The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

More scattered thoughts on Fourth Street

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Scattered thoughts:

Mris is brilliant.  Seth has some amazing Scotch.   I had an epiphany: when I write a second novel set in a world I created, I’m writing fanfic.  Pretty cool, huh?

corwin

Author: corwin

Site administrative account, so probably Corwin, Felix or DD-B.

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  1. The problem and benefit of writing fanfic for your own universe is that whatever you write becomes canon.

    Use this power only for good. Or for your own amusement. Or especially for both.

  2. Ho, ho ho hold on a sec! I’m not sure how the creator of a world can write fanfic in his own novels. The wikipedia (oh how I bless thee; even if you are a bane of some scholars, to me you are magic) defines fanfiction as “fiction about characters or settings written by admirers of the original work, rather than by the original creators. The term usually applies to works that are not commissioned and unauthorized by the owner/creators and publishers of the original and usually (but not always) works which are not professionally published. Fan fiction is defined outside of original fiction, which exists within its own discrete, professionally published universe, and therefore outside of canon works within that universe.”

    (italics all mine)

    Steve, you are the original writer, therefore you’re off the island when it comes to fanfic. What you write is canon for your world; what fanfic writers do in your universe generally is not. I can say that Jhereg wear pretty purple flowers behind their ears in my fanfic (were I to write it), but that doesn’t mean that when anyone else writes fanfic they have to put pretty purple flowers behind Jhereg ears, or even that the main author does, because what I’m doing isn’t cannon. In fact, I’d probably be shouted down roundly for it because you, as the author and creator of the world don’t put pretty purple flowers behind their ears. (tho I’d love to see Vlad with one) If you write it, it’s canon. If we write it, it’s just a story.

    So I disagree with your epiphany 🙂 While I agree you’re an admirer of your own work (or at least I’d hope so, selfishly, so you keep churning out Vlad books), I don’t think that makes you a fanfic author in your own realm. Unless you are writing in your own world without your own (and your publisher’s) permission, and then my head just starts to hurt.

  3. I had an epiphany: when I write a second novel set in a world I created, I’m writing fanfic.

    Okay, that’s effing funny, dude. Way to NOT be an egomaniac!

    As someone who writes fanfic in your world, (don’t worry, no one ever sees it but me) I’ll chuckle about that all day…

  4. corwin

    Kethryvis @ 2: “The wikipedia (oh how I bless thee; even if you are a bane of some scholars, to me you are magic) defines fanfiction as “fiction about characters or settings written by admirers of the original work, rather than by the original creators. ”

    I think it’s time to lose the “rather than” clause. In effect, fanfic is fiction written by someone who is geeked by the original creation and wants to continue it. That’d be me.

  5. In that case, I very much enjoy your fanfic and hope you’ll continue. 🙂

  6. *scuffs feet shyly*

  7. However, the canon aspect of it shouldn’t be ignored. The original author establishes canon through his works. Some fanfic may become canon through endorsement of the original author, but isn’t assumed to be by default.

  8. I’ve often wondered about the divide between fanfic and shared-world fiction particularly, and broadening it to series fic is one step even further! But I do like the idea. The only real distinction I’ve made in my mind about fanfic vs. original fiction is that you can only legally get paid for the latter. 😉

  9. Alana, you can legally get paid for fanfic, you just need the copyright holder’s permission. It happens.

    Steve, I’d say that in the case of a series, any book that advances the overall plot linearly (more or less) is part of the series; but a book that’s “off to the side” (following a different character just because the author thinks it’s interesting or something like that) could be fanfic. A series that’s one humongous novel, chopped into 3 or 20 books, doesn’t contain fanfic.

  10. Steve, you very nearly made me spit my Scotch reading this. The best part of writing your own fanfic is that you could logically sue yourself over copyright! If you take out insurance against such lawsuits in advance (not unlike medical malpratice insurance), you could then file a claim and use the proceeds to fix up the car, or pick up a bottle of Auchentoshan or Caol Ila, or something fun.

    (I like capitalism – it’s crunchy and good with ketchup!)

    BTW, off topic: Do you prefer more peaty/smokey or smooth/mild in your Scotch? (Not that those are mutually exclusive, but you know what I mean…)

  11. corwin

    Brad @ 7: Good point.

    BigUglyManDoll @ 10: Peaty/smokey. My favorite is Laguvullen, with Laphroaig 15 running a close second.

  12. Kethryvis, canon is determined by the fan, not by the author. In my Buffy canon, the series had five seasons; in my Robert B. Parker’s Spenser canon, The Godwulf Manuscript does not exist, and the series ends with Early Autumn. Steve, as a Vlad fan, doesn’t create canon. That his Vlad canon overlaps with that of many people who are both Vlad fans and Brust fans is pure coincidence.

    Okay, impure coincidence.

  13. Yes, but are the Paarfi books Brust fanfic or Dumas fanfic?

  14. “Amazing Scotch” to me always brings me back to Glen Morangie.

    Didn’t Gavin share some with you back at Consanguinity? If not, he must be soundly beaten, and I’ll have to rectify the situation post haste.

  15. This may only interest me..(and a handful of my friends..) but, we often wonder why no fanfic has ever been published officially or unofficially in Tolkien’s World of Middle Earth? At least not where its reached the attention of main stream fantasy readers..

  16. corwin

    Dennis @ 13: Oh, good question!

    Jonathan @ 14: Oddly, Glen Morangie is one of the few I don’t care for. I like one sip; after that it’s too sweet.

  17. . . . we often wonder why no fanfic has ever been published officially or unofficially in Tolkien’s World of Middle Earth?

    I’ve heard that Dennis McKiernan’s Iron Tower trilogy originally was set in Middle Earth, and was a continuation of Tolkein’s work. Then he couldn’t get those in power to authorize it, so he had to change some things and publish it as his own creation.

    It still bears strong resemblances to Tolkein’s work and world, though.

  18. re: original post – Steve, you absolutely made my day with that quote. I’ve been lurking quite a while, but had to comment on that

    re: #15 and #17 – couldn’t the movies sort of be considered fanfiction of a sort, since they’re an interpretation of the original?

    re: scotch (of various posts) – have you tried Bowmore? Yum.

  19. corwin

    Meghan @ 18: Bowmore is what I keep around, now that I can no longer afford Laguvullen.

  20. Steve, Bowmore make stuff that’s better than Lagavulin (at least any I’ve tried). Of course, it also tends to cost more.

  21. corwin

    Yes, Seth–you proved that rather effectually, for which I thank you. But bopping down to my local Specs, my choices don’t include those options. Fortunately, the cheap version of Bowmore works just fine.

  22. Steve, I think you said some cool things about fanfic and authors, but I’m terribly distracted by the scotch part.

    I’ve tried 15-20 different ones and ended up liking Lagavulin best, but I don’t think I’ve had any Bowmore. Please, tell me more about it! My local super-booze-o-rama lists a variety of bottlings ranging in price from “I’d buy that just to try it” to “I could get a car for that.”

  23. corwin

    Zak @ 22: Bowmore is an inexpensive Islay, somewhat peaty, somewhat smoky, but without a lot of complexity. Not great, but I like it.

  24. Bowmore is a distillery with a lot of different products. (At last count, I have five of theirs, plus a bottle under another name.)

  25. Steve @ 23: Highland Park (18) has been that way for me. Sometimes I’m in the mood for something less interesting, other times it gets used as a mixer for a rusty nail with more than your average amount of character.

    Seth @ 24: Got any recommendations on the ones that’re better’n Lagavulin? It’s been a while since I’ve added any new stuff to my collection.

  26. You could try their Dawn, Dusk, Darkest trilogy (14-15 years in two casks), or their Mariner Islay (15 years). There’s also Black (42 years), but that’s in the “car” class (and worth it).

  27. I picked up a bottle of the Darkest this evening. Initial impression is very good. I’ll compare and contrast later, but offhand I’m just about equally happy with it and Lagavulin. It gets more interesting with a larger mouthful. I was going for little sips at first and I found it a bit simplistic, but with more of it significantly more character came through.

    Very worthy stuff! Now to find an excuse to get some of the higher-end.

  28. Now to find an excuse to get some of the higher-end.

    I recommend winning the lottery.

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