It used to happen to me all the time. I'd come up with a superhero name, and a year or two later, Marvel or DC would steal it from me. Sometimes they'd stick it on a villain, for cry yi! As I grew up, unscrupulous publishers and writers took to appropriating more mature ideas, themes, and superhero names from me. Many of my cartoons, and even prospective inventions, were appropriated by respected cartoonists and inventors. I've had to get used to it.
But sometimes, I have to wonder. Terry Pratchett always seemed like an okay sort of fellow in his writing and those few times he'd pop in on my newsgroup to say something and vanish again. Today, though, Cathy brought me a new Pratchett book to read, and as I was sitting quietly, reading the dustjacket copy and the pages that precede the story itself, my eye was caught by one of my favorite inventions. A one-shot I had titled "Journey to the Dark Side of the Sun" had been appropriated, edited down (removing the first two words) and applied to a non-Discworld novel by Mr. Pratchett.
I feel betrayed by the effrontery of it all. Just because the one-shot (from Karval Kon 1, I think) never got finished -- damn typewriter wasn't good for three letters in a row -- is no reason one of my most brilliant notions should be considered up for grabs. Just because he writes books and I mostly scribble little notes in memo pads doesn't make me less entitled to my ideas than he is. And don't tell me he couldn't know about it, just because the only copy was probably trashed decades ago. Just look at his books!
They're full of wizards, magic, time travel, and spatial displacement. What better means to sneak around in my past and snoop on my genius?
Well, "Mister" Pratchett, you can have this one. I'll probably read the book some day and make a nuisance of myself by insisting on reading portions of it to people I know, but that doesn't mean I'm not watching you. I have my eye on you. Call in once in a while, so I'll know where you are.