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Too similar?

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Too similar?

Postby Floridian Dream » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:23 pm

I watched the movie Help! I'm a Fish yesterday, and I absolutely fell in love with the concept of—spoilers ahead—an underwater civilization springing from fish gaining human-level intelligence from exposure to the antidote to a potion that turns humans into fish. That said, I came up with the idea for a story of an extraterrestrial artifact landing on an alien planet (most likely a Europa-reminiscent ice world), whereupon the native fauna gain intelligence from exposure to said artifact. I intend to give it a name along the lines of Monolith in reference to the monolith that uplifted the apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

One problem I face, however, is that I fear if it may be too similar to a concept for another story of mine I discussed in a previous post, in which non-human sapients (native to Earth, keep in mind) worship a seemingly inanimate object to which they may or may not owe their origin. I imagine this story, however, to focus mainly on some human discovering these non-human worshippers and the thing they worship, which I also envision to be more of a dormant entity, whereas the object in Monolith is completely inanimate and non-living — contrastingly, Monolith mainly focusses on the ice world's animals that were uplifted by aforementioned object (which I must state once more, to avoid confusion, to be non-living); the plot there may focus on said uplifted animals coming to terms with their origin.

I imagine that along the way, at least three kingdoms sprung from the artifact (as one end of it sticks out of the ice surface whilst the other pokes into the uppermost layer of the water, and the tip broke off and sank to the ocean floor) discover one another and get into a heated dispute over which one is the true alleged heir to the artifact. Alternatively, it may focus on how the kingdoms are structured and how one's role in said kingdom may depend on certain factors, possibly on species (as each kingdom may be inhabited by more than one species), and it may influence how much exposure to the artifact, how much "enlightenment" they receive from it, they are privileged. Or it may focus on one creature questing for ultimate knowledge from the artifact and learning (most likely the hard way) to what extent it's best to know and when it's best remain ignorant.

Does any of this make Monolith distinct enough from my previous story, or must I try to distinguish it even more if not—in one way or another— convert said previous story into Monolith? What are your thoughts?
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Re: Too similar?

Postby Max » Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:27 am

I always thought that the TV was represented by the obelisk in Space Odyssey. Unless it means the universe itself. Though, Monoliths are common in magical settings. I once considered floating monoliths, like in Avatar or Atlantis. My own book had a myth, rather than a legend - that means that it was created, rather than it just being there; but the monoliths had survived from that earlier time. Your idea reminds me of Orson Scott Card - but, I never did finish the series.
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