Harlan Ellison has started grumbling that Cormac McCarthy ripped off his novella A Boy and His Dog for The Road. Ellison is a strong defender of what he sees as his intellectual property, and he famously went after James Cameron for supposedly stealing The Terminator from his story The Soldier.
Buried deep in a Wall Street Journal article about Ellison selling off his old typewriter for $40,000 is this quote from the legendary scifi author:
A friend said “oh gee, you should sell it, they sold Cormac McCarthy’s typewriter.” And I said, “yeah, Cormac McCarthy who ripped off my story “A Boy and His Dog” to do “The Road.”
Now it’s been a loooong time since I read A Boy and His Dog, but there are some details yet fresh in my mind. Such as the fact that it’s about a guy who travels a post-nuclear wasteland with a psychic dog that helps him acquire women to rape. Also, A Boy and His Dog is way more science fictiony, with mutants and post-nuke weird cities and all that stuff.
To be honest, this has got me itching to see if any of my Ellison books made the trip from New York to California all those years ago; in the meantime the movie version of A Boy and His Dog - starring a young Don Johnson! - is available on Netflix Instant right now.