A Gun for Dinosaur by L. Sprague De Camp (1956)
“You're not allowed to call them dinosaurs any more," said Yo-less. "It's specialist. You have to call them per-petroleum persons.” ― Terry Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb
Summary - Non spoiled
- Length:26 Pages
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Category: Time Travel "Golden Age of Science Fiction"
- Mr. Seligman (a man who wants to hunt dinosaurs but only weighs 150 pounds.)
- Narrator/Dinosaur Hunting Guide
- Raja the hunting partner to the Guide.
- Augie Holtzinger: a customer who goes hunting despite his fiance's warnings.
- James: a gun happy hunter who might rival the dinosaur in the size of his brain.
- Clare: Augie Holtzinger's Fiance.
- Year Story Is to Take Place:The future with the time machine, and the past 100,000 B.C. or earlier. The butterfly effect does not reach out to us when we change the period from 100,000 B.C. or earlier; but if we move to much closer to our own time this will create devastating effects.
What's It About, Man?L.Sprague De Camp masterfully tells what the relationship between Dinosaurs and man would truly be. His details are realistic and his stories are formed by the science that has been uncovered from this time period. This story seemed more realistic than Bradbury's "A Sound of Thunder."
First WordsNO, I'M SORRY Mr. Seligman, but I can't take you hunting Late Mesozoic dinosaur.
Last WordsYou're not big enough to handle a gun for dinosaur.
Favorite Quote"You crummy bastard! That's the second time you've spoiled my shots."
What I learned About Writing
- The narrator needs a reason to tell a story. The narrator must explain to the customer why he can not offer hunting dinosaurs to him, then we hear what the guide has learned from experience. The guide shows why he must have a size minimum when going hunting for dinosaur.
- Know your facts about the object that is being hunted. Know what type of bullets could take down a dinosaur. Know where the kill shot should be.
- Know the facts about the Fauna of the period. De Camp does a great job of knowing what he can and could not find in the region during this period; for example there were no limbs strong enough to carry a dinosaur back to camp, so the guide must bring a pole. These are facts that lead to the reader's ability to believe the story.
- De Camp's personal library of about 1,200 books was acquired for auction by Half Price Books in 2005.
- He loved to look at the materials that made up life.
- He did not like fantasy that went outside the bounds of rational science or argument. He would often re-write classic stories in order to correct the author's misconceptions and faulty logic. He wrote a correction to the Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain, it was titled Least Darkness Falls.