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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!

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Texas Cowgirl

Texas Cowgirl

This tough (yet prepossessing) cowgirl wields a couple of revolvers out on the plains of Texas. Apparently between a quarter and a third of cowboys out in the Old West were African-American, but I don’t know how many (if any) of them would have been women.

The prairie in the background is based on my personal memories of Plano, TX, where I spent my preschool and kindergarten years. For the most part, the place looked and felt more like the quintessential American suburb than anything evocative of cowboys or the Wild West, but I remember there were expanses of grassy plains and woodland here and there.

Tufayyur and Claudius

Tufayyur and Claudius

These are a couple of characters I created for a small “historical fantasy” project. The chick on the left is Tufayyur, Queen of the Garamantes in what is now Libya, and on the right is a Roman imperial officer named Claudius Atticus. At first they begin on bad terms with one another, but eventually they’ll have to team up to defeat a villainous sorceress and her army of bandits in the North African desert.

Tacfarinas of the Musulamii

Tacfarinas of the Musulamii

Tacfarinas (d. 24 AD) was a leader of the Musulamii people, who lived as nomads in the Algerian Sahara south of the Roman imperial provinces of Numidia and Mauretania. Although once an auxiliary fighter for the Romans, he abandoned this position to lead his people in a rebellion against his former masters. His forces were able to harry the Roman legions before a final defeat in 24 AD, after which he committed suicide.

As for how Tacfarinas would have looked, I couldn’t find any sculptures or other images of him dating to his time, so again I let my imagination fill in those blanks. That’s one of the fun things about drawing historical individuals as obscure as this dude; you have a lot more creative leeway in reconstructing their likenesses.

Garamantes Warrior Girl

Garamantes Warrior Girl

A young warrior of the Garamantes people stands alert amidst the dunes of the Libyan desert.

To reiterate, the Garamantes were a (presumably) Berber-speaking people whose civilization lay in the desert of what is now Libya. They had a history of recurring conflicts with the Roman Empire, but were also trading partners whose commercial routes would have connected the Mediterranean and sub-Saharan regions.

Girl of the Garamantes

Girl of the GaramantesThis is a lovely young female specimen of the Garamantes, a (presumably) Berber-speaking people whose civilization spread across the desert of modern-day Libya in ancient times. They had horse-drawn chariots, irrigated agriculture for their cities, and a history of both trade and conflict with the Roman Empire. Much like the kingdoms of Egypt and Kush along the Nile, the Garamantes would have acted as a commercial intermediary between the Mediterranean and sub-Saharan regions. Their civilization seems to have fallen as a result of Vandal conquests in North Africa and a drop in the local groundwater that fed their crops.

I couldn’t find a ton of sources on how Garamantes women would have looked or dressed, so I let my imagination fill in the blanks with this character’s look. However, her tattoos and face paint are inspired by those of modern Tuareg people who roam the Sahara today.

 

Malian Diviner

Malian Diviner

This began as simple practice in drawing front-view portraits, but I wanted to imbue her with a bit more character and so made her a divination priestess from ancient Mali in West Africa. A number of traditional African religions have women responsible for divination, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the Malians had female diviners too (at least prior to converting to Islam).