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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
“Why should a man of my intelligence do lab tests for colleagues who were obviously inferior? How absurd! But university politics and lack of independent funding to pursue my project dictated this reality. Nonetheless, I figured out a way around that.”
Giant Dreams and Dragons by James Womack is a simple short story that would delight fans of sci-fi fantasy. Professor Buford Doss, or ‘Dr. Nobody’ to his estranged colleagues, never gets the recognition that he feels he truly deserves. However, Doss has a grand plan to fix that. He takes a six-week break from the faculty and heads off to a secluded cabin in Kings Canyon National Forest. There, he works on his dinosaur bio-engineering project that may or may not be his undoing.
Womack’s story is definitely reminiscent of the Jurassic Park movies. The narrative is written like a journal of the lead character, Doss. As in the movies, there’s an issue of ethics here, whether people should play God with nature using advanced technologies. The premise and plot are definitely thought provoking. Doss’s ambition is undoubtedly admirable as a scientist, but his ambition is a dangerous obsession, where Doss preposterously disregards the consequences. In other words, Doss is quite the mad scientist. The ending provides a great lesson, as the character Doss himself stated, “Miracles aren’t necessarily blessings.” I feel sorry for Jerry Penn, the ranger who’s unwillingly got himself involved in Doss’s project. All in all, Giant Dreams and Dragons is a fast-paced and enjoyable short read.