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A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
Inside A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy

Fanfiction FTW

Fanfiction for the win!

Fanfiction gets the TIME treatment in The Boy Who Lived Forever by Lev Grossman (thanks to Michelle at GalleySmith for telling me about the article.) How much do I love that he begins the story of modern fanfic not with Star Trek but with The Man From U.N.C.L.E? (Oh, Ilya Kuryakin . . . sorry! Topic!) I enjoy “canonical stories from new points of view,” to quote Grossman, I like smart AU, and I love, love, love crossover. Don’t understand what I’m saying? Read Grossman’s article.

Wondering how fanfic applies to libraries? I’ll give a quick plug to an article Carlisle Kraft Webber and I wrote a couple years ago for School Library Journal, When Harry Met Bella.

You may also want to check out Fandom as a Form of Social Networking by me, in Teens, Libraries, and Social Networking: What Librarians Need to Know, Edited by Denise E. Agosto and June Abbas, one of the books in the Libraries Unlimited Professional Guides for Young Adult Librarians Series. (Yes, Blatant Self Promotion!) I manage to include such diverse fandoms as Betsy-Tacy and Twilight, Hunger Games and Beautiful Creatures.

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About Elizabeth Burns

Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let's chat. I am a New Jersey librarian. My opinions do not reflect those of my employer, SLJ, YALSA, or anyone else. On Twitter I'm @LizB; my email is lizzy.burns@gmail.com.

Comments

  1. I wasn’t sure I cared enough to click through and read the article, but I did, and now I’m glad! What a great, in-depth, interesting, and well-balanced article!

  2. Nerija says:

    It’s definitely a refreshing change from the rants I’ve been seeing from some authors (“It’s so unethical!” “It’s like seducing my husband!” “These characters are MINE and you keep your pervy hands off them!”). Honestly, I’d be flattered if readers found my characters and worlds so intriguing that they wanted to play around with them. I’d definitely follow the legal advice, though, to not read fanfic of my own works, so there’s no chance of getting sued for stealing a fanfic writer’s idea.

    On the other hand, I do understand the feeling that “these characters are my children,” and the desire to have some special hold over them–to feel that my work is unique. But it’s one thing to feel uncomfortable with people using your own characters–that’s understandable. What’s not understandable or appropriate is to lash out at ALL fanfiction, and to make sweeping generalizations about those who write it.

    On that note, I love that Grossman made a point to debunk some of the misconceptions about fanfic writers.

  3. Angela Carstensen Liz B says:

    rockinlibrarian, part of me is glad its a good article; part of me is sad that fanfiction gets such big exposure because there is something about it best kept secret.

    nerija. and by “best kept secret” — i understand the drive to write fanfic, but I also think its best, well, not to be in an author’s face about it. I mean, some people send their fanfic to authors thinking the authors will like the “better” endings. No, really. I think it’s flattering — but I also think it is playing in someone else’s sandbox and the owner of the sandbox needs to be respected. Fans cannot be entitled. so write the fanfic — but keep it private. and yes, about generalizations, because fanfic feeds a number of hungers.

  4. Michelle says:

    I find the world of fanfic so interesting and appealing. It makes me wonder how many authors started out by writing fanfic and how influential that was in their career progression. I imagine many keep it secret but what a great research project it would be to find out what influence it has. If that research hasn’t already been done by you, Carlie or others….as I’m sure it probably has.

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