Homage or Fanfiction

Reflected books
The book in question is not one of these.

I’ve been working my way through a book…

I remember a time when reading wasn’t work, but now I have to make an effort. It’s actually not this book, which seems to have a decent story when I don’t fall asleep on it.

Don’t worry, anonymous author, it’s not you, it’s me.

Really, I’m just so busy and stressed with the end of this semester, reading is happening very little, and usually at times I should be sleeping. Like last night, when I fell asleep in the middle of my planned reading time.

But that isn’t what I wanted to talk about. Starting this book was more than a little jarring, and not for the usual reasons of ‘bad writing!’ run away! I have no problems anymore with giving up on a book which isn’t worth my time. I think, pending a bad ending, this book will be getting a good review from me. No, it was jarring because…

I’d read it before. The names of people and ships were different, and after about a chapter that sense of deja-vu went away. It’s not plaigarism. But what do you call this, when the scene is ripped from another book? Is it thinly disguised fanfiction? What qualifies as an homage? I don’t think this one qualifies as the latter, as there is no direction to it, no way to clue the reader that “this is to honor a writer I admire.”

What do you all think, and how would you react to a book beginning with a scene from someone else’s work?