OTW Fannews: Published Fanfiction

A man hammers a chisel into a stone table 'OTW Fan News Published Fanfiction

  • The release of two books has continued to spread discussion about fanfiction. The Guardian wrote about Stephanie Meyers’ genderswapped Twilight. “Life and Death is apparently a demonstration of how anyone, male or female, would react in the same way to a sexy, immortal love interest. But I’m not sure it exactly plays out like that. The idea of a moody teenage boy going gooey over a centuries-old, mysterious, super-strong woman who can fly feels revolutionary. Add in the fact that the book is from his point of view, allowing pages of moping about whether or not this powerful older woman actually likes him, and a pack of lady werewolves, and this is sounding like the book I’ve been waiting to read all my life.”
  • Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On has been featured in many an article that draws attention to its fanfic focus, though not necessarily in depth. The L.A. Times instead focused on the growth of diversity since Harry Potter debuted. The Guardian notices similar pushbacks but ties them closely to fanfic. “Carry On is in conversation with much of our popular culture… characters and plot points in Carry On can feel like direct rebuttals at times. Like the best fan fiction, this is one of the book’s chief pleasures: the way it simultaneously talks to these texts, pushes back at them and challenges them critically, while still letting the reader get lost in the world that Rowell has created.”
  • Slate also focused on the positive influence of fanfic. “You’re able to see the characters in the moment, rather than burdened by years of history. You skip the world-building and get right to the drama and emotion. And you’re definitely able to just go with it when the story takes a turn for the slash. In Fangirl, at one point Cath gets in trouble in her creative writing class for turning in fan fiction. Her professor insists that it doesn’t count if she didn’t create the characters and the world in the first place. But Carry On makes a case for fan fiction’s literary legitimacy. It’s not easy to mimic, deconstruct, and remix the elements of a magical world in the way Rowell has here.”
  • The Daily Dot most directly used the novel to discuss fanfiction at large. “Carry On isn’t just fanfiction; rather, fanfiction itself is never just fanfiction. This is the thing that we who write fanfiction have so much trouble getting across to people unfamiliar with the medium. Carry On contain’s Rowell’s own original work, her own branching-off into something new–new characterizations, character dynamics, ways of thinking about the tropes that started with Rowling, and takes on magic and worldbuilding. It’s absolutely fanfiction, but it’s also something entirely her own. This is what we mean when we call fanfiction transformative work.”

What have you seen as the most direct influence of fanfiction on literature? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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