It Go Up and Down and Round And Round…

by J.D. Rhoades


As some of you may have noticed, I am NOT Robert Gregory Browne. This is Rob’s usual week, but he is, as they say,  glutes-high in Alligator mississippiensis. Everyone else in the world seems to be at Thrillerfest. (Heavy sigh). So when Rob  sent out a cry for help, I agreed to take his week, because…well, because  I’m a hell of a guy. It was short notice, so if things seem a bit random and disjointed…well, it’s not like anyone can tell the difference from the way I usually post.


Anyway, here’s what’s on my mind recently:

Lately I keep seeing ads for a new Harry Potter-themed amusement park at Universal Studios in Orlando. “You can truly be part of Harry Potter’s World!” the ad promises breathlessly. I  don’t know about you, but my first reaction was “I’m not sure I actually want to be part of a  world where an immensely powerful magic user who looks like James Carville’s handsomer brother and who has a serious grudge against my family  spends most of his days trying to figure out how to kill me.” But it did get me thinking, which is always a dangerous proposition.

Now, J.K. Rowling seems like a nice lady, and hers is one of the great inspirational stories for writers: deprivation, determination,  rejection, perseverance, and finally riches beyond most people’s dreams of avarice (not beyond mine, but then I feed my dreams of avarice red meat, Wheaties,  and steroids).I’m glad to see her continuing to do well.

But, I  wondered, how is it fair that her characters get a theme park and others don’t? I mean, there are plenty of other writers who create vivid and intensely realized worlds. Why don’t we have them parks for them?

Imagine what forms some of these theme parks might take:

IAN RANKIN’S REBUSWORLD: Enter the world of Edinburgh’s most successful and  most surly detective! Have a drink in the famous Oxford Bar. Make the climb up the full-sized replica of Arthur’s Seat. Have another drink in the famous Oxford bar. Take a refreshing dip on the Firth of Forth waterslide before having another drink, maybe several, in the famous Oxford Bar. Management not responsible for liver damage.


MICHAEL CONNOLLY’S BOSCHLAND: Ride a replica of the Angel’s Flight inclined railway to get to this LA-themed attraction. Explore the scary storm drains of LA in the Black Echo Fun House. Ride the wet and wild Narrows log flume ride. Hope you like jazz, though, ‘cause that stuff’s playing ALL OVER THE FRIGGIN’ PARK.

LEE CHILD’S REACHER-RAMA: there are a lot of great, thrilling and  scary rides, but no matter how much cash or you take in or how many souvenirs you buy, you always walk out of the place with nothing on you but the clothes on your back and your toothbrush.

For you fantasy fans, there’s GEORGE R.R. MARTIN’S ICE N’ FIRE ISLAND: it’s going to be the most awesome thing ever if they can just  get the damn thing finished.


    Hmmm…okay. Maybe not such great ideas after all. But maybe some of you can pick your favorite fictional world (even your own)  and make it into a theme park. Give it a try, won’t you?


   Rob will be back in this spot next week.

22 thoughts on “It Go Up and Down and Round And Round…

  1. PK the Bookeemonster

    LOVE the Martin theme park. Spot on. I gave up on him.
    You forgot Twilight World in the battle against dark and … dark… and to be lusted after by both. It’s just so romantic. Of course, females would probably like this one better.

    Sex In the City Playland. Adults only. If you gotta ask, you can’t afford it.

  2. Spencer Seidel

    How about Stephen King’s Cujo Land? "You and your family will enjoy an afternoon sitting in a hot, smelly Pinto under a blazing sun, just feet away from a rabid St. Bernard with crazy murder in his eyes!"

    Or SK’s Christine Park? "We hope you like to run, because Christine loves to mow down anyone who isn’t her beloved Arnie (that means you, kids!), and we’ve got a whole park full of pissed off cars just waiting to entertain your family!"

    Okay, never mind. Back to work.

  3. Alafair Burke

    Hilarious. Kinsey Millhoneland, where you have to eat a lot of McDonalds, still fit in your jeans, and find your way out – no computers, no cell phones, just a set of notecards.

  4. Stephen Jay Schwartz

    I’ll go the other direction. How about Dante’s Infernoland?
    Abandon all hope, ye who enter here….

  5. pari noskin taichert

    Kinsey Milhoneland would be next to my character’s– Sashaland: all the food and drinks you want . . . whipped cream and chocolate everywhere — and you STILL fit (or almost) into your jeans.

  6. Gayle Carline

    Perhaps a Lord of the Rings park would be fun – you could leave the kids under the watchful eye of Sauron while you dig for jewels in the mines of Moria.

    I actually concocted a fantasy park with my BFF – it’s called Raging Hormones, a theme park for women.

  7. JD Rhoades

    Perhaps a Lord of the Rings park would be fun – you could leave the kids under the watchful eye of Sauron while you dig for jewels in the mines of Moria.

    And you’d walk and walk and walk until someone grumbles "Why didn’t we just take the Eagle sky ride?"

    And the exits are constructed so that just as you thought you were out of the park you’d discover you had farther to go….

  8. Alexandra Sokoloff

    Fantastic post, Dusty. Actually Boschland is a lot like real life LA. I’m looking forward to HarryPotterland, but I also love Gayle’s idea of a LOTR ride. That really would work.

  9. Zoë Sharp

    Hey Dusty

    How about Bobbie-Fayetteville, after Toni’s amazing but disaster-prone heroine, where everything that can go wrong, just about does…usually with plenty of loud explosions…but none of it’s Bobbie Faye’s fault!

    Or Jack Kellerland, where just when you think it’s going to be a walk in the park, something violent happens?

    Or WeaveWorld, where park patrons unravel a bit of carpet and fall through into an alternate Clive Barker reality.

    Or Matrix World. Oh, hang on, I think we’re there already…

  10. Jake Nantz

    I guarantee my wife and I would love JIMBUTCHERLAND – Buy the t-shirt of your particular favorite fury as you follow Tavi’s adventures through CodexAleraVillage, travel throughout the park (very… slowly…) on the back of Doroga’s bull gargant, then ride the Bianca-the-gorgeous-madam-hiding-a-flabby-black-vampire-thing roller coaster in DresdenWorld…just keep your girl close, Bob the horny skull is always floating around.

  11. Martha

    Jasper Fforde’s Somme World! Have you read his book The Fourth Bear? So funny and nicely twisted.

  12. pizza

    Kinsey Milhoneland would be next to my character’s– Sashaland,Fantastic!
    thanks ,pizza,Good job.What I most enjoy is mini cooper,thanks,My wedding
    What next?Or Matrix World. Oh, hang on, I think we’re there already…

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