LonCon3 #24: Authors Accept, Encourage, and Create Fan Works Too

Panellists: Seanan McGuire, Patrick Rothfuss, Karen Miller, Adam Christopher, Karen Hellekson

Fanfiction, fan art, and other forms of transformative works can be a sensitive topic with authors understandably having mixed reactions to works based on their creations. In this session four successful authors embrace forms of creative (not-for-profit!) output based upon their works. They discuss the benefits and difficulties of having fans creatively engage with their material. Beyond that they openly talk about their own experiences with fan works, whether they have written, still write, or read fanfiction or produce other forms of fan works.

Many are driven to fanfiction by cancelled shows and beloved series that come to an end. Fanfiction teaches fans how to write and can be attractive to new writers with an already established world and fully developed characters. It can also be a gateway to becoming a professional writer.

Some people are embarrassed to admit they write fanfic but well-known authors have written it.

Seanan McGuire wrote Buffy and Supernatural fanfic. (“Buffy is bisexual with Faith wanting to jump her bones.”)

Karen Miller has written Stargate fanfic but only when something was missing emotionally that she felt compelled to write.

Patrick Rothfuss enjoys fan art and has written fanfic. He says he could write fanfic of his own work under a pseudonym, so watch out if you come across a story that seems eerily authentic. He’s also obsessed with Joss Whedon. He loved Dr Horrible so much he wanted to write fanfic but felt he had to respectfully ask permission from Dark Horse which he sadly didn’t get. He was . . . upset.

You can’t read fanfic of your own work because it can get confusing.

Factoid: Angry Robot had an author-sanctioned fanfic publishing programme.

Archive of Our Own (A03) is a great fanfic site.

deviantART has much fan art.

*Before the panel began Seanan was chatting with the audience and said:
“I want to steal Elizabeth Bear’s dog!”
“I heard that,” says Elizabeth Bear, who just happened to walk in at that moment, but she didn’t stay for the panel.


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