We catalog many books and maps about the Cretaceous period and system. Around Austin, Texas, we have a variety of sedimentary rocks that originated during the Cretaceous period when a great inland sea, full of creatures, covered much of Texas. Geologists may have fun going out to the hill country springs and outcrops to answer questions about these rocks and fossils and formations. But we librarians have unexpected questions too. What is this publication up to? And is the word Cretaceous capitalized? You would think that this would be a simple answer, but scientists can be wacky. The OED does clarify that in a geological context Cretaceous is capitalized. For your amusement, here are a few examples of the use of cretaceous and an example of jejune thrown in as a bonus definition.
cretaceous, adj. and n.
a. Of the nature of chalk; chalky.
b. Chalk-like. humorous.
1708 J. Philips Cyder i. 54 Nor from the sable Ground expect Success Nor from cretaceous, stubborn and jejune.
1808 S. Smith P. Plymley’s Lett. vi, I love not the cretaceous and incredible countenance of his colleague.
B. n. (usu. with the).
Geol. The Cretaceous system or period.
1910 Encycl. Brit. VII. 415/1 With the opening of the Cretaceous in Europe there commenced a period of marine transgression.
2. Deficient in nourishing or substantial (physical) qualities; thin, attenuated, scanty; meagre, unsatisfying; (of land) poor, barren.
“cretaceous, adj. and n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2014. Web. 31 October 2014.
“jejune, adj.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2014. Web. 31 October 2014.
… you should read the Last Policeman trilogy by Ben H. Winters. The final installment, World of Trouble, was published this summer. The Last Policeman introduces Detective Hank Palace who continues to solve crimes even though asteroid 2011GV1 is due to annihilate the earth as we know it in six months.
If you’re not familiar with Ben H. Winters, he has an eclectic body of work, ranging from middle-school mysteries (The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman) to classic embellishments (Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters) to horror (Bedbugs).
Read this summer! We’ve been regularly adding to our GeoFiction reading lists and will soon highlight books for the caver in you.
You still have time to enter our Where in the World contest! Each day this week, we’ve posted a new photo of this mystery location. Identify the location and win a mystery prize! Visit the Geology Library and look at the 5 photos on our bulletin board.
To be eligible to win, you must be a UT student. In the case of a tie, the most detailed answer, including place names, formation names, coordinates, or description of the imagery, will win. Deadline is December 2, 2013.
Save the date: Tuesday, October 15, 2013, from 11:30-1:30! We are starting a new series, You Are Here, showcasing maps across campus. Our first one will be in the PCL Map room with an exhibit of Austin Maps.
When I first started compiling a list of fiction related to geoscience, I had no idea how many fictional dinosaur books there were nor how many common ways authors found of introducing dinosaurs into the story to thrill readers. Here’s how some authors brought dinosaurs to life, with example titles. Beware, there are many thematic cross-overs!
These stories are told from the dinosaur’s perspective and may or may not include interactions with humans. This category includes the possibility that dinosaurs are aliens or that aliens are dinosaurs.
Raptor Red by Robert Bakker
Dinosaur Wars by Thomas Hopp
Far-Seer by Robert J. Sawyer
Fossil Hunter by Robert J. Sawyer
Foreigner by Robert J. Sawyer
Dinosaurs never died out completely. Some dinosaurs lived on in hard-to-find places or evolved into something unexpected.
Dinosaur Summer by Greg Bear
The Land that Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle
West of Eden by Harry Harrison
Winter in Eden by Harry Harrison
Return to Eden by Harry Harrison
Dinosaur Planet by Anne McCaffrey
Dinosaur Planet Survivors by Anne McCaffrey
Scientists decided it was a good idea to recreate some of the most terrifying creatures that ever roamed the earth.
Carnivore by Leigh Clark
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Bone Wars by Brett Davis
Two Tiny Claws by Brett Davis
Carnosaur by Harry Adam Knight
Humans travel back in time, dinosaurs travel forward in time, or a rift in the fabric of the time-space continuum causes a jumbled timeline that has dinosaurs and humans existing at the same time.
Footprints of Thunder by James F. David
Dinosaur Thunder by James F. David
Thunder of Time by James F. David
Cretaceous Dawn by Lisa M. Graziano
Hell Creek by Lisa M. Graziano
Cretaceous Sea by Will Hubble
Sea of Time by Will Hubble
Safari World by Dale Martin
End of an Era by Robert J. Sawyer
The Dechronization of Sam Magruder by George Gaylord Simpson
Bones of the Earth by Michael Swanwick
The Universe Within by Neil Shubin has just arrived! By the author of Your Inner Fish, this is a light, fun read, with a variety of anecdotes about time, the universe, world travel, science, and scientists. Good for browsing or reading straight through on a lazy afternoon. The mini biographies that pepper the book are tantalizing, e.g. the “Harvard Computers,” women astronomers who collected raw data and worked to interpret them.
musings from the Walter Geology Library on geosciences, books, maps, libraries