Nothing new under (around?) the Sun!

A quandary has appeared in the important formative events of one of my antagonists.  But it is one that seems apparent to all.

There is nothing one can think of that has not been thought of before.

I thought so when someone I know mentioned a character’s name from their book that I recognised from another book series.

Now I know so because the ‘bad guys’ of this formative event have the same group name as a set of ‘bad guys’ from Mass Effect.  Despite never having played any of the games, I managed to pseudo-plagiarise =\

Accept it and keep moving the story along, or go the extra yard to be original?

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3 thoughts on “Nothing new under (around?) the Sun!

  1. Though titles are not copywritable, everything else is: go with your gut, which seems to be telling you that this is a case of unintentional plagiarism, and revise slightly so that your work can continue as the original work it was meant to be. Unfortunately perhaps, this is necessary, because no audience is going to take the time to verify your honesty and go back over when you discovered the term you thought you invented somewhere else. Sometimes honest writers have discovered even things that were only tangentially similar, and have then published a public disclaimer or notice in the next edition of their book to cover this eventuality (for one thing, you can get sued by an irate author regardless of when you say you discovered the similarity). There is always of course the issue of literary traditional and influence to back you up, and you can also notify your readers that “I owe a great debt to the work of so-and-so, by whom I was much inspired in the creation of so-and-so land,” etc. But if it’s actually a name that’s the same, then I’d change it. You’d be surprised how much can still be written even though supposedly “nothing is new under the sun.”

    • History backs me up with my naming conventions, so I would have to dedicate ‘a great debt to world history’ =)
      Checked the wiki for Mass Effect, and my version of Reapers as most definitely not a “super-advanced mechanical race”.

      • Your response is a little bit obscure, but maybe that’s because I don’t have the original message in front of me. I would say as long as you’ve checked with appropriate authority, and you feel potential critics would be satisfied, then go for it.

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