February 04, 2003

Buffy the Balrog Slayer on Krypton

Uh oh -- Mr. Neil Gaiman has fallen afoul of one of those scourges of the internet: the Reader Who Takes Umbrage at the First Paragraph of a Blog Post, Fan-Fiction Writer Subgenus. (Entry for February 4th.) Apparently Mr. Gaiman mentioned in an earlier post that he doesn't read fan fiction. He went on further, of course, and anyone who read his entire post would have found out that the reason he doesn't read Sandman/Spock/Kirk/Angel slash isn't because he thinks it smells (nor because he thinks fanfic is all slash). But the flood of emailers obviously didn't get that far before the fired up their Outlook Express. Thus:

[...]it also looked like a lot of the people telling me off hadn't even read the whole post, or had just seen other people on other sites quoting the last paragraph, which was then extensively quoted back at me as evidence that: I don't know what I'm talking about; do not understand that people are writing fan-fiction for pleasure, or that fan-fiction is a valid artistic purpose in itself; that I am myself nothing more than a glorified fan writer; that people writing movies and TV shows and comics and books are really writing fan-fiction; that real life is really fan-fiction; that all comics writers are writing fan fiction and what about that time I wrote (insert comics/historical/mythical characters I didn't create here)?; that Shakespeare was writing fan fiction; and that my choice to write fiction that I do not call fan-fiction should not be seen in any way as a reflection on those who wear their fan-fiction proudly. Also if I'd just read some decent Buffy/Smallville/Legolas/Gone With the Wind fan-fiction I wouldn't have been so rude about those who choose to write it.
I dunno, Buffy/Smallville/Legolas/Gone With the Wind fan-fiction sounds like it would be... interesting. Or something. (Or at least it does to me, who is suffering from huge writer's block problems on everything but silly blog entries like this one.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at February 4, 2003 03:01 AM

oh, thank you Andrea, for posting this.

i don't know if i could have gone another day with the Spike/Rhett/Clark/Legolas picture i have in my head RIGHT NOW.



Posted by: chris at February 4, 2003 at 01:20 PM

er, withOUT. sigh

Posted by: chris at February 4, 2003 at 01:21 PM

Heh heh. Always glad to be of service...

Posted by: Andrea Harris at February 4, 2003 at 01:39 PM

It might just be because most so-called "fan-fiction" is total crap. I have read a bit in my time. Just because you know a book or a series of books by rote does not make you a good writer. Some of it can be good for a laugh but most of it is just horrid.

When it comes to games however, many "fans" are rather good at making scenarios and companies like Chaosium (Call of Cthulhu etc) encourage gamers to submit their own modules.

Posted by: Andrew at February 4, 2003 at 01:47 PM

I don't know why some fanfic writers get themselves into such a tizzy. I write it, it's fun, I have people that like to read it. End of story.

Posted by: Ith at February 4, 2003 at 04:12 PM

Oh, and thew Spike/Rhett/Clark/Legolas grouping is wonderfully icky, thanks! I'm not a lsash fan, so I torment my slashy friends with crazed pairings. This one is a keeper!!

Posted by: Ith at February 4, 2003 at 04:13 PM

The most quintessential fanfic, IMHO, is the MST3K treatment of OTHER fanfic, AKA "MSTing." It works because it deflates all the pretentious cliched conventions of so much of the crap out there. And when done well, it's freaking hilarious.

Posted by: David Jaroslav at February 4, 2003 at 05:00 PM