Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Dinosaurs

These reptiles are favourite accessories for Lost-Race stories – especially those on the margins of sf, like Victor Rousseau's "The Eye of Balamok" (1920). The possibility of their survival into modern times is cherished by such legends as the Loch Ness Monster (> Animals Unknown to Science). Some Sword-and-Sorcery tales set in remote antediluvian eras make room for the occasional surviving dinosaur – one is briefly featured in Robert E Howard's "Red Nails" (1936) – but they are more easily accommodated in various kinds of Secondary Worlds, where they may be drafted to serve as Dragons. Ray Bradbury's Dinosaur Tales (coll 1983) mixes fantasy and sf stories. A fantasy world inhabited by dinosaurs is featured in Dinotopia (graph 1992) by James Gurney. Since Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World (1912) was first filmed in 1925, dinosaurs have been favourite subjects of stop-motion animation. They are featured in King Kong (1933), several wildly anachronistic prehistoric romances in which they are juxtaposed with cavemen – such as One Million Bc – and the long series of Godzilla Movies. Reflecting the curious sentimentality with which dinosaurs are often regarded, Godzilla was transformed by degrees into a quixotic Hero defending the world against more malevolent Monsters. [BS]

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This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.