I love this photographer, his work is so explicit and yet so original. Ren Hang’s ‘images spill into an obscene wonderland where basic questions become irrelevant and a twisted sense climbs over your flesh like worms on rotted meat.’
Fan fiction. It’s…complicated. I truly believe that fans should be able to perform any and all fan activity they please, and remain unmolested in that activity. I have always maintained a “run and play!” policy with regards to my own work — it doesn’t hurt me or my ability to make money from my work. In all the online hulaballoo about fan fiction, what is often lost is that for those of us who are not bestselling authors, fan fiction is advertisement. It helps us. Most of us would be delighted with the most bizarre slashfic if it meant someone loved our characters that much. Most of us will never have the gigantic fan bases that breed fanfic.
I think it would be ironic and disingenuous for me to say that people shouldn’t write it — what, exactly, am I doing when I retell Snow White or Hansel and Gretel? The Orphan’s Tales requires other texts to exist, to function. No book can live in a vacuum. They are always already — to crib my man Jacques — in dialogue with other books. So I encourage my fans to write fanfic — it can be holy work, to dwell in a story and expand its borders.
Not all of it is. Much of it is poorly written, and I don’t think it serves anyone to pretend that’s not the case. But that’s okay, too, it doesn’t have to be. The real issue here is legitimacy, and unfortunately a lot of authors behave as though fanfic somehow threatens them on the level of mercury poisoning, threatens their ability to control what is legitimate. I do think there is a line between professional and fan work, of course there is, but I don’t really think it’s in danger of being scuffed, Nebulas notwithstanding. Fan writing needs source material, guys. Chill.