Dinosaurs Terrorize Steampunk!


[Stay tuned for a contest at the end of this post.]

When did you first encounter dinosaurs? In a children’s pop-up book? A school field trip to the local museum? On the big screen in Spielberg’s Jurassic Park? Maybe in the classic King Kong, or the not-so-classic Doug McClure fantasy outings (okay, we’ll let him off for The Land That Time Forgot)?

I think everyone is on some level fascinated by dinosaurs—either giddily on the surface (Me! Me!), or deep down in the primal swamp of the subconscious (also me). Over-sized mythological creatures like the dragon, the kraken, and the Roc are frightening and attractive to us at the same time because while we can imagine them being real, we know they aren’t/never were. Not so the case with dinos. They occupy a unique place in our imaginations in that they really did walk the ground we’re walking and could easily—but for fate’s intervention—be stalking us now. And we’re discovering new, bigger ones all the time!

To answer my own question, I first encountered dinosaurs as a five year old one Sunday afternoon, when my dad and I watched Ray Harryhausen’s brilliant cowboys and dinos film, The Valley of Gwangi, on TV. Those cowboys on horseback lassoed that scary Allosaurus and tried to capture it but it kept biting their ropes and getting free and eventually it ate one of them and just like that I was hooked on dinosaurs. Forever.

When I was 13, Spielberg’s Jurassic Park blew my mind. Later I discovered Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World and Edgar Rice Burroughs’s The Land that Time Forgot, and I fell in love with the romance of prehistoric adventures. Especially Victorian/Edwardian English adventures.

So when it came time to write my first steampunk novel (after The Mysterious Lady Law, a novella), there was only ever one choice. The frightened five year old, the ecstatic thirteen year old and the spellbound man all agreed—wind back that clock, that Prehistoric Clock—and let’s have the adventure of a lifetime.

For a chance to win a free eBook copy of Prehistoric Clock, simply leave a comment on this post. I’ll pick the winner on Friday 10th Feb. Good luck!

Robert Appleton is an award-winning author of science fiction, steampunk and historical fiction. He lives in Bolton, England. Soccer and kayaking are his two favorite outdoor activities. Though he’s traveled far, he loves the comfort of reading books or watching movies at home. His mind is somewhat mercurial. His inspiration is the night sky.

Catch him online at his website: www.robertappleton.co.uk
Blog: https://robertbappleton.blogspot.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/robertappleton
Facebook: www.facebook.com/robertbappleton

16 thoughts on “Dinosaurs Terrorize Steampunk!”

  1. JK Coi says:

    This sounds awesome! I loved dinosaurs as a kid, and completely died when we went to Drumheller in Alberta. Now that my son is at that age too, I have rediscovered dinosaurs all over again :)

  2. Becky Black says:

    This book sounds totally irresistable. I’d love to win a copy.

    The earliest memory I have of dinosaurs is the movie One Million Years BC, starring Raquel Welch and some Ray Harryhausen dinosaurs. Possibly there were other people in it too, but between the dinos and Raquel nobody noticed them. :D Obviously humans and dinosaurs don’t belong together in the historically accurate sense, but in the dramatic one, hell yeah they belong together! It’s just too much fun NOT to put them together.

  3. fshk says:

    Dinosaurs. Yes. I am so on board. This book sounds really fun.

  4. I think my first dinosaur encounter was at a school field trip to the Museum of National History. Came face to face with a T-Rex. *shudder* I much prefer the less vicious sort :)

    Congrats on the new release, Robert!

  5. Err that should say Natural not national LOL

  6. Kathy Ivan says:

    Wow, dinosaurs and steampunk! What a combination. I love dinosaurs. Congratulations on the release.

  7. Peta says:

    OMG! You wrote this book just for me didn’t you? What a unique take on the steampunk genre.

  8. Julie Rowe says:

    Robert, I love how you found a way to tell YOUR story, combining all the elements that you love the most. Like all the other commenters I think this is an exciting story that speaks to the child in all of us!

  9. Coleen Kwan says:

    I remember reading ‘Turok, Son of Stone’ comics about a Native American and his young brother who take a wrong turn and become trapped in a valley inhabited by dinosaurs. Awesome stuff. Your story sounds just as exciting.

  10. Claudia says:

    My first encounter must have been in one of those B class movies on Saturday afternoon TV where dinosaurs and cave men fight. So funny! Then in Bradbury’s “A sound of thunder”

    Victorians and dinosaus sound like a lot of fun. Weren’t some in Jules Verne’s the Forgotten World?

  11. Claudia says:

    The Jules Verne book was Voyage to the center of the earth. I’m pretty sure there were dinos in there

  12. I wants it… I wants it, My Preciousss… I wants it…

    PURR!!! Happy springing around on the bed chasing my tail! Oh, that’s my cat Ari, who likes it when I read good stories to him. He wants it too. We both like dinosaurs a lot for all of those good reasons, except I was a grownup when Jurassic Park came out.

    Robert Bakker, who helped research Jurassic Park, wrote a bestseller titled “Raptor Red.” She’s a Utahraptor, it’s a nature book set in the Early Cretaceous, absolutely wonderful and also one of the classic love stories of all time. Without any human characters. You’d probably enjoy it if you don’t already own it.

    I’m still working on my dinosaur book, but don’t worry, it’s definitely on the To Do List for Pretty Soon. I got halfway through with it and lost the laptop plus the backup disks back in the 1990s, then this year realized I could do a much better job now if I just went back to the idea and started cold. So I’ll do that sometime this year.

    And buy yours if I don’t win it. Review yours if I do. I do HubPages articles too and occasionally review on Amazon.

  13. Thanks for the terrific comments, everyone! I’m thrilled to be able to share Prehistoric Clock with you all.

    JK – Love that, how you get to re-experience things from childhood vicariously through your own children.

    Becky – LOL @ Raquel Welch, who has to be the best special effect in any dino movie ever.

    fshk – Glad to have you on board.

    Gillian – Museums, exactly. Where fact meets imagination – THE best place to discover dinosaurs!

    Kathy – It’s a dream combination. I’m really surprised no one else has tried it yet (that I know of.)

    Peta – I figured steampunk is still spreading its wings, so now’s the ideal time for us writers to put our personal stamps on it. Carina has seen some really unique takes on steampunk.

    Julie – Thanks so much for saying that! It’s exactly what I went for with Prehistoric Clock.

  14. Coleen – Seriously. Native Americans and dinosaurs. Must read now.

    Claudia – Bravo for mentioning A Sound of Thunder! That’s an amazing little story – one of those SF shorts with a premise and twist ending you never forget. And yeah, there were some dinos in Journey to the Centre of the Earth. The most famous dinosaur novel is probably The Lost World by Conan Doyle–brilliant–but I’m a big fan of The Land that Time Forgot (ER Burroughs) as well.

    Robert – “Raptor Red” sounds amazing. I’ll definitely have to check that out. Best of luck with your own dino book!

  15. Katie says:

    This sounds completely awesome–a little bit out of my normal genres, but an area I’m starting to get into (as is my husband) and really enjoy. Added bonus: we’ve just ordered a Kindle to dip our toes into the realm of eBooks, and I’m excited to load it up with all kinds of cool, different (to us) stuff.

  16. Thanks so much for commenting, everyone! Release week has been a whirlwind once again. I’m pleased to announce the winner this time (picked out of a top hat) is…


    Congrats! Email me at sevenmercury7@aol.com and I’ll send your ebook copy of Prehistoric Clock right away.


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