Let’s just get this over with now, shall we? In six days of NaNoWriMo, I think it’s safe to say I haven’t written a single line, character or setting what doesn’t feel like I ganked it from someone. When my novel finally publishes, I won’t really have an acknowledgement at the end of the book; it’ll be more of a confessional.
To that end, the beginnings of a partial list, as well as what the natures of my various sins have been.
Cory Doctorow – science fiction set in the near future; incorporation of ubiquitous technology; Protagonist/heroes of unconventional or otherwise schlublike looks.
David Foster Wallace – endlessly recursive parentheticals; the thought for about three minutes that I might need to include footnotes.
James Joyce – I’ve started Ulysses three times. I had the gall to compare this thing I’m working on to it, even referring to it as “Ulysses of the Suburbs.” I’m sorry. From you, I stole characters who make obscure self-referential conversations with each other, as long as long, drawn-out internal monologues.
Warren Ellis – I swear I think that my main character’s occupation as a streamer – a person who gathers photo, video and audio of events and streams them to the rest of the world – is a direct ripoff of a character that Warren Ellis used in the beginnings of a story he published serially in the web back in the early aughts. Warren, if you read this and it turns out I’m right, please contact me and I’ll happily go fuck myself for stealing a character.
Alan Moore – Okay, so the antagonist’s name was V. There. I said it. But I did finally change it, which leads to my need to apologize to…
Neal Stephenson – Jack. I renamed V Jack. While my antagonist isn’t a time-shifter, nor has half of his penis been eaten away by syphilis, his knack at finding himself in implausibly picaresque situations is derivative at the least, and a copyright violation at worst.
Leo Lionni – Dude, you can’t expect to write a manifesto to individualism as Swimmy and not expect it to leave a mark.
Neil Gaiman – No magic, no devils, no Croup and Vandemar. But I have a sinking feeling that some sort of horror is going to find its way into my NaNo. You’ll be largely to blame for it.
Neil Peart – 2112, the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx. What was I to do? The underdog finding a long-lost thing, speaking truth to power, and being crush when power doesn’t listen thing? Magic.
I have no doubt that this list will continue to grow. But my Lord it feels good to get that off my chest.