This week, WonderCon canceled a panel about fan fiction after complaints on Twitter. If you’re not familiar with the term, fan fiction is a story about an established character or world written by someone other than the original author. Well, maybe you heard about it when “Fifty Shades of Grey” came out. That was based on “Twilight” fan fiction. Please don’t judge the genre based on that, OK?
The panel, hosted by Chris Gore, which would have read aloud “the weirdest and wildest fan fiction found on the Internet,” was canceled after a barrage of angry tweets, thinking he was mocking the subject and the authors. For the record, the readings were to be done with the consent of the authors.
I bring this up because fan fiction often gets a bad rap. However, if you’re like me, you don’t really want your favorite stories to end after the book does. Heck, I vowed to read only dead authors as a kid because I had to wait so long to get new stories before the Internet appeared! For people who, say, love “Harry Potter,” reading about the further adventures of Hermione and Ron is an absolute blast!
Yes, there is also a class of fan fiction that might have, say, Harry and Ron (and sometimes Buckkbeak; I’m sorry for the visual) in a kind of relationship not implied by the books. So what? Don’t tell me you never wondered about that. (Harry and Ron, I mean. Not Buckbeak. Oh god.) Honestly, a lot of the bad rap comes from this sort of story. I was once sent something written about characters from “My Little Pony” that I’m pretty sure isn’t anatomically possible, and I’m probably going to need years of therapy to remove it from my brain. That said, there is nothing wrong with self-expression. (Seriously though, ponies can’t do that! Their legs just won’t … shudder.)
Gore mentioned something that got me thinking about the subject last night. He said that, if you think about it, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is a sort of fan fiction. It’s a love letter from fans who grew up with the franchise.
I’m not saying it’s all well-written. I’m not saying some of it isn’t going to make the back of your eyeballs itch; but do yourself a favor and check some of it out. You may be surprised.