Matt vs JJ

Matt Williams has claimed that JJ Abrams is ripping him off. He plans to sue. (He writes in jest. I think…   Anyway.) I wanted to know if he had a case. I was planning to read Crashland, so I figure now was as good a time as any.

Crashland, is on Story-Time.me. Matt posts one chapter at a time. As of this post, he is at Chapter 14.

I also watched the trailer to JJ Abrams’ upcoming fall TV series Revolution.

Since I’ve only read fourteen chapters and watched a trailer, I can only assume where the plot lines are headed, but both are set in America after the lights have been turned off world-wide. There’s no electricity anywhere. No computers, cell or smart phones. The information in the cloud has evaporated into nothingness. Cars, planes, trains and hospitals are all out of commission.

The trailer starts at the moment of lights out then jumps to fifteen years into the future. Buildings have crumbled; trees, grass and flowers have taken over.

Crashland also starts at the moment the lights are turned off, but the story continues immediately afterwards.

I’m not sure if Matt does have a case (stay with me Matt). I say this because JJ seems to be rehashing an old plot idea where as Matt’s story is original.

Trailers don’t give the whole truth. Revolution trailer gives the impression this is another war series.

Two SF&F TV examples that come to mind are Legend of the Seeker and Terra Nova. Both have been cancelled.

Seeker is about a young man who has been chosen to seek the truth and defeat evil. He travels with an ancient wizard, who is also his mentor, and a warrior priestess sworn to protect the seeker. The main premise of the show was weekly hand-to-hand combat with a little magic thrown in, and a bit of mystery on how to find, and stop, the ultimate evil.

Terra Nova started in the future, 2149, in an overly populated world that is ruined by over pollution. Someone finds a portal that leads to Earth’s Cretaceous past, 85 million years ago. They send humans back in time to start over, and hopefully get it right.

In this show, they fight Cretaceous, man-eating creatures, and battle humans who want to destroy their way of life. While at it, we see how they survive and build a new life.

Revolution seems to be the same thing. The trailer showed one hand-to-hand combat scene after another and in the last three seconds, almost as an after thought … “Oh, by the way, we need to find out who turned the lights out, how they did it, and turn them back on.”

After fourteen chapters, I get the impression that Crashland’s plot is about turning the lights back on and if the main characters have to battle those who get in their way, they will. This does not appear to be a hand-to-hand combat story this is a story with a real live plot.

Don’t get me wrong, I like battle shows. I didn’t like Seeker, but I did like Terra Nova. And I will defiantly check out Revolution. But the real premise of those shows is the special affects and the combat scenes.

An action novel needs a plot, substance and intrigue to keep a reader reading. Crashland has all of that.

William Holden is in the process of setting up a multimillion-dollar deal when lights are turned off. The world is immediately turned upside down.

Holden soon finds himself in the company of Jacobs and his underground gorilla team. They plan to turn the lights back on.

They have something JJ Abrams doesn’t have, Simon.

I can’t tell you who Simon is or what he does, that would be giving a spoiler away. You’ll have to read Crashland.

Jacobs wants Holden to join their cause in turning the lights on and saving the world.

Through a vision, Holden has been commissioned with a mission, but the message is cryptic. He’s not sure what his mission is. Should he stay with Jacobs? He doesn’t completely trust him or his team. Or should he strike out on his own?

At the end of Chapter 14, both Holden and Jacobs’ future are in question. They might both be dead by Chapter 15. Oh my!

Not to worry, Matt, JJ may have stolen your main plot idea, but not your originality.

My recommendation: Crashland is well worth the read.

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