OTW Fannews: Relating to Canon

OTW Fannews banner by Sidhrat with the words Relating to Canon across a background photo of the tip of an iceberg

  • My Eastern Shore Maryland took note of a library event where participants could read their fanfiction. The practice is increasingly common wherever book lovers congregate. San Francisco’s KALW focused on a regular bookstore event. “Make no mistake, Shipwreck peddles in extremity – it’s gross, sometimes way too gross for me. But even if the jokes are destructive, the audience is doing kind of what our high school teachers told us to do – critically engaging with the text. There’s no right way to relate to books, and Shipwreck underscores this idea through writing about muppet sex, glitter canon orgasms, and shocking acts between Ayn Rand characters. This may seem ridiculous to some who consider themselves serious readers. But this is the largest group of people I’ve ever seen in a bookstore, enjoying themselves raucously.”
  • Iowa’s Ames Tribune had a tribute to Terry Pratchett which exemplified the ambivalent feelings of some to fanworks. “Louis L’Amour died in 1983. I was 1 year old. I am an avid reader of his books, and a few years ago I read the first book in a planned trilogy. He died before penning the rest of the trilogy. My reaction was the same as when Pratchett passed, ‘I wish he had more time! This is a very selfish wish but speaks to the hold that authors can have on our imagination and the place that they occupy in our hearts…For me, this doesn’t translate to wanting others to continue ghostwriting…I mourn the finality, but anything else would feel like a sham, not quite right. However, I do love fan fiction and the desire for people to continue a story that resonates with them so personally. I think that fan fiction can be enjoyed as its own unique being separate from the author’s own canon of published works.”
  • Some, like Canada’s Global News, seemed a little less clear on what fanfiction actually is, confusing it with cosplay. “Fans were eager to show off their original works of art, some designed by hand. ‘This one I made myself so each of the leaves was stitched and glued on. There are over 3,000 leaves,’ said cosplayer Melody Wood. The event offers an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate a common love of fiction in all its forms. ‘It’s growing, we are finding our community. Everyone is beginning to embrace their inner nerd,’ said cosplayer Kris Brehaut.”
  • Rocket News drew attention to Studio Ghibli fanart. “When you find something you really like, it’s sometimes hard to express how much it’s influencing your life. To show off how much they love something, some fans try cosplay or rampant consumerism. Others write songs or fan fiction to tell the world the extent of their affection. But for others, it’s as simple as drawing a picture that perfectly captures all their feelings on the paper…Going by the name GhibliLover92 on DeviantArt, this artist has been on fire lately, sharing tons of drawings and artwork that pays tribute to one of her favorite animation studios, Studio Ghibli. Each of her drawings is vibrant, colorful, and captures the joy and energetic feeling we all get when watching the anime production house’s movies.”

What sorts of tributes would you like to make to fanworks? Write about your favorites in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.