Monday, July 16, 2007

PEEPS rip-off

From my edition of the Publisher's Marketplace deals of the last week:

PEN Hemingway Award and Stephen Crane Prize winner Justin Cronin's apocalyptic trilogy, presupposing that vampires are real, created by a virus that produces profound physical and psychological transformation, beginning with THE PASSAGE, a re-imagining of the traditional Gothic vampire story, considering our contemporary fears of viral epidemics, government ineptitude, scientific knowledge outstripping ethical understanding, and the dissipation of human bonds, offering themes of love, friendship, and sacrifice, set against an epic struggle to heal a broken world, to Mark Tavani at Ballantine, reportedly in a major deal for $3.75 million (NY Mag), for publication beginning in summer 2009, by Ellen Levine at Trident Media Group (NA).

Is it just me, or does this sound like a total rip-off of PEEPS by Scott Westerfeld?


Anonymous said...

But Westerfield isn't "literary." I guess Cronin was bored.

Berry said...

Rip-off, schmipoff, my brain is still reeling over "3.75 Million for a bloody(ha) vampire trilogy!!!!!"

Eliza said...

Complete and total rip-off. Except PEEPS was really interesting and engaging. Thus negating the 'literary'?

My tongue is in my cheek here, at least a little. I do like literary fiction quite a bit.

We've seen the Vampire virus in Underworld, too. PEEPS was way better, but still, how many times can you rehash the new theory until it becomes unoriginal?

$3 and a quarter mil.

You know, I know writers who work their butts off, and are really, really good writers but can't get published by the mainstream because their ideas are too original, too new, never-before-touched. Happened to a friend of mine last week, even. And she's friggin' good at what she does.

/end rant.

Kelly Swails said...

Um, yeah. Peeps, totally.

And 3.75 mil. Holy Jesus.

LadyBronco said...

$3.75 Mil????

I'm going to faint.

Or throw up.

Or both.

Seth said...

Dear Lord. You would think for an advance like that you'd have to at LEAST copy something like, i dunno, HARRY POTTER?!

Nathalie Mallet said...

$3.75 mil! I smell a movie deal.

JACEM said...

It also sounds like a rip off of resident Evil and Ultra Violet

So it's research.

--E said...

It sounds a lot like a rip-off of a lot of things. Maybe an author of doing something new and meaningful with the theme, and the regurgitative tenor of the blurb is simply the fault of the marketing department.

What it really sounds like is a tax write off for the publisher. Nothing like winning a high-priced auction on a book that's chasing the tail end of a fad!

JDuncan said...

I've not read Peeps, but really, there aren't a whole lot of original story ideas out there. If Cronin is a good writer and the characters are interesting and the plot is engaging then it will likely be a good read regardless of its similarities. And do good vampire stories ever go out of style?


kathie said...

Well, I have no idea if it's a rip-off or not, but that's a lot of moula. It makes me wonder if the faith I have in the publishing world is misplaced...