The most influential prehistoric fiction novels to date. (Only pure prehistoric fiction, no time travel or prehistoric fantasy.)
1. Jean Auel, The Clan of the Cave Bear (1980), about a Cro-Magnon girl raised by a tribe of Neanderthals
2. Stephen Baxter, Silverhair (1999; also titled Behemoth), a story about a young female mammoth in prehistoric Siberia and her herd's struggle to survive
3. Bernard Cornwell, Stonehenge (1999), about the building of Stonehenge
4. Jim Crace, The Gift of Stones (1988), about a boy from a Stone Age village who explores the world beyond the village and discovers people who know how to make and use bronze
5. John R. Dann, Song of the Axe(2001), about a pair of warrior-lovers threatened by invaders near the end of an Ice Age
6. J. S. Dunn, Bending of the Boyne (2011), about people of Bronze Age Ireland before the coming of the Celts
7. Margaret Elphinstone, The Gathering Night (2009), about a group of Stone Age hunter-gatherers in what is now Scotland, and the unusual decision of a woman to become a shaman after her son dies
8. Anthony Giarmo, Sweet Muse of Madness (2012), about the priest of a father-worshipping religion and his young acolyte who travel to a goddess-worshipping farming community on the Plain of Thessaly in Greece at the time of a lustful and bloody seasonal festival
9. Rob Godfrey, The Year of the Celt: Imbolc (2012), about a settlement in Brigantia in 499 B.C., torn apart after refugees fleeing the northern ice-sheets arrive
10. William Golding, The Inheritors (1955), about two Neanderthals who survive an attack on their group by a band of Homo sapiens.
11. Dorothy Hearst, Promise of the Wolves (2008), about a young wolf and her pack around 12,000 B.C., when the changes began that led to the evolution of the domesticated dog
12. Cecelia Holland, Pillar of the Sky (1985), about the building of Stonehenge
13. Björn Kurtén, Dance of the Tiger (1980), about Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons in Ice Age Scandinavia
14. Morgan Llywelyn, The Horse Goddess (1982), about a Celtic woman with a special gift for communicating with horses who runs away from her salt mining village (today's Hallstatt, Austria) with a nomadic Scythian chieftain in the eighth century B.C.
15. Morgan Llywelyn, Bard: the Odyssey of the Irish (1984), about a bard in Celtic Iberia (now Spain) who has a vision of leading his people to the land that will become Ireland.
16. Mary Mackey, The Year the Horses Came (1993), about a peaceful, goddess-worshipping culture disturbed by nomads on horseback who worship male gods
17. Cristi Fernández Narvaiza and Martin Bless, Spirits of the Mothers(2009), a book that alternates nonfiction chapters on archaeological discoveries about Ice Age Europe with fiction chapters about a young woman's trek through Europe at the end of the Ice Age
18. Kim Stanley Robinson, Shaman (2013), a coming-of-age story about a young shaman in prehistoric Europe.
19. Brenda Gates Smith, Secrets of the Ancient Goddess, about a woman in prehistoric Turkey whose tribe turns against her when she refuses to sacrifice her baby
20. William Sarabande, Wolves of the Dawn (1986), set in Britain at the end of the Stone Age
21. Brenda Gates Smith, Secrets of the Ancient Goddess, about a woman in prehistoric Turkey whose tribe turns against her when she refuses to sacrifice her baby.
23. Judith Tarr, White Mare's Daughter (1998), about a young priestess in a band of warrior nomads and her journey to a city still ruled by women
24. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, Reindeer Moon (1987), about a community of hunter-gatherers in Ice Age Siberia
25. Herbie Brennan Shiva (1992) Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal interactions in Ice Age Europe
26. Hebe Weenolsen, The Forbidden Mountain (1983), about the building of Stonehenge.
27. Joan Wolf, Daughter of the Red Deer (1991), a woman from a matriarchal culture in prehistoric southern France who is kidnapped by men from a patriarchal tribe after most of its women are killed in a disaster; #1 in a series.
28. Joan Wolf, The Horsemasters (1993), about a young man driven out of his matrilineal tribe in prehistoric Southern France
29. Amanda Cockrell, Daughter of the Sky (2005), about a North American woman around 3000 B.C. who has the magical ability to draw pictures; #1 in the Deer Dancers series.
31. Vince Ford, Scorched Bone (2008), about twins who set out to find a revolutionary new arrowhead they have heard about (today known as the "Clovis Point")
32. Caleb Fox, Zadayi Red (2009), prehistoric fantasy about a young shaman of the ancient Galayi, ancestors of the Cherokee.
34. Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear, People of the Wolf, about the people who crossed the land bridge from Asia to North America and became the first humans to settle the American continent
35. Sue Harrison, Mother Earth, Father Sky, about a young woman on the northwest coast of America during the Ice Age who sets out on a sea voyage after her tribe is massacred
36. Kathleen King, Cricket Sings: A Novel Of Pre-Columbian Cahokia (1983), about a woman of the Cahokia people in what is now Illinois.
37. Ardath Mayhar, People of the Mesa, about a young Anasazi man
38. Gary McCarthy, Mesa Verde Thunder (2011; originally published 1997 asMesa Verde), about the cliff-dwelling people of Mesa Verde.
39. Vasant Davé, Trade Winds to Meluhha (2012), about a Babylonian stable boy who must flee his home in 2138 BC after being accused of murder, and travels to the Indus Valley; self-published.
40. Charlotte Prentiss, The Island Tribe, about a rebellious chieftain's daughter whose tribe casts her out.
41. Cha Rnacircle, Right of Way (2012), about North Americans of 20,000 years ago who try to start a trading route; #1 in the Voice of the Ancients series; self-published.
42. Judith Redman Robbins, Coyote Woman, a coming-of-age story about an Anasazi girl in prehistoric Chaco Canyon; #1 in the Anasazi trilogy.
43. Clare Coleman, Daughter of the Reef (1992), about a Polynesian chief's daughter who must learn to live in a new land among unfriendly people after her canoe is wrecked on the shore of Tahiti; #1 in the Ancient Tahiti series.
44. Patricia Rowe, Keepers of the Misty Time, about about the woman who leads a migratory tribe in the Columbia River area 9,000 years in the past.
45. Sharman Apt Russell, The Last Matriarch, about a prehistoric woman who lived through the disastrous time when the mammoths and other large land animals of North America were wiped out.
46. William Sarabande, Beyond the Sea of Ice (1987), about an Ice Age hunter who loses his wife and child in an attack by a killer mammoth, then leads the survivors eastward to a new country; #1 in the First Americans series
47. Linda Lay Shuler, She Who Remembers, about a woman of the Anasazi people in the thirteenth century American Southwest
48. Steven Barnes, Great Sky Woman (2006), about a boy and girl in a prehistoric African tribe who climb Mount Kilimanjaro to seek help from Father Sky after the tribe is attacked by invaders.
49. Barbara Wood, Woman of a Thousand Secrets, about a woman from a Pacific island who migrates to the land of the Maya.
50. Debra Austin, Daughter of Kura (2009), about a young Homo erectus woman in a matriarchal society in prehistoric Africa who is cast out after challenging her mother's dangerous new mate
Joe Lyon Layden is a prehistoric fiction author and primitive musician. To receive a free copy of this entire novella "The Man from Parkho Khatune Bears Favor," as well as three free songs and monthly updates, freebies, and discounts on Joe's ongoing work, please sign up for the newsletter below.