Friday, March 19, 2010
Thunderdome part II - Kvothe Vs. Aslan
So Kvothe is going up against Aslan right now in round two of the fantasy cage match on Suvudu. What's surprising is that right now the votes are pretty much dead even. Half for Kvothe, half for the big cat himself.

I didn't write up a little blurb for the last fight. But I've been driving a lot over these last couple days as I go from reading to reading. So I've had plenty of time to think about how the fight between Kvothe and Aslan would go.

So I wrote it up this morning and sent it off to Suvudu. If you wander over there, they should have it posted up pretty soon. I'm actually kinda proud of that little scene.

And for those of you wondering who did the cool picture of Kvothe they're using over there on the site: it's Kim Kinkaid over at Twirling Dragon. It's one of my favorite pictures of Kvothe so far.

When Sarah saw it, she said. "Oh. He's beautiful. No wonder Fela bought him a cloak...."

That's all for now folks. I've got to get back on the road. See some of you tonight at Prince Books.

pat

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Thursday, March 11, 2010
Thunderdome!

...or something. Is that too obscure a reference these days? Should I have gone with the cliche but easily recognizable "there can be only one?"

What I'm talking about is the battle royal going on over at Suvudu. They've taken a bunch of our favorite fictional characters and paired them up in head to head fights. They've chosen a pleasantly bizarre and diverse group of fighters: Gandalf, Cuthulu, and Hermione are all in there duking it out.

Flatteringly enough, Kvothe is in there too, paired up against Garret Jax.

It's a fun concept, and you get to vote on who you think should win. But what makes it truly entertaining is the brief descriptions that they give each of the characters, complete with strengths, weaknesses, and special attacks. Better still are the staff's narrative descriptions of how they think the fight would turn out.

I'll admit that I'm surprised how pleased I am at how how some of the voting is going. For example, Ged from the Wizard of Earthsea is currently kicking the stuffing out of Edward from Twilight.

Anyway. Feel free to wander over and take a look for yourself. It's a good time.

pat

[Edit: For those of you asking in the comments. I didn't send in a little blurb when I heard about the contest for two reasons. 1) Because I was really busy. And 2) I heard that Terry Brooks was too busy to send stuff in too. It didn't seem particularly fair for me to step in and stump for Kvothe when Brooks wasn't going to be able to do the same.

That said, Lewis isn't around anymore. And I've got a little time on my hands. So if Kvothe makes it to the match-up with Aslan, I might send a little blurb their way.]

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Thursday, March 4, 2010
The Perils of Fan Fiction - Part I

Lately, I've been thinking about fanfic.

This is new to me. Up until this this point in my life, I've spent more time thinking about how turtles have sex than about fan fiction.

Don't get me wrong. I don't have anything against fan fiction. It's just....

It's like this. Let's say you came up to me and said, "So, what do you think about Dnipropetrovsk?"

I would look at you blankly.

Then you would say, "Dnipropetrovsk? Major Ukrainian industrial center?"

To which I would shake my head dumbly.

Dismayed, you would continue, "Come on! It's the third largest city in the Ukraine! More than a million people live there! How can you not know about Dnipropetrovsk?"

At this point in the conversation, I would probably explain that I'm sure that Dnipropetrovsk plays a vital role in a lot of peoples' lives. I'd admit that I'm not surprised that folks have strong feelings about how it used to be a major military asset for the USSR. I'm sure that a lot of people live, breathe, and spend a big chunk of their waking time thinking about Dnipropetrovsk.

But I'm just not one of those people. I've never known anyone from there. Never visited. Never seen a movie set in the city. For all these reasons, Dnipropetrovsk has been off my radar for my entire life.

It's the same thing with fan fiction.

Admittedly, in these last several years, I've become aware of fan fiction through a slow osmosis. At any given convention there are going to be panels on the subject. You'll hear conversations in the hall. Occasional jokes.

Even so, fan fiction has only been dimly present on the edge of my perception.

The one notable exception is that I've known, sooner or later, that someone was going to do fan fiction about my stuff. Using my characters. Set in my world.

Truth is, I've looked forward to it. When people start writing fan fiction about your stuff, it shows that your writing has attained a level of popularity. It's like fanart, in my opinion. No matter how you feel about the art itself, the fact that someone went out of their way to do it is really flattering.

That's the most I ever thought about it. The thought of folks writing a Potter vs. Kvothe cage match never really bugged me.

How other writers feel on the subject has never concerned me very much. I know emotions tend to run hot on the subject. Some people love fan fiction. Some people hate it. Some people view it as legally actionable, others see it as a crime against god and nature.

The first people I met who were firmly on one end of the spectrum are the awesome folks who won the photo contest that I ran a while back. The first time I ever met them out at Gencon, they expressed a firm distaste for fanfic. They even made up this picture for me.




When I went down to Indianapolis a year ago, I they dressed up for a reading I did at their local library. And, as a joke, I had Kvothe and Bast pose for kiss because we were talking about the bit of Yaoi that got written.

You can see from the expression on Kvothe's face that she doesn't condone this sort of behavior.



It didn't really strike me as odd that people who engaged in cosplay would look down on people who wrote fan fiction. There is a viscous of territorialism in geek society, as shown by this flow chart that Brunching Shuttlecocks put together years ago:




(Click to Embiggen.)

It reminds me of a quote that used to get tossed around when I was in grad school. "Why is the competition on academia so fierce? Because the stakes are so low."

I think some similar psychological force is at play in geekdom.

Hold on.... I just realized something. Our award-winning cosplayers, by putting together a series of images that tell a story have created a narrative. A narrative that features characters someone else created.

Does that make their entry to the photo contest fan fiction? Are they all closet fanficers?

Whoo boy. I'm glad I'm not there to hear the great wailing and gnashing of teeth right now. I'm guessing those are fighting words....



Anyway, I always figured how people felt about fanfic was a personal issue. It's like Jefferson said: "It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

That's been my philosophy. You love fanfic? Fine. You hate it? Also fine. It really doesn't effect my life in the least.

But then I accidentally wrote a piece of fan fiction, and everything changed....


(Stay tuned for part two, space cowboys.)

pat

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The End is Nigh

So last night I was singing in the shower, and I had a wonderful idea.

Yeah. Feel free to take a moment. The image that was just branded into your occipital lobe will fade with time. Take a deep breath. There you go. And another. Better? Just avoid thinking about it for a while and it will go away. Whatever you do, don't add that fuzzy pink cat-ear hat to the picture, or you'll never....

You just did it, didn't you? Man, I'm sorry.

Heh heh heh.

Awwww.... Now I feel really guilty. What if the Hadron Collider blows up the world later today and the last thought on someone's mind is my naked, soapy body wearing in a Kawaii-pink catgirl hat? If that happens, I'm definitely going to pay for it in the afterlife.

Anyway, as I was saying, yesterday I had an idea.

It doesn't really matter where I was when I had the idea. Don't think about it.

As is the case with most of my ideas, it was about writing, and it was awesome.

Over the next couple hours, the idea rolled around in my head. Finally I decided I'd be better off just writing it, and getting it out, than to try and fight it. This is the writer's equivalent of giving your child the candy they're begging for, just so they'll shut up and leave you alone.

So I wrote this thing. This story. It was fun. I was excited. It had some terribly clever bits. It had humor. It had a good ending.

Most interesting was the fact that this story is much shorter than what I usually write. In fact, I managed to finish it in just a couple hours.

It was only after the story was finished that I realized what I had done. It honestly, HONESTLY never occurred to me while I was thinking about it or writing it down. In fact, it didn't occur to me until I woke up this morning.

I had written fanfic.

I really don't know what this means. I don't know if this is a sign of the endtimes, or merely the first step in what will quickly become the downward spiral of my life.

Either way, I felt that y'all had the right to know.

pat

P.S. It's really good. Seriously.

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