bookshop turned 6 today!
omg we are so old :D :D :D
Please pass this around for everyone attending the con this weekend!
Also, if you’re going to be at DC, here’s some tips that can hopefully help if you’re in an uncomfortable situation:
- Look for someone wearing a red lanyard. Folks with red lanyards are DC volunteers and they can help you.
- Strangers touching your costume, hair, or body without your consent = harassment, and it’s okay to remind them of it.
- Strangers taking your picture without your permission or knowledge = harassment. If you see this happening to someone else at the con, speak up and alert security!
- Take note of the offender’s name, badge, and any other details like costuming/clothing, etc.
- If an offender gives you pushback or gets defensive, state firmly, “This con has a harassment policy.”
- The Dragon Con security room is Marriott room M102.
- If you see something, say something.
Have a safe and fun con!
Note: this post was originally made in 2010 in response to Diana Gabaldon’s epic rant about fanfiction. The original version is still being updated. I’m reposting it to Tumblr by request, but if you have any additions, please feel free to drop a comment at LJ so they can be added to the masterpost!
Dear Author of the Week,
You think fanfic is a personal affront to the many hours you’ve spent carefully crafting your characters. You think fanfic is “immoral and illegal.” You think fanfiction is just plagiarism. You think fanfiction is cheating. You think fanfic is for people who are too stupid/lazy/unimaginative to write stories of their own. You think there are exceptions for people who write published derivative works as part of a brand or franchise, because they’re clearly only doing it because they have to. You’re personally traumatized by the idea that someone else could look at your characters and decide that you did it wrong and they need to fix it/add original characters to your universe/send your characters to the moon/Japan/their hometown. You think all fanfic is basically porn. You’re revolted by the very idea that fic writers think what they do is legitimate.
We get it.
Congratulations! You’ve just summarily dismissed as criminal, immoral, and unimaginative each of the following Pulitzer Prize-winning writers and works:
Well, I’ll copy/paste the comment I left.
"I came to read this as a lover and supporter of fic as literature (and I’ve used Shakespeare and Virgil as examples many a time!) but I noticed a trend in the examples which makes me think of a different angle: the works being transformed, and the odds that the work itself will survive its offspring.
"In most cases of Respected Art that you list, the offspring is no threat to its parent. Wicked doesn’t erase The Wizard of Oz; it complements it. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen actually encourages its readers to seek out the originals, the better to understand the in-jokes. No amount of Virgil will make us forget Homer.
"But what about Arthur Brooke? Who remembers "The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet"? (Heck, who remembers who inspired Brooke? This is apparently tangled enough that the exact answer may be eternally lost to history.) Shakespeare’s fic eclipsed his sources to an astronomical degree.
"And this may be the fear of authors opposed to fic: that their work may be found mediocre (or worse, bad). That a gifted writer may create a fic which will involve their work in a legacy bearing none of their name. That, in the end, their story will stand as the pale shadow of someone else’s.
"I still don’t agree with authors opposing fic - I think literature is the better and richer for free exchange of story - but I can have a little more sympathy, if they are less concerned about fanfic being bad than its being good."
I think you’ve hit on the main reason fanfiction is so threatening to people—because it forces them to confront the reality that their works are not really individual masterpieces but part of a collective communal body of ideas and tropes, humanity’s attempt to speak a common language through literature. I think fanfiction and the whole of remix culture is honestly a really humbling eye-opener of a culture shock to a lot of people. Because now Stargate:Atlantis isn’t just Stargate, it’s Stargate:Atlantis, the work that produced Written by the Victors. “Baby Got Back” isn’t just a fun summer classic hip-hop anthem, it’s the work that inspired Nikki Minaj to produce the searingly feminist “Anaconda.”
I think it also forces people to recognize that fanfic isn’t something that’s happened to them like they’ve been mugged; rather, fanfic reveals to them that they never were creating in a vacuum. Chretien de Troyes didn’t just happen along to singlehandedly invent the Arthurian legends that would inspire 8000000000 works that came after him. He was just the first to go on record, using tropes that predated him, tropes that remain timeless.
We interviewed Jane Espenson about writing, queerbaiting, and the impact of her characters. (via dailydot)