As you may have noticed, the fanfic debate is raging here once again… so I thought I’d post some excerpts from my brother Tod Goldberg’s article on the subject, which appears as one of his weekly columns in the Las Vegas Mercury.
Among his many other wise and witty comments, he had this to say:
For those of you not in the know, fan fiction is when people not involved in the actual creation of a show, book, movie or a celebrity’s actual life create stories about them. It is one of the greatest and most wildly entertaining forms of copyright infringement this side of Kazaa. So, to say I was excited to read the fanfic about this particular star would be a vast understatement. I gravitated to the one where the star gets involved in a prison riot. It came with a helpful dictionary of terms used in the story, including "turn out," "shank" and "keep it real." Our hero was almost gang-raped by some convicts, but, alas, escaped with his anal hymen intact.
I clicked through the rest of the stories and killed a plate of leftover ham in the process. The stories were uniformly…uh…well…bad. All of them were written by women, which I found somewhat surprising, but then I thought about the correlation between Teen Beat and Tiger Beat and fan clubs in general and it seemed to make some sense.
Now I was all fired up to read more fan fiction about bad actors, minor celebrities and long-forgotten TV shows and movies. Forgoing the usual and known–anything involving Spock, Buffy and Elvis, basically–I fired up the Google and got searching. I started with a rather tender story revolving around Face and Murdock from "The A-Team." On the day of his wedding, Face takes a little time from the usual pro-forma screwing of hookers to reflect on the life he and Murdock have shared.
In my quest to read fan fiction about Corey Haim, or inspired by his wonderful life, I discovered a Lost Boys fan fiction site that contained a disclaimer warning others not to "steal my original characters or my ideas…go and get your own characters and ideas; have a little faith in yourself! But don’t steal from me!" I searched the entire story the woman had written and not one mention of the word "paradox" was found.