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Author Topic: Card supporting "Ender's Game" Fan Fiction? Is this true -
Member # 392

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I ran across this article in the Wall Street Journal, "The Weird World of Fan Fiction"

I spit my coffee out when I saw this.

Some authors' attitudes toward fan fiction are evolving. After spending years fending off fan fiction, and occasionally sending out "cease and desist" letters through his lawyer to block potential copyright violations, science-fiction novelist Orson Scott Card has started courting fan writers. Mr. Card, author of the best-selling "Ender's Game" series, is planning to host a contest for "Ender's Game" fan fiction this fall. Fans will be able to submit their work to his Web site. The winning stories will be published as an anthology that will become part of the official "canon" of the "Ender's Game" series.

"Every piece of fan fiction is an ad for my book," Mr. Card says. "What kind of idiot would I be to want that to disappear?"

First, is it true? Did this get announced somewhere here on Hatrack? Also, would a comic book/graphic novel story be under consideration as well.

I got a couple Ender Verse stories I would like to submit for the contest.


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Member # 7130

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I think this could technically be considered fanfic.
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Wow. If that's true that it represents a huge shift in thinking on his part.
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Member # 9743

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What Happened to this? These are direct quotes from the question section on Hatrack. I don't think I saw new information about this anywhere else.


I'm writing a college research paper on fanfiction and one of the sections is going to be "When Not to Write Fanfiction." I know several authors have come out and stated that they do not want to have people use their characters in fanfiction writings (i.e. Anne Rice and Anne McCaffrey). Could you please tell me your opinion on people using your characters in fanfiction stories for personal enjoyment?

-- Submitted Anonymously


OSC REPLIES: - July 19, 2004

"The time to write fan fiction is "never."

You will never do your best work in someone else's universe, because you're bound by their rules. Furthermore, most universes that people use for fan fiction are dreadfully dumb - one thinks of Star Trek and Star Wars - and most seventh-graders can come up with better ones.

As for using characters created by another author: That's where you're going to find yourself sued by any author who understands where the financial future of his work lies. In order to protect copyright and potential filmmaking rights, you have to AGGRESSIVELY protect your own authorship of characters, precisely because it is the characters that film companies need to license and protect when your work is filmed. Anybody writing fiction using my characters without my specifically having licensed it to them will be sued, not because I'm mean and selfish, but because this is the INHERITANCE OF MY CHILDREN, and to write fiction using my characters is morally identical to moving into my house without invitation and throwing out my family.

I care very much about new writers, which is why I strongly urge them never, never, never to waste their time writing stories set in other writers' universes without specific invitation, and even then they'd do more for their careers by spending their time inventing their own worlds and creating their own characters. Piggy-backing on someone else's financial success isn't how you create a career, and the "experience" you gain is worthless, since you steal precisely those story elements that you must invent for yourself in order to learn how to create workable original fiction.

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Jeff C.
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The context is different. He supports fan fiction from the fans, but not from writing students. You have to remember, that quote (the one in the previous post) is from his writing workshop Q&A section, so he is giving the best answer for how to improve your work as a writer.

Regardless, he says he doesn't approve of it when it is done "without specific invitation", which is exactly what he is granting here. He's giving the green light for people to write in his world, which makes it OK.

That's what I got from it, anyway. I could be wrong.

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Member # 4859

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I think the dates are more relevant than the context. It has been 8 years.

Assuming the WSJ quote is accurate, he has simply changed his mind.

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Chris Bridges
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Also -- assuming the quote is accurate -- there's a difference between fan fiction written with no constraints or quality control to be posted on a LiveJournal somewhere and fan fiction requested and culled by the author.
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Member # 7549

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Well... he did sort of write Iron Man fan fiction.
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Member # 1802

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I think you could make the argument that OSC has been writing Ender's Game fan fiction for several years now.
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Member # 8854

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Could and would... Lol.
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Jeff C.
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Oh snap, MrSquicky with the smackdown!

Personally, I like fanfiction if it is done well. I haven't read any in a long time, but that's how I first got into writing. I think when you're first starting out as a kid, sometimes someone else's world can be a solid jumping off point. Once you've gotten certain aspects of the craft down and you've decided you really enjoy it, then you should move on and work on your own world. For beginners, though, I think it's perfect.

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