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Re: (no subject)


    As far as I know, you can use any ideas you find here in your Science
Fiction story, as long as anytime a character specifically references an
idea, you give some sort of acknowledgement that the idea is based on a real
scientific fact  - if your character starts discussing things that we can't
know at this time (e.g. Hot-Blooded vs. Cold-Blooded, breeding behaviors,
colors, migratory habits, hunting techniques) - these are all speculations,
and you can use them as you please.

    If you want all your dinosaurs to have feathers, be prepared to tell
people that there are some theories about that - but your story can just
state that is true (if we actually see the dinosaurs alive).  If you've seen
Jurassic Park and the sequel, you can see what I mean - some things are
shown as if they are true - regardless of whether they really are.  Ideas of
paleontologists are barely mentioned in the movies (or the books), except to
say that idea A is right and idea B is wrong.  (They mention Bob Bakker in
the first movie - although the paleontologist is based on Jack Horner, Bob
Bakker, and a few more paleontologists - In the second movie - there is a
character who seems to be based directly on Bakker - only to have a nasty
run-in with a pachycephlosaur).  Theories are shown as either reality, or
not even mentioned.

    By the way - in short story Science Fiction - don't spend a lot of time
explaining equipment or theories - especially if all the characters involved
should already know about them.  (This is true for long Science Fiction as
well - Just imagine how real people today speak about known science facts,
or existing equipment - You don't hear people say:  "Why it's 7:46:05 PM,
according to my digital watch, which as you know, displays the time using
Liquid Crystal Diodes, keeping track of the time based on the electronic
vibration of quartz crystals (powered by a long-life lithium battery the
size of a pea) --- as we speed along our latest super-highway made from
asphalt and concrete, with electronic message boards, and the latest
turbo-charged, fuel injected graphite compostite bodied vehicles - capable
of exceeding 130 miles per hour, while consuming gasoline at the rate of 28
mile per gallon."   - Annoying, isn't it??).

    If you are going to refer to a specific theory by a specific worker
(i.e. scientist, paleontologist, expeditionary leader, theorist), then
mention their name and theory - it would be nice to send them an email (if
they're on the Dinosaur Mailing List) - telling them that you are doing so.

        Allan Edels

-----Original Message-----
From: MHALLECOOK@aol.com <MHALLECOOK@aol.com>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Sunday, April 18, 1999 11:49 AM
Subject: (no subject)

>My name is Joseph and I am a writer-in-training and have been given a
>writing project for my Honors English class.  I have to write an original
>Science Fiction short story and want to incorporate my love of dinos into
>story.  I lurk on the list to keep current with the latest info on them.
>question: how far may I go in using the ideas I read on the Dino-List
>I step over the line and begin taking others' ideas as my own?  I have been
>given no guidelines and this is my first attempt at writing something other
>than research papers and essays.
>Lately, I have concentrated on writing persuasive essays and used what I
>learned Friday, when on a field trip to Kansas City to immerse ourselves in
>French culture, I persuaded 2 bus loads of mostly girls plus my French
>teacher that we really needed to see the Russian Dinos.  And we did go!!!
>They were way cool!!!