Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World

Anne Jamison et al. BenBella/Smart Pop (Perseus, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-937856-83-0
Fan fiction is the appropriation and use of characters and plots from popular books, television series, and movies by amateur writers. It’s a genre that’s most often associated with the Fifty Shades trilogy. The spread of fan fiction may be facilitated by the Internet, but as Jamison, a University of Utah literature professor, and the dozens of other contributors show, it is in no way new—nor is it inherently uncreative. After presenting examples of classical, medieval, and Sherlock Holmes–inspired fan fiction, Jamison takes readers on a tour of the field as it developed in the 20th century, focusing on television- and book-based fan fiction of the 1990s and 2000s, a period when technology allowed people across the globe to share their enthusiasms online. Though to some readers, fan fictioneers may look suspiciously like anarchic communitarians at best, or thieves at worst, this book, with a foreword by Lev Grossman, takes a sympathetic and supportive look at the unconventional practice, highlighting both its precedents and the benefits this mixing of ideas can bring. Those already in the know about fan fiction may find little that is new here, but those unfamiliar with the field would do well to read this text. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 08/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
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