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Re: [mythsoc] Re: Copyright Loremasters?

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  • dale nelson
    Did someone write a sequel to Wells s War of the Worlds? Was that any good? ________________________________ From: John Rateliff To:
    Message 1 of 49 , May 6, 2011
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      Did someone write a sequel to Wells's War of the Worlds?  Was that any good?

      From: John Rateliff <sacnoth@...>
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Fri, May 6, 2011 6:46:58 PM
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: Copyright Loremasters?


      On May 6, 2011, at 7:05 AM, dale nelson wrote:
      I haven't read any of these: but didn't Philip Jose Farmer and some other authors write a whole series of books -- without permission of authors' heirs/publishers -- featuring popular characters such as Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, Doc Savage, James Bond (?), and others?  I think in some cases the names were changed but who was meant was made clear to the reader by cover art and story details.  The idea of these "Wold Newton" books is that all of these characters were affected by rays emanating from a meteorite (or something like that), giving them their powers.

      Actually, Farmer's aversion to using his own characters and insistence to tie every other character in English literature to Tarzan is one of the main reasons I've never taken him seriously as a writer. No doubt terribly unfair, but there it is.

      The classic example of an author using other people's characters (all of them long out of copyright at the time) is John Myers Myers SILVERLOCK. Which is an acquired taste, I shd warn. Luckily, I read it just as I was taking my master's exams and had my head crammed full of such stuff.

      A famous bad example of an unauthorized sequel I just read is Verne's sequel (THE SPHINX OF THE ICE-FIELD) to Poe's only novel (A. GORDON PYM). Of course this was back in the days when copyright was far more casual, and Poe was long dead when Verne had at his defenseless novel.* Phillis Ann Karr's LADY SUSAN is even worse; she's certainly no Jane Austen.

      I'm still grateful Christopher Tolkien hasn't allowed official sequels to LotR all these years. Thank God for copyright, at least for that.


      *though I suppose Poe had his revenge in that people still read his book, while Verne's is obscure in the extreme.
    • John Rateliff
      Yes, as David says, it s a great story. The closing sentence is particularly memorable -- but there s no way to share it with anyone without spoiling the
      Message 49 of 49 , May 10, 2011
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        Yes, as David says, it's a great story. The closing sentence is particularly memorable -- but there's no way to share it with anyone without spoiling the story. It's not that often I call something a masterpiece, but "The Ugly Chickens" is one.
           --John R.

        On May 9, 2011, at 8:23 AM, Mem Morman wrote:
        I found the Walpole story on the web and read it this morning.  It made my day.  You go read it too.

        -- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
        > His most ingenious story ever was called "The Ugly Chickens". It starts with an ornithologist idly leafing through a book of extinct birds while riding a bus, and the old lady sitting next to him stops him when he gets to the dodo and says, "I haven't seen any of those ugly chickens in a long time." But the dodo has been extinct for centuries; how could she possibly ever have seen any? Well, it turns out that the dodo hadn't gone extinct; it has a hidden history that he spends the story uncovering, and it turns out that ... oh, read it. Great story.

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