Posts Tagged ‘Fan Fiction’

linken5. Linken Quest line in World of Warcraft (Videogame)

The Linken Quest line serves a strange commentary on the familiarity of Role Playing Game narratives.  It illuminates the similarity of many RPG narratives in a single quest line in WofW. Using the Legend of Zelda narrative, the player must collect objects to help Linken (the WofW version of Link) regain his memory. Players are rewarded with the Sword of Mastery and Linken’s Boomerang which are WofW versions of the iconic Master Sword and Boomerang.

4. Fatal Frame 3 manga collection

Though entirely in Japanese, the fan fiction manga for Fatal Frame 3 (as well as the manga collections for the previous two Fatal Frame games), adds an extra dimension to the narrative. It is beautifully illustrated with a wide variety of drawing styles. From the images alone, you get the sense of what these authors are adding to the FF3 narrative.

3. Tin Man (TV Series)

I’ve always enjoyed the animated versions as well as graphic novels of the Wizard of Oz. Honestly, I’ve never been keen on the musical version. Tin Man is the first filmed and acted version of the Wizard of Oz that I have enjoyed. It is simply a darker and interesting take on the Wizard of Oz. However, I wish they had gone further with it.

1165641897_Ealice2. American McGee’s Alice (videogame)

American McGee’s re-imaging of Wonderland after Alice’s family died tragically in a  fire, causing her to go mad and spend the rest of her life in an Asylum. She re-visits Wonderland, however Wonderland is  dark and twisted to reflect her now insane mind. Alice is no longer a lost little girl, but it is at home and is as frightening as the residents of Wonderland.

1. Teacher  by Loten (Fan Fiction)

Teacher is Tamora Pierce’s Wild Magic told from the perspective of Numair Salmalín. Loten is one of few fan fiction authors that I felt profoundly understood Numair’s character. The Immortals series by Tamora Pierce is easily one of my favourite reads. Numair is a character that I have always wanted to read more about.  Loten’s version of the first book in series fills in blanks and satisfied my curiosity about Tortall’s greatest mage . Loten’s re-telling of the entire Immortal series is helping me await Tamora Pierce’s own duo on Numair.

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Tin Man

Tin Man

Revisiting, Rethinking and Remaking what we already love.

I am a re-reader. I love to read the same story over and over again.

Ever read a book that was so good you never wanted it to end? Or found yourself wondering what your favourite characters are doing after the novel is over? Or wondered how the book would have run its course if it had been told from a different  perspective? What if Harry Potter had been a point of view story written from the perspective of  Severus Snape? What if Star Wars was told from the perspective of the Empire? What happened to Holden Caulfield in the Catcher in the Rye? Are you a fan of cross overs and alternate universes? If you are, chances are you have or will enjoy fan fiction.

A fan fiction is a story created from a pre-existing narrative or from ready made characters. Sometimes the author is famous, but for the most part they are completely anonymous. Writers, filmmakers and artists don’t have to be entirely original to create a new work. There are plenty of established narratives, characters, places, etc. for authors to borrow and elaborate upon. It’s even debatable whether or not its even possible to come up with an original idea. Media is fulled with remakes and variations upon old ideas. That doesn’t make the appropriation of ideas any less interesting than the creation of originals. In someways, it is more interesting, since we always seem to be attracted to the same stories. We simply love reading, seeing and hearing the same stories over and over again. Umberto Eco addresses this love of repetition in ‘Innovation and Repetition: Between Modern and Post-Modern Aesthetics.’ We like to feel as though we are smarter than the author since we already now what is going to happen. I am one of many who love to hear the same story told from a different perspective and adore any alternative universe episode of any television series.  These variations add to what we already know about our beloved characters and places, and satisfy our need to form a profound and detailed relationship with a narrative.

60 years later

60 years later

Authors like the manga writing team CLAMP (X, Clover, Card Captor Sakura, xxxHolic) started out by writing fan fiction (dōjinshi) in the mid 1980s and began writing their own manga in 1987.  CLAMP produced a dōjinshi of  Captain Tsubasa, and homoerotic and/or homoromantic (yaoi) dōjinshi of Saint Seiya before creating RG Veda. Other famous examples of fan fiction are: are 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye by John David California based on the Catcher in the Rye, Gregory Maguire’s Wicked and Lion Among Men and the mini series Tin Man are Wizard of Oz fan fictions. Even the latest Star Trek film is an alternative universe version of Star Trek and AU is a form of fan fiction.

Authors such as Anne Rice and J.D Salinger do everything in the power to prevent the spread of their intellectual material. They protect their characters and stories, which may be why North America may never see 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye. Conversely, Harry Potter‘s J.K Rowling and Twilight‘s  Stephanie Meyer, don’t have a problem with fan fiction (if it makes money, well then, it’s a different story). Rowling simply doesn’t like the sexually explicit  Harry Potter fan variations. On Fanfiction.net and you’ll stumble upon hundreds of Hermione and Snape love stories and with over 400,000 Harry Potter fan fictions you may find some raunchy stuff.

Of course, not all fan fiction is famous or published in a traditional manner. Fanfiction.net allows users to post their inspired tales. Back in 2000 when I started to visit Fanfiction.net, I was surprised with the amount of sexually explicit material, which was very well labelled with warnings in uppercase letters. Readers were given enough information to avoid  ‘adult’ material if they wanted. Several fan fiction authors excelled in the erotic genre and I sincerely hope, they went on to form careers in erotic literature. In 2002, all NC-17 material had to be removed from Fanfiction.net and the entire erotic section was taken down. I point my finger at the literature prudes. It seems as though we enjoy our appropriation of narratives and characters to be sexual in nature. As though, authors and readers a like need to fill some urge to read about their two favourite characters finally ‘getting it on’.

PPZquirkNot all fan fiction is equal. Like regular book, you’ll run into bad writing or authors who simply do not have an in depth understanding of the characters or narrative they chose to appropriate. Websites like Fanfiction.net do not have any criteria for an author to post, so finding works of fiction that are littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors is fairly common. However, if you are willing to take the time, you will find a fan fiction that is a good read and adds to the original story in ways you’ve only dreamed of, and occasionally they do a better job than the original author. Readers and writers can revisit, rethink and remake what we already love and that is the simple joy of fan fiction.

Further reading:

Umberto Eco “Innovation and Repetition: Between Modern and Post-Modern Aesthetics,” The Moving Image 114. 4 (Fall, 1985): 161-184.

Umberto Eco The Open Work, trans. Anna Cancogni Cambridge Mass: Harvard University Press, 1989.

Vladimir Propp Morphology of the Folk Tale

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