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.