Teresa Nielsen Hayden, an editor at science fiction publisher Tor Books, posts this stirring defense of fan fiction, or fanfic:
In a purely literary sense, fanfic doesn’t exist. There is only fiction. Fanfic is a legal category created by the modern system of trademarks and copyrights. Putting that label on a work of fiction says nothing about its quality, its creativity, or the intent of the writer who created it.
The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction this year went to March, a novel by Geraldine Brooks, published by Viking. It’s a re-imagining of the life of the father of the four March girls in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Can you see a particle of difference between that and a work of declared fanfiction? I can’t. I can only see two differences: first, Louisa May Alcott is out of copyright; and second, Louisa May Alcott, Geraldine Brooks, and Viking are dreadfully respectable.
I’m just a tad cynical about authors who rage against fanfic. Their own work may be original to them, but even if their writing is so outre that it’s barely readable, they’ll still be using tropes and techniques and conventions they picked up from other writers. We have a system that counts some borrowings as legitimate, others as illegitimate. They stick with the legit sort, but they’re still writing out of and into the shared web of literature. They’re not so different as all that.
Canada’s privacy authorities on Friday said they are investigating New York-based Clearview AI over concerns the facial recognition technology may not comply with Canadian privacy law.
Ethos, the private equity firm owned by Republican billionaires that is trying to buy the rights to operate the internet’s .org domain range, said on Friday it will cap price hikes, and will agree to create an advisory board with veto powers to partly address some of the concerns of the nonprofit community.
Facebook is reportedly considering making it just a wee bit clearer that pro-Bloomberg political campaign posts come from paid staffers on Michael Bloomberg’s political campaign. Yes, 2020 is bonkers.
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If you remember your Norse mythology (or just watched Marvel’s Thor movies), you’re probably familiar with Heimdal, the god whose ever-watchful eye was entrusted with protecting the home of the gods in Asgard. Back on Earth, Heimdal Thor is also the name of a security package from Heimdal Security, that’s actually dedicated to much the […]