RogerBW's Blog

Anonymous Rex, Eric Garcia 06 December 2018

1999 science fiction noir. Vincent Rubio is a private investigator in Los Angeles: down on his luck, partner dead in an "accident", car repossessed, and a growing substance habit. But down these mean streets a man must walk who is not himself a man… Vincent is a velociraptor.

Because dinosaurs have lived among humans for millions of years – always in "guise", costumes so effective that no human has ever discovered the masquerade. (At least not where they can't be quickly killed.) Why they did this rather than just taking over, nobody knows. There's an obvious influence from Jurassic Park, but I feel there's also one from Vampire: the Masquerade: if vampires can live among humans and conceal their existence, hell, why not dinosaurs? The details don't make a lot of sense, but they're the impossibility one has to swallow to get on with the story.

I consider asking my newfound nursing friend—her name is Rita, and she's an Allosaur, va-voom!—for Burke's visitor records. I know she'd do it for me, despite its questionable legality, but I don't want to get her into trouble. At least not yet, not without me, and certainly not sober.

It's an effective noir story, complete with corruption and femme fatale (and Garcia has clearly put a fair bit of thought into matters of dinosaur sex), though it also has surprisingly serious moments and themes even beyond the sort of thing one expects in noir.

Should it go further? Perhaps. Noir is, after all, a thing that's been done a lot, and while it's handled competently there's very little of the unexpected here. That's saved for the dinosaur side, where there's just enough time spent on establishing the rules that when they're broken it's genuinely disconcerting.

The basic concept of the film, as far as I can remember, involved a human scientist using fossilized DNA—ha!—to create a whole mess of dinosaurs and keep us captive on an island somewhere in the South Pacific, ostensibly to create an amusement park, only we manage to get loose and kill all the humans in sight without forethought as to why or what they would taste like.

The majority of the book could be summed up as "a noir in the modern world, but many of the characters are dinosaurs". If both parts of that idea appeal to you, you're likely to enjoy it.

Recommended by Clare Chippindale. Followed by Casual Rex.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog.

Add A Comment

Your Name
Your Email
Your Comment

Your submission will be ignored if any field is left blank, but your email address will not be displayed. Comments will be processed through markdown.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio tech base commerce battletech beer boardgaming bookmonth chain of command children chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 existential risk falklands war fandom fantasy film firefly first world war flash point food garmin drive gazebo geodata gin gurps gurps 101 harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life kickstarter learn to play leaving earth linux mecha museum mystery naval non-fiction one for the brow opera perl photography podcast politics powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha quantum rail ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1