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02 April 2011 @ 06:00 am
Source Code / The Cure  
Interesting movie yesterday. A few minutes into Source Code I had a funny déjà vu feeling that finally solidified this morning – I wrote basically the same story, or at least the same setup, almost twenty years ago. “The Cure,” which was in Terry Carr’s Universe 3 (1993) and my collection None So Blind. It’s about a guy who keeps being recycled through virtual reality scenarios where he dies; at first he has no idea why it’s happening, but slowly he comes to realize that he’s in a hospital undergoing some experimental treatment that has gone awry.

In the movie, he goes through the same experience over and over, which would be a lot less expensive to film. In mine, he’s in the Yukon for one paragraph, and then in Vietnam, and then in outer space, and so forth. The pattern’s similar. I think mine would make a better movie, but it would have a Kubrick budget.

I do recommend Source Code as an exciting movie with an engaging level of structural complexity and some really super acting. Good dialogue and dramatic in-your-face special effects. But I wish they’d done my story instead, and I was lounging in a hammock in Tahiti on my ill-gotten gains.

Joe
 
 
 
Target for Displaced Anger: Gemini 5 patchdavidkevin on April 2nd, 2011 02:43 pm (UTC)

Do you think you have grounds for a plagiarism lawsuit? Or do you think it was coincidence of ideas?

joe_haldeman: graywriterjoe_haldeman on April 2nd, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
plagiarism
I don't think anybody stole the idea, David -- it's not that hard a notion to come up with. And even if I could prove that somebody involved in the script had read my story, it wouldn't cut any ice -- you can't copyright an idea.

Googling, I get this from the Copyright Office: "Ideas and discoveries are not protected by the copyright law, although the way in which they are expressed may be."

Alas.

Joe
Target for Displaced Anger: Gateway Arch - Mo. sidedavidkevin on April 2nd, 2011 09:08 pm (UTC)
Re: plagiarism

Thanks. I'm really glad you're healthy enough to go out and also to work and cycle. And you have my deepest sympathies on Mike Glicksohn's death. I know you and he were close, close friends.

My love to both you and Gay.
(no subject) - mswagner on April 4th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Chris McKitterick: clarke childhood's endmckitterick on April 5th, 2011 05:15 am (UTC)
I've not been attracted to "Source Code," because it looked tedious. But your story, that could make an amazing film. It wouldn't have to be a huge budget, if they were creative.
joe_haldemanjoe_haldeman on April 5th, 2011 10:22 am (UTC)
Source Code / The Cure
I wouldn't call Source Code tedious, any more than Groundhog Day is "repetitious." The effect is one of mounting horror rather than tedium, at least for me.

Joe