Friday, June 03, 2005

Needless Anxieties, or, Sweating the Small Synchronicities

Christopher-not-Chris Rowe read a story at WisCon which had a character called Miss Charlie. I recently finished a story titled "Grandma Charlie and the Wolves." Am I in trouble with Christopher (or Gwenda)?

Alan Deniro's new weblog is called Goblin Mercantile Exchange. My newly-agented novel is titled Goblin Market. Will I have to pay Alan royalties?

David Moles's recent story "Planet of the Amazon Women" postulates a world on which all the menfolk (and men-cows, men-squirrels, and all them other technical words I can't be bothered to look up) have died out. I'm developing a story in which a genetic plague has wiped out male humans. If I write it, will I become David's intellectual property?

These are the things which keep me up at night. (OK, not really. But it's all a bit odd.)

20 Comments:

Blogger gwenda said...

Call her Grandma Krusher and we'll call it even.

(I will email you about similar anxieties I have experienced.)

Oh, and: hands off Roanoke Island. It's mine, bitch.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

David isn't the first to come up with the concept of a disaster that wipes out all males, but you might enjoy one of the more recent stories in that vein, _Y: The Last Man_ by Brian Vaughan.

http://www.dccomics.com/features/Ylastman/

Dibs on Emperor Norton, at least for the next year or two.

5:29 PM  
Blogger gwenda said...

But I already placed a script in the Nicholl and Austin about Norton!

(But I'm really not doing anything with it at the moment. Nor do I plan to.)

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that all of those ideas have been done. At least thrice. And they've won Nebulas, too. ::continues at length while audience rolls eyes::

- H

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

I can't be too bothered over whether anyone else has ever used the elements of my story before. ("Oh my god, there's a story with a dragon in it, dragons have been DONE now, and nobody else may ever put them into a story again!")

But I worry about the small synchronicities too: what if someone I know writes a book with those elements in it and it comes out just before mine does? Will they think I'm cribbing from them? Will readers see my book as copying the other one?

It always happens; ideas are in the air, certain elements become more interesting or relevant within a shared zeitgeist, or something. There are always bunches of books about the same subject that come out right around the same time, no foul involved, just currents of interest that make the authors independently come up with their ideas.

Gwenda, I'm claiming Norton for both you and me! We're on record with each other as writing about him before either of us knew the other one was, so we're cool with that, right?

8:42 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Emperor Norton gets namechecked in the story I co-wrote for Dogtown #2, but otherwise he's all yours, Karen. And Gwenda, after your reading I'm not touching Roanoke.

Certain ideas do seem to become more concrete at certain moments. It's an odd phenomenon. The only historical bit I'm wanting for myself right now is Stephen Bishop, and if y'all don't know who he is so much the better.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

Clearly we need that short dude in the fedora from Wiscon to adjudicate all of this. Not. Another funny coincidence I've noted was the proposed infernokrusher anthology BURN WARD; the introductory essay that Kessel, Van Name, and I wrote for the SycHill anthology INTERSECTIONS was titled "Fun in the Burn Ward." Which I must say sounds infernokrusher as heck to me. (Actually we wanted to title the anthology FUN IN THE BURN WARD, but Tor nixed that.)

4:13 PM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

I had a cow named Norton once...

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Aw hell, let's face it, Norton crops up all over. I live in fear of some clever editor turning out a book of themed stories just so he can call it "The Norton Anthology".

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Wait, Chris, you had a cow?

8:07 PM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

I've had several cows. I grew up on a farm and was in 4-H.

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

I knew that, but I'd forgotten. People who grew up on farms have these whole worlds in them that are outside my experience; I wish more of you would talk and write about it. It's so interesting, and it's a way of life that's around less and less these days.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

I'll send a cow story to SH next time around. hehehe

You think I'm joking?

4:29 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

I hope you're serious! We are woefully understocked on farm fiction.

Write what you know, babe.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

You can't do that, Chris! I'm just putting the finishing touches on my new IK cow story, "Gurnseys in the Burn Ward."

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

- Knock knock!
- Who's there?
- Interrupting Exploding Cow.
- Interrupting Ex--
- Mooo-BOOM!

12:54 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

That joke works on so many levels.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Dave you're just kidding about Stephen Bishop, right? Did you read A SCATTERING OF JADES? Whether you did or didn't, you definitely should read Davis McComb's Yale Younger winner, ULTIMA THULE.

I showed 4-H cattle, too.

7:51 PM  
Blogger gwenda said...

Ditto Christopher on Ultima Thule. Fucking brilliant poemz, dude, and Davis McCombs seems like an all right guy too.

(Did I just use the word poemZ? Must stop waking up at 5:40 a.m.)

I think our Nortons should fight each other in a cage match, Karen. Winner to kill all imposter Nortons. And fedora guy.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Uh-oh. I wasn't kidding about Bishop, actually. I've had an idea based on him (in part) for at least a decade, but I wanted to make another trip to Mammoth Cave before I really start it. But I wasn't aware that Irvine had done him already.

From the synopsis on Amazon it looks like it's a significantly different approach from mine, but I may have to reassess . . .

10:45 PM  

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