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Hope's Huskies - Bunty cover

Fanfic Goes Mainstream

This article on fanfic from the Guardian online is interesting, as are some of the comments. It seeks to explain fanfic conventions to the uninitiated who have stumbled across the term in relation to Fifty Shades of Grey, and does it rather well - though if I'd been writing it I would have mentioned Don Quixote, whose fan-penned sequeal so outraged Miguel de Cervantes that he wrote his own Book Two to tell us what really happened next.

Where Ewan Morrison fails, IMHO, is in working out why we write fanfic. He seems to think it's to get our rocks off or an attempt to 'own' our fictional heroes, whereas for me and I imagine most other writers it's about what might have, could have or should have happened, in a version of our favourite reality unconstrained by budget, copyright, the need to fit everything into a forty-minute episode or the series getting cancelled unexpectedly.

Thus the Doctor Who Missing Adventures are fanfic, as far as I'm concerned, despite their official status, because they provide sequels to televised stories and explore past Doctors from a modern perspective.

Furry fic is fanfic in its way, fanfic about a fandom (metafanfic?), and a lot of the authors now writing about original anthropomorphic characters probably cut their teeth on TaleSpin or Thundercats fanfic. It's as galling when a mainstream novel with anthropomorphic animals is praised for its originality as when this praise falls on an ascended Twilight fic, and when media attention on the genre inevitably focuses on the sexual aspect.

Incidentally, I had no idea that Douglas Adams had a stance on fanfic but I bet he found the idea interesting. I suppose it had occurred to me that there was H2G2 fic, but I'm scared to examine it too closely in a universe which already has a canonical planet called Eroticon 6.

Comments

I'd entirely missed that article; thanks for the link! Nice to see someone mention Wide Sargasso Sea on the first page of comments, too.
Which I still haven't read! A rec from you moves it several places up The List.
Ah, but you have to read Jane Eyre first :-)
It's a pretty terrible article, tbh, with the exception of a few of the profic bits. It's terribly researched on the fanfic stuff. I mean. I really have so many issues with it (but I sporked it on Twitter yesterday because if you don't laugh you cry).

I mean. This guy says that slash = all porny fic regardless of the gender/sex of the participants. Wrong! But I think what got me was the bit about crossovers - because a well written crossover doesn't randomly smush two things together, it takes two ideas that compliment each other (Jack Harkness canon!omnisexual alive during WWI and Billy Prior canon!bisexual, to use one of my own stories as an example) and uses both texts to explore something new. (And sometimes, fair enough, it is just porn but whatever.) I guess I didn't like the dude calling me 'aesthetically bankrupt'?

Basically the dude showed himself up by referring to Hentai as a sub-genre of fanfic when it's actually, y'know, a side-genre of anime. Bad research.

Anyway. What I meant to drop by in this entry to say was: here is a really good article about fanfic from without the community by a guy who bothered to make an attempt to understand.
Cheers for the link! Funny - I've been around fanfic for years and I thought it was quite a good article, while opinions in the comments were sharply divided. (And I do think the term 'slash' has become fuzzy over the years.)
"a lot of the authors now writing about original anthropomorphic characters probably cut their teeth on TaleSpin"

Which in a way was odd since TaleSpin was a bizarre bit of spinoff or even fan fiction of the the "Jungle book" seeing how it reused a load of the characters.