Dear Mr. McCaffrey,
I have been a fan for a long time in regards to the Pern Series ever sense I was 12, and I’m almost 24 now. I especially fell in love with the concept of the dragon, and thought it was a brilliant concept that she created. But it saddened me this earlier this year when I found out about how her work had been plagiarized by another writer.
I took my sister earlier this year to watch the movie “Eragon” and was shocked at the movie. As the movie begun I took it as a child fantasy, but was horrified when the plot revealed the dragonrider, and the relationship between rider and dragon. If you are not familiar with “Eragon” this may be a very rude awakening.
The movie starts out as a fantasy movie (with other stolen material) where a girl steals a dragons egg that is later found by Eragon. It seems completely innocent until the egg hatches. Lo and behold when the dragon hatches she choses Eragon to be her life partner (a bond breakable only by death- impression) and is connected to him in a telepathic bond speaking to him telepathically much like Pernese dragons.
What makes this all worse, is that the author of “Eragon” is praised for writing original work, when the work is dripping with stolen material not only from the Pern Series, but from “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings” to name the other prominent ones.
I know Anne McCaffrey was very protective of her work (and who can blame her). So what does she think when she sees other writers literally take her work and make it their own. Is she flattered that her work was spectacular enough to be mimicked, or is she angered that they are claiming her work as their own?
“Plagiarized” is a very specific legal term. Plagiarizing, roughly (I’m not a lawyer), is when someone lifts complete words/sentences/paragraphs sufficiently that they may be considered to have done no original work. That doesn’t apply with “Eragon.”
In the case of “Eragon”, if you pick up the book you’ll probably see Mum’s review on it (I don’t know if it’s on the latest copies). She was sent an advance copy of it when it first came out and loved it. I tried reading it and found that it didn’t work for me.