Hey, here’s a pleasant surprise! USA Today has an excerpt from Dragon Teeth, the Bone Wars novel coming out next May by the late, great Michael Crichton. Looks like the main character is a young man from a well-to-do Philadelphia family who joins the first big Gilded Age fossil rush.
The dust jacket looks pretty cool, although it’s a little odd to see a Tyrannosaurus on the cover of a novel set in the 1870s. Some material now recognized as belonging to T. rex did turn up in the late 1800s, some of it discovered by fossil hunters involved in the Cope-Marsh feud. In fact, Cope himself published a description of a couple of vertebrae from South Dakota that have since been identified as T. rex remains. But the name Tyrannosaurus rex didn’t appear in the scientific literature until about thirty years after Cope and Marsh started duking it out. No big deal, though—and not the first time Tyrannosaurus has made a somewhat chronologically-inappropriate appearance on the front of a Crichton novel. After all, most editions of Jurassic Park featured a T. rex on the cover, even though the Jurassic Period ended almost eighty million years before the tyrant lizard king showed up.
While we’re on the subject of prehistoric beasties and awesome stuff coming out in 2017, have you seen the Kong: Skull Island trailer yet? I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this here before, but I’ve been a huge King Kong fan since I was about six. (The fact that the ’33 film was chock full of dinosaurs might’ve had something to do with it.) Maybe I should add a “Gratuitous Giant Ape Posts” category since I’m already subjecting you folks to periodic dino digressions.
The movie’s set in the Godzilla universe, and this ginormous, bipedal Kong seems to have more in common with the Toho version than the old school one that climbed the Empire State Building with a blonde in his hand. Me, I prefer the original take on Kong, and I’m disappointed by the lack of dinosaurs in the trailer, but this is still my most anticipated movie of 2017.