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Deathly bored. - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Deathly bored.
I even tried the Babelfish game for a while and was bored at reading gratuitously bad translations of songs from my childhood. I have to work tomorrow morning, but I can't sleep, so I'll ramble.

I was in the bookstore last week looking for something new to read, and I noticed yet another piece of pro fanfic, Finn, about Huck's father. I read the back, and it sounded like pretty much any other competent fanfic. (Story of how Pap got to be the town drunk and was so mean, and presumably about Huck's mother and Huck. No word on whether or not Pap was having a torrid secret affair with Judge Thatcher, thus handily driving him to drink, but that might be considered too much of a spoiler for cover copy.) I think someone's also done Jim's story, though I don't remember the title. Maybe Becky Thatcher should have some adventures. Except for the whole Pseudo-Time Travel thing of a proper southern young lady of the era getting all adventurous--maybe she went to visit cousins out of town and they didn't believe her about the cave (which had gotten a little embellished in the telling anyway), and she gets into trouble on a dare. The Widow Douglass seems to have a bit of a back story in canon, surely that's there for the taking.

Let's see, what else could be raided?

The Scarlet Letter? Nah, Hawthorne more or less gave out what happened to everyone who counted.

Is there anything left to be done with Dracula after all these years and movies? The story of the Weird Sisters, maybe? The point of view of the Gypsies who guarded Drac?

Frankenstein... one of his professors in Ingolstadt finds out what he did, and is faced with the decision of revealing the forbidden science to the world--as he would normally believe ought to be done--or burying it and sowing the ground with salt?

Alcott gave us everyone's lives laid out pretty fully in LW/LM/JB. I think one can respect her wish at the end of Jo's Boys to bury Plumfield and its environs in an earthquake. (Yes, Louisa May Alcott admits, in the last paragraph of JB, to daydreaming about a "Rocks fall, everyone dies" ending.)

There's plenty to raid in Shakespeare, but most of the really interesting stuff has been hit on several times, I'm sure.

There are times I think it would be fun to have a professional magazine for legal fanfic like this.

I'm truly dreading Tolkien entering public domain, though. That will be... frightening.
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Comments
(Deleted comment)
lady_moriel From: lady_moriel Date: March 24th, 2007 07:51 am (UTC) (Link)
[spoiler warning] I read that the major...oh, I'd call it canon-rape, but as suppose it's not as such...but the major whatever-it-is in Finn is that Huck's dad was sort of in love with a black woman who is actually, yes, Huck's mother. So he's a mulatto and doesn't even know it (one wonders how he passed so easily as white, then, if he's half black...), which kind of...makes the whole thing between him and Jim...uh, weird. Or pointless, or something.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 24th, 2007 11:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, so canon rape and pseudo-time-travel all in one. I take back the part about "competent" fan writing.
rose_in_shadow From: rose_in_shadow Date: March 24th, 2007 12:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I started a thread about pro-fanfic at LibraryThing. We came up with a lot of titles, most of them, unfortunately, Jane Austen sequels/prequels.

+ March by Geraldine Brooks (Little Women)
+ The Wide Sargasso Sea by ?? (Jane Eyre)
+ Heathcliff by Haire-Sergeant (Wuthering Heights)

and a few more. here's the thread if you're interested. It's not very long.

Pro fic scares me though. I don't want my image of beloved characters stomped into the ground or mutilated beyond repair (such as making Elizabeth Bennet some kind of psychic in one Austen spin-off I've seen *shudder*).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 24th, 2007 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, there's always (shudder) Scarlett, by Ripley, for profics that deserve serious sporkings. March, I've heard enough about that I want to avoid it. (No one cheats on Marmee. No one.) I should try Wide Sargasso Sea again.

It's weird--fanfic takes a beating for being somehow "less" than profic, but a large number of fanfic writers seem more concerned with character detail than the people whose public domain fanfic is being published.
(Deleted comment)
leeflower From: leeflower Date: March 24th, 2007 12:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
speaking of Tolkien profic, have you read After the King? It's a collection of short stories set in Middle Earth by some pretty Big Names (Pratchett's in there. I'm trying to remember who else). It's been years since I saw it (it predates the movies by a significant margin), but it might be worth picking up.
keestone From: keestone Date: March 24th, 2007 01:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have that somewhere. I thought it sounded like a much better idea than buying every note that Professor Tolkien didn't think to burn. I recall there being some pretty good stories in the collection.
donnaimmaculata From: donnaimmaculata Date: March 24th, 2007 01:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
No word on whether or not Pap was having a torrid secret affair with Judge Thatcher

You know, I guess that's not that far off. Some day soon a pro fanfic will be published that features a homosexual relationship between two minor characters, and serious critics will praise it to high heaven for being "courageous" and "exploring the subtext".
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 24th, 2007 01:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very true. The Secret Garden sequel already did make Colin gay, but I don't know if it got enough press to really get the lit crit going, but I should check. It would be funny, but wholly expected, if that's exactly what the mainstream critics had to say.
knight_ander From: knight_ander Date: March 24th, 2007 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
The 2 Dracula pro-fanfics I have aren't too terrible.

Marie Kiraly's Mina is pretty much a romance from Mina Harker's POV post-Dracula where she has an affair with a man who looks just like Drac. The very cheesy tag-line on the cover pretty much tells it all: "I still feel his blood in me. I still feel that passion his touch aroused..." Okay, maybe it is terrible.

Anno Dracula is first in a trilogy by Kim Newman that takes place in a time when Dracula lived and becoming vampire was all the rage. Dracula has become Queen Victoria's consort, but the story mainly focus' on a Jack-the-Ripper storyline, and is much better than Mina. I can't remember the names of other books, but they take place during World War I and the later 1950s.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 24th, 2007 04:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I guess I have an automatic eyeroll at anything with Mina in love with Drac (including the Gary Oldman Drac movie, grr). With Mina, it wasn't the seduction as it was with Lucy--he broke into the asylum and, in vampiric terms, raped her, forcing her face against his vein. There was no, "Take me away from all this death..." There was "You will be my wine press right now."

Not a big fan of it as an oh-so-romantic ship.
stephantom From: stephantom Date: March 24th, 2007 07:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
There was a pretty popular (well, among phans) fanfiction based on Gaston Leroux's Phantom of the Opera that came out in the 90's, I think - Phantom by Susan Kay. I never actually read it (it's out of print and you have to buy it off ebay or something for like 50 bucks now) but it got accepted almost as canon. I guess that PotO is kind of a funny case though because even though Leroux's novel is the original, it's kind of become an icon beyond that, because of the musical and stuff, and a few different movie variations. She gave a name to a character just called The Persian in Leroux's book - Nadir Khan, and in fanfiction, people generally adopt that name for him too. I've mostly heard good things about it - it fills in a lot of background for the phantom, his entire childhood and stuff.

It's got some of your typical fanfic twists though - the phantom getting very-nearly sexually abused as a kid, and then in the end, Christine has his baby (but he dies before it's born) and Raoul raises it with her...
vytresna From: vytresna Date: March 25th, 2007 12:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I think it's been re-released in Europe? Anyway, I have it, and I highly recommend it (except for the aforementioned attempted rape, though at least it does go to character development instead of emo-porn), especially the Giovanni and Nadir sections.
scionofgrace From: scionofgrace Date: March 24th, 2007 10:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm truly dreading Tolkien entering public domain, though. That will be... frightening.

::hides::

Lots of interesting thoughts in your post and the replies... I guess it hadn't dawned on me that the majority of profic out there would be considered badfic or crackfic if it was published online. But it's absolutely true.
erised1810 From: erised1810 Date: March 24th, 2007 10:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
i jsut happendto stumble on a sense and sensibility sequel. i mostly thinkther are some books that aretoo finishedto need a part II. it's liek the films withtheir endlesssequels.
i've also heard about thepeter pan novels. adn i know there's acouple of windi nthe willows sequels too. i'm not sure if the woel spree of oz bookls-that-were-not-by-baum-hmnself wer done with his permission or not.
i hope the tolkien coyright gets passed o nform one generation to the next. there was this one guy who triedto publish a sequel and i ntheend merel ychanged some names and essentials to swign it past copyright issues. eaugh.
the only non-hp fic i'ver written is horrible kind of anne rice stuffand that was before i foudn out how monstrousshe is about fanfic so my stuff i gone now.
ther's one author i like very much because he somehow snips outa little-known fact or abit of history and takes it into a story. Peter Ackroyd. I've read one about charlesand mary lamb adn this bookseller who forged some shakespeare plays and passed them as genuine manuscripts. ther'salso one about milton joinign a puritan settlement inthe us (I forgotthe exact details of that-one.)
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 24th, 2007 10:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
The profic fanfic I've liked were generally spoofs, "Scream for Jeeves," where H.P. Lovecraft fiction meets Bertie Wooster, "The Dracula Tape," where Count Dracula tells his side of the story (and complains about how he no sooner moves into his house in London than this crazy, rat eating guy named Renfield shows up. What is it with these crazy Englishmen?), and things like that.

Ellen
faeriemaiden From: faeriemaiden Date: March 25th, 2007 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, dear. I was looking forward to Tolkien entering public domain for the sole reason that I am itching to write, er, 'derivative fiction' *waggles eyebrows*, but, despite heavy fandom involvement, the scarier more serious repercussions either didn't cross my mind or they skipped across very hastily without even stopping to check for traffic. Suddenly, I am overwhelmed with terror. Going to hide under the bed now.
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