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The Dinosaur Train: 08/06/08
"The Dinosaur Train" by James L. Cambrias in the July 2008 issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction reminds me of "Bread and Circus" by Steven Popkes (FSF February 2008). Here, though, the saguaros aren't playing football; they are performing in a traveling circus in 1980. They are struggling to hold on to the hey day of the traveling act by including a laser light show and disco music. Unfortunately, Brenda, the star of the show, is off her feed and no one knows why.
Cambrias describes 1980 better than many nostalgic stories do. He sets the scene with generic brand cola, disco and Ronald Regan. There's also that lingering feeling that the golden age of American culture was over.
Then there is Brenda the brachiosaurus Imagine if Winsor McCay's Gertie had been real and had gotten that chance to tour the United States and sixty years later, he and she were still touring.