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The Egan Thief by Gord Sellar

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“The Egan Thief” is a 2007 science fiction short story by Gord Sellar. It is about an author who realizes that Greg Egan is stealing all his stories before he can publish them.

Non-Spoiler Summary In A Nutshell:

A Lorentzian wormhole (Schwarzschild wormhole).  (CC 3.0 - AllenMcC.)Gord is an aspiring science fiction author about to publish his first novel… that is until it is pointed out to him that the storyline is very similar to a Greg Egan novel. That is disappointing, so he starts over and tries another story. Turns out that his second novel is similar to another Greg Egan novel. That is a terrible coincidence! But as he attends SciFi conventions and talks with other authors he learns that he is not the only one having this problem. Together they decide to go to Australia and get to the bottom of what is really happening.

He clicked the mail open, expecting reassuring congratulations. His bubble, however, was burst from the very first line. It read: “Mate… I don’t know how to say this, but… you know, your rewrite? Well, there’s this *other* novel by Greg Egan, called _Quarantine_, that you really need to read…”

A summer of despair followed, a summer of scraping together nickels and dimes, of reading everything Egan had ever published.

My Two Cents:

• The good:

  • If you are familiar with Greg Egan and other famous science fiction writers then you are sure to get a kick out of this yarn!
  • I quite liked Gord Sellar’s writing – it was detailed, interesting and enjoyable to read.

• The bad:

  • Overall I really liked “The Egan Thief”, the only thing I didn’t like was the beginning – it was a little bit too abstract for me. Of course, after I read the story all the way through then I went back and re-read the beginning… it made a lot more sense the second time!

Fact Sheet:
• Page Count: 7
• Word Count: 2,126

Where you can find “The Egan Thief”:

  • This short story first appeared in the #4 (Fall-Winter 2007) issue of Flurb.
  • You can still read a free online version of “The Egan Thief” at the Flurb website.

Some Interesting Links:

  • Did you know that Gord Sellar is an English teacher in Korea? Yep. You can learn more about this science fiction author at his web site.

Craving More Stories?
If you enjoyed this story then you might also like Henry James, This One’s For You, about a publisher who receives the best manuscript ever – only to find out it was written by a computer program, by Jack McDevitt.

4 thoughts to “The Egan Thief by Gord Sellar”

  1. This was definitely a different kind of story wasn’t it? However, I got a kick out of the idea of a SF writer using time travel to steal ideas!

  2. I had to read this one twice, but it made me laugh. I like when writers put themselves into their stories and in essence poke a little fun at themselves.

    Yes, the beginning was a little abstract, but it made a little more sense the second time.

  3. Yeah,

    Reading this one twice is probably good advice – there were definitely a few parts that lost me on the initial reading. And it’s true that the author poking fun of himself made the story more fun.

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