sloppy sweater


Check it: Cory Doctorow writes "In Praise of Fanfic", in Locus magazine:
Writers can't ask readers not to interpret their work. You can't enjoy a novel that you haven't interpreted — unless you model the author's characters in your head, you can't care about what they do and why they do it. And once readers model a character, it's only natural that readers will take pleasure in imagining what that character might do offstage, to noodle around with it. This isn't disrespect: it's active reading.
He also talks about the importance of active, literary fanfic readers & writers to a field that's seeing its readership dwindle. SF has always had less of a wall between amateur and pro anyway. Fans turn into pro writers, and writers stay fans.

We subscribe to Locus but I tend to read it only in chunks when I trip over the Locust stack on a weekend. I note they reviewed a nice Jack Vance collection. Which I won't be purchasing because we subscribed to that enormous reprint-everything-Jack-Vance-wrote project a few years ago, and thus we have it all. Jack Vance is one of my major inspirations as a writer. Anyway, check that, too!
  • Current Music: Legions Of The Endless Night : Bill Nelson : Map Of Dreams
I saw the Doctorow essay earlier and thought it a sane, reasoned discussion. :-)
Yeah, that was sorta firmly planted in a wider historical context, wasn't it? Corporations are acting as if they've always been able to claim absolute ownership in their creations, and it just hasn't been true. Impossible to suppress the creation of art.
That was a kneejerk slam, too: no thought was engaged before he found a way to insult everyone. Why?

Can anything be done to stop The Mouse, btw? I was just reading that the RIAA has decided that the radio royalty exemption is bad, and so we're in for a fight there. The trend is very much in the wrong direction. (Exception: the likely end of digital restrictions on music files, as the iTunes Music Store leads the way.)
Wonderful essay! Also, did you happen to notice that he pointed out Buffy fanfic as being (often) quite good? That made me beam...even though he's probably not talking about you and me.

Still, I do think our fandom in general has a particularly high standard of writing.

(is all smug about that)
In the last few days, as I see the echoes of wank elsewhere on the edges of my flist, I am very grateful for the Giles subset of Buffy fandom in particular. We're all sane here. And we're kind to each other. And the writers are often just so good. Possibly all because we skew older? But I trip over wonderful writing every time I explore other segments of Buffy fandom, so it's more than that.
Cory Doctorow is a smart, smart man. :-) Thanks for sharing that! Food for thought, too.
Yeah, that was a good essay, clued in several important ways. He also showed that he understands the urge.