Friday, July 3, 2015

Life Finds a Way: Jurassic Park's Obsession With Bad Parents (Spoilers for the series)

Jurassic Park is a series about absent parents. The dinosaurs are mostly clones - they were created from mishmashes of frogs and mosquito guts. They're built as living entertainment products, and raised to obey in cages. Subconsciously you know all this, and it's part of why you root for them to eat people so many times. But they aren't the only parentless children in this universe.

Consider Jurassic World's most obligatory characters: the kids. Zach and Gray Mitchell are tourists, put upon to survive, with minimal contribution to problem solving. They are a checklist of child tropes, and one obvious check item is their parents' divorce. The Mitchells sent them to the park to have one last positive memory before their impending split. Zach and Gray know it's coming, and it brings the younger to tears. The people that gave them life and are supposed to raise them won't stick it out. The older brother reflects that at least he'll be out to college in a couple years. These kids don't even expect to rely on their parents.

It's no accident that the dino-obsessed kid is named "Gray," while the lead raptor is "Blue." They're the lead colors of the logo, most of the promotional posters, and the color filters over the film. They are the opposite sides of Jurassic World's obsession with children of questionable parents.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Bibliography for 4th Street Fantasy 2015

Below is a bibliography of works discussed across the eleven panels at 4th Street Fantasy this year. It was taken mostly from the whiteboard postings, many of which were written by Tom Whitmore. If anyone has names of other whiteboard scribes, I'd like to include them.

Panel 8, on Playing The Cards You Weren't Dealt, was so author focused that I don't think we have a list for it, but if someone has one, I'd be happy to include it.

I've added author attribution to unattributed books where I could. In some cases only authors were named rather than works. These have been kept just as author names.

Panel 1: Does the Arc of Fantasy Bend Toward Justice
Colin Cotterill
Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover
Blade of Tyshalle by Matthew Stover
A Thousand Perfect Things by Kay Kenyon
The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
Jo Walton's The Just City
Robert Jackson Bennett's City of Stairs
K.J. Parker
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