Moderating a busy list (OT)/Q. about Fanfiction

Sally Odgers sodgers at
Mon Apr 16 13:10:11 EDT 2001

>books. The world is largely derived from Conan Doyle's, which is NOT
>a precisely accurate rendition of Victorian/Edwardian England.

No, it wouldn't be accurate, but then, there's no-one left alive to point up
the exact diffrences.

>doubt there really was an inspector Lestrade or a Moriarty. These
>appear in King's books as well as Conan Doyle's and are clearly his
>own creation.

Interesting point; as I said, I've not read these books, so I was guessing.

>Neil Gaiman took A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM and posited its first
>performance in front of Oberon and Titania and the rest of the
>unseely court. The world is and isn't Shakespeare's, and is and isn't
>that of the popular mythology that he drew from, and is really sprung
>full-fledged from Neil Gaiman's head, except that it isn't.

This is a fascinating point, but I don't know enough about Elizabethan
concept of fairies to argue it. I'm sure there are many people on this list
who are much more educated than I am... has anyone read Spencer for example?
Then there's Cold Iron, by Sophie Masson, which uses the Faerie court as
well as folklore characters. I have heard it said that Shakespeare called
himself a "playmender" rather than a playmaker, suggesting that he put his
own spin on existing material. Does anyone know what he was drawing on when
he did "Dream"? Someone else pointed out that familiarity of subject matter,
world or characters is a big drawing point for readers, so I would assume
Shakespeare was using this face. I know from local experience that a "name"
musical brings in much bigger audiences than a new or original one, and also
that people who sing their own compositions in talent quests are behind the
8-ball in consequence.

>To use a fantasy example, are Philip Jose Farmer's OZ books a problem?

Hmm, I don't care for the originals, so I wouldn't hazard a guess. All I can
really say (I think) is that *I* wouldn't do it, if I had a real choice in
the matter. And yet, I have no objection at all to people (DWJ eg) drawing
on folklore or myth. In fact, I do that myself too, sometimes. And I didn't
mind Nicholas Stuart Grey's Arthurian story...

Sallyo - more confused than ever. (blame it on encroaching middle age).
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