The Purple Pterodactyls

Infobox Book |
name = The Purple Pterodactyls
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption = Dust-jacket for "The Purple Pterodactyls"
author = L. Sprague deCamp
illustrator =
cover_artist = Vaclav Vaca
country = United States
language = English
series =
genre = Fantasy short stories
publisher = Phantasia Press
release_date = 1980
english_release_date =
media_type = Print (Hardback)
pages = 228 pp
isbn = ISBN 0932096026
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"The Purple Pterodactyls" is a 1980 collection of short stories by science fiction and fantasy author L. Sprague de Camp, first published in hardcover by Phantasia Press and in paperback by Ace Books. The pieces were originally published between 1975 and 1979 in the magazines "The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction", "Fantastic", "Escape!", and "Fantasy Crossroads".

The book collects the author's fifteen tales of ensorcelled financier W. Wilson Newbury, an ordinary man continually encountering extraordinary situations. His French wife Denise also appears in most of the tales.

In two of the stories ("The Huns" and "Darius") de Camp reuses the characters of Virgil Hathaway and Henri Michod, who originally appeared in his early stories "The Reluctant Shaman" (1947) and "The Hardwood Pile" (1940), set in the fictional town of Gahato in upstate New York. Two other stories ("Balsamo's Mirror" and "Far Babylon") feature characters recognizable as real-life authors H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, though neither is actually named.


*"Balsamo's Mirror"
*"The Lamp"
*"The Menhir"
*"United Imp"
*"Far Babylon"
*"The Yellow Man"
*"A Sending of Serpents"
*"The Huns"
*"The Purple Pterodactyls"
*"Dead Man's Chest"
*"The Figurine"

Continuation and tie-in

A sixteenth story of Newbury, "The Ensorcelled ATM", authored by Michael F. Flynn, appeared in Harry Turtledove's 2005 tribute anthology honoring L. Sprague de Camp, "". It ties Newbury's adventures in with the classic "Gavagan's Bar" fantasies written by de Camp in collaboration with Fletcher Pratt.


*cite book | last=Chalker | first=Jack L. | authorlink=Jack L. Chalker | coauthors=Mark Owings | title=The Science-Fantasy Publishers: A Bibliographic History, 1923-1998 | location=Westminster, MD and Baltimore | publisher=Mirage Press, Ltd.| pages=507 | date=1998
*cite book | last=Laughlin | first=Charlotte | coauthors=Daniel J. H. Levack | title=De Camp: An L. Sprague de Camp Bibliography | location=San Francisco | publisher=Underwood/Miller | pages=82-83 | date=1983

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