Hey, remember when you got excited that James Cameron was doing a megabudget original science fiction story with Avatar? Check out io9’s synopsis of Poul Anderson’s 1957 scifi short story, Call Me Joe, which was eventually included in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two:
Like Avatar, Call Me Joe centers on a paraplegic — Ed Anglesey — who telepathically connects with an artificially created life form in order to explore a harsh planet (in this case, Jupiter). Anglesey, like Avatar’s Jake Sully, revels in the freedom and strength of his artificial created body, battles predators on the surface of Jupiter, and gradually goes native as he spends more time connected to his artificial body.
Yikes. That’s not a small similarity. And if the image I’ve included above represents the story (and I think it does) the Jovians appear to be blue people who are… part cat. It reminds me of that time when Harlan Ellison threatened to sue Cameron for ripping off two of his Outer Limits episodes for The Terminator. Ellison got some money and now gets an ‘inspired by’ on the film. Could Poul Anderson’s estate take legal action? I think they should definitely look into it.
UPDATE: Thanks to Nick Newman for pointing out that Poul Anderson also wrote a novel called The Avatar.