Paleonet: Re Peter Ward's Gorgon: Another book with a palaeontologist as a character

Brent Wilson Brent.Wilson at
Tue Aug 30 10:45:24 GMT 2011

Dear All
I read David Kopaska-Merkel's brief review of Peter Ward's Gorgon on Paleonet.  If having a palaeontologist as a character intrigues, then I wonder what readers would make to the following, in which the main character is a micropalaeontologist:
Although not mentioned in the blurb on the cover, foraminifera loom large in the story.  Having witten it as a source for memories in my old age, I never did much to publicise it -- hence its rank on Amazon.  However, it was well recieved by those who read it (see, for example, ).  
All the best
<º)))><      <º)))><      <º)))><      <º)))><
Dr Brent Wilson FGS
Senior Lecturer in Palaeontology and Sedimentology
Petroleum Geoscience Programme
Department of Chemical Engineering
University of the West Indies
St. Augustine

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Today's Topics:

   1.  Peter Ward's paleontological novel, Gorgon (David Kopaska-Merkel)
   2.  New brachiopod publication - Brachiopods: extant and extinct
      [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED] (John.Laurie at


Message: 1
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 08:05:15 -0500
From: David Kopaska-Merkel <davidkm at>
Subject: Paleonet: Peter Ward's paleontological novel, Gorgon
To: PaleoNet <paleonet at>
Message-ID: <14DE006B96541C40B0F3F86C66CC15E7027C32FBB1 at mail>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Hope Peter doesn't mind this public review.

I love the book.

I have finally read "Gorgon," a novel-length manuscript by Peter Ward, which we were told about a couple of months ago on this list.  "Gorgon" is a thriller, featuring vertebrate paleontology in a pivotal role.  The second most important character is a vertebrate paleontologist.  This is a good story and it will be a good book. I read the whole thing in a day and it definitely held my interest.  If Peter hasn't found a publisher yet he needs to keep trying.  The book needs some intensive copyediting, but that is easily done.  The only serious problem I see is one point in the book where the global economy is briefly discussed.  The economy of today is not yesterday's economy, and if there are significant changes between now and the time the book is published this brief treatment will seem very odd.  This is because the book is set a few years in the future (need to add a few years to the date, too, so it'll still BE the future when the book comes out).  Probably the best solution is to be a lot vaguer about recent global economic trends.  I should also mention the gratuitous homophobia expressed by one of the viewpoint characters early in the book.  This character trait plays no role in later events and should be deleted.

David C Kopaska-Merkel
Geological Survey of Alabama
Box 869999
Tuscaloosa AL 35486-6999
205-247-3695< <> >
fax 205-349-2861

Got questions? sednet might have answers:

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Message: 2
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2011 16:30:32 +1000
From: <John.Laurie at>
Subject: Paleonet: New brachiopod publication - Brachiopods: extant
        and extinct [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
To: <PaleoNet at>
        <8D2A822B1C6C2A44ABEB777AA83FA0E3499430A692 at>
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The proceedings volume of the 6th International Brachiopod Congress has just been published as volume 41 of the Memoirs of the Association of Australasian Palaeontologists. It is:

Shi, G.R., Weldon, E.A., Percival, I.G., Pierson, R.R. & Laurie, J.R. (eds), 2011 Brachiopods: extant and extinct - Proceedings of the Sixth International Brachiopod Congress, 1-5 February, 2010, Melbourne, Australia. Memoirs of the Association of Australasian Palaeontologists 41, 366p.


Comparative experimental and simulation study on passive feeding flow generation in Cyrtospirifer, by Yuta Shiino & Osamu Kuwazuru

What is the ideal proxy for Palaeozoic seawater chemistry?, by Uwe Brand, Alan Logan, Maria Aleksandra Bitner, Erika Griesshaber, Karem Azmy & Dieter Buhl

Spine formation in Novocrania and Danocrania (Brachiopoda, Craniata), by Jeffrey H. Robinson & Daphne E. Lee

Growth rates of Calloria inconspicua (Sowerby, 1846) from the upper intertidal zone of Portobello, New Zealand, by Dietrich Schumann

What do we really know about predation on modern rhynchonelliforms?, by Elizabeth M. Harper

Affinities and associations of new shallow-water brachiopods from the Late Cretaceous of New Zealand, by Norton Hiller

Revision of Sowerby's species Spirifer bisulcatus, Spirifer pinguis and Spirifer rotundatus from the late Tournaisian-Visean of Great Britain, by Lucia Angiolini, Sarah Long & Lee Davies

Taxonomic review and evolutionary trends of Levipustulini and Absenticostini (Brachiopoda) from Argentina: Palaeobiogeographic and palaeoclimatic implications, by Arturo C. Taboada & Guang R. Shi

The howellellid branches within the delthyridoid spiriferids (Brachiopoda, Silurian to Devonian), by Mena Schemm-Gregory

Preliminary data on shell cementation in fossil specimens of thecideide brachiopods, by Alberto P?rez-Huerta, David A.T. Harper & Teresa E. Jeffries

There's no place like home: Cambrian to Devonian brachiopods critically useful for analysing palaeogeography, by L.Robin M. Cocks

Mesozoic brachiopods of Misool Archipelago, eastern Indonesia, by Donald A.B. MacFarlan, Fauzie Hasibuan & Jack A. Grant-Mackie

Early Devonian diversification of athyridide brachiopods in the Cantabrian Zone (NW Spain) and their affinities, revisited, by Fernando Alvarez, Tatyana L. Modzalevskaya & Covadonga Brime

Ontogenetic discontinuities in brachiopod populations: their detection and significance, by Anthony E. Aldridge

Origin and evolution of Permian brachiopods of Australia, by J. Bruce Waterhouse

Application of niche modelling to analyse biogeographic patterns in Palaeozoic brachiopods: evaluating niche stability in deep time, by Alycia L. Stigall

Brachiopod life histories from spiral deviations in shell shape and microstructural signature - preliminary report, by Anthony E. Aldridge & Dani?le Gaspard

The type specimens of the Holocene brachiopod Diestothyris frontalis (Middendorff, 1849), by Alexey V. Pakhnevich

Brachiopod biogeographic change during the Early to Middle Ordovician in South China, by Renbin Zhan, Rongyu Li, Ian G. Percival & Yan Liang

An early Cambrian chileate brachiopod from South Australia and its phylogenetic significance, by Lars E. Holmer, Christian B. Skovsted, Glenn A. Brock & Leonid Popov

Late Eocene (Priabonian) micromorphic brachiopods from the Upper Austrian Molasse Zone, by Alfr?d Dulai

Morphology and systematics of Late Palaeozoic syringothyrid brachiopods from West-Central Argentina, by Gabriela A. Cisterna

Endolithic algae, fungi and bacterial activity in Holocene and Cretaceous brachiopod shells - diagenetic consequences, by Dani?le Gaspard

The Cisuralian faunal succession in Patagonia (Tepuel-Genoa Basin, Argentina): an updated brachiopod biostratigraphic scheme, by M. Alejandra Pagani & Arturo C. Taboada

Reassessment of the Ordovician brachiopod Poramborthis and Poramborthidae, by Michal Mergl

Nanostructures in Palaeozoic linguloid brachiopods, by Liisa Lang, Ethel Uibopuu & Ivar Puura

This volume is obtainable from:

The Business Manager
Geological Society of Australia Incorporated
Suite 61
104 Bathurst St
Sydney NSW 2000

Telephone: (02) 9290 2194
Facsimile: (02) 9290 2198
E-mail: info at
Homepage: <> <>

Price:    Australia: $A120.00
            Overseas: $A130.00

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