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As someone who never really cared who Harry or Hermione ended up with, all I can say is: Bwahahahahaha!!!!

"I know, I'm sorry, I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I'm absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that,” she said.

Actually, I think this is pretty awesome. Rowling is still thinking about her stories and her characters and able to revisit her writing decisions with a critical eye years after the fact. I've talked a little bit about how some of the things I've done in my stories I might have done differently if I had them to do over again, and it's great that someone as notable as Rowling can say "Yeah, in retrospect maybe I should have written that differently." Especially knowing, as I'm sure she does, that Ron/Hermione/Harry shipping was one of the most controversial and hugely absorbing issues in the fandom for many years and that saying this now will probably create more reaction than when she announced Dumbledore was gay.

I expect some people will accuse her of just trying to get attention again now that HP is fading from memory, which is pretty much what they said when she dropped the infamous Dumbledore bombshell. I don't get these accusations. JK Rowling has never struck me as a woman who's desperately in need of being in the spotlight or who courts controversy for the sake of controversy. She sometimes makes bad decisions and she admits it, but she seems quite down to earth and I think she just says whatever comes to her mind, even if it causes an uproar among her fans.

Anyway, this should be amusing to watch in those corners of the fandom still deeply invested in shipping and JK Rowling's after-the-fact pronouncements. Break out the popcorn!

Teddy Lupin goes to university

Hogwarts Houses Divided

I've had a couple of people email me now to let me know that Hogwarts Houses Divided has been assigned as recommended reading in Durham University's Harry Potter course.

Cool beans. Hey Durham U students - you get extra credit for leaving reviews! ;)

Seriously, if anyone could scan the syllabus and send it to me, I would be very appreciative.

Money for nothing and your fics for free

So, yeah, everyone's talking about Amazon's Kindle Worlds program, which basically allows people to write and sell fan fiction as Kindle ebooks.

Now before you get all excited, it's only Alloy Entertainment allowing this so far, and only for certain properties (Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, and Pretty Little Liars). No doubt more publishers and intellectual properties will become available, but it's not like Amazon has just declared open season for publishing fan fiction.

Lots of professional authors have already weighed in: John Scalzi is preliminarily wary. Jim C. Hines is pondering it. Malinda Lo is freaking out.

So, a few things to keep in mind.

First of all: the properties made available so far are already what are called "packaged works": they're basically work-for-hire product. It's not like Amazon is (or could) throwing the gates open for you to start publishing Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings fanfic. Only the IP holder (i.e., the author) can allow that.

I am guessing that a few authors will give permission, and the majority will say "Hell, no."

Now, of course some people fear what Amazon's long game is. Amazon has a history of undercutting and commoditizing things in order to seize market share, so I've seen speculation that Amazon will start requiring authors to agree to a "fan fiction clause" in work published by Amazon, and that this will slowly exert pressure on all publishers to bow to this new model.

I think that's pretty unlikely, because I think it's pretty unlikely that this "commercial fan fic" will ever become a big thing.

What I do think will happen is that there will be a handful of success stories, ala Fifty Shades of Gray. Amongst the vast sea of crap that will be published, much like self-published original fiction now, a few will become enormously popular bestsellers, probably for reasons as inexplicable to most of us as 50SoG.

And the catch there is that Kindle World's contract grants the original license holder all rights to use your creations, without compensation.

In other words, let's say I was able to publish my Alexandra Quick series on Kindle Worlds (which I can't, because J.K. Rowling and Scholastic have not jumped on this bandwagon and I think it's enormously unlikely that they will). And let's say Alexandra Quick became the hottest thing since 50SoG. (Hey, I can dream, can't I?) Under the terms of Kindle Worlds, Amazon Publishing could sell the rights to Warner Brothers to make a series of Alexandra Quick movies, and no one has to pay me one thin dime. I get paid only for my novels, not for any derivative works. At all. I don't really own my characters.

And, the thing is, I think that's fair, more or less. Because I already don't own my characters. Because it's fan fiction. If I want to write Alexandra Quick novels that I can hypothetically sell the movie rights to, then I'd need to "file the serial numbers off" and write them as original novels, not as officially sanctioned fan fiction. If you decide to jump into the Kindle Worlds fan fiction pool, you do so knowing that you are writing fan fiction and you don't own it. Don't like it? Write something that's not fan fiction.

The other big objection I've seen to this is that it violates the "gift economy" culture of fandom. I.e., it's just plain wrong to sell fan fiction, because it's wrong because.

As far as I'm concerned, if you've been given the creator's blessing, it's not wrong.

Will this see a bunch of people no longer posting free stories on because they're trying to sell it on Kindle Worlds instead? Oh, I'm sure some will try. Keeping in mind that it's only ever going to be a very small subset of properties that are allowed on Kindle Worlds (and I do not think that subset will ever include Harry Potter, Twilight, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Star Trek, anything Marvel or DC, you get the idea), even among those fandoms, plenty of people will still write stuff for free. There will never be a shortage of free fan fiction. And the vast majority of authors who try to sell their fan fiction will be horribly disappointed if they're thinking they're going to make any significant amount of money at it.

Alexandra Quick as commercial fan fic?

Alexandra Quick

See above for all the reasons why this will not happen. But hypothetically, let's say J.K. Rowling shocked the world by saying "Sure, go ahead and sell your Harry Potter fan fiction."

Would I do it?


Not to make money (Amazon decides the pricing, and I wouldn't expect to see significant sales, especially since all the AQ novels are already available for free), but for the increased exposure, to give Alexandra Quick a much wider audience. (And yes, taking the risk that someday Alexandra Quick might become a blockbuster movie franchise and I wouldn't get paid. Hey, I would happily take that risk! :D)

I would put all the AQ novels up for free on Amazon and Smashwords now, if it were legal. I imagine most fan fiction writers would. And if that led to people saying "Hey, this Inverarity is a pretty good writer, maybe I should buy his original fiction..." Well, I'm sure that's the thinking of a lot of writers who will be flooding into Kindle Worlds.

I will not, however, be writing any Vampire Diaries fan fiction.

Poll #1914940 Kindle Worlds

What do you think of the Kindle Worlds program?

It's a great idea! I would love to do this myself with my fan fiction.
Good luck to those writers, but I doubt this will really catch on.
Meh. I'm not going to pay for fan fiction.
I think this is a bad idea, Amazon is evil, and selling fan fiction is sleazy.
I continue the conversation of my previous post here on bookish


Why not publish Alexandra Quick?

Alexandra Quick
Alexandra Quick and the Stars Above now has a banner!

Alexandra Quick and the Stars Above

Banner by the very generous and talented JCCollier, who is the author of one of my favorite fan fiction stories, Marissa and the Wizards. JCCollier also made the banners for AQATLB and AQATDR.

Writing progress

AQATWA is going... slowly. I am up to 46,000 words. And I'm on chapter ten, and the plot hasn't really begun yet. Oh, there is foreshadowing and some encounters that will Mean Things later, but mostly I am cataloging a whole bunch of Pritchards while I try to figure out all the usual things I am trying to figure out when I am not yet even in the middle of a book. Now and then I have a burst of inspiration — "Aha! That's where that MacGuffin will come from!" — but mostly I have a bunch of... conversations, and Alexandra is being more introspective than in previous books.

As for the OF novel, I have been punting on it. I am pretty sure I need to rewrite the first part. I may have to rewrite the whole thing, and I don't want to. And I can't work on it and AQATWA at the same time. Well, I can, and will pretty soon since I joined a private crit circle, but basically no real progress so far.

Filing the serial numbers off, redux

So, another person has asked me why I don't publish the Alexandra Quick series, and while I've talked about this before, let me teal deer about it some more below the cut.

Answering that question I get asked a lot.Collapse )

(And for those of you who follow my Saturday Book Discussions, I intend to make "published fan fiction" the topic of tomorrow's post, as well.)
nihilistic_kid's Let us put an end to Geek Pride is making me chuckle with glee, as are the responses. But I saw this episode when it originally aired...

Confessions of a Neckbeard

stop it
Death to Nice Guys (tm) and Neckbeards.Collapse )

ETA: Locked. Not because I'm a mean ol' lefty who can't stand to hear dissenting opinions (though I expect that's what jordan179 is going to claim), but because I have to go to work, I cannot access LJ at work, and I really don't want to read ten more pages of this shit when I get home.


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