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bear by san

March 2017

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bear by san

Oh, the foolhardiness of involving one's self in fandom politics....

Okay, I'm pretty much a long-time fanfiction apologist/defender.

But am I marking myself as a complete square if I have to ask: what is Harry Potter/CSI mpreg doing on my Tiptree long list?


Juliet gave Snape an anxious look, and then stood aside. "Mr. Snape. This is Nicholas Stokes."

Whatever he'd been expecting, this certainly wasn't it.

The boy -- man, most certainly, this was no boy -- was undeniably masculine. Strong jaw, clean of form, quite handsome. Although Snape could see almost immediately the minuscule flicker of enchantment about him; a glamour, yes, and a deft one. No Muggle, seeing him, would ever suspect the truth.

He met Stokes's eyes and wanted to recoil. Lovely dark eyes, but filled with rage, a cold fire barely held in check as the man stalked into the room.

"You have no RIGHT," he snapped in a voice icy enough to give Snape himself a run for his money. "I won't do it. I will NOT do it."

Snape made himself nod. "In that case we can force you to comply," he returned steadily. "The law requires it."

"FUCK your law!"

"It's yours as well, or have you forgotten that? Living here, so far from the source?"

Stokes paced away from him, glaring at Juliet until she shut the door behind her. With his back turned he hissed, "I don't recognize your law. I don't give a damn about it, or you!"

"Your parents did. Enough that they did what was required."

"I don't care." The man turned his pretty, snapping eyes back in Snape's direction. "I won't do it," he repeated furiously. "You can't make me."


...Not-very-well-written Harry Potter/CSI mpreg, if I may venture a critical comment. Although I guess it captures something of Rowling's style.

***

Comments

I've just written to them. What they don't seem to have realised is that by recognising something written in the amateur domain, acceptable *only* because it receives no "payment", they have just become complicit in a serious breach of copyright/plagiarism.
I'm not up on the legalities of it, but I will certainly watch the outcome with interest.

Thank you.
What on earth does this mean? Copyright is a civil issue. Publicly extolling the aesthetic value of a work that happens to violate someone's copyright does not expose you to liability for the violation. At least, not in any legal theory I'm aware of.

Mind you, I agree that this was a bad idea for bunches of reasons, but the idea that the Tiptree organization has "become complicit in a serious breach of copyright/plagiarism" isn't one of them.
I'm thinking more in terms of the problem of, you know, if we draw attention to it they have to do something about it.

I can't see how the Tiptree can get into trouble for this.

OTOH, it's not like the real world notices our little fandom kerfuffles....
copyright is indeed a civil issue and the implicit deal of fan writing is that one does not benefit from it.

I can see how an award for fan writing would be ok, but this is an award for original work.

In this case, someone is being awarded for taking someone else's work and doing with it things they would probably dislike intensely and doing it without permission.

I didn't say they were liable for prosecution.
"[...T]he implicit deal of fan writing is that one does not benefit from it."

"I can see how an award for fan writing would be ok, but this is an award for original work."

Wait. First, unless we've really slipped into an alternate universe here, "fan writing" isn't the issue. "Fan writing" encompasses a huge range of work, most of which has nothing to do with other people's characters and settings. Much of it isn't even fiction.

Second, no major SF award, to my knowledge, excludes fan-published or self-published fiction from eligibility. Why would they? SFWA and the Hugo voters are entirely free to give their respective Best Short Story awards to a work self-published in a fanzine or on someone's LiveJournal.

As for the idea that "this is an award for original work," oh man, do we ever not want to go there. Not in this field.

As a matter of simple functionality, it seems to me that requiring two jurors to sign off on putting works onto the Long List would probably signficantly reduce the chances of this kind of kerfuffle. If nothing else, the fact that someone had to convince someone else would leave the jury better-prepared to defend and explain itself.
Ok, makes it slightly different I think.

But I still feel very wierd about it. Pnh's point, that fan fic isn't excluded from other awards is the first I'd heard of it.
Well, when the rules were drawn up for the 'other awards' (and excluding fan fiction's own awards) I doubt that anyone ever thought that fan fiction would or should be nominated. It would probably not have occured to anyone involved.

Until the internet, fan fiction was not circulated widely enough for it to crop up in the fan-nominated awards. What's more, there used to be much stricter lines drawn between the various parts of fandom (those of us who straddled them were regarded as very strange) and the sort of people who voted for awards or formed the juries of awards at that time would probably not have seen very much fan fiction.

It's different today, but I do wish that this particular peice had not been brought to anyone's attention, least of all mine.
"Well, when the rules were drawn up for the 'other awards' (and excluding fan fiction's own awards) I doubt that anyone ever thought that fan fiction would or should be nominated. It would probably not have occured to anyone involved."

Actually, the issue has cropped up several times over many decades in discussions among Hugo and Nebula mavens, and the general consensus has been that overtly excluding "fan fiction" (in either the older or the newer senses of the term) would open can after can of worms. It's not true that the question never occurred to anyone.

Second, I disagree very much with the assertion that "there used to be much stricter lines drawn between the various parts of fandom". If anything the social divisions between "various parts of fandom" and between "fandom" and "prodom" (however you care to define those extremely vexed terms) are much more severe today than they were when the field's major awards were first chartered. Good grief, in this very thread we have a well-known SF academic using the overall term "fan writing" as a synonym for "fan-written fiction about other writers' characters," as if that was all fans ever wrote and works like this didn't exist. If that doesn't reflect an increasingly fractured subculture I don't know what does.

As ever, the real problem with trying to draw hard and fast distinctions about "fan" and "pro" is that these are terms for things we do, not for things that we are. Gosh, could this also be a fruitful approach to discussions of gender? Ya think?
"If that doesn't reflect an increasingly fractured subculture I don't know what does."

I find this phrase far too applicable to far too much of my life.

I remember the days when geekdom was simple and consisted of kicking my friend's butt at Mario Kart or the original Smash Bros. My, how things grow complicated.
Again we have the terminology problem. For thirty years the word "fanfic" meant simply "fiction written and published by fans." Only in modern times has it shifted to primarily mean "fiction that plays with other people's characters and settings."

Assuming we're talking about the first, well, there is literally no reason in the world for any serious award to pre-emptively exclude it. The Hugos and Nebulas weren't set up to pat fiction writers on the head for the quality of their book contracts. They're awards for literary quality, however the voters and jurors care to define that. Since it's not impossible that a great SF story could be self-published on someone's LiveJournal, there's no reason to make self-published LiveJournal stories ineligible. This has been the status quo condition for over fifty years of major SF awards and amazingly enough it's never been a problem.

Assuming we're talking about the second, do we really want to require our awards administrators to second-guess what's "original", what's permissible "parody" or "pastiche," and what's ineligible "fanfic"? I certainly wouldn't be willing to take on that obligation. Let the voters, or the juries, decide. If this is the biggest awards-related "fanfic" fuss so far, I'd say lassez-faire has worked pretty well.
I seem to remember that when I joined fandom in 1979, and probably for many years before that, original fiction zines were regarded as very infra dig by sercon and fannish fandom alike. Review zines, newszines, and perzines were all much higher status. How many fiction zines won Hugos or Novas?
CSI ("Crime Scene Investigation") is a popular US TV show about pathology and forensic investigation, with several spin-offs. I don't know how the creators or the copyright holders (often not the same people for TV) feel about fanfic, either.