Dinosaurs & Dames: A Selection of Short Stories

So this is a self-published anthology of my short fiction that I recently posted for sale on Amazon.com:

Dinosaurs & Dames

This is a self-published anthology of short stories by amateur writer Brandon S. Pilcher. By and large, they are action-packed speculative-fiction tales featuring dinosaurs and other savage beasts, fierce female warriors and huntresses, and African cultural influences. So if you like adventure, strong heroines, prehistoric wildlife, and non-Western settings, these are the stories for you.

I would greatly appreciate it if anyone with a Kindle or Kindle app would be willing to spend $1 on my anthology. You won’t regret it!


Into the Eagles’ Nest

Into the Eagles' Nest

Sometime during the Roman imperial occupation of Egypt, this rebellious Egyptian warrior is on a daring mission to infiltrate a Roman fort. Suffice to say that she’s not all that crazy about her once mighty and ancient civilization being reduced to a colonial breadbasket.

I know this isn’t a scene that would have likely taken place in real history, but it was too cool to resist.

Hiking After Battle

Hiking After Battle

This itinerant warrior is hiking through the desert hills after having hacked her way through a scuffle with her khopesh blade. Perhaps she will find even more trouble awaiting her on the road ahead…

This started off as little more than a random warrior babe in a sort of walking pose. Over time, she started to resemble a character I created a year ago named Nubkhas, who was this fictional Egyptian princess who fled her country after a coup and made her living as a traveling mercenary. If I ever revive that old character, I’ll probably ditch the princess part of her background since I want to take a little break from royal characters. However, I still like the idea of an Egyptian-style chick as a wandering warrior.

Kushite Cavalry

Kushite Cavalry

Kushite horsemen ride their white-coated steeds towards battle in the sandy wastes of the eastern Sahara. A scene like this would probably take place during the Meroitic period (280 BC to 350 AD) of Kush’s history, because the chariots that both Egyptian and Kushite armies had once employed would have become obsolete by that point. Regardless, it appears the Kushites had developed an even stronger passion for horses than their Egyptian brethren, as shown by horse burials in their royal tombs as well as Assyrian records mentioning the importation of horses bred in Kush.

Kushite Warrior Princess

Kushite Warrior Princess

After playing the kingdom of Kush in the game Total War: Rome II some more, I was in the mood to doodle another Kushite warrior babe. I might make her a character in a story sometime in the future, but right now I have bigger fish to fry with regards to writing.

As an aside, it’s a pet peeve of mine to see Kush characterized in modern sources as a “sub-Saharan” African civilization. It may have had trade contacts with people south of the Sahara, but since the heart of Kushite territory was within the desert itself, it should technically qualify as a North African civilization rather than a sub-Saharan one.

Ozalces, Greek Spy for Kush

Ozalces the Greek Spy for Kush

I came up with this character concept while playing the strategy game Total War: Rome II. If you download the new “Desert Kingdoms” DLC and play as the kingdom of Kush, you start the game with a scout character named Ozalces as part of your retinue. Since the character’s name and his avatar’s physical appearance both appeared Greek rather than Kushite to me, I figured he would be a Greek immigrant from Ptolemaic-controlled Egypt.

In my personal imagination, the character Ozalces abandoned his loyalties to the Ptolemies after coming to sympathize with the oppressed native Egyptian population, and so fled to Kush in search of powerful allies who could help him liberate Egypt from Greco-Macedonian rule. Since then, he has served as a scout and spy on behalf of the Kushites. I think a storyline like that would that would make a fun movie or historical fiction someday.

Cleopatra’s Mother

Cleopatra's Mother

This is my speculative portrait of the Ptolemaic Egyptian Queen Cleopatra VII’s heretofore unidentified mother. Although we know from the historical record that Cleopatra’s father was Ptolemy XII Auletes (117-51 BC), the identity of her mother remains less certain. It could have been Ptolemy XII’s official Queen Cleopatra V, or it could have been any of the various side chicks that the male Ptolemaic rulers were known for taking. Of course, I went with the latter scenario by representing her as a native Egyptian girl. However, the falcon design on her earring is based on one found on coins minted during the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Unicorn for My Sister

Unicorn for My Sister

I did this colored-pencil piece as an early birthday gift for my big sister, who has been a fan of unicorns since she was a little girl. Originally, unicorns were thought to live in the subcontinent of India, so that’s where I chose to set the scene (Hindu architecture is ridiculously elaborate, by the way). If you look to the upper left, you can see an Indian cobra up in the tree.

Happy birthday, big sis!

Predynastic Egyptian Hunters

Predynastic Egyptian Hunters

Our predynastic Egyptian heroine from 4400-4000 BC now leads a hunting party across the savannas that will someday become the Egyptian Sahara. Although cattle-herding and floodplain agriculture would have provided most of the predynastic Egyptian diet, artwork from this period abounds with hunting themes, so it must have still been a popular pastime (in addition to providing an additional source of protein). In pharaonic times, it would have been the Pharaohs and nobility who did most of the hunting.

With this piece, I wanted to practice my foreshortening by having my girl point her spear at something up ahead.

Hebrew Belly Dancer

Hebrew Bellydancer

While we’re on the theme of women dancing, enjoy this doodle of a Hebrew belly dancer from ancient Israel. We tend to imagine the biblical Israelites as a pious rather than sensual people, in large part as a result of modern Christian ideals of sexual inhibition and chastity. However, given that ancient Hebrew culture comes from the same Semitic, Middle Eastern cultural background as the Islamic Arabs, I would not be surprised at all if Israelite girls had the same penchant for belly dancing as their Arab sisters. And unless they happened to be all asexual (or gay), even biblical heroes like Abraham, Moses, or even Jesus could not have minded the sight of scantily clad dancing girls every now and then. XD

Predynastic Egyptian Dance

Predynastic Egyptian Dance

A young woman from the Badarian culture of predynastic Egypt (4400-4000 BC) dances with her arms raised overhead in imitation of cattle horns. This particular dancing pose is known not only from predynastic Egyptian art but also wall reliefs from the pharaonic period many centuries later. Today, women of the Dinka ethnic group in South Sudan still perform a similar style of dance, which makes sense given the Dinka have a cattle-herding culture comparable to that of early predynastic Egyptians.