More Dinotopia, this time First Flight. I'm coming to terms with the series' lack of continuity, but seriously. Why would the T-Rexes guard Ogthar's treasure after the way he's been treating them in this book? And Hohepa, the Saurian Knight trainer from the Blake Terrapin story, is described as being ethnically Maori despite the book being set thousands of years before that'd have been a distinct culture.
As I said before, it's not bad per se but it is distracting.
I've begun reading the second Dinotopia book. It comes with a few more questions - Crabbe has apparently become a salvager and no longer works Volcaneum, for example, and submarines are evidently more common than the first book had seemed to indicate. Did Arthur make the one he escaped with, find and repair it, or what?
Dinotopia is large, but between the extended longevity of folks on the island and all the kids shown, I wonder about the birth rate. Not to mention all the megafauna!
I'm also not as big a fan of how the story is delivered. The first book was done as a journal, but this is just light prose. It comes of more stilted as a result I think, and abandons the conceit that Gurney found the journals.
I suspect I'll find out more specifically as the story proceeds, but there's a picture of a "beacon sunstone". These look like the signal quartz from the first book. Why then were folks so surprised to find a sunstone? Maybe power sunstones are unknown now, but surely the beacon sort aren't.
I came across a copy of Dinotopia in a resale shop, so I decided to buy it and do some rereading. I loved that book as a kid, to the point that the copy I had - buried in a box at my grandmother's - has separated from its spine.
The story in the book is secondary to the beautiful art, but there are a few things about it that keep popping my suspension of disbelief. Little tiny things too - Bix can speak Hittite, but the writing system is an unmodified modern Latin script? Only one person at the Hatchery could barely speak an archaic dialect of English, but the text throughout the book is modern English in the form of dinosaur foot-script? I suppose the text shown in pictures might just coincidentally feature loanwords from English, but the Code of Dinotopia is too complex for that to carry.
I wonder what the accent of a dinosaur like Bix would be like. She's beaked, so certainly labial sounds must be difficult. Unless we're to believe dinosaurs of that sort might have parrot-like throats. That sounds plausible at least. (I later looked at a Dinotopia wiki and this does seem to be the canonical explanation; Arthur referred to her as a "hog-parrot" several times so that's not too surprising.)
The dinosaurs have modern binomial names, despite the fact that the modern system would have been invented only about a hundred years prior to the setting of the books, with literal thousands of years for the dinotopian culture to have developed their own? The Denisons calling them modern names would have made some sense, for Dinosaurs known in the 1860s at least, but Quetzalcoatlus would still be an anachronism by a good 100 years! Plus the bit about Quetzalcoatlus not understanding human or saurian languages because they're technically not dinosaurs is weird. Being unable to speak them, sure, I'd buy that, but not even learn them?
I also wonder about Dolphins - the setting as-is indicates they're sophonts, but despite that they never contacted humans outside Dinotopia? Or what about the Trilobite monuments - those died out millions of years before dinosaurs. Dinotopia must have been isolated - but "permeable" - for much, much longer than I thought the books end up indicating.
Gurney isn't a linguist or a paleontologist, and as I said the books are mostly a vehicle for cool dinosaur art. The books are great! These are little bits of sand that get into the gears for me though. I end up thinking about this stuff in parallel to the story. It's fun as a little puzzle to try to justify, I guess, if mildly distracting.