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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Book Review: The Dinosaur Chronicles by Joseph Erhardt

The Dinosaur Chronicles
by Joseph Erhardt
December 21, 2015
A scientist creates a time machine and precipitates the Ultimate Disaster.

Two boys enter a county fair and encounter the world's greatest juggler, who has a secret that's both wonderful and double-edged.
A man kills and forgets--utterly--that his victims ever existed; a nurse tries to help and uncovers a shocking secret.
Of what use is a planet with a 20,000-year lifespan? And why would it be a locus for murder?
A couple is stranded in their Colorado cottage by an antagonized creature that they can't see, and it's getting bolder and smarter as the hours go by.

The Dinosaur Chronicles contains 14 long and short tales of science fiction and fantasy in the classic style; they run the gamut from the thoughtful to the witty to the poignant. Tales of adventure and tales of discovery teem with characters that are everyday, one-in-a-million and from beyond the edge of reality. Let the stories from this collection take you to places strange, wonderful and--sometimes--downright scary.

The Dinosaur Chronicles is a collection of speculative short stories, some that have been published before and others that are brand new, all by Joseph Erhardt. From science fiction to fantasy to horror, Joseph Erhardt gives the reader many different types to read. My favorites include “Two Steps Forward,” where a psychiatric institute has developed a way of deleting a portion of memory; mnemonic excision. Sergeant John T. Harbaugh is still suffering from memories of when he and his team went into a village and left it, but never remembering what happened in-between. The doctor thinks the mind is trying to fill in the gaps from the deleting, hence the nightmares John has been having. So the doctor decides to try a second exicism. With sad results.

Another story I enjoyed was “Punkin’ Vipers.” Told in first person, a man finds something odd and terrible when his car breaks down at a farm. “Eliza’s Quick-Drying Polar White” is about a man, Rupert, who has an interesting ability. The story begins with him painting a white line of Polar White nail polish on crickets in his house. He gives the bugs one chance, as he tosses them out and if he finds one with a line in the house, he squashes it. Different from others, he trains his mind to find cracks into other worlds. At one point, he actually parts the curtain of existence and finds himself in a room where a man sits at a desk. The man is there to log in those who have died, but Rupert has not died. I enjoyed “Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing” where a meeting of the world’s vampires is held. The owner of the place the meeting is held, Skovar, has arranged it so he can destroy the vampire who had taken his daughter twenty years ago. He proves to the vampires any sufficient technology is superior to magic, and that will be their doom. My last favorite is “Crawl Space.” A couple prepares for a blizzard to hit their Colorado town. Evan Fisher has enough firewood for their fireplace and gasoline for their generator. He had convinced his wife, Samantha it would be romantic. But as a wife of a neighbor who left said, “Two weeks in a cold, dark valley in Colorado is a nightmare.” Just how prophetic those words would be. After Samantha slips on some ice on their walk and leaves, Evan finds he is not alone. That something is in the ice and it is not happy with him. When Samantha decides to return, they must work to keep their house warm to prevent the thing in the ice from getting to them. Sometimes it takes a frightening occurrence to help bring a couple back together again and stronger.

Sometimes a short story is perfect to tell, instead of a novel. Joseph Erhardt’s collection of stories are a great way to get to know this writer. He even talks about each story afterwards, if they were published before and the process of the particular story. I have not seen this done before and at first, wasn't sure about this being needed, but after a while, I actually enjoyed it. Mr. Erhardt’s tales are truly the flesh that cover an old dinosaur’s bones.

I give The Dinosaur Chronicles 4 ½ sheep

Pamela Kinney

About the Author:
Joseph Erhardt is a published short story author and professional editor/writing instructor. His short fiction has appeared in Keen SF!, Maelstrom Speculative Fiction,Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine and Talebones, among others. He’s currently working on two novels and, along with Linda Lyons-Bailey, helped edit Robert E. Bailey’s final novel, Deja Noir, which is currently being marketed to the publishers. His editing services are described here: Joseph Erhardt’s GSC Editing. (

1 comment:

  1. The Dinosaur Chronicles is being free-promo'd on Amazon this weekend until midnight Sunday (Jan 17), Pacific time.

    If you're interested in the volume, NOW is the time to get it, as the price is definitely right!

    --comment posted by the author, Joe Erhardt