The Orion's Arm Universe Project Forums

Now, what did I just wander into... No way.......
(01-07-2020, 06:01 AM)Will the Wanderer Wrote: Hello Everyone, 

Hi Will, Welcome to OASmile
(01-07-2020, 06:01 AM)Will the Wanderer Wrote: My name is Will and my first post is a long one. It is a long post because I am going to be making some wild claims that I swear up and down are true.
I am very excited to discover this forum. That, however, was not my first reaction. My first reaction was heartbreak, depression, and a sense of defeat. I have been working on a novel for nearly 10 years that matches so much of the formula for the setting of the Orion Arm Project, and has an identical business/creative process model. The catch is, I just discovered you. Every one of my ideas is my own, or inspired by the greats. In other words, I am taking the hard SF approach with a heavy focus on causality and the singularity. 

Please understand my visceral reaction. I truly thought my idea was one of a kind and truly unique. I know that is a foolish notion, as the discovery of this project proves it so. However, there are just as many facets that are unique and completely different from this project, that I realize I have nothing to truly fear.

I was terrified of being accused of copyright, or unoriginality, but I think I am overreacting. Instead, I would very much like to join this community. I have already purchased a paperback copy of After Tranquility, and want to prove my integrity to the community. If this model really does follow “my own” then I am excited to meet and learn with all of you.

First off - Thank you for purchasing After Tranquility and I hope you enjoy the storiesSmile

Second - I'm sorry your initial discovery of OA was so distressing. Hopefully we can develop a mutually positive relationship where you are eventually able to look at your discovery of OA as one of the happier moments in your life, regardless of how stressful the early interaction was.

Third - Re copyright or originality issues - To violate the former with us you'd have to be doing some pretty specific things, which I don't get any sense you are doing. Re the latter - similar to MacGregor I'm going to say that it is nearly impossible to come up with SF ideas that are really and truly totally original. SF has a long and rich history built on people coming up with new ideas about the future and eventually finding truly never before explored ground becomes much the exception rather than the rule. This doesn't mean folks shouldn't try, nor does it mean that great stories and ideas can't still be had. But such usually (IMHO) is great based on how well it presents the info or tells an interesting (and possibly quite original) story more than it does by presenting some specific idea that no one has ever thought of before. More on that below.

(01-07-2020, 06:01 AM)Will the Wanderer Wrote: Of course, I’d love to share my ideas and learn from you’re incredibly rich database. I’d love to share my ideas for a sense of validation, to learn more ideas, to contribute to others’ ideas, but also to draw a line. I wish to continue my own personal work, unopposed. My meaning, is that I do not want to fear being accused of stealing your ideas, when I genuinely thought them up myself. I have a right to claim my idea as my own. I just have no clue how to prove they are my own.

We're certainly happy to welcome you to our little corner of the InternetSmile

In terms of ideas - As mentioned above, most ideas in SF have been kicked around in some form or other, often decades ago. We can certainly discuss areas where you feel concern, but generally speaking I'm not terribly worried on this score at first blush.

In terms of drawing on OA's database of ideas - We have some fairly straightforward procedures for that kind of thing if/when you'd like to use ideas that are truly OA specific/original in your work.

If this is an area of particular concern/stress for you, I'd suggest providing a list of the ideas in question and we can see what we can do to either resolve your concerns or come to a mutually satisfactory arrangement or understanding.

(01-07-2020, 06:01 AM)Will the Wanderer Wrote: My concepts match yours mostly in the spirit of the concepts, not the details of structure. For example, you have provolves, I have augmented, via nanorobots, and genetically enhanced pets. In your words, I have provolves too. Their exact looks and nature are quite different as mine are completely alien.

This actually provides an excellent example of what MacGregor and I are talking about.Smile

In its earliest days, OA referred to provolves as 'uplifts' - taking term from David Brin's Uplift Universe - whose earliest book dates back to 1980. We actually came up with the term 'provolve' when one of our members happened to have some contact with Mr. Brin and he (politely but firmly) made it clear that he had copyright on the term 'uplift' and that if we were to start engaging in commercial activity using the term (as opposed to just being a group of people having fun online), he, his lawyers, and probably his army of fans would have something to say on the matter.

We decided to develop our own original term on the theory that we both want to be good citizens of the SF world and that this was not a fight we wanted to have.

What is mildly amusing about the whole thing is that the concept of using technology to grant animals (Terran or alien) human equivalent intelligence is not original to Brin, but actually goes back to at least the works of Cordwainer Smith and possibly Olaf Stapledon.

For a list of even more works that play with this idea in some form or other, see the TV Tropes page (particularly the Literature section) HERE.

None of this is to say that stories or fictional universes that include this are unoriginal or violating copyright at the most basic level. More that the concept is part of the wider class of 'ideas held in common' in the SF world.

(01-07-2020, 06:01 AM)Will the Wanderer Wrote: I have DNI, wormhole networks, physical bodies that vary in shape and size due to gravity, and a lore that spans over 60,000 years, just to name a few spooky similarities. One concept that I am focusing on within my novel is Universal Convergence. The main focus is Convergent Evolution, but I focus on technologies and ideas converging to a unified method or approach.

Again, none of these ideas are original to OA, although we like to think we have often added a depth of detail or basis in reality (or even a new twist) for them that most SF doesn'tSmile But re your concern above, at first blush none of these are going to be a problem re both settings having them.

(01-07-2020, 06:01 AM)Will the Wanderer Wrote: I hope to be welcomed into your community. I sent a private contact on my first reaction, but I’m choosing the direct approach to the community. I’d be happy to tell you more about how I stumbled across your website. I’d be happy to tell you my ideas for the sake of finding out if you did it already, or whether you would not mind me using the concepts, even though some people may have the same reaction as I did upon discovery of this place. Lastly, I want to be inspired by you. You have had a lot more time and a lot more brains to develop your concepts over the years. I respect and admire all of it.

I cannot begin to compliment the amount, and the quality of work I see on your site. On my first contact, in the contact us section, I said that I would not check the site out, in some bizarre attempt to prove my ideas are original. But your site is too cool and I could not resist. I love what I see, and I hope I can stay.

We're generally a pretty friendly and welcoming bunchSmile I think I saw your private contact but didn't have time to respond at the moment and then got sidetracked into other things. It can take several days to a week for us to respond to the Contact Us form. If your message slipped through the cracks such that it's been longer than that, my apologies.

As mentioned above, if you have a concern about your ideas vs ours then I'd suggest posting a list with a brief description of how you handle the idea in your universe and we can review and let you know if there are any potential issues. If there are, we can discuss how to handle that.

(01-07-2020, 06:01 AM)Will the Wanderer Wrote: My game plan is to finish my novel before anything else. But I’d like to start talking with your group and learning your canon while I finish my own. I hope, one day, when my book is fully finished and I am going through the joys of trying to get a mainstream publisher to publish my book, that I can write a few short stories, or more, for your group. I would find it an honor and a privilege.
I hope to hear back from you soon.

If you'd like we can point you at various resources to help get up to speed on our Canon and the general outline of how the OA verse is put together more quickly.

We are always on the look out for more stories to add to the setting and would be very happy to help you with creating those.

Hope this helps and once again - Welcome to OA!


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RE: Now, what did I just wander into... No way....... - by Drashner1 - 01-07-2020, 09:29 AM

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