Why? Well one of my childhood creations was considered among the Nerdiest by editor Rob Bricken.
Now I remember why I don't do as many story/memory/recollection-based contests as I used to. It's because they're pure agony for me to decide a winner. Seriously, out of 375 comments -- many of which were just people replying to each other -- I had 75 Honorable Mentions my first go-through, and that's while I was trying to be selective. It's not inaccurate to say that I thought 80% of the entries were good enough to be HMs, so please, if your entry doesn't appear in the 30 I managed to winnow it down to, please know that chances are I loved it anyways.
Here's the entry, which was in reply to a chap calling himself Dr Shoggoth.
Dr. Shoggoth said:
When I was a kid, I drew dinosaurs. So do a lot of kids. But hundreds of my dinosaurs were fictional. Inspired perhaps by the book "The New Dinosaurs", I invented a huge world where dinosaurs didn't go extinct, and my character was the daring boy naturalist who could travel to this world and catalog them all. My fake dinosaurs had natural enemies, predator/prey relationships, favored habitats and ecologies. But the kicker? Each species also had a correctly conjugated, accurate Latin name.
Al Harron replied to Dr. Shoggoth:
My brother... I must embrace you, for I did exactly the same thing. Complete with latin names, ecosystem, predator-prey relationships etc. I think I was also inspired by Dougal Dixon. Man, I have to go track down my pictures. Most of them were sauropods, 'cause I love sauropods. Especially diplodocids, because I felt they were underrepresented in The New Dinosaurs (stupid Titanosaurs...)
Babbletrish replied to Al Harron:
I, too, had a whole imaginary ecosystem that lived in my algebra notebooks, and it's largely Dougal Dixon's fault. The again, his deeply strange speculative biology books *did* get me interested in creature design. Good to see there are other fans of these books out there.
Making up Latin classification names for made-up dinosaurs? You guys are my heroes.
Whee, I'm all aflush with nerd pride.
Well, one of these days I'll get around to my fantasy dinosaur species on TBTTF. What's more astonishing to me is that no new dinosaur discovered since my preciocious childhood has actually used one of the names I made up. I don't know whether that's good or bad, but considering some of the names of new dinosaurs are just cringe-enducing (Dracorex hogwartsia anyone?) perhaps that's for the best. Still, there's always hope they find a new sauropod and finally call it Brontorex.