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Re: [Fwd: Re: Fictitious Dinosaurs in various visual (and non-visual) media]

A couple of quick notes on dinosaurs, fiction, etc.

Note the first, Dinosaur Fiction and Science:

        Though there's a great likelihood that you've never heard of me
(unless you remember me from some embarassing imbroglio on the mailing
list), I've now sold 18 novels.  Upcoming is my novel DINOSAURS DOWNUNDER
which postulates an alternate history in which dinosaurs survived in
Australia and New Zealand, evolving and populating these islands with an
ecology that's (hopefully) both unique and distinct from the current
situation.  For this novel, I have sought to use the best information that
I could lay my hands on, but I have not shied away from adding my own
prejudice, opinions, and speculation.  That is, I've tried to avoid being
-passively- ignorant, but I may well have been both actively stupid and
indulgent.  (BTW, considering the vagaries of the publishing world, I'd
not expect to see this book on the stands before '99.)

Point "B" -- Fiction authors ought to fund dinosaur research

        Do you have any idea what the average fiction author makes?  I
wrote seven novels last year, and I still would have made more money by
expressing that timeless quote "you want fries with that?"  The average
novel in the U. S. draws well less than $5K.  By the time I hand %15 to an
agent and 35% to taxman (royalties are "unearned income" in the wonderful
world of the IRS), I have half of that to buy bread and peanut butter.
        The police benevolent society does not get money when I write a
detective story, the state of Wyoming collects no funds for my westerns,
and the paleontological community doesn't benefit monetarily when I toss
in a dinosaur.  That's because the novel is -my- work.  Someone may have
dug up the bones, and someone else may have described the species.  Good
for them.  But I'm the one that took the bare research, worked out a
story, and sweated through 500 pages of manuscript.  The book is mine, and
the money (such as it is) belongs to me.
        Besides, I'm also the person that has to respond to a dozen phone
calls from copy editors and marketing department flunkies whose sum total
of dinosaur research is looking at the bottom line on Jurassic Park
quarterly earnings.  

Mark Sumner
DEVIL'S TOWER sampler at http://www.inlink.com/^range