I haven't been very looped in on the discussion, but evidently a debate has been happening in the interwebs over the value--or not--of fan fiction.
Here's an item by George R.R. Martin in which he denounces the idea of fan fic and basically says writers are dumb to let fans play in their sandbox. He cites as examples the famous case of Marion Zimmer Bradley getting threatened with a lawsuit by a fan who was writing Darkover fiction that Bradley had read and encouraged after Bradley wanted to write a novel using a premise similar to something in this fan's story. He also talks about Lovecraft and how he died a pauper supposedly because he didn't protect his copyrights, while Edgar Rice Burroughs made himself a millionaire off his Tarzan and Barsoom properties.
Here's an item by Nick Mamatas rebutting Martin's piece and contending that the comparison between Lovecraft and Burroughs is invalid, and making the case that the only reason Lovecraft has a legacy and is so well known and highly regarded now is that he encouraged his fellow writers and fans to play with the Cthulhu Mythos which, in turn, helped keep Lovecraft's own work alive so many decades after his death.
This is an item by Corinne Duyvis in which she ascribes a lot of value to fan fiction as a way for writers to practice the craft and get feedback from readers.
And there are many other such posts around the world dealing with this general topic. What do M-Brane readers think about it? Does anyone who reads this blog or who has written for the magazine read or write any fan fiction, or have you in the past? I used to when I was a kid and had a lot of fun with it, and I think it may have had some of the benefits that Corinne describes. I even self-published a lot of it in my Star Trek fanzine under a variety of pseudonyms. My co-editor and I probably wrote ourselves over half of all the content that we ever published over 21 monthly issues, so we certainly got some practice at writing a lot of stuff. That's not to say that any of it was any good, but it was probably a useful exercise for a young kid nonetheless.Related Articles :