But I was interested to see that Larry Niven and Michael Whelan have both visited Second Life. The interview with them, conducted by some Second Life folks, had some interesting responses from Larry Niven:
Hiliary Grant: Mr. Niven..Other than copyright protection..were you ever afraid that someone would copy your ideas from your novels?
Niven, "It happens. I learned to use the word 'homage' rather than 'rip off" because it saves my sanity."
Abronia Mubble: With all the recent advancements in science and technology, does this make it easier, or harder, to come up with unique ideas for science fiction?
Niven, "What I've found is I used to be able to be first with an idea. This is no longer possible. Everyone has access to everything that happens. Now I have to be best."
Charlene Siemens: Have you ever rejected an idea as too implausible or unlikely, only for it to become reality some time later?
Not much of an expansive answer on the last question. I thought the "first with an idea" answer was more revealing. He didn't focus on technological and scientific advances themselves but on the means people use to keep informed about them. Considering he was speaking to a bunch of folks who were only there in a virtual reality sense, his response had a kind of circular coherence.