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Dinosaur Planet

(Dinosaur Planet #1)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  3,481 ratings  ·  105 reviews

The Exploratory and Evaluation Corps of the Federated Sentient Planets had sent ARCT-10, with its mixed crew of shipbred and planet-bound technicians, to Ireta to catalogue fauna and flora and search for new energy sources. It was a simple mission. A standard crew.


Kai and his beautiful co-leader Varian, the best xenob-vet in the business, followed all
Mass Market Paperback, 202 pages
Published May 12th 1978 by Del Rey (first published 1978)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  3,481 ratings  ·  105 reviews

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Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Like many kids, dinosaurs were one of my earliest obsessions. I read countless books about them; I saw robotic versions of them in museums; I played educational computer games featuring them, such as Designasaurus on my Commodore 64 and Dinosaur Safari on my first Mac; and, I had numerous toys and other memorabilia featuring prehistoric creatures. My favorite back in the day was Spinosaurus.

Though I'm not as enthralled by those long-extinct lizards anymore--partially because we know so little ab
Douglas Milewski
Jun 08, 2015 rated it did not like it
Anne begins1978's Dinosaur Planet with a sawed-off shotgun full of technobabble, firing indiscriminately in all directions. Not satisfied with abusing readers with tedious technical detail on the first page, she continues this neutronium thick technobabble for the next 50 pages, which is 1/4 of the book. The technobabble is so thick that there isn't even any room for a plot, not even the vaporously thin plot of this book.

Somewhere around page 50, the technobabble shots simmer down to a more reas
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
1979 grade B-
2018 grade B

Series book DP1

This is a character development and world building novel with characters from various backgrounds and ages exploring a planet with plants and animals that don't really belong together. The reading is a little dry but worth it. Will I read it again? Maybe, if I live long enough. Note that the story does have a conclusion, but it is open ended. Maybe the sequel will tell us if they survive long term.

Note, the sequel does conclude the story.
Nancy D   Miz-Firefly aka Sparky
I read this in the 80's and absolutely loved it. It was an exciting adventure that kept me riveted.
Jeffe Kennedy
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
There's a word for re-reading a book from your youth that you just LOVED and being disappointed in it as an adult. This book still has elements that sparked my imagination and interest back then, but a lot of it sadly didn't hold up. I'm still four-starring it, for all it meant to me back then, but I don't think I'd recommend it to a modern reader sadly. ...more
Sam (Hissing Potatoes)
This book was completely unnecessary. The events were already covered, I suspect sometimes word for word, in the Planet Pirates series. There was almost no action in this book, no trajectory, no spice or flavor, no character growth whatsoever. It takes a special case to mess up literal dinosaurs in space. Boring, flat, clinical, disappointing.
Melissa (ladybug)
Thought I wasn't going to really like this book/series, but it really got better the last few chapters. ...more
Kelly Harlan
Apr 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Very slow to start. During that time I decided I wasn't going to read the sequel. And then it finally got interesting at the end. And I almost want to read the sequel. ...more
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great little sci-fi yarn!
I always thought the cover was interesting but never interesting enough to make me want to read it (that and the blurb on the back of the book). I finally got around to reading it because of my "dino-fic kick" I am on. Now that I have read it, about all I can say is that I read it. The character development is so-so (I personally thought some of the "more enlightened characters" were more stupid than they should have been and/or believed themselves to be). The plot is so-so. While it was a relat ...more
Amy Eye
Mar 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
I wanted to do some good, old-school fiction, and one can hardly do better than some Anne McCaffrey. Of course everyone knows about her world of Pern, but have you been to Ireta?

A scientific team of explorers go to a new planet to explore and look for ore deposits that make life for this future race of beings possible. They explore planets all over the galaxy looking for metals that these people use to survive. Only this planet, at first, doesn't seem to have anything they are looking for. A bi
Jul 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, owned
I wanted to like this book more. It has so many fun ideas... a multi-species exploration federation, variants of humans from different types of worlds, prehistoric earth animals placed on an alien planet... the problem is that these ideas don't really shape up to anything.
McCaffrey begins to build the story (admittedly with some jargon thrown in) as a bit of a mystery - odd discoveries and missing equipment and the like. She builds things up quite a bit. Around the middle of the book, I was set
I've read a few other Anne McCaffrey books before and I've never really been able to get into her stories. I decieded to give it another try when I found Dinosaur Planet. I love dinosaurs so I thought it would be a good read. Well I was somewhat dissapointed. There are very minimal dinosaurs and they aren't really that important to the story. The actual story was ok but you can deffinitly tell that this whole book is just a set up to it's sequel "Dinosaur Planet Survivors". Everything that happe ...more
Garrett Calcaterra
May 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: influences
A pretty light, fast read. Not McCaffrey's best book. The tension throughout relies on the characters figuring out what's obvious to the readers (i.e. the dinosaurs really are dinosaurs, and the heavy worlders are planning to mutiny). Also, the notion that the heavy worlders are savages in large part because they're not vegetarians seems pretty heavy-handed. Still, it's a fun story, and the ending has a good bit of action. Nothing is resolved, mind you, so if you read it, be ready to jump into t ...more
Coral Davies
Aug 09, 2015 rated it liked it
A very slow start littered with either made up terminology or scientific phrases I was ignorant of. Once the story kicked in it was an enjoyable little read and I raced through it. Not sure if I'll read the second book though. ...more
Emma Darcy
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Fuck eugenics
Hank Hoeft
A well-known adage for writing fiction says to “shoot the sheriff on the first page.” I don’t agree with that advice in every narrative—in my opinion it depends on the pacing and length of the story in question. Longer stories can take their time getting to the action and still be compelling. But I understand the principle: a writer needs to grab the reader’s interest soon after the story begins. Toni Morrison understood this when she began her novel Paradise with “They shoot the white girl firs ...more
Catherine Braiding
Feb 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
I’ve spent years keeping an eye out for this one in second hand book stores, because I could only ever find the sequel. And then I finally find it, and settle in with a cup of tea and a new Anne McCaffrey, and am appalled to discover that the dinosaurs are a minor background detail in a book full of space-racial bullshit.

You see, humans who comes from heavy-gravity worlds are just different to those of us from ‘civilised’ earth-normal gravity worlds (or generational space-goers). They’re strong
Mar 24, 2020 rated it liked it
There are five books in the Planet Pirates series by Anne McCaffrey and then co-authoring the last three with either Jody Lyn Nye or Elizabeth Moon. I enjoyed Dinosaur Planet years ago when I was reading all of McCaffrey's books but not as well as her Dragonriders of Pern series. However I had just read Elizabeth Moon's Vatta's War series and really liked those, so I thought I'd check out the co-authored book Sassinak and Generation Warriors. I ended up rereading the first two and finished the w ...more
Stef Rozitis
Some parts of this were interesting, like the idea that a civilised society would go vegan (although they call it vegetarian). There's sort of racist tropes in the book, and the world-building while thorough is hard to understand without more context (should I have read something before this one and if so why is that not made clear?).

Kai and Varian have a predictable and boring heterosexual romance and there is pointless stuff about Kai's previous sexual history at the beginning. The youngsters
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
I thought this book would be fluff, but it had a surprising amount of xenobiology in it. An exploratory crew with waaay too many characters gradually discovers more about the planet. Several mysteries are set up, but not solved, in a very unsatisfying way. I didn't realize this book was part of a series until halfway through, when I saw the "note to self" describing the related books in my used copy. Basically, there are too many characters to keep track of or really get attached to. On the crew ...more
Mar 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
I usually enjoy Anne McCaffrey's books, so I felt very let down by this one. The characters were flat. One of the key plot points -- I don't think this is a spoiler given the title of the book -- is the appearance of animals on this planet which are described in such a way that the reader will think, "Oh, that must be a [dinosaur name]," but apparently this doesn't occur to the lead xenobiologist. If I didn't know McCaffrey had written some of her best work before this, I would think it was an e ...more
Sep 06, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
Anne McCaffrey wrote many good books. This isn't one of them. The book began tolerably, with characters and a setting that should have been interesting, but which somehow always seemed to miss some essential spark. I though that perhaps this was just a mediocre book - with amount McCaffrey wrote, she was bound to have a few. However, then I found out that in the future, everyone is (view spoiler) ...more
Sherrill Watson
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Too much technobabble evident in the first chapters. Dinosaur Planet gives the reader a too-obvious clue about the inhabitants of the planet. The sexes of Kai and Varian are difficult to guess at first; tho everyone is vegetarian, the crew giving the not-too-bright heavy-worlders only the heavy lifting to do was a huge set-up. It moves along at a good, interesting, clip however, until the ending. I was angry that "our" people couldn't think of SOMETHING to do, or move SOMEWHERE else on the plane ...more
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this because DINOSAURS in SPACE, but the main characters were flat, supporting characters were just a jumble of made-up names impossible to keep track of, and there wasn’t really much of an ending (because there is a second book to this slow and mediocre story). The science and perceptions are super dated which makes it hard to imagine this being set in a technologically advanced future (ie tapes, printouts, and hand drawn maps on the spaceship). It wasn’t a horrible read ...more
Oct 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, sf, paperback
I picked this up because I backed into the series by way of Sassinak years and years ago and wanted to see how it held up to the test of time.

Some bits of it are quite good still, other bits seem a bit more suspect (the idea that ALL of the heavy worlders in the party are a monolithic group somehow smacks of racism).

I liked enough to try to read the sequel.
Jan 31, 2020 rated it liked it
This is not a standalone book. You will need to read “Dinosaur Planet Survivors” after this, so know that going in. I'd say the two books are one long novel broken into two parts.

It is a fun book. Not McCaffrey at her worst nor at her best hence my score. If you like McCaffrey’s writing, you will enjoy this book.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
Largely inoffensive and enjoyable. Not Anne McCaffrey's very best work but it is still miles ahead of her more flawed writing. Unfortunately this does not stand alone to the extent it's functionally half a book. ...more
Nate Thern
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
It's clearly a setup for the sequel ... there is, after all a book entitled DINOSAUR PLANET SURVIVORS. However, as an individual novel this is probably the weakest Anne McCaffrey book I've ever read. I may increase its rating from 2 to 3 stars if the sequel proves out. ...more
Erika Worley
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book has some of my favorite alien species to sit juxtaposed to humans despite it being about a place nicknamed Dinosaur Planet. I've noticed some typos that make me wonder if this was a draft churned out into a book a little too quickly, but I still really enjoy it. ...more
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Anne McCaffrey was born on April 1st, 1926, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Her parents were George Herbert McCaffrey, BA, MA PhD (Harvard), Colonel USA Army (retired), and Anne Dorothy McElroy McCaffrey, estate agent. She had two brothers: Hugh McCaffrey (deceased 1988), Major US Army, and Kevin Richard McCaffrey, still living.

Anne was educated at Stuart Hall in Staunton Virginia, Montclair High Scho

Other books in the series

Dinosaur Planet (2 books)
  • Dinosaur Planet Survivors (Dinosaur Planet, #2)

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