Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Page 69: Escape From Dinosauria

Disclaimer: The Page 69 Test is not mine. It has been around since 2007, asking authors to compare page 69 against the meat of the actual story it is a part of. I loved the whole idea of it and so I'm stealing it specifically to showcase small press titles - novels, novellas, short story collections, the works! So until the founder of The Page 69 Test calls a cease and desist, let's do this thing....

In this installment of Page 69, 

we put  Vincenzo Bilof and Max Booth III's Escape From Dinosauria to the test!

Set up page 69 for us. What are we about to read?

Jamie Rock, a professional mixed-martial artist, is having dinner with the owner of Dinosauria Resorts, and her boyfriend, Jordan. They are in an upper floor suite in the high-rise, when a pterodactyl crashes through the room. The dinosaurs on this island were supposed to be safe…

What’s Escape From Dinosauria about?

When cage fighting champion, Jamie Rock, visits the infamous Dinosauria Resorts with her boyfriend, she's expecting an annoying weekend filled with autographs and raptor rides. What she doesn't expect, however, is for a group of terrorists to attack as soon as she lands on the island. Apparently not everybody is too happy with the way Dinosauria is being managed, and some will do whatever it takes to destroy it from the inside out. And Jamie's reluctantly stuck in the middle of it all, kicking as much dino-ass as she can. She doesn't want to be a hero. She just wants a cold beer. Unfortunately, she'll have to go through an entire army of genetically mutated dinosaurs to get one.

Do you think this page gives our readers an accurate sense of what the book is about? Does it align itself with the book’s overall theme?

Jamie is reluctant to be any kind of hero or role model; she shuns the spotlight and just wants to live a normal life, despite her ability to dominate a fight. This page thrusts Jamie against the rather unreal, violent contest that threatens to take everything that she once believed to be normal away from her; in addition, Jamie has always been able to find her own solutions to everything that challenges her, which includes walking away from the idea of romance. In this scene she is helpless, challenged by a force that will change how she thinks about herself and what she truly wants out of life. As Jamie, from this point on, must find a way to escape from an island overrun by genetically-engineered dinosaurs, she must also escape from any false perceptions of herself (the top of page 69 is actually the middle of a paragraph).


What the hell happened? She had to stand. The fight wasn’t over. She was still in this.

Jamie rose to her feet, steadying herself against the door. The huge dinner table was gone, replaced by a monstrously large bird. She had been hit pretty hard by the glass chunk. The room spun. She had to get back to her corner. The bell needed to ring. She needed one more round. Just needed a moment to get her shit together.

She let go of the wall and stumbled forward while the room shook violently. The massive bird was not a bird at all, but a leathery lizard with wings. She knew what she was looking at but she couldn’t admit it to herself. Its body broken and bleeding, the creature groaned and its beak opened to reveal rows of sharp, curved teeth. Its crested head lifted a couple inches and dropped weakly. She thought about baby dragons.

One black eye closed on the side of its head. A thick red tongue full of blood rolled out of its toothy jaw. Glass shards were embedded in its scaly flesh and blood seeped from hundreds of wounds, pooling over the carpet of shattered window beneath it.

Yeah, she knew what it was called. Every kid in America who had the privilege of going to school knew what a pterodactyl looked like. And here it was. A dying pterodactyl.

“Jamie,” a voice groaned.

Jordan’s hand stretched out from beneath a leathery, bat-like wing. She bent down and nearly fell flat on her face. Her strength hadn’t returned and she had to wipe blood out of her eyes. The room was still shaking and the wounded dinosaur moaned louder.

Gripping his hand tightly, Jamie tried to lift the heavy wing and became light-headed again. She lost her grip on Jordan’s hand and stumbled backward. She couldn’t fall again. She had to keep standing. Jordan needed her.

The room tilted again and Jamie slipped on a glass shard, its edges cutting into the pads of her foot. The sharp pain was easy to ignore, but falling to her knees again was something she cursed herself for. Her hands were cut by more glass, and maybe her knees, and maybe her ankles; she was bloody but she wasn’t beat. She had to stand again.



From Detroit, Michigan, Vincenzo Bilof has been called “The Metallica of Poetry” and “The Shakespeare of Gore”. With a body of work that includes gritty, apocalyptic horror (The Zombie Ascension Series), surrealist prose (The Horror Show), and visceral genre satire (Vampire Strippers from Saturn), Bilof’s fiction remains as divisive and controversial as it is original. He likes to think Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, and Charles Baudelaire would be proud of his work. More likely, Ed Wood would have been his biggest fan. 

During the day, Bilof repairs arcade machines in semi-operational billiards clubs, or he chases his children around the house in between episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 
You can check out his blog here: https://vincenzobilof.org/

Max Booth III is the author of four novels. His mom has read at least one of them. He's the Editor-in-Chief of Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing and an ongoing columnist at Litreactor.com. He works as a hotel night auditor in a small town outside San Antonio, TX. Follow him on Twitter @GiveMeYourTeeth and visit him at www.talesfromthebooth.com.

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