls.   More than a quarter of a million visitors are expected to attend and for teaching professionals and for those responsible for book procurement for schools, this event provides a wonderful opportunity to catch up on the latest trends within educational publishing.

The Frankfurt Book Fair Opens Next Week

Frankfurther Buchmesse logo (2016).

Frankfurt Book Fair logo (2016).

Picture Credit: The Frankfurt Book Fair Press

Over the course of the five-day event, the city of Frankfurt’s population could swell by us much as 20% as visitors from all over the world flock to, for what is for many, the centre of the book publishing world.  After all, this part of southern central Germany can trace its roots in the printing industry back some five centuries or more.  The first three days are allocated to trade visitors, on the weekend, members of the public are able to attend and meet the many thousands of exhibitors, from over 100 different countries, many of who are specialists in the field of educational publishing.

Literacy and English National Curriculum

When the Department of Education outlined the new curriculum for schools, it placed a great emphasis on reading skills and the development of language.  Everything Dinosaur team members work mainly with Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 teaching teams and within the blueprints for the new curriculum’s roll out, the Dept. of Education stated that reading helps pupils to develop emotionally, culturally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.   Within our own workshops for schools, especially when working with Key Stage 1 classes, we try to build in extension exercises that involve the children exploring both non-fiction and fiction texts.

We may live in a society increasingly dominated by downloads, catch-ups and re-winds but it is through reading that children can acquire knowledge and build upon what they already know.  Young boys can become disillusioned about reading, however, when given the chance to read a book all about dinosaurs they relish the opportunity.

The Aim of Many Teachers to Develop a Lifelong Appreciation of Books

Browsing books.

Time for browsing at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Picture Credit: The Frankfurt Book Fair Press

The Frankfurt Book Fair is considered by many as being the most important event of its kind in terms of international deals and trading.  However, teachers and administrators responsible for the school library can also find much to inspire them and assist them with their work.  The school library is often a hub of learning within the school and provides a valuable focal point for developing a coordinated reading policy throughout the educational establishment.  Such a library represents the very first place where children encounter a multitude of books for the very first time.  It has been reported that the average UK household contains only around 150 books in total, so a well-stocked school library can appear like a magical “Aladdin’s Cave” to eager young readers.

The Reading Socio-economic Divide

In a survey carried out by the charity Booktrust and published in the early months of 2014, the socio-economic divide between readers and non-readers within the UK was highlighted.  Based on a survey of fifteen hundred adults, the researchers found that on average, the better-off the person the more likely they were to read regularly.  Key links were identified between a person’s propensity to read and their social background.  A high proportion of people from low income groups admitted that they never read.  Young people, especially men with a relatively poor education, were the least likely to read regularly.  The Dept. of Education concluded in its framework document for the future direction of the English national curriculum by stating that the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of our society.  People who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.

All praise to the Frankfurt Book Fair and to the many teachers, home educationalists and education professionals who are inspired by what they see (and read) there.

The Next Edition of Prehistoric Times

Sneak Peek – Prehistoric Times (Issue 119)

Our thanks to Mike Fredericks (editor), who emailed over to Everything Dinosaur an image of the front cover of the next issue of Prehistoric Times, which is due out shortly.  It was a cheering sight amidst the dark clouds, torrential rain and thunder that we experienced yesterday evening.  It was definitely a night for staying indoors and perusing previous editions of this quarterly magazine for dinosaur fans and collectors of prehistoric animal models.

The Front Cover of the Next Prehistoric Times

The front cover of Prehistoric Times magazine (issue 119)

A very colourful and action packed front cover.

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks

The front cover artwork has been provided by the fabulously talented palaeoartist Fabio Pastori, what a spectacular pair of fighting tyrannosaurids!  If we recall correctly, the last time the artwork of Fabio graced the front cover was back in the winter of 2014 (issue 108), we look forward to seeing more of Fabio’s amazing illustrations in the autumn edition, which should be with us shortly.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s review of the winter 2014 issue of Prehistoric Times: A Review of Prehistoric Times (issue 108)

Zdeněk Burian

The autumn edition also contains a feature on the prehistoric landscapes of Zdeněk Burian, a Czech artist and book illustrator whose prehistoric animal illustrations played a pivotal role in the development of scientific drawings used by museums and book publishers.  This artist, whose work can be found in many natural history museums throughout the world, is regarded by many people as the doyen of palaeontological artwork.  Team members at Everything Dinosaur are also looking forward to the special features on Acrocanthosaurus and the “dawn horse” Eohippus, which will also be included in the forthcoming issue.

Prehistoric Times, is an excellent magazine for the serious dinosaur fan, to visit Prehistoric Times website, simply click the link below:

Visit Prehistoric Times: Prehistoric Times Magazine

Our thanks to Mike Fredericks for sending us a sneaky peek of the front cover.

Everything Dinosaur Reviews Prehistoric Times Issue 118

A Review of Prehistoric Times (Summer 2016)

It might seem quite odd to have the front cover of the latest edition of Prehistoric Times magazine depicting a confrontation between two Smilodon and a Woolly Mammoth, especially since it is the summer issue, but as Californian-based editor Mike Fredericks points out, on the west coast of the United States it is currently baking hot.  A snowy, Pleistocene scene might help readers in hotter parts of the world forget the heat, oh, if only we in the United Kingdom had such worries.  Two days with temperatures above thirty degrees Celsius has been our lot so far this summer.  Never mind we can always browse through the latest edition of Prehistoric Times, to take our minds off the incessant rain.

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times (issue 118)

Prehistoric Times magazine (issue 118)

The front cover of Prehistoric Times magazine (Summer 2016)

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks

The front cover artwork was created by Franco Tempesta and editor Mike conducts an in-depth interview with the talented Italian palaeoartist.  This very informative and well-written piece is complimented by a number of Franco’s fantastic illustrations, look out in particular for the beautiful Confuciusornis images.  Talking of flying prehistoric creatures, check out the fabulous article on the Pterosaurs of Brazil contributed by Sergio Luis Fica Biston.  This article too, features some brilliant artwork.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Entelodonts

Phil Hore conducts a tour of the “killer pigs”, the Entelodonts, enormous omnivores that roamed much of the northern latitudes until around 19 million years ago.  In addition, Phil discusses the exceptionally rare “dinosaur mummies” and accompanying his article is a photograph of a mummified Hadrosaur from the American Museum of Natural History plus illustrations from the likes of Chris Srnka, Betty Reid Martin and Julius Csotonyi.  Regular contributor Tracy Lee Ford continues the “mummified dinosaur” theme by demonstrating how to draw dinosaur skin, scales and mummies in a comprehensive overview.  Amongst the regular features such as the palaeonews, classifieds, collector’s corner and Mesozoic media, look out for the “speaking dinosaur” section, part 1 of a glossary and pronunciation guide by Carl Masthay and Robert Telleria – what a great idea for an article!

Check out the Amazing CollectA Daeodon Figure Drawing Commissioned by Everything Dinosaur that Features in Prehistoric Times (summer 2016)

One of the "ugly ones".

One of the “ugly ones” – Daeodon by Mike Fredericks.

Subscribe to Prehistoric Times Magazine

For further information on Prehistoric Times magazine and to subscribe: Prehistoric Times Magazine

Information for Prehistoric Animal Model Collectors

Fans of Marx figures and Marx dinosaur play-sets get an update on the changing characteristic of these iconic models from their 1960’s origins up into the 1970’s.  Pat Schaefer takes readers through the finer points of Marx collectables and in between editing the magazine, Mike Fredericks takes time out to let readers know about new model kits and figures that are available, the majority of which are now in stock at Everything Dinosaur Everything Dinosaur.

Mike Howgate provides the second part of his review of the prehistoric plaster models made by Vernon Edwards in the 1920’s.  In this piece, his focus is on the models used to illustrate a series of cigarette cards.  If you want to see a Corythosaurus advertising tobacco then this is the article for you.

All in all, this magazine is a jam-packed edition, there is certainly enough in the summer issue of Prehistoric Times to take your mind off the weather, no matter how hot (or wet) it gets!

“Edge of Extinction” by Laura Martin Reviewed

“Edge of Extinction” – Dinosaur Adventure Book

As the summer holidays approach many dinosaur fans are looking forward to selecting their prehistoric animal themed reading.  As well as all the non-fiction texts that noses will get buried into over the vacation, try “Edge of Extinction” a new dinosaur adventure story penned by the talented Laura Martin.

Ideal Reading for Young Dinosaur Fans

Edge of Extinction by Laura Martin

An exciting young person’s read. Dinosaurs meets Lara Croft!

Picture Credit: Harper Collins Children’s Books

“Jurassic World meets “Indiana Jones”

The exciting plot revolves around the adventures of twelve-year-old Sky Mundy, a bit of a rebel and living in a world dominated by dinosaurs.  Two hundred years ago, scientists made the folly of bringing back the dinosaurs via cloning.  A disease that came with the Dinosauria, wiped out most of the human race forcing the survivors to hideaway in a twilight world.  The underground compounds offer some security, but Sky has to venture out into the world of dinosaurs to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance.  As an aside, she and her best friend Shawn have to save the world!

To commemorate the publishing of Laura’s first novel, Everything Dinosaur is running a special competition on their Facebook page to win a copy of this thrilling new book.

Book Competition – Win with Everything Dinosaur – Please note this competition is now closed.

Simply “Like” Everything Dinosaur’s FACEBOOK page, then provide a name for the big, meat-eating dinosaur that features on the front cover of this thrilling paperback!

Everything Dinosaur on FACEBOOK: “LIKE” our Facebook page and enter the competition!

We will draw the lucky winner at random out of one of our hard hats and the dinosaur name caption competition closes on Sunday 31st July.  Good luck, just come up with a name for the big front cover dinosaur and “like” our Facebook page for a chance to win.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s fantastic range of dinosaur themed goodies: Everything Dinosaur

You can find “Edge of Extinction”  by Laura Martin here: Search Here for “Edge of Extinction”

We believe customer service is the key to getting "likes".

“Like” our Facebook page to enter the competition.

An Ideal Read for Teenagers and for Dinosaur Fans from Nine Years and Upwards

Described as a blend of “Jurassic Park” meets “Indiana Jones”, this debut novel by Laura has received rave reviews from young readers:

Alex (aged 10), stated: “The book was about a group of dinosaurs, which had taken over the world.  It was full of tension, action and danger.”

Nine-year-old Ross added: “Edge of Extinction by Laura Martin is a riveting read.  It was action packed and I could not put it down.”

A Note for Mums and Dads

Commenting on the publication of this new story all about life in a prehistoric animal dominated world, a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur said:

“This book, published by Harper Collins, makes an ideal summer read for a young dinosaur fan.  In addition, it is great to see a girl as the central character and the heroine of the story.”

Please note this competition is now closed.

Prehistoric Times (Spring 2016) Reviewed

A Review of Issue 117 of Prehistoric Times Magazine

First into the office this morning and it has benefits, pick of the biscuits and a chance to read the latest edition of Prehistoric Times magazine (spring 2016), that arrived over the weekend and what a jam-packed, splendid edition it is.  The front cover features Carnotaurus artwork by Kurt Miller which dovetails nicely into an informative feature on this, perhaps the most famous of the abelisaurids, by the talented Phil Hore.  Phil begins his article with a short fantasy piece before providing a detailed biography of this long-legged hunter from South America.  The article is illustrated with copious amounts of reader submitted artwork.  As Prehistoric Times editor, Mike Fredericks freely admits, he was somewhat overwhelmed by the number of Carnotaurus illustrations he received for this issue.  It’s hard to pick a personal favourite, Todd Mills gave his Carnotaurus a bright yellow throat pouch, whilst Ashli Lenox’s drawing was very reminiscent of the Papo Carnotaurus replica – all great stuff.  A special mention goes to Wade Carmen for providing a beautiful illustration of the skull of this Late Cretaceous predator.

Carnotaurus Artwork by Californian Artist Kurt Miller on the Front Cover of Issue 117

The front cover of the next edition of "Prehistoric Times" magazine.

The front cover of “Prehistoric Times” magazine.

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks

Paying Tribute to Zdeněk Burian

Weaving its way through issue 117, like the ossified tendons associated with caudal vertebrae on a Edmontosaurus, is a super article all about the ground-breaking palaeoartist Zdeněk Burian.  John R. Lavas, the writer, has provided a comprehensive guide to this famous Czech painter’s legacy and of course there are lots and lots of examples of his spectacular artwork.  Tracy Lee Ford gives budding artists a bit of head’s up in the second part of his thought-provoking feature regarding how to illustrate feathered dinosaurs.  Readers of this quarterly magazine might remember that in issue 116 Tracy called for a curtailing on the amount of feathered dinosaur drawings being produced, this time, the focus is on feathered Theropods and how to interpret fossil feather impressions.  The article concludes with some well drawn sketches including an interpretation of the recently described Dakotaraptor steini.

To read more about the discovery of this new, very large Maniraptoran dinosaur: Dakotaraptor – A Giant Raptor and Niche Partitioning

Phil Hore’s other major contribution to the spring edition is to provide the text on the Bear Dogs (Amphicyonidae), a family of geographically diverse carnivores that early hominids would have done well to avoid.  Some great reader submitted artwork once again, including the rather cute image sent in by David Hicks of one of these apex predators taking an interest in a butterfly.  Phil’s debut novel gets a mention.  “The Order of the Dragon”, the first in the bloodline, gothic fantasy trilogy and a jolly good read it is too.  For a review of “The Order of the Dragon”: The Order of the Dragon Book Review

 Mesozoic Media Section Features “Tracks in Deep Time”

"Tracks in Deep Time" features in a Mesozoic media review.

“Tracks in Deep Time” features in a Mesozoic media review.

Picture Credit:  H. K. Luterman of Cedar City, Utah

Lots of new books get reviewed including Tracy Lee Ford’s first fiction novel (did he get the idea from co-contributor to Prehistoric Times, Phil Hore we wonder)?  There is also the chance to learn a little about a newly published textbook all about the amazing trace fossils from the St George Dinosaur Discovery Site (Utah).   Look out also for a tour of Philadelphia’s Academy of Natural Sciences, fossil news stories and more reader art, in what is a very full edition.

To learn more about Prehistoric Times magazine and to subscribe: Prehistoric Times Magazine

Cherilea – The First All-British Dinosaur Toy Range

Last but not least, a quick mention of the three-page spread dedicated to the Cherilea range of prehistoric animal models, a range that can claim to be Britain’s first dinosaur set.  In production, as far back as the late 1950’s, author and model dinosaur Anthony Beeson pays tribute to these trail blazers.

Preview of Prehistoric Times (Spring 2016)

Prehistoric Times Magazine Previewed

Team members at Everything Dinosaur are looking forward to receiving the next edition of the quarterly magazine ” Prehistoric Times”.  Issue 117 (spring 2016), is due to arrive in the next couple of weeks or so and what an exciting edition this promises to be.  The two featured prehistoric creatures Carnotaurus and the enigmatic “Bear Dogs” are amongst our favourite prehistoric animals preserved in the fossil record, we expect it to be jam-packed with lots of amazing reader submitted artwork showcasing “meat-eating bull” and all things Amphicyonidae – the correct term for the “Bear Dog” taxonomic family.

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times – Spring 2016

The front cover of the next edition of "Prehistoric Times" magazine.

The front cover of the next edition of “Prehistoric Times” magazine.

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks (Prehistoric Times)

For further information on Prehistoric Times and to subscribe to this magazine: Visit Prehistoric Times Website

Inside, readers will find updates on dinosaur and other fossil discoveries, reviews of the latest dinosaur books, plus an interview with American freelance researcher, author and illustrator Greg Paul.   On the subject of great artists, issue 117 will conclude the special two-part feature on Zdeněk Burian, a man regarded by many as one of the pioneers of modern palaeoart.  Don’t forget to check out Tracy L. Ford’s amazing article on feathered members of the Dinosauria, it’s bound to be compulsive reading.

Also a Digital Magazine

Prehistoric Times is also available as a digital download for your favourite mobile device.  Handy dinosaurs downloaded to your phone, laptop, tablet etc.

Amongst the book reviews, new prehistoric animal models and model making tips there will be a special feature on the the Philadelphia Museum of Natural Science, so much is crammed into the sixty or so pages it’s like looking at an over stuffed vertebrate collections draw at the Natural History Museum.

The spring edition of Prehistoric Times magazine should be with us in a few days, we can’t wait, bags I get first read!

“The Order of the Dragon” Book Review

“The Order of the Dragon” Reviewed

To fans of all things Dinosauria, Phil Hore, may be best known for his almost decade long contribution to the “Prehistoric Times” magazine, but this talented writer, science enthusiast and educator has many strings to his writing bow.  Take for example, his first venture into writing a novel, “The Order of the Dragon”, a fast-paced and carefully crafted gothic horror that succeeds in weaving together real lives and real events with a twist of macabre fantasy.

Set in London in 1888, the reader is teased throughout by the skilful writing of the author.  Details of the principal characters, the enigmatic and worldly wise Amun Galeus and his hulking, comrade-in-arms Sebastian Vulk are slowly revealed as the story progresses, just enough information to intrigue and tantalise.  Clearly there is more to these two characters than first appears.  Our pair of protagonists are called upon to solve the mysterious and unsettling series of events taking place in and around the grounds of Stamford House in the borough of Islington.   Not wanting to deprive readers of the pleasures in discovering the first of the bloodline trilogy for themselves, suffice to say the story is interlaced with such luminaries as Bram Stoker, Winston Churchill, Conan Doyle and Frederick Abberline (Chief Inspector for the London Metropolitan Police) and his own nightmarish nemesis “Jack the Ripper”.

The Order of the Dragon by Phil Hore

Pulp horror at its best.

Pulp horror at its best.

Picture Credit: Raven’s Head Press

 Thrills, Spills and Chills

Can the gentle folk of England be saved from the supernatural Order of the Dragon and the evil that they command?  The story soon picks up pace and moves breathlessly from one dangerous encounter to another, if battling vampires ticks your literary box then seek out this exciting debut.  There are more sword fights than you can shake a sabre at, the body count rises rapidly and leads to an underground lair via a Victorian greenhouse and a railway constructed merely for the convenience of the dead.

To purchase the “Order of the Dragon” by Phil Hore (Raven’s Head Press): Buy on Amazon

The Author Phil Hore

Fast-paced pulp horror story that cleverly weaves fact and fantasy.

Fast-paced pulp horror story that cleverly weaves fact and fantasy.

Picture Credit: Raven’s Head Press

Australian Phil Hore, demonstrates considerable panache and flair as he combines his encyclopaedic knowledge of 19th Century affairs with gruesome and ghastly happenings, enough to satisfy the blood lust cravings of even the most avid fan of this genre.  We salute the way in which the author has utilised historical fact to build and blend together a story that whets the appetite for the other two books that will develop and then conclude the bloodline trilogy.

Recommended.

So You Want to be a Palaeontologist?

Practical Career Advice for Fossil Fans

One of the most frequently asked questions sent into us is how do you go about getting a job as a palaeontologist?  We provide what information and support we can to budding fossil experts (and their mums and dads), but thankfully, assistance is at hand with the publication of this helpful and most informative guide on how to develop a career in palaeontology.  Author Dr. David Penney, dissects his more than twenty years of experience in this scientific field and provides an overview of the type of career paths, those who have a love of fossils and all things prehistoric might want to consider.

So You Want to be a Palaeontologist?

Practical advice and guidance.

Practical advice and guidance.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Always put a scale on your photographs!  The book is full of tips and advice on how to stand out from other potential job applicants, whether it is as a professional fossil dealer or a scientific illustrator (palaeoartist).

This well written publication defines palaeontology before setting out the various roles and activities that palaeontologists undertake.  Dr. David Penney, expertly guides the reader through the wide variety of career options that the science now offers.  He covers the work of palaeontologists in museum related roles as well as providing a comprehensive overview of more academic focused avenues, whether as a researcher, a lecturer or a field technician.

For further information and to purchase an advance copy of this wonderful book: Visit Siri Scientific Press

Illustrated with some lovely colour plates, including some insightful behind the scenes photographs, the main section of the book is dedicated to exploring the various and very diverse jobs that someone with an interest in fossils might want to consider.  There is helpful advice on obtaining qualifications, as well as some words of encouragement for those of us who spend our time blogging about palaeontology and fossil discoveries.

If you are searching for a book which outlines a history of fossil research, then look elsewhere, but if you really want a practical and sensible walk through of the career possibilities linked to this fascinating aspect of science, then “So you want to be a palaeontologist?” is a must have for your book shelf.

The book is not aimed at younger readers, but it has been written for a very broad audience.  Students, hobby fossil collectors, writers, artists and those interested in a career in science education would do well to get hold of a copy.  Everything Dinosaur recommends this publication in particular to mums, dads, grandparents and guardians of primary school children who are expressing an interest in science and palaeontology.

For advance copies of “So you want to be a palaeontologist?”: Siri Scientific Press Website

Commenting on the book a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“This is a must have for anyone seriously contemplating working in palaeontology.  It also makes a great gift for anyone who is considering aspiring to be amongst the next generation of palaeontologists, or indeed for the enthusiastic fossil collector who would like to become more involved with this fascinating area of science.”

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