The Chicxulub Asteroid Missed Stories is an informal name for a series of short works by Harry Turtledove set in a world where the Chicxulub impactor never hit Earth approximately 66 million years ago, and the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event did not follow. Consequently, various species of the theropod carnivorous dinosaurs generically called "raptors" evolved into sentient "humanoid" people in various places, establishing civilizations that parallel modern humanity. As is typical, Turtledove takes the "funhouse mirror" approach to alternate history, using a number of analogies, parallels, and parodies of real history and literature.
There have been three short works. The first, "Bonehunters", was published in April 2019. It parallels the OTL "bone wars" between Othniel Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope, with a frontiersman named Rekek and his son "Junior" helping bonehunter Ontinil on his dig in the Black Hills.
The second story, "The Quest for the Great Gray Mossy", is a pastiche of Moby-Dick, telling the story of a crew of intelligent dinosaurs under the command of the obsessed Captain Baja as they hunt for the titular "mossy" (mosasaur). It does not feature any of the same characters or settings as "Bonehunters".
The third story, "Junior and Me" was published in the anthology Straight Outta Dodge City. It was the first story written, but last to be published. It is the direct prequel to "Bonehunters", telling the story of how Rekek came to adopt Junior while riding "shotgun" on a wagon train out of Dodge City. Turtledove has also stated that this is the last story in this world for the foreseeable future.
Species of Dinosaurs
Three different "races" of dinosaur have been introduced, defined by the color of their hides. Unlike human beings, where melanin content is a largely superficial physical trait, the different races are truly different species, and cannot produce off-spring through mating. However, as the odors of each species is unique and distasteful to the other species, interspecies-mating is rare.
The greenskins originate from Eurasia, although their specific range is unclear. They function as analogs of Europeans who arrived in the New World, specifically people of the United States. They are the most technologically advanced of the known species, although their technology is a mixture of European and North American technologies developed from the 17th century through the 19th century.
The greenskins believe in a pantheon of gods with some variants. The World Egg theology holds that the gods cracked open a large egg and built the world from its contents. The Down from the Sky or Out of the Sky theology believes that the gods deposited people from the sky in the Beginning. The theory of evolution, however, is beginning to challenge greenskin theology on a schedule analogous to OTL.
The brownskins are the species native to the New World, functioning as analogs of Native Americans. As such, their future is threatened by the spread of the greenskins as they move west across the continent. This was partially due to the greenskins having superior technology such as iron and gunpowder but also to the spread of diseases to which the brownskins had no immunity. The latter cleared large tracks of land up to the Rocky Mountains which the greenskins took advantage of.
The brownskins of the Western Plains are somewhat more technologically advanced than the Plains Indians; for example, they created stone monuments, including one analog of Mount Rushmore that even greenskins find impressive. They do know how to make medieval siege weapons, such as catapults and crossbows.
The browskins ruled by Red Cloud have a pantheon, depicted on the Rushmore analog. They believe these gods, Shingto, Fferso, Incol, and Oosev, created them, and that other gods or demons created the greenskins. Other brownskin nations have different creation myths.
- "Running of the Bulls," a story set in an analog of post-World War I Europe, with plot similarities to Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. The world of "Running" is peopled by sentient beings who appear to be descended from dinosaurs.
- "The Mrem Go West," a story by Turtledove, set in a world built by Bill Fawcett. One of the two sentient species of this world are the Liskash or "dinos", who appear to be raptors.
- Analog, May/June 2019, Vol. CXXXIX, nos. 5 & 6, pg. 18.
- Ibid., pg. 10.
- Ibid., 15-16.
- Straight Outta Dodge City, pg. 77.
- Analog, May/June 2019, Vol. CXXXIX, nos. 5 & 6, pgs. 10, 14, 18.
- Ibid. pg. 19.
- Analog, Vol. CXXXX, Nos 1 & 2, January/February, 2020, pgs. 53-54.