Tag Archive | dinosaurs

Entering the LOST WORLD OF KHARAMU

For starters, I’d really like to thank Hunter for inviting me here to be a guest on his blog and talk about my own recent take on dinosaurs, “The Lost World of Kharamu”. We both tackle horror from different directions, so it’s kind of amusing we’ve crossed paths this summer at an intersection marked by giant man-eating lizards.

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For me, this is my first venture into the sci-fi arena – traditional, old-school horror stories are my usual dish – but truth be told, I’ve always been fascinated by dinosaurs. My earliest figurines were those hard-wax dino figures they used to sell in mall parking lots back in the day, the ones that used to melt in the sun if you forgot and left them out on the back porch (like I did). From there I went on to an ill-conceived attempt to build a dino-diorama, signing out every dinosaur book in our local library and Saturday afternoon features like “Lost World”, “The Land That Time Forgot”, and so on, movies that were pretty much over-the-top schmaltzy kid’s stuff. But I didn’t take them that seriously.

Until, that is, “Jurassic Park” showed up in the theaters.

Spielberg’s block-buster was a game changer. No stop-action Harryhausen figurines here – from the moment those thundering creatures appeared on that huge IMAX movie screen, those suckers looked terrifyingly real. The first time that T. rex roared, my knuckles went white on the arm rest and that scene where Jeff Goldblum is being chased? I still cringe. Michael Crichton’s book were no less amazing because the science behind them all seem plausible.

So, when it came time for me to cook up my take on the genre, the obvious question was: What on earth could I possible add to this?

Drawing from my experiences traveling in England, India, China and southeast Asia seemed like a good place to begin. Along with a whole bucketload of ‘what ifs?’. “The Lost World of Kharamu” takes its main character, renegade paleontologist Dr. Grant Taylan, on a rollercoaster ride from the Hudson Valley to the Natural History Museum in London, Mumbai India, and ultimately to a remote island in the South Pacific where a Chinese tech corporation is having the beta trial run of its ultimate cosplay themed vacation park. This ‘Lost World’, however, has its own special perks: a place where the ultra-rich not only get to play out their 1950s Universal monster-movie fantasies, but fight and kill real dinosaurs in the bargain.

Along with Australian dino-expert Audrey Adams and Indian Systemologist Roma Banaji, Taylan has to outsmart Russian black-market fossil traffickers, a relentless bunch of Vietnamese commandoes with a contract on his head, a psychotic ex-girlfriend, a Texas billionaire with a John Wayne complex and of course, dinosaurs. Not just the traditional sauropods and Tyrannosaurs we know and love, but also the swift, brilliantly-feathered Zhenyuanlong and the terrifying Utahraptor.

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The Lost World of Kharamu” is really intended as a throwback to adventure story-telling, with more of an adult twist and plenty of black humor. Don’t look for a Disney-theme here. If that interests you, I’ll be giving away two ebook copies free to random drawn responses to this blog, on Hunter’s discretion.

Thanks again, and as Mr. Romero said: stay afraid!

Dinosaur Summer

As of the writing of this blog, Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom has worldwide box office receipts of over 1 billion dollars! That’s a dino-sized chunk of change. I like to think that my book, Jurassic Florida paved the way for the film in our summer of dinosaurs. I also like to think that Salma Hayek has a secret crush on me, but let’s stay on topic, shall we?

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When I was a kid, I went through the obligatory dinosaur phase. I had books and plastic figures (my favorites being the glow in the dark pack), bedsheets and shirts.Land of the Lost was a Saturday staple in my house. Me Chaka! Who didn’t want to run from Grumpy at least once? And then there was the cartoon The Herculoids. Trippy show, but I loved dinosaurs in any shape or form.

Oddly enough, the T-rex wasn’t my favorite. I preferred the lumbering Stegosaurus and Triceratops. They looked, to me, like armored tanks. In my little mind, they could plow through a pack of T-rexes and come out the other side without a scratch. Plus, I always loved underdogs.

So, what was your favorite dinosaur and why? I’m going to give away 2 ebooks of Jurassic Florida to randomly drawn responses to the old blog. Have fun channeling your inner child (or current dino-lovin’ adult) and let the world know what team you’re on! 

JURASSIC FLORIDA

 

A Dinosaur Adventure : MONSTERS IN THE CLOUDS by Russell James

I have a special treat this week. Russell James is one of the best horror writers around, and he’s joined the Severed Press family, penning some incredible adventure novels. His latest, MONSTERS IN THE CLOUDS, is chock full o’ dinosaur madness. Russell explains why we can’t get enough dinosaur fiction. Take it away buddy!


Dinosaurs. Who doesn’t love them?

It seems that every kid goes through a dinosaur phase. Not singing along with Barney, that purple monstrosity, but a fascination with the actual creatures that ruled the Earth a few hundred million years ago.

My obsession started when I was about eight years old. (I’ll let you know when it ends.) I drained the library of dinosaur books. I had the coolest 3D Viewmaster reels of dinosaurs locked in mortal combat. I watched the original King Kong movie a hundred times and always rooted for the T-Rex to beat the ape. A high point of that time was when my parents took me in to the American Museum of Natural History to see ACTUAL fossils. Coolest. Thing. Ever.

So after my novel Cavern of the Damned released, I needed a new adventure for the main character, Grant Coleman. Why not let him do what I’d always wanted to do, see real life dinosaurs? So I put him on a plane and sent him to Brazil, a beautiful country I’d visited twice.

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Grant gets to encounter an Ankylosaurus, a C list dino compared to the stars of Jurassic Park. I always loved this creature. Broad and squat, it had armor like an Abrams battle tank across its back and head. But that passive defense wasn’t enough, so it had a big bony club at the end of its tail. So while a predator futilely chomped at its back, it could knock the assailant unconscious with its tail. It was an herbivore, which isn’t that scary, so I switched it to carnivore and blamed evolution.

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The isolated butte they explore also has pterosaurs, winged lizards with long, pointed heads. These were carnivores. A lot about this creature remains conjecture. Did it have feathers? Did it fly or glide? Did it walk or climb? I read all the research I could find and made them as terrifying as I could.

There are some other creatures they encounter, but I don’t want to spoil any surprises by detailing them here. But they are all based on real animals, and that fact may be scarier than any fiction I’ve spun.

So if you’re up for an adventure and a battle with untamed dinosaurs, Monsters in the Clouds will be just what you need. And it’s safe for family reading, no language, no sex, and monster-movie-type violence. I just realized I think that people being eaten by dinosaurs constitutes “family reading.” I may have issues.

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Book blurb:

Paleontologist Grant Coleman and activist Janaina Silva are recruited by Thana Katsoros for a top secret expedition, one in search of a live Apatosaurus on a plateau deep in the Amazonian rain forest.

But their plane crashes short of their destination, and the entire group faces a terrifying fight for survival. This isolated area hosts unknown animals more fearsome than they’d expected, including giant ants and flesh-eating pterosaurs.

Even worse, Katsoros’ agenda has more to it than meets the eye, and Grant soon fears that it doesn’t include all of them getting back alive. Will any expedition members survive to be rescued, or will they be devoured by the creatures indigenous peoples call the monsters in the clouds?

BUY THE BOOK HERE

Bio:

russell

Russell R. James was raised on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching Chiller, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and Dark Shadows, despite his parents’ warnings. Bookshelves full of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe didn’t make things better. He graduated from Cornell University and the University of Central Florida.

After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army, he now spins twisted tales best read in daylight. He has written the paranormal thrillers “Dark Inspiration”, “Sacrifice”, “Black Magic”, “Dark Vengeance”, “Dreamwalker”, and “Q Island”, the collections “Tales from Beyond”, “Deeper into Darkness”, “Outer Rim”, and “Forever Out of Time”.

His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says “There is something seriously wrong with you.”

Visit his website at http://www.russellrjames.com and read some free short stories.

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