catalenamara (catalenamara) wrote,

TIME Magazine mentions fan fiction

Here's a fascinating article from the recent issue of Time magazine (the inauguration issue) for anyone interested in the future of publishing and writing. The article examines the financial crisis facing the book publishing and selling industries, discusses the success of Amazon's Kindle and the Sony Reader and how these devices are changing the way people interact with books, examines Googles plans to scan every book into existence into its database, and discusses the new acceptance of self-publishing.

The article also mentions fan fiction (which the author feels is analogous to Japanese "keitai shosetsu" - novels written, and read, on cell phones.)

Books Gone Wild: The Digital Age Reshapes Literature (1-21-09)
By Lev Grossman,9171,1873122-1,00.html

Some quotes (the article is quite a bit longer and mentions fanfic several times):

*** Four of the five best-selling novels in Japan in 2007 belonged to an entirely new literary form called keitai shosetsu: novels written, and read, on cell phones. . . . .Cell-phone novels haven't caught on in the U.S.--yet--but we have something analogous: fan fiction, fan-written stories based on fictional worlds and characters borrowed from popular culture--Star Trek, Jane Austen, Twilight, you name it. There's a staggering amount of it online, enough to qualify it as a literary form in its own right.

*** Put these pieces together, and the picture begins to resolve itself: more books, written and read by more people, often for little or no money, circulating in a wild diversity of forms, both physical and electronic, far outside the charmed circle of New York City's entrenched publishing culture. Old Publishing is stately, quality-controlled and relatively expensive. New Publishing is cheap, promiscuous and unconstrained by paper, money or institutional taste. If Old Publishing is, say, a tidy, well-maintained orchard, New Publishing is a riotous jungle: vast and trackless and chaotic, full of exquisite orchids and undiscovered treasures and a hell of a lot of noxious weeds.

*** None of this is good or bad; it just is. The books of the future may not meet all the conventional criteria for literary value that we have today, or any of them. But if that sounds alarming or tragic, go back and sample the righteous zeal with which people despised novels when they first arose. They thought novels were vulgar and immoral. And in a way they were, and that was what was great about them: they shocked and seduced people into new ways of thinking. These books will too.
Tags: fan fiction

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