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 a novelette by Harry Turtledove, published in the May/June 2019 issue of Analog. It is the first short work set in a world where the Chicxulub asteroid never hit Earth. The story is a mishmash of 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. The story's narrator and primary protagonist is a frontiersman named Rekek; he has a native stepson named Rekek Jr., or simply "Junior".

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. 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 related.
  • "The Green Buffalo", a short story set in OTL during the "bone wars" in Wyoming.