Some thoughts on fanfic…

Some thoughts on fanfic and the Tiptree from Liz Henry -- well worth reading, on so many levels. The only thing you need to know is that Liz was on the Tiptree jury this year (which I served on a few years ago) and that she nominated a piece of fan fiction to the longlist, which has sparked a storm of controversy across the blogosphere and elsewhere.

Oh, and I pretty much agree with her on this. Not on every fine point, but on the broad details. But then, I'm finding that I pretty much generally agree with her take on things, from our recent conversation on slut economies to her reading of the Touched By Venom story, to this current imbroglio. Liz and I, we are kindred spirits.

For just one of the points of contention in this kerfuffle, here's a statement, from a conversation I had with David Levine this weekend, while walking around the lovely Capitol building in Madison. When I read for an award like the Tiptree, I do not consider literary quality. For me, it is not a relevant element to the question at hand, except inasmuch as the skills of the writer *may* enhance or detract from the author's ability to explore and expand aspects of gender in the text. I would strongly prefer to award a very badly-written story that managed to communicate amazing ideas about gender, over a gorgeously-written story communicating slightly less amazing ideas about gender.

Other jurors may feel very differently. YMMV.

3 thoughts on “Some thoughts on fanfic…”

  1. Writers especially seem to view all awards through the lens of the big generics. Me, I think there were probably several better-written books that came out around the same time as Moby-Dick, but it’s still for good reason that that’s the one we remember.

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