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Spockanalia sounds dirty
August 14, 2012 4:11 AM   Subscribe

Fan fiction has, arguably, existed in some form since 1614, and it has certainly been in existence since the Star Trek fanzine, Spockanalia was published in 1967, while derivative works and unofficial adaptations have long existed (such as Edison's Frankenstein) in the mass market, most obviously Nosferatu (unofficial trailer, whole film) and the infamous Tijuana bibles, but in the modern world of extended copyright and Internet commerce are fan fiction and fan art legal?
posted by Mezentian (66 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Fan fiction" has existed since mythology and storytelling started. It wasn't one Greek author who wrote the locked down Zeus and Friends(tm) series.
posted by jaduncan at 4:14 AM on August 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


Wasn't the New Testament just Old Testament fan fiction?

From the article, it looks like this is a pretty ambiguous area, where you can either change things enough that it's not infringing (ala 50 Shades) or claim it's parody (ala Wind Done Gone). Of course, all of this is only coming to the forefront because of the internet; it's always existed, just underground.

Most of the artists I follow are pretty accepting of fanfiction and take it as a tribute, and Korra's creators even put fan art on their own web pages.
posted by emjaybee at 4:36 AM on August 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yes
posted by Renoroc at 4:37 AM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


50 Shades is interesting, in that the original fanfic with the Twilight names is still up. That makes it pretty clearly derived from Twilight, and so 50 shades is derived from a derivative work. There's an interesting case to be had but (to her/their credit) it looks like Team Myers don't want to take it there.

I am, of course, assuming there wasn't a quiet settlement in return for a covenant not to sue.
posted by jaduncan at 4:40 AM on August 14, 2012


I had always thought of Paradise Lost as the first major work of fan fiction, but apparently Don Quixote predates it by about 60 years. I did not know that.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:58 AM on August 14, 2012


I refuse to believe that Beowulf didn't start out as fanfiction of someone's favorite fireside stories.
posted by Mizu at 4:59 AM on August 14, 2012


And now that I'm reading more closely, you're not talking about Don Quixote, but about an unauthorized sequel thereof. Still predates Paradise Lost. Whatever.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:59 AM on August 14, 2012


I'd heard rumors at the time, I'm not sure if they're true, that Myers herself had been involved in some kind of fandom. A lot of newer fantasy authors are. Naomi Novik and Jim Butcher both, for example. It's changed a lot of how people regard it; they're starting to try to capitalize on it, rather than squash it. I think that's the defining question, in the end, not whether it's technically a copyright violation.
posted by gracedissolved at 5:00 AM on August 14, 2012


"Fan fiction" is what we used to call culture before culture was commercialized and stolen by regulatory capture.
posted by DU at 5:05 AM on August 14, 2012 [41 favorites]


they're starting to try to capitalize on it, rather than squash it.

I never really got the "let's bully the people who love this book enough to write more" business plan. Bonus points for publishers who then hire a social media team to build up buzz.
posted by jaduncan at 5:06 AM on August 14, 2012


I had always thought of Paradise Lost as the first major work of fan fiction
I don't know how to define first, but definitely way earlier:
- The Aeneid (Virgil took a minor character from Homer and gave him some adventures of his own)
- Plato's Socratic dialogues (the philosophical equivalent of Justin Bieber slash)
- Like, every classical greek tragedy ever. Particularly the ones with stories from Homer. Particularly all the ones (now sadly almost entirely lost) where Achilles and Patroclus discuss how much they love to fuck each other.

A long time before the Mary Sue a bigger phenomenon was the 'Mario di Stu', which is where the poet or painter's sponsor is shoehorned into fictional or historical episodes as the Most Awesomest Guy ever who everyone thinks is the best.
posted by Acheman at 5:27 AM on August 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


more context on achilles plz
posted by PinkMoose at 5:41 AM on August 14, 2012


Its legal to write fan fiction no matter what. Its whether you can sell or read from it for money that is the question.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:50 AM on August 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm gonna admit, I dislike fanfic. And I own a lot of it, albeit official.
And I find slash a lot creepy.

But subsequent to posting this a friend who is not known in certain FF/FF circles posted this: In the beginning, there was fan fiction: from the four gospels to Fifty Shades.

I find the sudden mainstream discovery of FF thanks to 50 Shades interesting fro a cultural perspective , but the issues of derivative works damned interesting as well.
posted by Mezentian at 6:00 AM on August 14, 2012


I can't wait for fan fiction about the fan fiction debate.
posted by The Whelk at 6:19 AM on August 14, 2012


Rule 34, dude.
Rule 34.

Somewhere, right now, some lurker is RPS-ing this.
posted by Mezentian at 6:29 AM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


People say "Read "50 Shades" to your spouse, ans spark some romance. My wife reads me the mangled grammar and sentences that make one puzzle. Obviously she knows me.
posted by DBAPaul at 6:34 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm just gonna point out that saying one dislikes fanfic is not terribly different from saying one dislikes fiction, period. As many commenters have pointed out above, a huge amount of fiction that we've canonized as "great" is at least as derivative as modern fanfic, so dismissing the form on principle doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Likewise the "well, most of it is crap" argument is a weak one; most of everything is crap.

Once we've gotten down to the "well okay, but I don't like slash", we're essentially arguing about what turns a reader on (although it's far from the case that all slash fiction is written for prurient reasons, though convincing the uninformed of this is generally a lost cause), which is so obviously subjective it renders attempts to dismiss the form based on it laughable (not that people don't still try, e.g. the "what turns me on is art or at least erotica, what turns you on is mindless porn"-style critiques will probably never end.)

So that leaves us with just what DU said, that "fanfic" is actually just fiction and culture, but now that we've decided ideas andnarratives can be owned, we need a term for when you tell a story that you don't own in the particular societally-sanctioned way we've decided is important. And this particular way of thinking has gotten so ingrained by now that it's a constant, uphill battle to convince people that, look, everything is fanfic, everything is a remix, and whether or not you like it or approve of it, it's still art.
posted by Sokka shot first at 6:39 AM on August 14, 2012 [13 favorites]


most of everything is crap.

Yes, and 50 shades of stupid is the mostest crappiest.
posted by elizardbits at 6:45 AM on August 14, 2012


I'm just gonna point out that saying one dislikes fanfic is not terribly different from saying one dislikes fiction, period.

This is swerving toward a derail, or fodder for another topic (and I'll skip the slash thing)
but I own far too many Dragonlance (etc), Star Trek, Star Wars and Doctor Who books. I've read many, and it mostly officially approved awful. There's a commodification of fiction that I find interesting.

Fanfic is the off-road driving of that track.

Also, by my definition, I own Michael Moorcock penned DW fanfic.
posted by Mezentian at 6:53 AM on August 14, 2012


Fanfic is the off-road driving of that track.

This is pretty much why I like it. It's participatory culture, where people do something instead of acting as passive consumers of approved commodity goods. (See also: karaoke, tabletop rpgs, etc.) The fact that most people aren't great writers is beside the point.
posted by immlass at 7:07 AM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's some real shit, yeah, and I got bored with the sexytimez stories pretty damn quick. But I've read a couple of X-Files fanfic pieces that honest-to-god could have been episodes that I'd have watched the shit out of.

Besides - if you've been writing dry stuff for a long time and need a break, writing some fanfic is just fun.

(cuddling her own Doctor who/X-Files crossover to her bosom protectively)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:16 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


more context on achilles plz
In the Iliad, Achilles and Patroclus love each other very, very much, with a devotion and an exclusivity which we have come to expect from sexual pair-bonds, but there is no actual sexual contact, and both of them sleep with women. In this respect their relationship strongly resembles that of House and Wilson on the show House. It is not clear whether or not Homer thought they were fucking or whether it matters (the Iliad is still a story about the love of one man for another regardless). However, the Classical Athenians were fervent Achilles/Patroclus slashers and talked a lot about their relationship, who was the top and who was the bottom (well, erastes/eromenos, but close enough) and so forth. We know of at least one play by Aeschylus which portrayed them as lovers, but unfortunately it survives only in quotations in other works. See here. Note that the linked content uses the stuffiest Victorian translations possible*, but basically it is all about thighs and kissing and how much Achilles adores Patroclus' body. There were probably plenty more plays by lesser dramatists on the same theme.

*Except unintentionally; I really think the guy should have thought twice before using the phrase 'horse-cock' to describe a creature that is half a horse and half a cockrel.
posted by Acheman at 7:23 AM on August 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


more context on achilles plz

Aeschylus' lost (well, almost entirely lost) play, Myrmidons.
posted by thomas j wise at 7:23 AM on August 14, 2012


I may or may not be using fan fiction as dry runs for tricky scenes and plotting in my actual novel.

Actually one of my favorite writing exercises is basically reverse engineered fanfic, pick an episode of your favorite television show and adapt it to prose.
posted by The Whelk at 7:23 AM on August 14, 2012


I have an idea to do fan fiction of Fifty Shades of Grey but to leave out the steamy erotica and put in vampires.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:25 AM on August 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


I really wish we still had the Myrmidons. There's so much boring shit from the classical world I would trade for that (how about Pliny the Younger's letters?)
posted by Acheman at 7:26 AM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I may or may not be using fan fiction as dry runs for tricky scenes and plotting in my actual novel.

Including or not including that Avengers fic?
posted by the latin mouse at 7:31 AM on August 14, 2012


Shakespeare wrote fanfic, too.

A lot of newer fantasy authors are [involved in some kind of fandom]

No, it's not that older authors weren't involved in fandom, it's that newer authors are more open about it. There is a history of tv writers and authors starting out writing fanfic, getting hired professionally, and then keeping their fandom history on the down low.
Back in 2000, one really popular Xena fanfic author was hired to write two episodes of Xena. The author is Melissa "Missy" Good and the episodes are "Coming Home" and "Legacy". What was novel about this situation was not that it happened but that she and Renaissance were very open about it. You can imagine how much more of this stuff was happening on the down low.

The interesting thing about fanfic is that corporations, who are all about money and protection of ip, for the most part don't seem to have a problem with it. If they did Fanfiction.net and Archive of Our Own wouldn't exist. Disney, Paramount, Lucas Film, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc. rarely go around sending out cease and desists to fanfic sites.

The actual resistance is mostly from authors who get all crazy about other people writing their characters. They most extreme ones compare it rape - Jo Walton on fanfic "I can't respond to all of you who are asking politely if I mind if they write fanfic in worlds I'm not still actively writing or whatever, because it all sounds like "Do you mind being raped just a little bit?" (My urge isn't to sue people who do it, it's to rend them limb from limb.)"

The funniest thing is that a lot of authors who are against fanfic of their works, publish fanfic themselves. See Jasper Fforde who used to be against fanfic of his Thursday Next novels (he changed his mind and now is okay with); Anne Rice who wrote Jesus fanfic; Diana Gabaldon whose story started out as Dr Who fanfic (the numbers were filed off for publication); Lee Goldberg who writes tie-in novels for Monk and Diagnosis Murder; Jo Walton, whose first novels were a King Author AU; Dennis L. McKiernan whose Mithgar novels are Tolkien fanfic (numbers filed off for publication again), etc, etc.

And then there are the authors who are totally against other people writing their characters until someone waves a check in their face. *Looks hard at Anne Rice, GRRM, and Terry Goodkind*

Of course, people still write fanfic about these works, they just keep it in locked communities and boards.
posted by nooneyouknow at 7:53 AM on August 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


saying one dislikes fanfic is not terribly different from saying one dislikes fiction, period
"guys, growing these crops on the bodies of our enemies is practically cannibalism!"-- but slowly they turned toward him with hungry eyes
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:25 AM on August 14, 2012


( crap I gotta figure out a decent way to open this next chapter, the Latin mouse )
posted by The Whelk at 8:27 AM on August 14, 2012


Counter-Point
posted by hellojed at 8:37 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


crap I gotta figure out a decent way to open this next chapter

tony touches steve's butt

posted by elizardbits at 8:40 AM on August 14, 2012


Its legal to write fan fiction no matter what. Its whether you can sell or read from it for money that is the question.

My weird idea is to physically alter existing works to make fan fiction in order to get around intellectual property laws. If you bought 100 copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and then used whiteout, glue, pieces of other books, etc to make a new work, then can you sell that? It's an interesting question to me, anyway.

I'm just gonna point out that saying one dislikes fanfic is not terribly different from saying one dislikes fiction, period.

Conceptually, maybe. But the very existence of this MeFi post and fanfic communities makes it pretty clear that they're culturally distinct. You can argue that fanfic shouldn't be segregated like this, but it's still pretty different to say you don't like one or the other, simply because of the cultural context.
posted by ODiV at 8:40 AM on August 14, 2012


When reading the DS9 and TNG behind-the-scenes books, one quickly notices that somewhere around half of their scripts were bought from outside writers. There's always a section about how one of the staff writers "cleaned it up" and made it "tv ready", but still. Going back to TOS, the story behind "The City on the Edge of Forever" is also part of the question.

It seems the line between "freelance" and "fanfic" is just whether or not you can get paid for it.

Who is even the one writing "fanfic", there? The freelance author who submitted the story, or the staff writer who re-writes the dialog to make it fit how he or she thinks the characters should talk?
posted by BeeDo at 8:50 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm a firm believer in the legitimacy of fanfiction as transformative work, and I read and write a ton of it, so it's probably no surprise that I'm genuinely bewildered by anti-fanfic creators. I'm currently shopping an original novel to agents, and if it ever gets published and attracts a community of fan writers I will be immensely pleased and flattered. The idea of my characters taking up residence in someone else's head to the degree that they can tell their own stories about said characters-- well, I can't think of a better compliment.
posted by nonasuch at 8:56 AM on August 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's been strange to watch these conversations enter the public realm, since back when I was twelve I was in all these fanfic clubs that were all proud that they operated with creator approval (Anne McCaffrey's Pern fandom, and stuff based around Space Cases, particularly. Of course, getting approval from Peter David didn't mean that we hesitated about writing in Ferengi, or kicking people out who plagiarized the actual text of published books. The lines were blurry even then). Back then, though sometimes people wrote fanfic about the characters, we were usually writing original characters in worlds we liked lots--that seemed to be the greatest good to most of us.

Honestly, I have trouble seeing AU fic like MOTU in the same category as other fic at all. The characters were never even vampires. It's not even set in the same world. I mean, it's as much fanfic as Ringworld is fanfic for ST:TAS, which is to say that they share some undeniable roots, but . . .

Like nonasuch, my dream is to have people write fanfic set in my universe. There's no greater act of love or fan engagement.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:58 AM on August 14, 2012


The interesting thing about fanfic is that corporations, who are all about money and protection of ip, for the most part don't seem to have a problem with it. If they did Fanfiction.net and Archive of Our Own wouldn't exist. Disney, Paramount, Lucas Film, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc. rarely go around sending out cease and desists to fanfic sites.

But they do, sometimes. Things are better now than they once were but McCaffrey was particularly litigious, and several writers of her era would send those cease and desists faster than you could say "Mercedes Lackey."
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:01 AM on August 14, 2012


My first plat was a sequel to Alice in Wonderland. I am far from alone in that.

I am mostly at the point where I steal from history rather than existing literature, but we all steal from somewhere.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:02 AM on August 14, 2012


plat?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:02 AM on August 14, 2012


I steal from Bunny Ultramod.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:02 AM on August 14, 2012


My lawyers will call your lawyers.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:03 AM on August 14, 2012


It seems that fanfic is becoming more public, but I wonder if it's also becoming less popular now that fandom is moving from text-based interactions to visual (tumblr).
posted by betweenthebars at 9:05 AM on August 14, 2012


It seems that fanfic is becoming more public, but I wonder if it's also becoming less popular now that fandom is moving from text-based interactions to visual (tumblr).

Differing demographics, I'd guess. If you want to read more books an amusing gif is unlikely to satisfy.
posted by jaduncan at 9:09 AM on August 14, 2012


But if you just want to watch Matt Smith's hair flop around, man does tumblr hit the spot.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:10 AM on August 14, 2012


And HOW.
posted by The Whelk at 9:10 AM on August 14, 2012


Besides the Star Trek novels that are the embrace of fan fiction, this thread reminded me of a David Gerrold book I read as a kid ... which I can't quite identify from his list on Wikipedia, darn it ... that was originally a Star Trek script that wasn't accepted, which he then rewrote to be a non-Trek scifi book. I remember he invented, for the ship, an inflatable gym that had to be deflated before they could go into warp. Maybe Heinlein would have called it "filing off the serial numbers."
posted by Occula at 9:12 AM on August 14, 2012


>>The interesting thing about fanfic is that corporations, who are all about money and protection of ip, for the most part don't seem to have a problem with it. If they did Fanfiction.net and Archive of Our Own wouldn't exist. Disney, Paramount, Lucas Film, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc. rarely go around sending out cease and desists to fanfic sites.

>But they do, sometimes. Things are better now than they once were but McCaffrey was particularly litigious, and several writers of her era would send those cease and desists faster than you could say "Mercedes Lackey."



I was talking about corporations not authors. Did McCaffrey and Lackey's publishers send out cease and desist letter's because they had a problem or was it because McCaffrey and Lackey wanted them too? Corporations on their own, 9 times out of 10, don't care. (Publicly anyway, I don't know anything about in house opinions on fanfic) Disney will sue the a daycare for painting Mickey Mouse on their wall, but you can find all the Mickey Mouse fanfic you want.

I am distinguishing between corporations and authors. And corporations as entities usually don't do anything about fan fic, fan edits, fan movies, etc. Authors on the other and? There are a some paragraphs under the one you quoted about authors being dicks about fanfic.
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:15 AM on August 14, 2012


I seem to remember LucasArts going after fanfic in the 90s. I would have to research to confirm that wasn't just a Luke/Jacen slash-induced feverdream, though.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:19 AM on August 14, 2012


I just cringed cause I recognized the tag Luke/Jacen
posted by The Whelk at 9:22 AM on August 14, 2012


I know who Jacen is because I read some of the first books in the EU, around when Zahn was writing his series about Thrawn but I drifted away. But I used to slash the hell out of Leia and Winter.
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:27 AM on August 14, 2012


I know right anything other than Jacen/Lowbacca just makes me sad.

Ah, apparently LucasFilms only shut down the dirty fanfic:
"The same thing happened in ST fanfic. Mary Sue’s abounded in the early years after the series ended and when I was following it in the early 70’s, they were practically non-existent. In their place was Kirk/Spock – the only form of self-insertion fic that the ‘establishment’ of ST fandom would tolerate. These types of fics grew rampant and it got to the point were you couldn’t find any other kind of Star Trek story. The people who would have written anything else weren’t being read and those who might have wanted to read anything else had long before found that nothing was being written (or at least published) in ST fanfic that wasn’t slash. It gave ST fanfic a very bad reputation and when SW fandom started up, Lucasfilm was VERY insistent that fanfic in it’s genre would not end up going in the same direction. I published a fanzine in that era, and you were supposed to send a copy of your ‘zine to Lucasfilm’s Fan Club – it was said to be for archiving purposes, but I knew from others in the fandom that if you had questionable stories in your publication, you would be pressured not to publish again. Lucasfilm was very active in monitoring it’s fandom while I was part of it (until 83) but I have no idea what happened afterwards."
and
In August, Maureen Garrett, Director of the Official Star Wars Fan Club, sent Guardian and several other fanzines a letter. The letter asserted Lucasfilms Ltd. owned all the characters in the Star Wars universe. The letter also stated that Lucasfilms Ltd. was going to insist on no pornography because they didn't want their image darkened. The letter also alluded to the threat of possible litigation if this problem was not corrected. (ksboyd@sfu.ca, Langley )
and
Marc Hedlund, the director of Internet development for Lucasfilm, Ltd. said in an October article in Wired magazine that Lucasfilm Ltd. tolerates the publication of fan fiction, so long as the stories were not for commercial gain, and does not sully the family image of the Star Wars characters.
from here.

(Being that I only ever read dirty SW fanfic, that would explain my confusion.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:32 AM on August 14, 2012


The mention of dirty fanfic has brought to mind two related things that I just love, that may amuse.

THING 1: Some time ago, Justin Lee Collins and Alan Carr had David Tennanat on their show The Friday Night Project, and surprised him with dramatic readings from selected Doctor Who slash, or as they called it "Doctor Who porn." David Tennant, who apparently had either not been aware of Who slash or had been in denial, was visibly thrown, in a way that amused many.

THING 2: A writer and Doctor Who fan in Chicago saw the aforementioned clip and was so amused by Tennant's reaction that he wrote his own foray into "Real Person fic" - which is basically fanfic about the actors rather than the characters -- which posited that some of Tennant's friends and co-stars had also seen the show and proceeded to tease him by finding more examples of wilder Who slash just to see him blush.

Both links are rated PG and are adorable.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:45 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Being that I only ever read dirty SW fanfic, that would explain my confusion.

I wasn't into Star Wars fanfic (much more into Trek), but for my first several years in fandom, I only read dirty fanfic. I really didn't see the point in gen. I thought it was a complete waste of time. If I wanted gen, I could just watch the show, read the book, etc. I appreciate it now, but I still read mostly dirty fanfic.
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:54 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Marc Hedlund [...] tolerates the publication of fan fiction, so long as the stories were not for commercial gain, and does not sully the family image of the Star Wars characters.

LOL. I hope nobody tells him about all that Luke/Leia.
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:57 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


, this thread reminded me of a David Gerrold book I read as a kid ... which I can't quite identify from his list on Wikipedia, darn it ... that was originally a Star Trek script that wasn't accepted, which he then rewrote to be a non-Trek scifi book.

Apparently, that happened to him twice. The Complete Starfleet Library explains:
"The short version: in 1966, before "The Trouble With Tribbles," David Gerrold pitched a two-part Star Trek episode called "Tomorrow Was Yesterday," about a generation starship. A few years later he decided to turn the idea into an original science fiction novel, but found himself going in a very different direction. The end result was a book called Yesterday's Children and, a few more years later, a Star Trek novel based on the generation ship idea, The Galactic Whirlpool. In 1987, Gerrold wrote a Next Generation episode called "Blood and Fire" that was never produced. He recently published a novel based on that script but set in his own Star Wolf universe, which grew out of his novel Yesterday's Children. In other words, Blood and Fire is a novel based on an unproduced Star Trek episode set in a fictional universe that was originally created for the purpose of telling a story based on an unproduced Star Trek episode. That's an oversimplification, of course. The long version (with loads of spoilers) is below."

The page goes into much more detail about all the books and episodes.

Also, Blood and Fire, the "novel based on an unproduced Star Trek episode set in a fictional universe that was originally created for the purpose of telling a story based on an unproduced Star Trek episode." was adapted into two episodes of the Star Trek fan series Star Trek: Phase II. That story got around.
posted by nooneyouknow at 10:11 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you bought 100 copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and then used whiteout, glue, pieces of other books, etc to make a new work, then can you sell that?

You could not change a thing and sell that, so sure.

Of course, first sale doctrine goes out the window when we're talking about digital goods.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:13 AM on August 14, 2012


So, then I guess ANY historical fiction can be considered fanfic? Tolstoy rocked at it.
posted by hwestiii at 10:13 AM on August 14, 2012


THING 2: A writer and Doctor Who fan in Chicago saw the aforementioned clip and was so amused by Tennant's reaction that he wrote his own foray into "Real Person fic" - which is basically fanfic about the actors rather than the characters -- which posited that some of Tennant's friends and co-stars had also seen the show and proceeded to tease him by finding more examples of wilder Who slash just to see him blush.

Ha Ha people being sexualized against their will and then confronted with it is funny!

I'm not polyanna enough to say that people fantasizing about other people won't happen or shouldn't happen, but I do believe it should be kept private, or at least not thrown out into the wider internet for public consumption. (See also Alison Stokke and the whole concept of "real-life" shipping.)
posted by Snyder at 10:32 AM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


*50 Shades* got me thinking about where the line is. Is my incest erotica problematic if they're twins named Luke and Leia but the setting is present day? On the ISS? What if it's set on a spaceship in the future (think about it.) How many shades does it take to get to the center of a lawsuit?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:42 AM on August 14, 2012


EC: THING 1: Some time ago, Justin Lee Collins and Alan Carr had David Tennanat on their show The Friday Night Project, and surprised him with dramatic readings from selected Doctor Who slash, or as they called it "Doctor Who porn." David Tennant, who apparently had either not been aware of Who slash or had been in denial, was visibly thrown, in a way that amused many.

I have my doubts that he was totally unaware given the slashy pandering of show writers. I suspect most creators and actors are aware of it, but don't make the time to sift through derivative fan work. There's a great scene of Spiner and Crosby discussing their favorite erotic fan art in Trekies. (mildly NSFW)

Personally, I just can't get into fanfic. I realized recently it's because I'm more of a genre fan than a show/author fan, with more material on my to-do list than I have time for.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:01 AM on August 14, 2012


I'm not polyanna enough to say that people fantasizing about other people won't happen or shouldn't happen, but I do believe it should be kept private, or at least not thrown out into the wider internet for public consumption. (See also Alison Stokke and the whole concept of "real-life" shipping.)

I don't care for real-person fic, as fanfic is about the characters for me, but I have trouble seeing how it's more problematic than the 2000th tumblr gif of gay-porn-which-looks-kinda-like-my-otp and/or let's-stare-at-some-actor's-ass-or-crotch (much less the kinds of things which go on in the tabloids). Actors are public figures; expecting people to keep their fantasies about them to themselves wasn't realistic in the 60s (Monroe), much less today.

It's more of a problem with people like Alison Stokke, who aren't public figures in the same way, but I don't see much overlap between that and RPF.
posted by grey_sw at 11:46 AM on August 14, 2012


Ha Ha people being sexualized against their will and then confronted with it is funny!

Almost as funny as people who don't read a link and then make sarcastic cracks about it!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:25 PM on August 14, 2012


I don't need to read that particular piece to know that real-life fic is in questionable taste at best.
posted by Snyder at 12:30 PM on August 14, 2012


*shrug* Your loss.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:03 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


David Tennant, who apparently had either not been aware of Who slash or had been in denial, was visibly thrown, yt

"This video has been removed by the user."


Link.
posted by homunculus at 9:30 PM on August 14, 2012


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