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Dinocalypse Now
Chuck Wendig
Evil Hat Productions, 231 words

Dinocalypse Now
Chuck Wendig
Chuck Wendig is a novelist, a screenwriter, and a freelance penmonkey. He has contributed over two million words to the roleplaying game industry, and was the developer of the popular Hunter: The Vigil game line (White Wolf Game Studios / CCP). He, along with writing partner Lance Weiler, is a fellow of the Sundance Film Festival Screenwriter's Lab (2010). Their short film, Pandemic, was shown at the Sundance Film Festival 2011, and their feature film HiM is in development with producer Ted Hope.

Chuck Wendig's Blog
ISFDB Bibliography

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Trent Walters

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Chuck Wendig's website usually has 25 tips for writers on various subjects, told in a no-nonsense tough-guy voice (From the website: "Chuck Wendig... talks a lot about writing. And food. And the madness of toddlers. He uses lots of naughty language. NSFW. Probably NSFL. Be advised."). Plus, how could I pass up Dinocalypse Now, a 40s-era, pulp-flavored lark with universe hops, Atlantean technology, sentient chimps, mind-manipulating dinosaurs, and a mad scientist? What's not to like?

The novel opens with a psychic-dinosaur (or psychosaur) attack on FDR, an attack which causes Jet Black to fall through the sky. The prose is overloaded with metaphors, perhaps mocking some pulp writer though who, I don't know. The following passage backs up this humorous, mock-pulp voice:

  "She spied the wings. The suit. The goggles.

"Oh, no.

"Jet was in trouble.

"Falling. Fast.

"Good thing Sally knew things about Jet Black's jetpack that Jet himself didn't even know. This wasn't the first time he'd fallen from the sky like a meteor rocketing to earth -- last time she did an upgrade on his equipment, she tucked away a parachute in a secret compartment. A parachute that would release with the hit of a single button, a button on a small radio box that Sally happened to carry for times just like this."

 

Good thing. But it turns out the attack was not upon the President but upon them.

Meanwhile in London, pterodactyls and dirigibles attack. No one is in the always-busy "Century Club," a group of people around the world dedicated ridding the world of evil. Professor Khan, a Centurion gorilla in a professorial suit, to the rescue. What he doesn't know is that his father, the conqueror ape Khan, is determined to conquer Earth and throne his prissily educated son.

Plot twists and turns keep coming fast and furious. From New York to London to Hong Kong to islands in the Pacific, the Centurions regroup and battle gorillas and psychosaurs. Mack Silver, Sally Slick and Jet Black fight evil-doers and fall into a love triangle (because what better spurs love for superheroes than a war?). The story spins into crazier and crazier non-stop-action scenarios until it climaxes satisfactorily and ends on a cliffhanger not unlike the zombie movie's pallid hand clawing from another grave.

Do you like pulp stories and plots that barely contain their speculative wilds? Dinocalypse Now is the book for you.

Copyright © 2013 Trent Walters

Trent Walters teaches science; lives in Honduras; edited poetry at Abyss & Apex; blogs science, SF, education, and literature, etc. at APB; co-instigated Mundane SF (with Geoff Ryman and Julian Todd) culminating in an issue for Interzone; studied SF writing with dozens of major writers and and editors in the field; and has published works in Daily Cabal, Electric Velocipede, Fantasy, Hadley Rille anthologies, LCRW, among others.


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