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Fiction authors referencing each others' work

Discussion in 'General Book Discussion' started by Fore Check, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. Fore Check

    Fore Check New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    "Deep Six" - Clive Cussler
    I have a question regarding something I came across last night.

    My current read, The Venetian Betrayal by Steve Berry involves a fictitious office within the US Intelligence network called the Magellan Billet. The character in charge of the Billet, Stephanie Nelle, was having a meeting with the President discussing some things pertinent to the story line (trying not to be a spoiler.) Anyway, when she asked the President about the source of some information, the President casually replied "Painter Crowe of Sigma." Their conversation quickly moved on and that was the only reference to Crowe or Sigma.

    Here's the thing: Painter Crowe as the head of Sigma Force is the creation of James Rollins and the center of his last four books (Sandstorm, Map of Bones, Black Order, and Judas Strain.) Now, I haven't read any of Rollins' books, but all four of the ones I just listed are on my desk and are next in line for me to read after I finish the Berry I'm reading now. And I've read the jackets/back cover synopsis on them so I recognized the Crowe/Sigma reference immediately.

    Which finally brings me to my question(s): Does anyone know of a direct relationship between Berry and Rollins? The aren't published by the same folks. Further, and I suppose the main question I want answered is, how common is this fictional cross-reference? Is it "advertising" of sorts? Or is it just for fun? I can't recall noticing this sort of thing before.

    Certainly intriguing...
     
  2. Anamnesis

    Anamnesis Active Member

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    The closest thing I can think of that relates to your example is this:

    A minor character in Poppy Z. Brite's Drawing Blood, Eddy Sung, makes an appearance in a novel called Silk that is not written by Brite but Caitlin R. Kiernan. Brite had no intentions to write about Eddy again and told Kiernan, a close friend of hers, that Kiernan could "borrow" the character for her work.
     
  3. beer good

    beer good Well-Known Member

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    Authors referencing others' work is nothing new; it's been going on for as long as there's been literature ("Dante and Milton just ripped off Moses!"). And of course with the postmodern era, that's simply exploded. Jonathan Lethem has a great article on referencing here.

    But if we're talking about authors who know each other and deliberately write in the same "universe", as it were, one of my favourite examples is from Bret Easton Ellis' Rules Of Attraction:
    That, of course, is the plot of Donna Tartt's The Secret History, which came out after Ellis' book but which he'd supposedly read in advance.

    For the most part, I suppose these sorts of things are for fun, as an in-joke between two writers who like each other (and whose readers are fans of both). Either that or to give the story some extra resonance, root it in a world where other authors exist as more than just background - since most good writers are also big readers, the books they read will inevitably be a part of the world they know how to describe. (See Lethem's article.)

    But sometimes I guess it's less friendly; apparently, Stephen King named one character in Dreamcatcher after Dean R Koontz, and then had that character hate his last name because it sounded like "cunts"...
     
  4. kelsue

    kelsue New Member

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    I post on the James Rollins message board, and there was a lot of discussion about this. Apparently, Steve Berry and James Rollins are good friends. They have been since JR offered a blurb for Steve Berry's first book. JR didn't even know that Steve was doing that, but he thought it was flattering and fun.
     
  5. kelsue

    kelsue New Member

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    For fans of Lee Child and/or Alafair Burke, in Bad Luck and Trouble, Jack Reacher spent two nights with a Portland prosecuter named Samantha. Samantha Kincaid is Alafair Burke's character.

    In Dead Connection by Alafair Burke, she has a cameo by Dave Robicheaux, James Lee Burke's character.

    Michael Connelly has also referenced James Lee Burke and Robert Crais. Robert Crais has also referenced Michael Connelly.
     
  6. silverseason

    silverseason New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    Usually one fiction/novel and one nonfiction.
    You also have all the writers who turn out "new" Sherlock Holmes adventures. Of course, Arthur Conan Doyle is dead and in no position to protest.
     
  7. GERBAM

    GERBAM New Member

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    Conan Doyle

    SILVERSEASON

    Lol Lol Lol
    Touche!

    Enjoy
    Gerbam
     
  8. Arudd60

    Arudd60 New Member

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    I saw this same thing in a book by Brad Thor called The Last Patriot. A character in his book who now works for the CIA was said to have worked in Painter Crowe's Sigma Force. Does anyone know of a connection between James Rollins and Brad Thor?
     
  9. David James Kistner

    David James Kistner New Member

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    I also noticed this. Not in the Last Patriot, as I read all the Thor books before I started the Sigma novels, but in the 6th book in the Sigma series called “The Doomsday Key”. An agent makes a reference toa witness they are protecting and says what shows in the photo I attached. I then looked it up and found the connection in The Last Patriot. I didn’t notice cuz I didn’t know who Painter Crowe was when I read the book. But I also found this article (https://bradthor.com/brad-thor-news/155/#.X1AaBiVq2Ec) where Brad Thor says that James Rollins and Steve Berry are “good friends” of his so that should explain it. I would love to read a novel co-written by all three of them and crossing over to all of their characters. That would be phenomenal
     

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