Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What would the world have been like if Walt had lived longer?

Now there's an interesting question, don't you think? 

Perhaps your first inclination is to say that it would be pretty much what it is today, except with a better Walt Disney World in Florida.  And that might be the exact right answer. 

But we all know that Walt wasn't one to rest on his laurels.  He was always moving forward.  Any reason to think that wouldn't have continued?  His passion at the time of his death was his reimagined city concept which may or may not have been a success. 

I know I've written in this blog that what we got may in fact be preferable to what Walt wanted.  But I wrote that as a Disney fan.  I would never try to argue that what we got was "progress" in any sort of really important way.  Whether his ideas proved to be workable or to be a complete failure, the world would have gained something - knowledge about what might or might not work. 

Would having that knowledge have improved the world?  Well, it certainly would not have hurt the world.  Think of the mess our cities are today.  Not technologically, but socially.  I live near Chicago where we can't seem to stop the kids in gangs from killing each other and often (far, far too often) catching innocent bystanders in the crossfire. 

I'm not sure that Walt's social experiment with urban planning would have helped these people.  But who knows?

But more to the point, Walt was, in my opinion, his generation's Steve Jobs.  Yes, he focused on entertainment most of the time, but in a way, so did Steve Jobs and Apple.   What has Apple really changed?  They've changed the way we consume our entertainment, with our tablets and our iPods and iTouches and our smartphones.  Cool toys, all of them.  I'm pretty sure they all have applications beyond entertainment.  (For example, you can download my DOING DISNEY ebook and read it on the Kindle app on an iPad...shameless self-promotion...and not really to the point since reading is entertainment.)

What if Walt had taken the next step in his audio-animatronics and created actual AI robotics?  What shape might such things have taken?  What if Walt had put his mind to space?  His contributions to our space program were mostly PR-related, but would it not have been cool if he would have had any sort of input, through the megaphone of the Disney media giant, into the direction our space explorations might have taken?  Can you imagine Walt's excitement if he had actually lived to see Neil Armstrong step onto the moon?  Disney might have more than a few satellites in orbit (I'm assuming that, as a media company, they have at least a couple of those things flying above our heads)...they might have actually had a presence in space, if Walt could have envisioned it - and I'm pretty sure that if anyone could have, Walt could have.

I'd love to assume I have someone reading this, and if that is the case, I'd then love to hear what changes, if any, Walt might have involved himself in beyond the urban planning exercise he was devoted to in Florida.  The comments are available if you have anything to add to what is, to me, a fascinating thought experiment.

(As an aside, read   HABST AND THE DISNEY SABOTEURS if you want to take a look at Leonard Kinsey's thought about what might have been if Walt's mind had been allowed to continue working on problems in the world...)

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If you want to read a book about one family's strategies when vacationing for a week at Disney World, feel free to check out my title , Doing Disney: How To Spend A Week At Disney's Florida Resort   It's available on Amazon for $2.99.  I tried to write it for families who get to spend a week in the World every year or two and want to maximize their time in the parks and in the area.  It doesn't try to be comprehensive, but I think you might find a few helpful tidbits within its electronic pages...

Thanks!

***** 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Film Review: DESPICABLE ME 2

We finally got around to watching this Dreamworks film a couple nights ago.  It was a fun film.  I wasn't terribly impressed with the animation, but as seems to be the case with Dreamworks films, it had plenty of funny jokes, some of which went over my kids' heads but were all the funnier to me because of it.  Can I cite a specific example?  No, I can't.  I just remember a few laugh-out-loud moments where my kids asked what I found funny. 

I thought the story was a little thin.  It had its moments, but in general there wasn't much there.  Gru is now a "dad" and has to think about his girls.  So his evil scientist goes to work for someone else, and Gru finds himself recruited by an organization dedicated to stopping supercriminals (like Gru was) from destroying the world.  There's a plot afoot, and it centers on the mall where Gru has a bakery called "Bake My Day".  Gru is asked to look for the formula in the mall, and to find out who is the bad guy. 

Of course, things don't go well.  If I spill more of the plot, it will spoil it, I think.  So I'll stop there, and say that while it wrapped up neatly and there were times that it was exciting, overall, I didn't like it as much as the first DESPICABLE ME movie. 

My review:  Not bad, maybe worth seeing, but far from Dreamworks' best effort...

*****

If you want to read a book about one family's strategies when vacationing for a week at Disney World, feel free to check out my title , Doing Disney: How To Spend A Week At Disney's Florida Resort   It's available on Amazon for $2.99.  I tried to write it for families who get to spend a week in the World every year or two and want to maximize their time in the parks and in the area.  It doesn't try to be comprehensive, but I think you might find a few helpful tidbits within its electronic pages...

Thanks!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New short fiction from Scott Dyson!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LZ0ZNWY

Since I have nothing to say with respect to the actual topic that this blog is supposed to be dedicated to (ie, Disney), instead I will use this space to announce that I have released a 36,400 word collection of short fiction titled DIE 6 on the Amazon Kindle Store for $2.99.  Here are the titles:
  • An Artificial Yearning
  • Blood Ties
  • The Fun House
  • The Tooth Fairy
  • Time Heals All Wounds
  • The Ghost Train
Two science fiction tales, three horror/ghost stories, and one that I suppose is mostly fantasy (The Tooth Fairy).

You can buy it here at the Kindle Store!  Please!  Feel free to check it out, download a sample, see if it's the kind of thing you might enjoy reading!

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Thank you very much!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

QUANTUM ZOO is published!





QUANTUM ZOO is available for purchase on the Amazon Kindle store for $0.99.  In it you will find 12 SF/Fantasy short stories, all derived from the writing prompt "Zoo."  My story, "Playing Man," is right smack dab in the middle of everything, and the stories run the gamut from relatively hard SF to historical fantasy with some alien/human sex tossed in for good measure.  One of the stories deals with a "zoo" for ghosts; another with a "zoo" for serial killers. 

Pretty cool stuff. 

Here's the link to find it:  QUANTUM ZOO for Amazon Kindle

Please tale a look at it.  It won't be $0.99 forever, though, so now's the time to buy...

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If SF/Fantasy isn't your thing (this IS supposedly a Disney blog, after all), feel free to check out my title , Doing Disney: How To Spend A Week At Disney's Florida Resort   It's available on Amazon for $2.99.

Thanks!

*****

Thursday, June 5, 2014

QUANTUM ZOO release date and website!



The anthology QUANTUM ZOO, which will contain my short story "Playing Man" among eleven other excellent offerings, will be released on June 17th, 2014!

The website can be found here:  QUANTUM ZOO

The website has information on the authors and short excerpts of each story!  Please check it out!

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In the meantime, feel free to check out my title , Doing Disney: How To Spend A Week At Disney's Florida Resort   It's available on Amazon for $2.99.

Thanks!

***** 


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Cover Art for QUANTUM ZOO!

Here is the cover of the short story anthology QUANTUM ZOO, which will be released in early June.  It will contain my story "Playing Man" along with eleven other tales.


Watch for release information!

*****

In the meantime, feel free to check out my title , Doing Disney: How To Spend A Week At Disney's Florida Resort   It's available on Amazon for $2.99.

Thanks!

*****

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

QUANTUM ZOO!

I just wanted to post a quick note (off-topic as usual) that my short story, "Playing Man", was accepted for publication in an anthology titled QUANTUM ZOO. 

Other authors in the collection include J.M. Ney-Grimm, D.J. Gelnar, Bridget McKenna, A.C. Smyth, R.S. McCoy and John Hindmarsh, to name just some of them. 

The stories were to start with the writing prompt, "Zoo".  I had a story that I had started probably 18-20 years ago, but had written probably just a bit over a page.  Then I lost direction on it.  I'd looked at it a time or two over the years, and when I read about this call for submissions, I immediately thought of that story. 

So I went and finished it, and ran it by first reader Steven M. Moore, an accomplished SF/thriller writer himself.  Then I submitted it, and it made the cut! 

There IS a cover, and there IS a tentative release date.  I'll post the cover soon here, and when the release date is firmed up, I will post it as well.  Tentatively it's scheduled for early June as an e-book and soon after for trade paperback.  I'm thrilled to be part of the book!

*****

In the meantime, feel free to check out my title , Doing Disney: How To Spend A Week At Disney's Florida Resort   It's available on Amazon for $2.99.

Thanks!

*****