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Old March 22 2013, 01:24 AM   #31
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Existing sci-fi stories adapted into Star Trek?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Metryq wrote: View Post
David Gerrold has denied any knowledge of Robert Heinlein's THE ROLLING STONES when he wrote "The Trouble With Tribbles," which makes the similarities an incredible coincidence.
Incredible? I wouldn't say that. It's actually commonplace for different people to come up with the same idea independently. Like I said before, it's the number one reason why pitches to TV shows get rejected.

Anyway, the ST legal department noted the similarity and gave Heinlein a heads-up. His response, according to Gerrold's making-of book "The Trouble With Tribbles", was, "Let me add that I felt that the analogy to my flat cats was mild enough to be of no importance -- and we both owe something to Ellis Parker Butler . . . and possibly to Noah." Butler had written a story called "Pigs is Pigs" about a similar overpopulation problem with guinea pigs. Heinlein believed it may have been an inspiration for "The Rolling Stones," but if he'd read it, it had been so long before that he couldn't remember.

Which just illustrates why it isn't at all incredible if two writers independently come up with the same idea. Every story is built on prior influences, and any two people in the same society and within a generation or so of each other will be influenced, consciously or otherwise, by a lot of the same things, whether it's famous movies or books or news events or just pervasive memes.
That's true enough, but I would add something. By David Gerrold's own account, he read every sci-fi novel he could get his hands on as a teenager, checking out the weekly limit on his library card.

I think he read THE ROLLING STONES, forgot it, and then his subconscious regurgitated it when it was time to think up a story. Same deal with Gene Coon writing "Arena" without realizing that he had read the Brown story.
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Old March 22 2013, 04:13 AM   #32
RAMA
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Re: Existing sci-fi stories adapted into Star Trek?

Christopher wrote: View Post
^Actually Forgiveness wasn't the first tale about the origin of the transporter. Marvel Comics did an issue on that subject in 1980 (a story which was actually a bit similar to ENT's "Daedalus," in that it involved "ghosts" that were incorporeal victims of early, failed transporter experiments). Also preceding Forgiveness by a couple of years was "Dead Man's Hand" in the Pocket anthology The Lives of Dax, which had Tobin Dax and Sarek's father Skon perfecting human transportation during the Romulan War -- which ENT has since contradicted, of course.
Ack, I shouldn't have said "first" origin tale, just "an origin tale", though I didn't know of the two others. I should have just assumed it.

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Old March 22 2013, 04:40 AM   #33
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Re: Existing sci-fi stories adapted into Star Trek?

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
That's true enough, but I would add something. By David Gerrold's own account, he read every sci-fi novel he could get his hands on as a teenager, checking out the weekly limit on his library card.

I think he read THE ROLLING STONES, forgot it, and then his subconscious regurgitated it when it was time to think up a story. Same deal with Gene Coon writing "Arena" without realizing that he had read the Brown story.
Everything we create is influenced by our past experience to some degree. That's just how it works -- fiction is a conversation between past and present writers, as the tellers of new stories react to, reinterpret, homage, or deconstruct ideas that they've read in other author's works. There is simply no such thing as a work of fiction that isn't influenced by earlier works of fiction. It's just a question of whether the influence of a single specific work is so dominant that you're essentially telling a version of the same story. Heinlein himself didn't think that "Tribbles" bore enough common elements to his work to count as an imitation or adaptation, and who'd know better than he?
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Old March 22 2013, 07:32 PM   #34
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Re: Existing sci-fi stories adapted into Star Trek?

Happens in music all the time usually ending in law suites. 'Whispers' also bore an uncanny resemblance to a twilight episode too. I don't think all derivative rights should include homages though. Just because someone forgot that they stole it doesn't excuse them nor does them reexpressing in some other way using the same idea slightly differently to accomadate their own story. That to me is just stealing, especially if the reexpression is not as good as the original. Of course the same story can be reexpressed in different ways and using different aspects of the concept but there is such a thing as intellectual property to stories though they say you can't steal stories, only their specific expression and of course no two writers are gonna approach the material the exact same way and of course proper names are up for grabs and can't be protected. The story of a terrorist using future technology was and has been a story I've had for a long time. Suing JJ would be like complaining to a black guy of racism and being white.
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