The Bones of Earth
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All pictures and text. Background pictures courtesy of morguefile. C Nancy Holland Bones of the Earth. The Glory of the Bones of the Earth. Sep 11, Wealhtheow rated it really liked it Shelves: Paleontologists Gertrude Salley, Richard Leyster and the mysterious Griffin stumble through time, trying to piece together everything they can about dinosaurs without causing a time paradox.
But how did the government get time-travel? And why do Salley and Leyster hate each other so much? Feb 26, Tudor Ciocarlie rated it really liked it Shelves: A love letter to paleontology and to the paleontologists. May 19, Johan Haneveld rated it really liked it. For a long time well, not that long as this was a relatively quick read I thought of giving this close to 4,5 stars still ending on four , but I was let down by the anticlimactic ending.
That and the muddied storylines about Getrude Salley is she an antagonist or a hero?
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For instance, I am perfectly fine with the relatively flat characters, as to me this kind of SF-novel is about the ideas an 3,5 stars and a bit. For instance, I am perfectly fine with the relatively flat characters, as to me this kind of SF-novel is about the ideas and sense of wonder, not insight into human personalities.
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And on the account of ideas en sense of wonder this book delivered wonderfully! It's a book about dinosaurs, as can be gleaned from the cover, and the current state of paleontology at the start of the 21nd century is on display here: But there's also great speculation about the communication of dinosaurs, and species not yet found in the fossil record I had to laugh about the Cthuluraptor.
There's even an Andrewsarchus showing up in another storyline and speculative life forms of the far future which I am a sucker for. Also the 'robinsonade' in the deep past was pretty exciting and I loved the joy of performing scientific research and discussion going on even in dire circumstances. As a celebration of science this is great. The time travel aspects were fun but as I said the different time- and storylines got muddled a bit. Also there's a part with creationist terrorists.
I have been a pretty hard line creationist in the past, even thinking of evolutionary science as a conspiracy, but creationists killing people seemed to me a step too far. But then, this is the US where the story takes place and when christians kill abortionists they would maybe stoop this low. The one sided view of faith is set of at the end by more nuanced portrayals of faith, which made it less of a negative for me even if I can imagine it's because of his editors the author put this in.
The Bones of the Earth
Anyway, a great book for the dinosaur loving sci fi reader, looking not so much for deep characterization but for speculation and wonder. Aug 29, Tim Martin rated it it was amazing Shelves: A good time travel novel - particularly one involving dinosaurs - is quite rare and it was a real treat to read "Bones of the Earth. The novel begins with a scene where the protagonist, paleontologist Dr. Richard Leyster, is working in his office at the Smithsonian in Washington, A good time travel novel - particularly one involving dinosaurs - is quite rare and it was a real treat to read "Bones of the Earth.
Richard Leyster, is working in his office at the Smithsonian in Washington, D. Into his office comes a stranger by the name of Griffin, bearing with him an intriguing proposal; he is to set aside his duties at what essentially is his dream job or so he thought and work for him on a top secret project, a project Griffin cannot reveal any information at the time about and any information Leyster uncovers working for them cannot be published. Leyster at first of course refuses. Griffin leaves Leyster's office, having placed an Igloo cooler on his desk.
After Griffin left, Leyster opens it and is astounded by what he finds; the head of a very freshly killed stegosaur. After verifying that it was real Leyster does make contact again with Griffin and agrees to work on his project. The project is indeed a most impressive one, with Griffin apparently the chief administrator for am ambitious effort to study the Mesozoic from the earliest Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous, shortly before whatever event ended the reign of the dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and the various prehistoric marine reptile species. The organization manages a number of stations throughout the Mesozoic and undertakes extensive studies of the fauna of the era, uncovering a wealth of information and many new species.
Unfortunately a lot of mystery surrounds both time travel and the organization that Leyster is now working for. Both the origin of time travel and the very nature of how it works are closely guarded secrets. Leyster cannot openly publish his research, and indeed the very existence of time travel and that people have seen living dinosaurs must remain a secret from the public though we find later that in the future it does become public knowledge and Leyster and others are free to publish their findings at that point.
Even more mysteriously there are many rules and regulations regarding time travel. Much effort is made to prevent paradoxes from forming, as apparently one can change the past to a degree, causing immense problems in the future. Griffin and his associates work hard to prevent such paradoxes from forming, a difficult task considering that researchers are recruited from the future to work on the project, working alongside with what are to them often legends, aware of books that the people of Leyster's time haven't even written yet.
Sometimes there are teams where some of the researches weren't even born yet in the current time frame of the oldest members of a particular team, having come from that far into the future. There are even occasions when future versions of present day people meet and even work together, though Griffin and his subordinates keep a very tight rein on this. There are a number of other interesting characters in the book, including notably Dr.
Getrude Salley, a rather complicated individual that who while clearly loving paleontology also has a regrettable history of doing some reprehensible things to advance her research and get into the limelight. Leyster and her we find have a very complex history together, one that stretches through time and space. There is also the Old Man, an enigmatic character whose identity is revealed later in the book , a strange, shadowy man who knows everything about the project and has ultimate authority, coming and going on whims and on projects that no one, not even Griffin, understands.
A lot happens in the book. I think the best section was when an expedition led by Leyster becomes stranded in the late Cretaceous, with Leyster and his team of graduate students having to survive in the hostile wilderness. Even while fighting for their lives and struggling to come up with some of the most basic necessities of life they still remain scientists at heart and make some amazing discoveries.
The end of the book and the ultimate origin of time travel I found to be quite surprising, though I am not sure I entirely liked it; I am still digesting it. Although I am no scientist, I am an enthusiastic amateur and I found for the most part the science in the book was pretty good. One problem I had though was with Swanwick depicting some dinosaurs that were not feathered as adults possessing young covered in down such as the allosaur in the story. By my understanding of such things this is not possible, as the type of body covering a species has as a juvenile will be the same it has as an adult, and that while there were feathered dinosaurs there were no dinosaurs that were feathered while young and not feathered when mature.
An interesting book, I recommend it. Jul 24, Steven rated it liked it. A time travel story about paleontologists who get to go back in time and study dinosaurs. Not very many mind bending paradoxes or twists in this one, very easy to wrap your head around the ideas. The rules of time travel are very simple and the plot is simple as well.
The Glory of the Bones of the Earth
It didn't reach for any of my favorite time travel pathways, not at all. The characters were one dimensional and had very little depth. And then there is the obligatory sex scenes and scientist orgies which is the SF author's way of A time travel story about paleontologists who get to go back in time and study dinosaurs. And then there is the obligatory sex scenes and scientist orgies which is the SF author's way of saying "we're NOT nerds!
The author has written other books which were much better. I recommend The Iron Dragon's Daughter, which is sort of along the lines of a Harry Potter novel, if Harry Potter was dark, twisted, and had a mature theme with no holds at all.
Nov 15, Susan Bennett rated it really liked it. During the first chapter, I was afraid that this was going to be a Jurassic Park rip-off. Not to worry, it's an entirely different story. I wished that I read the hard copy instead of the ebook because I really needed to refer to the chart at the beginning of the book, and I don't know yet how to enlarge that on my Kindle.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Swanwick does an admirable job answering the question, "But why would they study dinos if they had time-travel? How delightful in your curiosity and your courage both. Thus the members of the Lost Expedition discover the truth about T.
Rex and his herds, as well as truths about themselves; also how Salley and Gertrude discover what's truly important for herself; and how the bird people finally discover our essence in the moment before they leave us forever. Why is it okay to zoom back to study dinos? Because they're extinct, sure, but also because it won't matter in the true timeline; in fact, I think the bird-people might have opened the portals to any other period, but in this timelike loop they chose the Age of Dinos and Swanwick chose it because he, too, was once a year-old.
Why do they allow Gertrude to mess everything up? Because how else could they see how far humans will press things to learn. Why do they leave the group of scientists trapped in the Cretaceous? Because if they rescued them sooner, so many discoveries about dinos and humans would never have been. Even though the story ultimately seems pointless - so all the action in the story was much ado about nothing, in the universal sense meaningless - it is not.
The beauty of what both the bird-people and the humans have done here is that we value exploration and cooperation above all else, and love, and emerging minds, and learning for the sake of learning. Surely these are the defining characteristics of humanity, at least from the SFnal point of view. I think Campbell would approve!
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May 03, Brendan rated it really liked it Shelves: What would happen if we discovered time travel and gave it only to paleontologists to use to study dinosaurs? This book explores that question quite thoroughly. Here are some of its answers: Both attempts seem stupid to What would happen if we discovered time travel and gave it only to paleontologists to use to study dinosaurs?
After that, they were rock stars who could get big book deals by bringing back photos. Having had my own education in dino-knowledge stopped right around the time I saw Jurassic Park, I would find all the info in this book fascinating, and not know how much is scientific speculation and how much has survived the rigor of long-term debate. This would be much harder to do over millions of years than over a couple hundred, admittedly.
Un libro non male e dalle premesse molto interessanti ma che sarebbe potuto essere molto molto meglio.
Un libro con dinosauri e viaggi nel tempo non poteva che catturare il mio interesse, come quello di molti altri credo. La parte iniziale l'ho trovata molto noiosa oltre che confusionaria tanto che ero quasi in procinto di abbandonarlo. Tuttavia l'interesse per i due topic principali del libro mi ha spinto ad andare avanti.
Entrato quindi nel vivo della storia e raccapezzatomi un po' con i vari sa Un libro non male e dalle premesse molto interessanti ma che sarebbe potuto essere molto molto meglio. Entrato quindi nel vivo della storia e raccapezzatomi un po' con i vari salti temporali ho iniziato ad apprezzare il libro.
Ottima l'idea, non grandiosa la resa! Jun 18, Bobbie rated it did not like it. Expected it to be like The Dinosaur Four or Cretaceous Dawn - an exciting action thriller about time travel back to age of dinosaurs. Instead, just horribly disappointing. The 1st chapter was titillating but suddenly the characters were experiencing time travel with absolutely no explanation. I skimmed through the book and almost just stopped reading it altogether.
I never understood what time the characters were in and by the end, frankly didn't care. Plus some people were Expected it to be like The Dinosaur Four or Cretaceous Dawn - an exciting action thriller about time travel back to age of dinosaurs. Plus some people were in one time and others were in another. Also some strange sex scenes that were really weird and inappropriate. The reviews didn't warn me. Lo que nos cuenta. Pero cie -Algo rara, algo distinta.
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Please give my Amazon review a helpful vote - https: This is an entirely enjoyable read and I do recommend it as a fun diversion. I gave this book four stars, not to indicate that I do not recommend it, but because the plot - as enjoyable as it is - is oddly unfocused and disjointed. Nonetheless, despite the lack of an essential focus, there are some great ideas in this book that make it a worthy addition to time travel stories.
The story opens with paleontologist Please give my Amazon review a helpful vote - https: The story opens with paleontologist Richard Leyster receiving an odd visit from H. Jameson Griffin, who leaves him a fresh dinosaur head. It turns out that we have time travel, but for unexplained reasons, this time travel only involves the age of dinosaurs.
Leyster is enthusiastic but suspicious about this strange revelation. He signs on with a project that involves sending teams back through the Paleozoic to do live research on dinosaurs. The project involves intermixing paleontologists from different eras together at conventions and on projects, although they are very good about not revealing things to one another that happen in the earlier parties' respective future. Leyster meets a future Gertrude Salley, who seems to have made it her mission to wreck his life.
He goes back to the past and is marooned when the "time beacon" that time-travelers depend on to get picked up is destroyed by a radical Creationist Christ sect. Apparently, even after the secret of time-travel is revealed in , fundamentalist Christians not only continue to adhere to their opposition to evolution but become down-right violent about it.
I sighed when I saw this and assumed that we would be treated to an anti-religious, "aren't faith heads stoopid" text. Fortunately, Swanwick doesn't go there. If a pillar is created under a creature, that creature must succeed on a Dexterity save or be lifted by the pillar. A creature can choose to fail the save. If a pillar is prevented from reaching its full height, a creature on the pillar takes 6d6 bludgeoning damage and is restrained.
The restrained creature can use an action to make a Strength or Dexterity check creature's choice.