It's not what you think it is

I keep coming across examples of stories/situations that everyone is familiar with and associate with one story or book, but which has been used before. My favorite example is when I descrive Heinlein’s book The Puppet Masters to people as “James Bond meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers” – only Heinlein’s book predates both James Bond and Jack Finney’s “The Body Snatchers” and the movie they based on it.

Try these examples:

A group of people wake up from their long trip and find themselves on a world that is mostly wild and untamed. They find that the dominant intelligent creatures are apes, and that the apes are stratified by species – gorilla warriors, chimp thinkers, etc. It turns out they’re on Earth in the far future. It’s not Pierre Boulle’s Planet of the Apes, but a novel almost a decade older.

The future of the galaxy-wide human expansion seems destined for a highly capable human boy who ends up in control of a desert planet that is populated by people from a traditional desert Earth culture who control giant creatures that produce a spice that is essential for certain purposes and is highly sought-after. People fight for control of the planet. This novel is not Frank Herbert’s Dune, but predates it.

Well, ya got me on Number One, but Number Two is Cordwainer Smith’s Norstrilia stories.

Bingo! One for Rocketeer.

Hmmm. This thread, deserving though it may be of life and prosperity, is obviously a victim of Rocketeer, Slayer of Threads. Sorry 'bout that:(

^^^It’s not your fault, it’s just that Cal is the most widely-read, erudite SF scholar on the SDMB.

There, I sucked up, Cal, tell us the other answer.


Sir Rhosis

Are you asking about The Apes by Eden Phillpotts.

And here is the missing punctuation.


My sources tell me this came out in 1929, so if he is, he’s drastically underestimating how much it predates Boulle.

I gotta admit that never heard of Eden Phillpots, or of “The Apes”

What I had in mind was L. Sprague de Camp’s Genus Homo. The cover of my paperback has a naked human in a zoo, with a cultured, monocle-wearing ape as a guard. (Yes, the apes do put the people in a zoo in the book.) I know that I’ve attributed a lot of the movie’s features to the book. The truth is that de Camp’s book resembles the movie Planet of he Apes more than Boulle’s book.

Another one that occurred to me was Orson cott Card’s A Planet called Treason, which seems to bear a peculiar resemblance to Cordwainer Smith’s A Planet Called Ransom. But given the similarity f names, that had to be intentional. Right?

“…and now you know, the rest of the story.”