Looking for sci fi book

I don’t actually want to read these books because I remember them as being really bad, but it’s driving me nuts that I can’t remember them.

In the late 80s, I had a roommate who was dumb as a stump. He didn’t actually read, but he had a collection of maybe 6-9 hardcover science fiction books. It was one big series. He’d never read them, but he proudly displayed them in our living room because he thought it looked cool to have a bunch of hardcover books. I also think he thought it made him look smart.

Because I was actually a reader, I picked them up and read a few of them. I remember them as being incredibly badly-written and the author liked to use exclamation points a lot. The gist of the story was that there was a race of aliens who had advanced via biological technology. So instead of building, say, a car, they bred an animal to be large, fast, and have a central cavity where the aliens could sit.

I also sort of remember that the aliens were all female, and the males were much tinier and kept in harem-like structures. Or maybe it was the reverse.

Anyway, I had this idea they were written by Harry Harrison, but that’s wrong, because I can’t find them in any bibliography of his work, and he’s a decent writer.

And I could be wrong about how bad they were. If I am, I apologize.

Any ideas?

Possibly West of Eden?

Definitely sounds like West of Eden.

That’s it! I was right, it was Harry Harrison. I didn’t recognized them because it talks about “intelligent dinosaurs” and I recalled them as being aliens, not dinosaurs.

Are they as badly written as I remember?

I agree that the description sounds like Harry Harrison’s West of Eden and its sequels. Harrison just died, and was one of the great Sf writers, so it’s a little weird to see you calling the books “poorly written” and “full of exclamation points”, which doesn’t agree with my recollections of the Eden books at all. And accords with your saying that that doesn’t fit with Harrison.

But I can’t think of any other series with intelligent female dinosaurs having a biological-based civilization, with males in harems.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_of_Eden

I saw a few dramatic weaknesses in West of Eden, but I wouldn’t call it badly-written.

I’m wondering if my memory is off and maybe I read the West of Eden books as the same time period, because I agree with you all, Harry Harrison may not be Tolstoy, but he was far from the hack I’m remembering.

Also, West of Eden was a trilogy, and I’m definitely remembering at least 6 books, maybe more.

Hmmmm…

Maybe you read the lower-quality Asylum version, “Eden’s West”.

The West of Eden I read, paperback by a British publisher , had woodcut style chapter illustrations of scenes .from the book. Do you recall any?

But, how many West of Eden books were there? 3? Didn’t you say your friend had a series of 6-9?