Thursday, June 27, 2013


PTEROSAURS, by Mark P. Witton (Princeton University Press 2013).

I've spoken before on how, when writing CHRONAL ENGINE, I spent a good deal of research time on components of the paleoenvironment other than dinosaurs.  One such component included pterosaurs, the flying archosaurs which, like dinosaurs, perished at the end of the Cretaceous.

One of my go-to resources was paleontology collection of the journal PLoS One, and one of the more prolific authors of pterosaur papers was Mark Witton. I am delighted that Princeton University Press just published his comprehensive treatise on pterosaur palenotolgy.     

If PTEROSAURS. had been available while I was writing CHRONAL ENGINE, the research job would've been much simplified.   Filled with full-color illustrations by the author, PTEROSAURS explores, in an in-depth but conversational fashion, the history of pterosaur research and our current understanding of their evolution, biology, and environments.  Although probably not for everyone, PTEROSAURS would make an excellent addition to any reference collection and especially that of an advanced (adult or young adult) lay-reader. 


Monday, June 24, 2013


LARA'S GIFT, by Annemarie O'brien (Knopf,  August, 2013)(ages 8-12).  It's 1914 and Lara, the daughter of the Count's borzoi keeper, wants more than anything to some day be appointed kennel steward herself.  But with the birth of a baby brother (only men can be kennel stewards), she is afraid that will never come to pass.  Worse, she's promised to keep her mysterious visions secret, even though they may be the only things that can save the dogs she loves.

LARA'S GIFT offers a well-researched and fascinating tale of a girl striving to find her place.  Atmospheric and evocative, LARA'S GIFT is both satisfying and heartwarming.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I just sent back the copy-edits for LITTLE GREEN MEN AT THE MERCURY INN (and just received confirmation they arrived on my editor's desk).  Here are a couple of pics:
Blizzard and Sebastian don't understand why paper is so interesting...
when you should be petting a cat.
And to celebrate (because Superman is an alien, you see), we went to see the new Man of Steel movie at Alamo Drafthouse:
Photo booth backdrop and cape courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse
Special effects (fan) also provided by Alamo!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Perot Musuem of Nature and Science

This weekend, Cyn and I had occasion to visit the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science for the first time.  Although we'd been to the Dallas natural history museum(s) at Fair Park before, we were looking forward to seeing the new facility and exhibits.

I was particularly excited to see the new Alamosaurus mount, since I featured Alamosaurus in CHRONAL ENGINE and it has turned out to be one of the largest sauropods on record.  The mount is in conjunction with a T.rex (also featured in CHRONAL ENGINE) in "stalking mode."

I was also delighted to see some attention given to the recent discoveries of dinosaurs from Alaska, including Edmontosaurus and Troodon.

And, of course, it being Dallas, some attention was given to the fauna of the Western Interior Seaway -- Late Cretaceous Dallas was several hundred feet underwater...

Here are some pics:

The Perot Museum from afar
Me and Troodon

A hypsilophodont, a Tenontosaurus, and me

Puny humans.
Alamosaurus, T.rex, and me

Close up of Alamosaurus head
Close up of T.rex

Dallas underwater

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Fun with hacksaws

A while back I lost the key to the Kryptonite lock for my bicycle.  Unfortunately, the lock was still attached to the bike.  Finally, today,  I got a carbide grit hacksaw blade (specifically, the Stanley 15-410 rod saw carbide grit blade) and went at it...

The right tool for the job.
More sawing...


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