39 thoughts on “Fire Up the Potterfic…

  1. You know, some of the things she wrote in the last two books or so, or ways she phrased things, makes me think that she secretly loves her fanficcers. Almost as much as she loves toying with them. ;)

  2. Oh, Potter’s popular culture nowadays. You can write very relevant things without having read the series. (Remembers an improv skit in which we spoofed Pulp Fiction and I got complimented on my references— and I still haven’t seen the film. Pop culture can be almost subliminal, it seems.)

  3. Samuel:

    Well, it’s up to her to decide not to convert some of them pounds in her money-filled pool into cease-and-desists and subpoenas and air fare for blokes with broken noses named Stig.

  4. B. Durbin says:
    “You can write very relevant things without having read the series.”

    That’s what’s so weird, isn’t it? The books spawned a piece of popular mythology, and it took only about a decade. Though I wonder, does the “Harry Potter mythology” have staying power? When will the fanbase get bored and seek out other interests, now that the “official” series is finished?

  5. “When will the fanbase get bored and seek out other interests, now that the “official” series is finished?”

    Maybe right after LOTR goes out of style?

  6. The front matter of HP7 says “Harry Potter, names, characters and related indicia are copyright and trademark Warner Bros., 2000TM”

    So even if JK Rowling doesn’t sue, couldn’t WB?
    (BTW, this means Rowling sold the entire HP world to WB? Wow. I’m sure she got more than the 6 cents a word Hasbro would have paid for it…)

    If JK Rowling doesn’t have a problem with it, I don’t think WB should go around suing people. It seems like they could though.

  7. “So even if JK Rowling doesn’t sue, couldn’t WB?”

    In such matters, the creator or creator’s estate trumps any publisher or studio. This is one way the Roddenberry family has gotten one over on Viacom for years. And it drives their legal department insane.

    Theoretically, Ian Fleming’s family could really send the Bond publishers’ lawyers into stroke rehab simply by one of them saying, “You know what? There is entirely not enough Bond/Q slash out there.”

    I’d never read it, but I’d laugh if it happened.

  8. Patrick M, LOTR will go out of style… eventually. Lots of books were once all the rage, but are now near-forgotten or part of the “literary canon”. Pop culture is by nature a fickle beast, always looking for the next New Thing.

  9. I saw that article the other day, and had to laugh. Because really, did they not notice the hundreds of thousands of stories out there already? Not to mention that the porn and racism left the barn a long long time ago; they’ll never catch those horses.

    Still, it’s kind of sweet of her to make it explicit. So long as none of the fans try to sell their novels, WB will probably just muffle the anguished wails of their IP attorneys and live with it.

  10. Harry Potter seems to be the subject of the creepiest slash fanfic out there. I saw a link the other day to a 25 chapter novella about Snape being impregnated. Yes, the male wizard. Pregnant.

  11. “Oh, Potter’s popular culture nowadays. You can write very relevant things without having read the series. (Remembers an improv skit in which we spoofed Pulp Fiction and I got complimented on my references— and I still haven’t seen the film. Pop culture can be almost subliminal, it seems.)”

    Iz tru.

    >.>

    <..< But I still know everything about them cause they’re so mainstream pop culture and are a referent in and of themselves.

  12. Wow, that reply got severely cut up. I used too many “>” based faces. What i said was I have never seen the original 3 star wars films, but I still know everything about them cause they’re so mainstream pop culture and are a referent in and of themselves.

  13. Yes, the male wizard. Pregnant.

    Eh, MPREG is just the tip of the iceberg, dude. The cool kids have all moved on to genderswap incesty wing!fic.

    (Seriously not kidding here.)

  14. “SUMMARY: Severus Snape accuses Albus Dumbledore of rape. Dumbledore claims that it is all a misunderstanding. Who is believed, the Savior or the Turncoat?”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Thanks a d. I tend to find even the weirdest fan fics hilarious.

  15. “Patrick M, LOTR will go out of style… eventually. ”

    Tell it to King Arthur. Or, closer parallel, to Sherlock Holmes. Who knew *that* was an archetype waiting to happen? Readers eagerly charged into fanfic, got sued underground, continued circulating it among their friends, and roared into publication as soon as the copyright expired. I’d love to see somebody do an exploration of why writing Holmes pastiches was an acceptable pastime — never mocked as brutally as, say, writing romance novels.

    Harry Potter doesn’t sing to me, but it’s a mug’s game predicting what popular trope will live and what will die. Who would have guessed that Lady Audley’s Secret would finally grind to a halt?

  16. Re: #14, #24:

    “LOTR will go out of style… eventually. Lots of books were once all the rage, but are now near-forgotten or part of the ‘literary canon’.”

    There used to be tons of Odyssey fan fic, in Greek, then Latin. But Pop culture in the 20th century would never recycle Shakespeare, the story of the Spartans at Thermopylae, or Beowulf, right? Oh, wait a second…

  17. cofax wrote:
    “The cool kids have all moved on to genderswap incesty wing!fic.”

    Suddenly not being part of the “cool kids” crowd seems perfectly cool.

  18. The horse has more than just left the barn for Potter porn, it was seen wearing stockings, garter belt, and stiletto heels.

    She’d kill me for posting this anywhere but my spousal unit is more than a little familiar with slash. Potter/LOTR/the Stargates/Due South/etc.etc. It’s a strange world but boy there’s a whole lot of people writing and reading this stuff. All it takes is one book/TV/movie with a couple of male leads that are fond of one another and those slashers will read into it at a level that makes movie critics for indie newspapers look one-dimensional. LOTR won’t die out anytime soon, we’ll hit the tenth anniversary of the movies in a couple years so New Line will throw them back in the theaters and there will be a whole new wave of stories where Legolas is servicing the entire Fellowship and half the riders of Rohan.

  19. Suddenly not being part of the “cool kids” crowd seems perfectly cool.

    Well, I don’t want to make it look like I’m one of the point-and-laugh-at-the-weird-ficwriters crowd. Because I’m not.

    But there is an emotional component in fannish responses that ficwriting not only allows, but encourages. A lot of fanfiction comes from the id, and explores issues and desires that tend to be locked away or hidden behind brown paper wrappers. I don’t think this exploration is by definition wrong; I actually think it’s powerful and useful for many people. (The fact that it’s women conducting this exploration is profoundly unsettling to many outside the community; I leave to other commenters the potential meaning of that.)

    That I tend not to engage in it myself, and wish that it didn’t at times appear* to represent the bulk of what’s available online, doesn’t mean I disapprove of it in principle. I happen to prefer plot, endless sex scenes bore me, and I don’t want to know about every fan’s secret sexual desires, thank you very much.

    *And by “appear”, I mean appear; fiction written for general audiences, with no sexual content, constitutes between 40 and 70 percent of the fanfiction out there, depending on where you’re looking. But you wouldn’t know that if you relied on the press (or certain unnamed bloggers) for your information.

  20. Ah… Due South. Haven’t heard that name come up in a while. What a fabulous series.

    It appears (see Cofax @ 28’s definition) that male-male slash predominates. Is there an equal amount of female-female slash? How about Cagney/Lacey, Hermione/Jenny, Kira/Dax fanfic?

  21. I read the Star Wars fanfic ANOTHER HOPE before it was taken away for copyright infringement…

    And it struck me as an extremely weird piece of fiction not because it contained far-out sex (it didn’t) or convoluted relationships (hardly so)… but because it focused obsessively on the engineering and construction of starships. (Beware the Monsters Of the Engineer’s Id! ;-))

  22. In fairness, “Subjugation” is one of those stories that even fanficcers love to hate. I believe it ranks slightly above “Celebrian”, the classic elf-rape orgy.

  23. Somewhere in New York, a publisher is daydreaming: “Damn, there’s a huge potential market for those slashy fanfics. If only I could strike a deal with Orlando Bloom and Christopher Tolkien, we could print Legolas slash, legit, and make a fortune. If only…”

  24. Somewhere in New York, a publisher is daydreaming: “Damn, there’s a huge potential market for those slashy fanfics.

    Eh. Given that millions upon millions of words are available online for free, I’m not sure it’s worth a publisher’s trouble to deal with the copyright-holder. (And yeah, I know you were kidding, but I wouldn’t put it past someone.)

    Which is not to say there is no market for gay-themed romances: there is, and it’s growing. And the smart publishers are developing that.

  25. The Japanese have an established publishing industry for romance comics about men in love with men. If the cultural climate in the West changes a bit, I can see gay romance becoming a big market here. Why not? I’d rather see slash writers go legit and make some money off all their work…

  26. Sure LOTR will go out of style, just like the poem of Beowulf, the Iliad and the Odyssey and Through the looking glass have all gone out of style. When it fades from the memory of pop culture we who enjoy science fiction and fantasy will breath a sigh of relief. But LOTR will never go out of style.

  27. “The Japanese have an established publishing industry for romance comics about men in love with men. If the cultural climate in the West changes a bit, I can see gay romance becoming a big market here. Why not? I’d rather see slash writers go legit and make some money off all their work…”

    First, the young ladies writing it need to learn about the actual mechanics behind sex (let alone male-on-male sex). Some of the stuff they think they can pull off is physically impossible.

  28. Or, closer parallel, to Sherlock Holmes. Who knew *that* was an archetype waiting to happen? Readers eagerly charged into fanfic, got sued underground, continued circulating it among their friends, and roared into publication as soon as the copyright expired. I’d love to see somebody do an exploration of why writing Holmes pastiches was an acceptable pastime — never mocked as brutally as, say, writing romance novels.

    Not that this is a full exploration, but I can offer up an hypothesis: Sherlock Holmes wasn’t born of 20th/21st Century pop culture, so writing SH fanfic is perceived to be a more erudite pastime.

    I’m not saying this is entirely true – Holmes is very much the product of 19th Century English popular culture, no more highbrow than Star Trek or Harry Potter. (I am a big fan of Holmes, ST and HP, so I’m not denigrating any of them). But its origin in 19th Century English print – with a more formal English than is seen these days – makes people today think that only smart folks are into Holmes fanfic, which takes away the perceived whiff of desperation of fanficcers (FYI, I’ve tried my hand at fanfic of varying kinds, including Holmes, but I’ve never sent them or posted them anywhere). Plus it’s not SF or fantasy, which, unfairly, has an additional sheen of abjection.

    Doesn’t mean it’s better fanfic because it’s been published, mind you. The Last Sherlock Holmes Story (investigating the Jack the Ripper murders) is absolutely wretched, as is Sherlock Holmes in Dallas (investigating JFK’s assassination [?!]. Published Holmes fanfic even has a classic Mary Sue in the Mary Russell pastiches (which I can’t stand). For some reason, less Holmes pr0n makes its way to light. though you know there’s some Holmes/Moriarty slash out there some where. No, I haven’t looked. I’m not going to.

  29. That’s a little like opening the barn door after the horse has escaped, run around the barn, taken a trip on the interstate, flown to Mexico and back.

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