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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Just an object. It doesn't mean what you think."
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May 22 2007

Cory Doctorow writes in praise of fan fiction and singles out Buffy fanfic as particularly well done.

Joss has such a distinct voice and style it's easy to mimick. I find myself speaking Joss all the time.
There are tons of great Buffy fanfic writers. Not only do they trump the official novels as Doctorow writes. Several trump the show.
At last a well written article in PRAISE of fanfic. There's tons of great fanfic out there! Some of it better than the profic I read. People who listen to my Strangely Literal podcast email me and say how surprised they were that there was GOOD fanfic. And there really, really is.
I love Buffy fanfic, esp Spuffy ones. There are certain authors out there of fanfic that should be writing the official novels as they have a much clearer vision of how the characters should be. Of course, there are the AU fanfic stories that are a whole lotta fun, as well. They don't have to be canon to be enjoyable, just good stories.
The best fanfic is definitely superior to the official novels.
I learned of Cory Doctorow from several years ago -- an amazing site that bends my mind with something new, weird and wonderful almost every day. His own fiction is intelligent and well done (I just finished "Overclocked" and enjoyed it very much -- the last story in it, "After the Siege", had an almost Jossian flavor to it and a memorable, fully-dimensional female protagonist).*

Reading about fanfic from the perspective of a writer who understands and explains so clearly why fans write fiction and why it's good for the world of sci-fi and fandom in general might help open the minds of people who might otherwise automatically write off all fanfic as being purely derivative crap. There is some truly execrable stuff, to be sure; however, I totally agree with him that some Joss-verse fanfic out there can beat the pants off much of what's been written under the banner of offical canon. Regardless, any effort motivated out of love, even if it isn't specifically art, can still have tremendous personal value and bring immense pleasure to both its creator and those who share it. In fact, I actually know of at least one person who came to Buffy and other Joss projects through fanfic alone.

* Incidentally, IDW has a contract with Doctorow to create comic adaptations of six stories from "Overclocked." I think a lot of people here would love "Anda's Game" (also female-centered) and the aforementioned "After the Siege."
I will be eternally grateful to all the talented buffyfic writers out there who have kept the world alive for me.
Most of the fics I read are far better than most of the novels, and some really do exceed the actual show.

I am so happy that there are so many with the compulsion to write, it has given me so much pleasure over these past few years.

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