Remember the Allosaur
by Jo Walton


No. No way. Just put it out of your mind. Cedric, I know, all right.


You don't have to tell me. I've been here all along. Yes, you were born in Hollywood. Well, all right, cloned, what's the difference? I was right there when you were hatched. You've got greasepaint in your blood, kiddo.


It wasn't my fault. I didn't know you were intelligent. Nobody knew allosaurs were intelligent. They all thought they had the ultimate monster for monster movies. If you hadn't started talking there would be a lot more dinos in Hollywood today, but the Ethics people came and bit them all on the metaphorical tail.


You're a star, yes. I understand. But this is just impossible. Wasn't I there when you wanted to get out of the monster genre? Didn't I believe in you when they said you were washed up after all the monster movies?


Didn't I give you your start at real acting? Didn't I give you dialogue?


Dialogue, Cedric, don't lash your tail at me, you didn't have any dialogue before I started directing. Didn't I start you off in comedy? Remember that rubber fin in Stegosaur? "Cedric the Allosaur stars in  Stegosaur." You were such a hit, you wowed them, remember? What a movie. What a series of movies! Kids loved them, seniors loved them, and Hollywood Times voted Pterosaur the date movie of the year. We could make Pterosaur 2 tomorrow.


Yes, maybe, but I'm not sure about this. I know you're an actor not a special effect, dammit. I know it's supposed to be every actor's dream. I don't know how to put this. It's classic drama, Cedric.


No, I don't mean that you can't play a human. Honestly, didn't you play a human in  Humans? And  Humans 2? And you were wonderful, honestly, Ced, you know I'm not just saying that, I think Humans 2 was a triumph. You deserved that Oscar. Didn't I say at the time, didn't I say that Portman stole that Oscar from you?


And you did it again in Othello. I admit I was wrong about Othello.


You wanted to do it, and I dragged my feet. I made you play Caliban first, to get the feel for Shakespeare. You were an awesome Caliban. And you made Othello work, you really got that sense of alienation in, that sense that you were different and having trouble with knowing if people loved you for yourself because of that. Moor, allosaur, same difference really. Even the New York Times loved you.


Cedric, have you read the script? I know it's supposed to be every actor's dream. ButCedric'what a piece of work is man'. How could you say that without the audience cracking up? When it comes down to it, you're not a man. You're not. 'What a piece of work is man.' I don't care what Sarah Bernhardt did, no woman and no allosaur either is going to say that in any Hamlet of mine.



About the Author:

Jo Walton is the author of six science fiction and fantasy novels, with a seventh, Half a Crown due out from Tor in September. She has published poems in earlier editions of Lone Star Stories, and in Asimov's, Goblin Fruit and various anthologies. A collection of her poetry will be published by NESFA Press in February 2009. She lives in Montreal.



Story 2008 Jo Walton.