Naomi Novik Interviewed for io9

OTW Board Chair Naomi Novik was interviewed by Annalee Newitz for io9 at ComicCon: in the featured video, Naomi explains why fanfic is important (and why fans should use the Archive of Our Own!): Naomi Novik says fanfic is part of literary history – and reveals what’s next for Temeraire.

Edited to add:: Transcript in comments, courtesy of Tree.

  1. tree commented:

    Q: Why do you think it’s important for authors to preserve fanfic online?

    A: I think there are a couple of things. First of all, as a fanfic writer myself, I have some truly dreadful stories that I wrote at the beginning of my career. And because they were fanfic and not professional fiction, they’re not preserved in print in a magazine or something. So it’s in some ways easier to try and erase that history, but I actually feel like that’s an important history. I want to see development of writers. I like to see a writer’s early work and then the progression. So I think it’s important from that perspective.

    And then I think, also, fanfiction is part of a community. Fanfiction is written not in a void; it’s not just written for one single person speaking to an audience. It’s written in a network. Frequently stories communicate with one another; they communicate with what’s in canon at that particular moment in time. And I think that when you start losing that history — when you start destroying fanfic, taking it down, or just letting it get lost in the geocities takedown or the erosive qualities of the internet — that you’re losing something important about the conversation about a work.

    For instance, I really would love for everyone who writes Temeraire fanfiction to archive it at the Archive of Our Own, so that people who come to the series later on — the books will hopefully stay in print for a long time, and I hope that fans who come to the series even when it’s closed still can enjoy stories that were written early on in the series and kind of see how different people might have split off in different ways. I mean it’s really like a wonderful huge sprawling what-if conversation that you’re having with fans who might have been fans five years ago, or fans who are fans ten years from now. And I think that’s just wonderful. That’s part of a literary discussion that I think is really important.

    • fcoppa commented:

      Thanks so much! I will edit the post to reflect that there’s a link to this in comments! 🙂