rivkat: Chloe: Here to cheer on a mission from God (chloe cheers)
( Dec. 27th, 2014 07:25 pm)
I got a very fun Sam/Dean sex pollen story from [livejournal.com profile] ephemeralk, Botany of Desire, for [livejournal.com profile] spn_j2_xmas! Dean deliberately goes after sex pollen. This is either his best idea ever or his worst. Sam’s voting for the latter, until things start to go his way.

And another plug for my Yuletide gift, Simple Gifts, The Pretender, Jarod/Miss Parker, General Audiences
Summary: Jarod investigates troubling shortages at a half-way house/shelter that serves displaced and homeless veterans. Along the way he discovers that family is about more than just blood relation.

This case fic gives a really detailed treatment of the family Jarod finds, and into which he’s welcomed. The warmth and love is palpable; the case has a great Pretender feel, including some false steps towards finding the real bad guy and a ‘taste of his own medicine’ punishment for the bad guy; the end has just enough Jarod/Miss Parker to satisfy without getting explicit, and it makes sense for the characters that their moves toward each other would be tentative.
Sadly, my productive work semester is leaving zero time for making fannish things, but I can at least share some love:

OTW comments on the legal framework for remix
.  If you don’t tear up at a couple of the personal fandom stories, you’re a stronger person than I am.

Also, it turns out that the rules for Amazon’s Kindle Worlds really are quite amusing: All of them ban “erotica” and “offensive content,” but Bloodshot and a couple of others (comics, I think) require characters to be “in-character,” and also ban “profane language,” graphic violence, “references to acquiring, using, or being under the influence of illegal drugs,” and “wanton disregard for scientific and historical accuracy.” So, good luck with that!

Foreign Policy asks: Why is the Chinese Internet obsessed with writing gay Sherlock Holmes fanfiction?  I answer: because the Chinese are people? People who are sometimes willing to go to jail for loving slash. (Though one commenter insists that the arrest came from the fact that the targeted person ran a “porn” website for profit, and that ordinary slash writers are not at risk; the comment doesn’t make clear whether the claim is that it’s the profit or the “porn” that’s the problem under Chinese law, and also deploys “slash is women writing, not ‘gay’” in a way that seems a tad homophobic.)
Two US agencies are holding hearings on copyright reform; enough powerful people (ok, companies) think that copyright law needs changing that this might actually happen.  Don't let it happen without fannish voices: the OTW is soliciting stories of how creating transformative works has helped people in day-to-day life, whether that's through building language skills, video editing, writing, coding, or anything else.  You don't need to provide personal information, but the more specific the better.  You can submit your story through this form.  We need to speak up, or we'll be left out.
What Flourish Klink says about Amazon’s new fan fiction monetization project is all worth taking seriously, especially the parts about incremental change and bringing in people who weren’t traditionally “fan fiction writers.” I think that’s actually the riskiest part (and I don’t think she argues otherwise); the internet grew to its present point in a context in which it was much easier to go from inventing fan fiction in your own bedroom to finding a community of people who’d made the same invention than it had been when you had to find a convention or a round robin or the like. I’m skeptical of Golden Age thinking, but at the same time I do want to make sure that people who find fandom through places like Amazon can also easily find some non-walled gardens to play in. I also don’t think this is going to be a model for many franchises/works other than those created using the Alloy Entertainment model of monetizing a concept for teen audiences, though I’ve been wrong before!

(Flourish also points out that it’s standard white folk cluelessness to ban “racism” in Vampire Diaries fan fiction given its canonical basis in chattel slavery, though I’m pretty sure Amazon’s enforcers will be defining that term differently than many who might be reading her work; others have noted the ironies in banning excessive brand placement in Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars fic. I guess the official versions have that covered?)

Letters from Titan has a great post too, raising what seem to me to be exactly the key questions. Sure wish I had answers:
Question 1: To what degree does Kindle Worlds suggest that the fanfiction can only be legitimized through the eradication of fan culture’s gift economy?
Question 2: Fanfiction has significantly changed our media culture. Kindle Worlds isn’t just capitalizing on it, but arguably represents an attempt to shape it. Is this a feedback loop in action or an attempt to stop the catalyst that is fan work?
Questions 3: The contractual terms of Kindle Worlds are the sort traditional professional writers would be strongly advised against signing on to. Is fannish work worth less? Should it be?
Question 4: Fanfiction has, arguably, always been about the option to use use all the tools, particularly those often discouraged by corporate content production (e.g., sexuality), to tell story. If the toolbox is limited, whether a given writer would choose to use all the tools or not, is it fanfiction or is it some other form of derivative (vs. transformative) work?
Question 5: How will fan readers view/treat fan writers who use a tool like Kindle Worlds? And how does that impact our communities, hierarchies, and barriers to entry?
I also said some stuff on tumblr. Hi tumblr, I’m trying you out.  And wow are you terrible for conversations!

Relatedly: like vids? Vote in the US? Call your representatives and tell them to support DMCA reform so that vidding stays lawful. There are a variety of proposals, but only one bill that is any good and that fixes anything but cellphone unlocking.
Now just to get enough writing done.

Links: Marco Rubio says the age of the earth is “one of the great mysteries.” No. No, it’s not!

Men’s emotions as the standard for rationality.

Hilarious! For certain values of hilarious, anyway. How to make pseudoephedrine from meth.  The factchecking comments at BoingBoing also warm my heart (what’s the chemical reaction there?).

Cory Doctorow wrote a book about video remixers. Apparently they’re all dudes, though? And I have to admit I’m sympathetic to this review, which argues that he severely overstacks the deck against Big Content and that there is a difference between remix (especially remix that starts with paid-for DVDs/downloads, yay DMCA exemptions!) and wholesale downloading for consumption’s sake.
13 bankers, best practices for nonprofits )

Gone With the Wind Sequels, including fan fiction )
rivkat: Dean reading (dean reading)
( May. 30th, 2012 11:53 am)
Infocide in open content communities: Includes flouncing, but puts it in a larger context.

Bankruptcy court overlooks predatory lending, discharges student loans based on debtor’s autism instead. It’s important to remember that the strategies that benefit an individual client in court can be harmful overall (and maybe even to the client in some ways). Here, the strategy is only desirable because of the way creditor-favoring laws have made it almost impossible for a person to discharge educational debt; we didn’t have to create these alternatives.

Via [personal profile] giandujakiss: There was fan fiction before you called it fan fiction, and before there was copyright it was called writing. -- Anne Jamison, English professor

Grant Morrison, the Columbian exchange, Barbie as folk art, the relationship between freedom and the internet, and a great book on the history of technology )
rivkat: Dean reading (dean reading)
( May. 1st, 2012 08:58 am)
Eureka: Spoilers are still in the Matrix )

A Softer World: this could work for so many of my fandoms!

Rec: Pairing Pendragon/Merlin: Meta, really, in which BBC Merlin characters are Starz Camelot fans. I have rarely felt more directly hailed by a text! (As Sady Doyle once said, this must be what guys feel like all the time.) The embarrassing stuff is there, along with the love.

Interesting article on Foreign Policy’s gender issue (pun, sadly, intended).

space opera and Stephen King's daddy issues )
Quote of the day: Colson Whitehead: “Greyhounds are raised in deplorable puppy mills and drugged up for the racetrack, I think I read somewhere, and Peter Pan used to enter kids' bedrooms and entice them, so perhaps there is a core aspect to the bus industry that defies rebranding.”

Rec: A Curious Carriage of Crystal and Cold: essentially original sff: an X-Men Charles/Erik AU with great Raven, Tony Stark, and Wolverine as well.

Fic: (1) Turns out, based on what I can feasibly write, I need a couple more Eight Crazy Nights prompts. If you haven’t prompted me yet this year, I invite you to leave them!

(2) [community profile] spn_bitesized is having a kink meme! Here, see Dean with a hammer )
rivkat: Rivka as Wonder Woman (Default)
( Dec. 11th, 2011 08:26 pm)
Dispatches from the other side of the “war on Christmas”: today, my four-year-old daughter and I pass a barber shop, all decked out with Santa etc. She asks, “Mommy, are Jewish people allowed to go in that store?” I reassure her that we are. It takes a little while.

Barney Frank still has it:
What would be the nicest thing I could say about Newt Gingrich? He may be one of the great supporters of the humanities, because you have people who don't want to study the social sciences, because it's not profitable, and now Newt, as the highest-paid historian in American history, may be an encouragement to people to study history.

… So none of those people [Republican presidential candidates] I would want to be on a desert island with, unless one of them, as I said, had skills in catching fish or whatever I don't know about.
My favorite Barney Frank story, because it also uses my favorite joke form: Barney Frank is on a panel at Yale with Peggy Noonan, who gets asked a question she doesn’t want to answer immediately. To stall for time, she asks, “Why is [noted conservative and killjoy] Bob Bork smiling down at us?”—indicating a portrait of him in the room. Frank instantly replies, “Because it’s a painting and not a photograph.”

Also, because it amused me, the following exchange, at the start of oral argument, between the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court and counsel for a fortuneteller who was challenging a local ordinance that prohibited fortunetelling within city limits on First Amendment grounds:
Chief Justice: Counsel, you have us at a disadvantage.
Attorney: Why, Your Honor?
Chief Justice: Well, hasn’t your client told you how this case will ultimately turn out?
Attorney: No, Your Honor, you must remember I did not consult my client for advice. She consulted me.

Also, this RPF reminds me of the glory days of popslash: a meditation on celebrity as a mask that eats into the face.

rivkat: Chloe: Here to cheer on a mission from God (chloe cheers)
( Nov. 16th, 2011 05:38 pm)
So I’m browsing the Yuletide fandoms on my mobile phone, expecting it to be impossible but necessary since my broadband was down—and holy cow, that’s neat!  It collapses into nice little chunks. I now see it also does this on my regular Firefox, though I prefer it in single columns like on the phone. And there’s this “shuffle” button, hunh.

Also I discovered the Justice League Remake/Remodel, so thanks, Yuletide!

Dear Yuletide author )
Random promotion: I love Dropbox. It just saved my hide when I turned out to have deleted some very important footnotes by allowing me to go back about forty versions and nearly a month to find an older file that had the footnotes. If you’re looking for a convenient cloud backup service, I recommend it highly. And if you join using this link,  I get extra space and so do you (250 mb to add to your free 2 gigs; they continue to give you the extra if you pay to upgrade, as I do). (I checked out Amazon’s cloud drive and just didn’t get it. As far as I could tell, you couldn’t upload whole folders that weren’t music folders, and then there didn’t seem to be automatic backup. If you just want to store stuff that you don’t alter, maybe it’s a good idea? But if you’re constantly revising files, and if you want to move whole folders around, it didn’t seem that easy, though it’s possible I’m just used to Dropbox. I have not tried Apple’s service.)

ignoring the obvious, the dead hand of the past, fan fiction and the law )
Literally unbelievable. I learned my lesson about sharing Onion stories without very clear labeling years ago, when I posted a link about a (fake) ridiculous trademark claim and some foreign students took it literally. And I don't blame them--this is America; who knows what weirdness the law is capable of?

The Iliad as fanfic. (I like that framing better than “Odyssey fanfic,” because the former pushes the canon out into some further distance, and also because this particular piece seems to me a very in-the-present-moment style, very much “how we are writing fanfic now.”)
visual culture, cultures of war, Japanese occupation, Lincoln and slavery )
rivkat: Fandom is my fandom (fandom is my fandom)
( Apr. 1st, 2011 08:49 pm)
The AO3 announced April Showers, a challenge to archive your older fiction.  With the exception of my old Yuletide stories, everything I consider a story is up there already, but perhaps others can take advantage?  Then there's [community profile] remix_goes_wild, which is challenging the boundaries of the remix with a lot of different prompts for how you might remix a story--yours or someone else's.  It doesn't have a deadline.  I don't think I can commit to doing more than Remix Redux and my still-outstanding auction story, but it still sounds awesome. And, as always, anyone is free to remix any of my stories at any time.

I don't know who you are, thesmallmachine, but you wrote an amazing response to Laura Miller's article on the Russian LotR reworking.

Here's a big chunk:
It was also nice to hear Ms. Miller's acknowledgment that she isn't in the best position to judge what fanfic is and what it's worth. This doesn't change the derision of her tone -- particularly in the bet-hedging use of the word "stereotype," which allows the review to essentially blame an amorphous community of stereotype-mongering Others for the ensuing, memorable, never-really-questioned definition of fic as the domain of teenage girls who earnestly write their romantic stories about a patronizingly quote-marked "canon."

Those quote marks really get me. They block off the term's irony, reserving it for the reviewing voice. In fact, I think most people in fandom are aware that they are not speaking of the canon of Harry Potter in the same sense, and with the same seriousness, that one might speak of the Western Canon (though the Western Canon's seriousness is increasingly dented now, and will probably dent deeper as the years go by).

One more word on that "stereotype" of fanfic as the domain of female teenagers -- of course it's an insult to adults who find fanfic to be a unique mode of criticism or a zero-g literary playspace or, sure, a sexual outlet; it's also an insult to female teenagers, a group who've seen enough insults, I think. The teen fic writer is finding her literary voice, learning to comment on mainstream fictions, finding a way to express her sexuality that's not entirely about recreating herself as a visual object for others' consumption. She is rarely a very good writer, because she's usually a very new one, but it's harsh to make her up into a symbol of writing as "fantasies" of "unlikely romantic pairings" and nothing more. She has an intellectual life, even if it's sometimes more potential than realized.

rivkat: Dean reading (dean reading)
( Feb. 15th, 2011 07:47 pm)
This article about the English translation of a Russian fan novel written from the perspective of the bad guys in The Lord of the Rings got me to click over.  Laura Miller expresses some weird uncertainty over whether it's fan fiction even though it's noncommercial (the translation, that is) and pretty clearly transformative, I guess so that she can anoint it as close to real literature and not just unlikely romance, whereas my reaction was: dude's on LJ!  Of course it's fan fiction! 

I also wonder what it will be like compared to Jacqueline Carey's spectacular Sundering duology, her version of LoTR from the bad guys' perspective.  From Miller's summary, sounds like Carey cares more about gender politics.

(If you're reading on LJ: the Dreamwidth icon says "I am not your user-generated content.")

Introductory note: the person who prompted this story, Aaron Schwabach, is to the best of my knowledge a nice guy—not a Nice Guy, but a person who is proceeding in good faith and, as will become important below, gives prominent and substantial credit to his predecessors in the field of his writing, which is the legal analysis of fan fiction. He is a nice guy; he is also a beneficiary of male privilege.

Schwabach wrote an article, The Harry Potter Lexicon and the World of Fandom: Fan Fiction, Outsider Works, and Copyright, that appeared in the University of Pittsburgh Law Review in 2009. After the article appeared on SSRN, he noticed that the Wikipedia coverage of legal issues surrounding fan fiction had been turned into its own article, with material he thought significantly derived from his article.  Being a good Wikipedian, Schwabach didn’t resent the apparent copying, especially since he well understood that copyright doesn’t cover facts or ideas; he merely added a citation to his article. (Other present citations are to Sonia Katyal, Charles Petit (a nonfan and nonacademic), and Rebecca Tushnet.)

The story seems to be that Wikipedians accepted the page as appropriately significant so that it was not deleted and edited it to follow his lead. (At least one page editor is quite fannish, and in examining her/his history I noticed that Whedonesque had been flagged for deletion as nonsignificant, though apparently this was beaten back.)

Excluding (1) pieces written from the copyright owner’s perspective or about Internet issues generally and (2) pieces about scanlation, fansubbing, and manga, here are the names of the people on Fanlore’s Legal Analysis page who wrote about fan fiction and fanvids in law reviews before Schwabach did (and most of whom, I emphasize again, he himself cited): Rosemary, Rebecca, Deborah, Meredith, Cecilia, Simone, Krissi, Leanne, Sonia, Mollie, Christina, Anupam & Madhavi, Ernest, Jacqueline, Casey, Christina, Edward, Nathaniel, Sarah, Steven, Megan & David, and Shira. 

Notice anything?

As a baseline point of reference, 20.3% of law review articles at top journals have a sole female author, while adding articles with at least one female author brings the percentage to 25.2%.  By contrast, of the 23 (including Schwabach) law review articles focusing on fan fiction through 2009, 8.7% are by male-female partnerships, 21.7% are by men, and 69.6% are by women.

So, a subfield of knowledge largely created and explored by women became interesting to Wikipedia when a man talked about it, and citation-wise looks on Wikipedia--increasingly the first place to which people turn for information online--like a field in which male sources of authority are at least equal to female sources. 

Tell me again that Wikipedia doesn’t have a woman problem

And, you know, I reserve most of my limited editing energy for Fanlore, though I did correct the faulty reference to Fanlore in that one Wikipedia entry.  I suppose I could, like Schwabach, edit the Wikipedia entry, though that might be considered to run afoul of the self-promotion policies, which, of course, have generally admirable purposes and effects.  Given various forms of policing feminist-friendly entries on Wikipedia, though, I'm not inclined to switch my focus.




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