More Thoughts on Idea Theft and Originality

This blog post is from last year, but contains so many good points about originality. I’ve talked about the absurdity of ‘originality in sci-fi’ before – but clearly others have thoughts on this too. Honestly, unless it’s a direct act of plagiarism, Dan Brotzel says you need to relax:

Ideas make room for ideas. A new idea or approach or style that gains currency can open up interest in that area for others to exploit. Think of how Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett brought a new self-conscious, post-heroic comedy to sci-fi and fantasy, or how Ringworld influenced the space opera. Think of the impact on the canon in their different ways of Neuromancer, of Tolkien’s Ring trilogy, of Jules Verne. ‘We are all, in one way, children of Jules Verne,’ said Ray Bradbury. ‘His name never stops. At aerospace or NASA gatherings, Verne is the verb that moves us to space.’ The greats open up spaces that let others in to explore further. That’s not copying; that’s inspiration.

Seriously, relax. To the best of your ability: Be original, be bold, be authentic. Be you.

What Makes You Think Your Idea’s Even Worth Stealing? – SFWA