Thread: MPC History
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Old 07-21-2017, 05:23 PM
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DeanHFox DeanHFox is offline
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Default More Flat Cats --- no, not the flying variety!

Originally Posted by blackshire
Thank you both [correction: all three of you]--I may have been mistaken about who invented the flat cat (I haven't read any of Smith's or Heinlein's stories, but I read somewhere about Smith incorporating the creatures in his works; maybe they both used them?).
This has been bugging me today --- did a little web research, and found this article over at Wikipedia (but the story is repeated in numerous other websites' links, all basically telling the same story, and in the context of the Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles"):

Heinlein's flat cats are often said to have been the inspiration for the tribbles of the Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles". (Heinlein himself said he may have gotten the idea from Ellis Parker Butler's 1905 story "Pigs Is Pigs".) David Gerrold, the author of the episode, claims that he had read the Heinlein book years before writing his screenplay and was not consciously aware of the similarities until Desilu/Paramount conducted a routine studio clearances review following an inquiry by Kellam de Forest, its primary in-house researcher. This prompted a contact with Heinlein who admitted the similarities but also graciously waived all rights, Heinlein asking only for an autographed copy of the script.

No reference to "Doc" Smith's work, but that doesn't prove anything --- just that The Rolling Stone's "Flat Cats" ideological predecessors were apparently guinea pigs in the Ellis Parker Butler story.

I've heard it stated that, eventually, almost all writers end up "recycling" ideas of others...looks like this may be the case, even here.

We now return this thread to its original intent, a discussion of the history of the uber-cool rockets from MPC (of which, incidentally, my favorite is the Theta-Cajun)
Dean Fox
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