Southwest Airlines's Spirit Magazine ran a great, positive article on fanfic — and managed not to mention sex or copyright even once.
But despite the proliferation of ridiculous premises and terrible grammar, I quickly grew fond of fan fiction. Sure, I found plenty of duds, but also uncovered some gems. These fanfics took me to new places, expanding the author's universe in ways the original material couldn't. Take, for example, the novel-length story that brought characters and plots from Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising series to the setting of Harry Potter, putting an inventive spin on both works. Or the fanfic that refashioned the entire Heroes universe into a fairy tale, complete with its own physics, mythology, and ancient origin text. Instead of passively consuming the novels and TV show, these fans took an active role, using their imagination to push the material in plot, form, and character.
How fanfic makes kids into better writers (and copyright victims)
Private Infringer: fanfic based on Captain Copyright
Larry Lessig fanfic
California got its name from fanfic
Cash prizes for Triffid fanfic
Harry Potter fanfic we'd rather not see
In Praise of Fan Fiction: Cory's latest Locus Magazine editorial
Why fan fiction is so important
Scooby Doo/Cthulhu crossover fan fiction
Kevin Kelly: Harry Plotters and the Prophesies of the Hive Mind