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John C. McLoughlin

Author of The Marvels of Animal Behavior

8+ Works 481 Members 8 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Also includes: John McLoughlin (2)

Disambiguation Notice:

Keep undivided - he wrote both natural history and science fiction

Works by John C. McLoughlin

Associated Works

Dogs: All About Them (1986) — Introduction — 7 copies


Common Knowledge

Rye, New York, USA
Disambiguation notice
Keep undivided - he wrote both natural history and science fiction



Marjoles | 1 other review | Jun 29, 2019 |
Unlike the situation with McLoughlin's Synapsida, the prospective reader of Archosauria has an array of more up-to-date and better illustrated alternatives to choose from.

Still, the book is well worth reading for those interested in the history of popular palaeontology. Featuring an array of outdated or just plain idiosyncratic notions combined with the author's wry humour, the book should appeal to the same sort of people that like the blog Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs (look for the reviews of vintage dino books).… (more)
AndreasJ | Apr 18, 2017 |
"The Helix and the Sword" by John C. McLoughlin

Other reviewers have done an excellent job describing the story-line so I'll restrict myself to relating my reactions to the plot and style of the story.

First off, be aware that you really do have to read the synopsis of human history in the prefix; and at some point you'll probably want to flip to the back of the book to read the glossary. All of this is necessary to get comfortable with the plot background and vocabulary: obviously many things have changed in the 5 thousand years since mankind broke into space and it saves guessing what these strange words mean.

With that said, my first reaction was that the story was handled simplistically…and gradually I came to appreciate that if I had read this book when I was a teenager it would have affected me powerfully. I think this tale ranks up there with Arthur Clarke's "The City and the Stars" and "Against the Fall of Night". Many thousands of years have passed and man is "different" and has lost touch with his beginnings, etc. and the protagonists must somehow find the link to mankind's heritage and save humanity from some form of annihilation or other. And all the while, you don't really know who's the good guy and whose the bad guy.

Once I had that awareness I began to really enjoy the novel. Yes, the action is not as detailed and gory as we have come to expect in the 21st century, but there's enough action and complexity of plot to entertain and inspire anyone under 20. As for the rest of us, if we can release our jaded expectations: of super-convoluted monsters and heroes warring in Dystopia; of sex; of horror; of deep character analysis—then there's a good chance we can enjoy it also. I'll be recommending this to teens, along with Heinlein, Niven, Andre Norton, Nourse, and van Vogt. And to you too, if you already have the copy in hand.

However, if you lust after more Jim Butcher and Vernor Vinge and O.S. Card, etc. and and aren't particularly interested uncomplicated emotions and lack of sex and pure evil, then you might not want to spend the time and money searching for this book. But if you find it, like I did, in a Thrift store, then go for it. It's always good to take a breather from Dystopia.
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majackson | Jan 22, 2017 |
OK, history quiz, folks! Who did mammals evolve from? How and why? The answer is the Synapsida line which gave rise to the Therapsids which, during the reign of the dinosaurs were reduced to tiny creatures that snuffled in the jungle muck in the dark--and from these little beings all mammals arose. The period during which these pre-mammals were in hiding was crucial to developing every aspect of the mammalian survival strategy--from integrating hearing inside the brain, in space and time, if you will, so as to more efficiently track their own prey, caring for young in order to pass on information, nursing for the advantage of good nutrition, the list is endless and fascinating. McLoughlin lays out the progression simply and humorously and above all readably in this short, well-illustrated book--the drawings by McLoughlin himself. It was published in 1980, and that is 35 years ago, but I am guessing that while a few gaps may have been filled in in the meantime and perhaps a few things reconsidered the essential information is probably sound. *****… (more)
1 vote
sibylline | 1 other review | Sep 26, 2015 |



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