Analog 2019-MayJune.jpg
Author Harry Turtledove
First Appearance Analog
Collected The Best of Harry Turtledove
Illustrator Tomislav Tikulin
Genre(s) Alternate history
Preceded by "Junior and Me"
(Internal chronology)
Followed by "The Quest for the Great Gray Mossy"
(Publication order)

"Bonehunters" is an alternate history-cum-science fiction novelette by Harry Turtledove, published in the May/June 2019 issue of Analog, part of a series where the Chicxulub Asteroid missed hitting Earth, leading to sentient descendants of dinosaurs taking the place of humans. It can be read on Analog's website, and was reprinted in The Best of Harry Turtledove in 2021.

Although published prior to "The Quest for the Great Gray Mossy" and "Junior and Me", it takes place after them, and is a direct sequel to the latter. It follows the same narrator, a frontiersman named Rekek, who adopted a hatchling named Rekek Jr. or simply "Junior". The plot is a mishmash of Wild West genres and tropes, set against a scientific expedition of digging out the bones of earlier dinosaurs in an analog-cum-parody of the OTL "bone wars" between Othniel Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope.

Rerek and Junior help out with an expedition into the Black Hills. The lead "bonehunter", Ontinil, has secured permission to dig on the territory ruled by a local native king, Red Cloud. Ontinil's rival Trinka is one of many obstacles Rekek faces. As is typical, Turtledove takes the "funhouse mirror" approach to alternate history, using a number of analogies, parallels, and parodies of real history.

See Also[]

  • "Running of the Bulls", another short story about sentient dinosaurs in a more humanoid form. Turtledove has explicitly stated that these two stories are not set in the same timeline.
  • "The Green Buffalo", a short story set in OTL during the "bone wars" in Wyoming, with supernatural elements.