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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!

Hotep, My Homies!

Hotep, My HomiesHaving more fun with ancient Egyptian chicks in modern-day outfits here…

The word “hotep” means “to be at peace” in ancient Egyptian, but the Egyptians actually would use the phrase “em hotep” (in peace) as a greeting. However, omitting the “em” in the phrase made for better alliteration with “homies”.

A couple of character concepts…

These are early concept artworks for the villain and heroine of a fantasy project I’ve started. As of now, it’s set in a fictitious, mythic era in our earth’s past and centers on a conflict between the ancient Egyptian and Chinese civilizations. The storyline is about a vengeful Chinese emperor named Bao Yen who steals a sacred Staff of Serpents from the Egyptians, hoping to use it to conquer and enslave them. The heroine on the other hand is an Egyptian princess named Nefrusheri who must retrieve the Staff. There’s a lot of blank spots about the story that need to be filled in at the moment, but I rather like the idea of the ancient Egyptian and Chinese empires duking it out this way.

Bao YenNefrusheri

Cryolophosaurus

Cryolophosaurus

Cryolophosaurus ellioti was a large theropod dinosaur that stalked Antarctica during the Early Jurassic, around 194 to 188 million years ago. Back then, the continent would have been covered by temperate forests as a result of the warmer global climate. The distinctive pompadour-like crest on Cryolophosaurus’s head has inspired the nickname “Elvisaurus” for this dinosaur.

Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar

This is a quick portrait of Gaius Julius Caesar (100-44 BC), by far the best known of the Roman generals and statesmen. This was the guy who conquered Gaul (now France), romanced Cleopatra before Antony, and eventually got himself assassinated on the Ides of March. It was his great-grandnephew Octavian who became the first proper Emperor of Rome, thereby ending its phase as a Republic.

Although Caesar is supposed to looked middle-aged in my portrait (since that was how he looked in the bust I used as reference), I kept his hair dark because everyone else seems to color it this silvery-white color. I dunno how that convention came to be, since he would have only been in his mid-fifties when he died (so it should have only started to gray, if he was like most dudes).

Wildest Dreams

Wildest Dreams

Say you’ll remember me
Standing in a nice dress,
Staring at the sunset, babe.
Red lips and rosy cheeks,
Say you’ll see me again
Even if it’s just in your wildest dreams.
— Taylor Swift, “Wildest Dreams”

This started out as simply an African woman sitting on her legs, but then I recalled the Taylor Swift song “Wildest Dreams” from a few years back. The music video for that attracted some controversy because it was set in the African bush but somehow hardly featured any black people in it. Whatever your views on that, I thought the song would make for a nice (if ironic) “theme” for this piece.

Proto-Afrasan Hunters

Proto-Afrasan HuntersSomewhere in the eastern Sahara between 16-11,000 years ago, this pair of hunter-gatherers is scouting the dunes for food. The language they speak is Proto-Afrasan (or Proto-Afroasiatic), and it will give rise to a entire phylum of languages spoken across northern and eastern Africa as well as the Middle East. Examples of Afrasan languages include ancient Egyptian, Sudanese Beja, Somali, most languages spoken in Ethiopia, and the Berber and Semitic subgroups (the latter having arrived in the Middle East sometime before 7400 BC). The exact origin point of Proto-Afrasan remains unknown, but most likely it is somewhere in northeastern Africa.

A friend of mine is working on an anthropology/archaeology book about various human population movements in and out of the Sahara during its cycles of climate change, and he and I believe the expansion of Afrasan languages across Africa and into the Middle East represents one of these movements. His project is what inspired this illustration.

Goddesses of Love

Goddesses of Love

These three goddesses are the Greek Aphrodite, the Egyptian Hathor, and the Norse Freya. Each of them had love and fertility as part of their domains in their respective cultures. Also, this gave me an opportunity to draw a trio of women from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
UPDATE:
Goddesses of Love - Colors
My three goddesses of love—the Greek Aphrodite, the Egyptian Hathor, and the Norse Freya—now have some color for further beautification!
Picking Aphrodite’s skin tone was a bit tough as I wanted her to have a tawny Mediterranean complexion, but adding highlights made it seem paler than it was supposed to be. Also, I added a Norse valknut symbol to Freya’s cheek partly to indicate her Norse identity, but also because I think “tribal” face paint looks good on ancient Northern Europeans.

O Mighty Isis

O Mighty IsisIsis, the mighty Egyptian goddess, ascends to the sky to cast another one of her magical spells. Will she bless someone who needs her help, or rain destruction upon her enemies?

I wanted her pose to look like a comic-book superhero this time. In fact, there was a superhero character based on Isis who got her own show in the 1970’s and eventually became part of the DC Comics continuity. Unfortunately (but also predictably), they had to cast a European-American woman to play this African goddess.