Saturday, December 17, 2011

How to take a science fiction plot and make it into a fantasy bestseller

A young boy lives with his uncle on a quiet and remote farm (he has no knowledge about who his parents are). He finds something round and blue - that turns out to be alive. When he isn't at home one night, the farm gets burned down and his uncle killed. He meet with this one guy... what was his name again? Short and starting with B? Anyway, the old men was supposed to be a strange hermit, but it turns out he had been a member of a long-forgotten group of warriors. He has this blue word and teaches the young boy how to use it and how to do magic. Together the two of them leave the village, but are hunted by the evil empire (who are behind killing the young boy's uncle).
On their flight they get knowledge of a princess who is held captive by the empire (who by chance is the one who actually send the round blue thing to the old hermit in the first place). They also meet another young man. Young farm boy wants to rescue the princess, the other young man is somewhat reluctant. Anyway, the emprie catches up with them, the old man is wounded badly and sacrifices himself so the two young men can escape with the princess. Farm boy has the hots for her and wants to join the rebels, the other guy again is reluctant but accompanies him.
In the course of the later story it also turns out that the young farm boy is the son of the right hand of the evil emperor. And the other young man gets the hots for the woman who is leading the rebels.

Well then, tell me what the name of the story is... Star Wars, right? Or maybe Eragon?

I admit it's recently annoying me again how much praise Paolini gets.
He just fucking stole the whole thing from different sources.
Eragorn sounds similar? Yeah, not only that.

Dragonrides communicating telepathically with their dragons? Dragonriders of Pern
Young farm boy with a mark in his palm getting a blue sword and becoming a great magician? Belgariad
A language only known my magicians in which you can not lie, in which dragons speak and in which everything and everyone have a true name, knowledge of which will bring power over them? Earthsea
Roran is basically Perrin from Wheel of Time, the dwarves are really pretty much 100% like Tolkien's and the elves are not far off either, with Arya being pretty much a copy of Arwen (right down to the falling in love with a mortal human issue).

Why the hell does hardly anyone notice? Is Eragon the only fantasy book you ever read?
And this is not just similarity, in a way that many fantasy books are inspired by LOTR. This is in your face stolen stuff. There's whole paragraphs that are stolen from other books (e.g. Eddings).

After reading the second book, we (me and some girls from the New Murtagh Fanclub) guessed on how Murtagh would end. Since he was based on Han Solo and Anakin Skywalker we figured he'd "do a Dath Vader" and save Eragorn and destroy the evil emperor last minute. Then we weren't sure: either he'd die killing the emperor (like Anakin), or he'd end up with the rebel leader lady (like Han). I haven't read the last books yet, but according to wikipedia we were right.

Here's a blog post who gives some examples (incl. one for a stolen paragraph): Paolini and plagiarism
Another source and blog post:

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