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Awesome Dinosaurs Update:

  1. On Sunday I saw the 1926 Howard Hawks film Fig Leaves. I'll publish a full review in the roundup at the end of the month, but I couldn't wait to mention the dinosaurs! This movie (briefly) features two very cool-looking puppet dinosaurs. There's Adam's pet Apatosaurus, named Dobbin:

    Exactly as depicted in Genesis 2.

    More amazingly, there's also a budget-busting life-sized Triceratops that pulls a bus!

    Awesome! Not gonna spoil the review, but the first reel of this movie used all the good Flintstones jokes, thirty-four years before The Flintstones even premiered. Except for the unfortunate bus dinosaur saying "It's a living." in a morose voice. And I'm sure that's just because the joke would be really awkward if you had to do it with title cards.

    (Screen image simulated.)

  2. If you share my belief that dinosaurs are the most interesting part of any movie that includes dinosaurs, you'll love Kevin Maher's deleted scene from King Kong.
  3. A recent Ureddit course on narrative structure in short fiction used "Let Us Now Praise Awesome Dinosaurs" as one of its example stories. I thought this was a) a good choice, and b) pretty funny, because I deliberately wrote "Dinosaurs" to be opaque to traditional analyses of narrative structure.

    If you'll forgive me being serious about a very silly story, here's what I mean. Nearly every plot event in "Dinosaurs" is a red herring. It's actually a New Yorker type story, in which a series of insane infernokrusher interventions leads to Entippa's epiphany that humans are exploiting dinosaurs' tendency to get involved in insane infernokrusher interventions for their own entertainment. (Those humans including, in a bit of Hitchcock-type moralizing, you for reading the story and me for writing it.)

    I wrote the first scene to have something very close to a literal Chekhov's gun. It's Tark's gun, or at least his desire for a gun. Later on, Chekhov's gun goes off: Tark gets his gun! But as soon as the literal gun goes off, Tark discovers that literal guns are loud and painful, and he throws it away. The Chekhov's gun was fake. Sort of like the keys in my old text adventure Degeneracy, which don't unlock anything—you're supposed to melt them down for the metal.

    But! In the Reddit thread dissecting "Dinosaurs" and the other example stories, the person running the class proves my intellectual superior. It turns out there was also a real Chekhov's Gun in that first scene: Tark's "killing claws", which are in fact used to kill someone later in the story, just like they would in a regular story about dinosaurs killing humans.

    I didn't even notice that. I'd assumed the human-killing scene worked because everyone knows meat-eating dinosaurs have claws. I didn't even realize I'd made a big deal about the claws in the first scene. You win this round, literary analysis!

PS: Never forget.

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