Gray and Cooper Fanfic?

Every couple of months, there’s a new article online asking authors how they feel about fans of their work writing fiction based on the worlds they’ve created. And every time, some will say they hate it when amateurs appropriate their characters and some will say they don’t mind.

Anne Rice hates it and will sue you, Hugh Howey (Wool) not only doesn’t mind but even sounds encouraging.

Douglas Adams, of Hitchhiker fame, even started a web page for it:


Hitchhiker’s Fan-Site Started By Douglas Adams Shows Why Authors Shouldn’t Panic Over Derivative Works


from the bring-a-towel dept
We’ve talked a great deal about how content creators handle derivative works in the past, be itmusiciansTV/film makers, or authors. The responses are predictably varied, with some creators embracing derivatives, some abhorring them, some that draw the line on commercial use, and others that use derivatives to build even further works. The least controversial of the lot is work done by fans, of course. Few creators want to go to war with fans that love their work so much they make fan films, or write fan fiction. But what would happen if a creator not only allowed derivatives of their work, but actually made the conscious decision to build an entire platform for it themselves to encourage the practice?

Well, you’d end up with something like h2g2, otherwise known as the fan-created build of the Earth-version of the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. They recently posted on April 28th to celebrate their 14th “birthday”, congratulating the community on making the site a wonderful place for Hitchhiker fans to contribute with their own submissions. They also rightly said thanks to the book series’ author, Douglas Adams, as it was Adams who started the site from the beginning.

Although might not yet quite be a complete guide to Life, The Universe and Everything it is a thriving online community, where Hitchhiker’s fans and many other creative folks can work on The Guide and help fulfill Douglas’ vision of a real-life, mostly useful, Earth Edition of his fictional Guide (not, incidentally, a real-life version of the Encyclopedia Galactica).
Today we welcome everyone, active and returning researchers, new researchers, visitors and viewers, to celebrate. Thanks to Douglas Adams, who saw a way to bring his idea of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy into an actual Guide, the Earth Edition, we have been around for 14 internet years!
Resulting in, or from, the immense popularity of the Hitchiker series, is hugely popular with fans. Whether the books caused the site’s popularity more than the site has caused sales from the book is an unknown, but that each has an effect on the other is undeniable. The site’s history is interesting and somewhat convoluted, but what is unquestioned is Adams’ wish to embrace fans of the books and set them off on building their own guide of Earth. And, while ownership of the site has transitioned several times, from Adams to the BBC and so on, it is back in the hands of die-hard fans that have an allegiance to its community. Hell, the site puts out its own broadsheet newspaper.
All of this thanks to an author who wasn’t misguided in seeing derivatives as a threat, but rather as a wonderful way to connect with fans, all the while pointing them back to the original works off which they were based.

What are your feelings about fans writing fanfic using your worlds? I’d be more than flattered! And as the paragraph above states, it would serve to point back to the original work, thereby increasing sales and name recognition.

So if any of you would like to write fanfic about Gray and Cooper, be my guest. I’ll be first in line to read it.




About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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8 Responses to Gray and Cooper Fanfic?

  1. Sarah_Madison says:

    I confess, I have mixed feelings about the idea of someone writing fanfic of my work. On most levels, I would be thrilled and flattered that someone liked my universe and the characters in it enough to want to play there–heck, that’s what I’ve been doing in my head for my favorite stories and televisions showed as long as I can remember. It’s a normal and natural way for a creative mind to play, regardless of whether that person commits the words to paper and shares them with like-minded people or not.

    On the other hand, I suspect I’d raise an eyebrow if someone took my characters in a direction that I hadn’t envisioned for them–but that would be easier for me to accept than the idea of someone creating a successful franchise that was derivative of my work. But, since I think the likelihood of this is laughably unlikely, I doubt it something I will ever have to worry about!

    So for the most part, I say go for it, fans!

    • I used to slash straight characters in fanfic. That’s definitely taking them in a direction the author probably didn’t envision. ;/ It’s all in good fun. And it’s fiction.

      I say do it if you want to, but I draw the line at someone making money off my characters/world. Let them create their own if they want to publish. Howey allowing someone to not only write stories based on his world but sell them on Amazon to boot…? Far too generous, if you ask me. The silos were his vision. That author should create their own.

  2. A.M.B. says:

    Fan fiction about Gray and Cooper (what about Harper? I like her) would be interesting. It’s flattering to the author, it helps cement their legacy, and it’s part of the creative process (there are no new ideas!). It is a murky area of copyright law, though, and so authors of derivative works should be careful.

    • “Fanfic” is obviously just that. They are stories written using someone else’s characters and ‘verse. I have no problem at all with that. And yes, Harper is a terrific character. If I continue to delve into this series, she’ll be back, along with her partner and the new kid.

      But the rule has always been: you can’t sell it. And then Howie comes along and seemingly approves of a fanfic writer selling her derivative work on Amazon.

      This might create a legal horror.

      • A.M.B. says:

        It’s interesting that Howey permitted a fan fiction writer to sell the derivative work. Why do you think it might create a legal horror? I’m not sure how the agreement between Howey and the fanfic writer would impact copyright law overall. I don’t know the specifics of their agreement, but if he were to revoke permission, it might be a contract claim (based on justified reliance), not a copyright infringement claim. It’s a gray area, though. A copyright holder might allege that overuse of a license amounts to copyright infringement, and as far as I know the issue isn’t really settled.

        I’m glad to hear Harper will be back if you decide to continue with the series!

        • I’m talking about other fanfic writers now thinking this gives them license to sell their fanfic. I don’t know about any deal between Howie and the fanfic writer. I assume there is one, but it’s been kept quiet.

  3. diannegray says:

    I’d be really flattered (as long as they didn’t make more money out of it than me) 😉

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