wneleh: by Mirnell (Default)
2016-06-30 07:43 am

Looking for media refs?

If you're looking for my weekly round-up of fanfic refs in mainstream media, please click through to [community profile] as_others_see_us. I rarely post them here.
wneleh: by Mirnell (Default)
2015-12-16 07:13 am

Philip Rodkin

Yesterday I was doing a little google stalking on a HS friend - I'd wanted to quote him in a discussion on an email list - and, well, you know it's bad when someone has a fairly uncommon name and google wants to fill all the way to "obituary".

Which is how I learned that Phil Rodkin, who was a good friend, and sometimes maybe my closest friend, for about eight years, died of cancer in the spring of 2014. His obituary is here:


So, how to describe Phil? We met when he was an advanced-for-age 9th grader (having started K early) and I was a math-geek 10th grader. He wore ties to high school, and his closet was arranged chromatically; I wore Star Trek t-shirts. He pretty much hated my friends; I never really knew who his friends were. I loved high school; he wanted to get through it and out of Maryland.

Heading into the PSATs his junior year, he was the only kid on the math team who wouldn't rub my head going in (I have an oddly shaped head); he was the only kid in that bunch who didn't make Merit Finalist. I was smug; he was disdainful.

Through college, we wrote long letters in long-hand, this being slightly before ubiquitous email. More than anything, he'd wanted to go to Columbia (he'd been born in NYC and his beloved grandma was still there) but had to settle on University of Chicago. (This is not 'settling' for most people!) He spent his nights in blues clubs but still managed to get through in three years. For grad school, he again threw himself into getting into Columbia and again missed, this time crash-landing at Harvard, at age just-turned-20, in 1988, just as I was heading back to Maryland after college in Worcester, MA. But we'd had summer jobs in DC together, and hung out some while he was gearing up for, and starting at, Harvard. Then, in 1990, I moved up to Boston for grad school myself, and we hung out quite a bit my first three years up here.

It's hard to remember, now, what happened when we were teens, and what happened when we were in our mid-20s. Him making me carry half his books home was high school. The Petty Dead Dylan concert at RFK was, I think, while we were in college. Drunk on the NYC subway was definitely post-college, pre-me moving up to Boston. Watching Dylan concerts could have happened any time. Oh, and we hashed through our thoughts on religion and world views and family stuff. Constantly.

Then C and I got married, and I don't actually think Phil and I ever saw each other after (he left the wedding reception with my roommate :-) ). I thought I'd done something to piss him off, but looking back I think he'd just gotten very busy with finishing his degree, which is pretty much how grad school goes - you end the thing by losing all your friends; then you emerge, but everyone has forgotten you, or they're now going into finishing mode and have no time for you. And then you move away.

Anyway, the next I heard about Phil was in TIME - he'd gone and gotten himself established as an expert on bullying in adolescent boys. At the time of his death he was a prof at University of Illinois. His obit says he was married and had a son... trying to imagine him a dad and father kind of blows my brain, but so does thinking about him dead at 46, so. His obituary mentions his birth in NYC but not that he grew up in Suburban Maryland; I hope he planned that!
wneleh: by Mirnell (Default)
2013-12-01 02:16 pm
Entry tags:

Media References to Fanfic, the week ending 11/30/13

In Pacific Standard, in a review of Anne Jamison’s Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World, Laura Miller wrote At its best, fan fiction blurs the lines between reading and writing and consuming and creating, and makes pop culture speak to a greater range of experiences. And, for Salon, Miller wrote Both Michael Chabon and Mitch Cullin wrote lovely, soulful literary novels about the retirement of Sherlock Holmes (“The Final Solution” and “A Slight Trick of the Light”) but neither of those books is really a Sherlock Holmes story — that is, a mystery written in a campy, high-Victorian adventure mode and narrated by Dr. Watson. By contrast, “Jeeves and the Wedding Bells,” “Solo” and “The Black-Eyed Blonde” are Wooster, Bond and Marlowe novels proper. They follow the basic formulae of the classic texts (or canon, as fan fiction practitioners would call it).

In The Manitoban (University of Manitoba), Caleigh MacDonald began a piece Screenwriter and comic book author Joss Whedon said, “There’s a time and a place for everything, and I believe it’s called ‘fan fiction.’” In the same paper, Katerina Tefft, alluding to Fifty Shades of Grey, wrote that Before engaging in any kind of BDSM play, do your research. Learn from folks who are actually involved in the BDSM community, not from Twilight fan fiction.

Liam Casey wrote about “fan-forced literature” for SBS News: With the rise of the Internet, fanfic is now available to everyone – including whoever it’s about. Considering how graphic some of the stories are, it must be alarming for a celebrity to stumble upon a story that places them in such sexual situations, written by somebody they’ve never met. I imagine it would be better than stumbling upon such a story written by someone they had met.

For National Post, Clive Thompson wrote because openness is most natural in amateur work, I suspect the leading edge of collective thinking — as with Wikipedia or Linux — will always emerge in the amateur world. If you want to see the future of collective thinking, don’t watch what Fortune 500 firms are doing. Watch what fan-fiction writers are doing or what the activists are doing, and, in another piece, When I recently visited Fanfiction.net, a large repository of such writing, I calculated — again, using some equally crude napkin estimates — that there were about 325 million words worth of stories written about the popular young-adult novel The Hunger Games, with each story averaging around 14,000 words.

Grey's Anatomy, Doctor Who, Daniel R. Pike, China, Larry Stylinson, Fangirl, at the library )

In Hazlitt, Jason Anderson noted Thanks to the proliferation of online fan fiction, we are now privy to a vast overabundance of samizdat sexploitation fantasies involving TV characters.

For the Twin Cities Daily Planet, Mina Yuan and Gabie Yang wrote Imagine “VeggieTales’” Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber yowling songs about purple orcs to J.R.R. Tolkien’s elven lord Elrond. Or John Watson’s mustache falling deeply in love with investigator Greg Lestrade’s hair. Or perhaps a pregnant Harry Potter suffering from swollen cankles while Draco Malfoy tends to him lovingly. While these strange topics seem to be worlds apart, one common thread pulls them together: Fanfiction.

Finally, in “In Defense of Bad Sex Writing” for New Republic (originally for New Statesman), Laurie Penny wrote Scanning through the episodes of hay-twitching and “morphinergic mechanisms splutter[ing] into life,” in this year’s crop of entries [for the Bad Sex Awards], I got the urge to take the editorial staff of the Literary Review by the hands and introduce them, as gently as possible, to the internet. There, on fan fiction sites and messageboards whose printed pages would fill whole libraries, they will find as much weird and woeful erotic writing as their fussy little minds can imagine.
wneleh: by Mirnell (Default)
2013-01-01 09:01 pm


Anyone know what's up (down?) with Livejournal????
wneleh: by Mirnell (Default)
2012-03-18 05:17 pm

Media References to Fanfic, the week ending 3/17/12

It's Fifty Shades of Grey/Master of the Universe week! Huh?, you ask? [personal profile] mecurtin has written a summary of the state of the phenomenom, The Twilight Fanfic Industry, for month_of_meta. In short, Fifty Shades of Grey is a hunt-and-replace, decently-beta'd novel by E.L. James that started life as the Twilight fic Master of the Universe. Everyone involved is very clear about this; and, searching for different sites hosting one of them, I typed in a randomly-chosen six-word string and found the other.

Lots of people who don't think about fanfic very much are trying to figure out what this means, for fanfic, for literature, and for erotica. To me, the most interesting part of this is that the fic actually reads like fanfic; the sort of fanfic I'd read if I read explicit het Twilight BDSM AUs.

To the references!

A widely-distributed Associated Press article explained James’ trilogy began as fan fiction, a thriving genre online in which fans write variations of their favorite books and characters, stories usually intended solely for fellow aficionados. James used the vampire Edward and teen Bella from Stephenie Meyers’ mega-selling “Twilight’’ and placed them in Seattle. First called “Master of the Universe’’ and published two years ago on the website http://www.fanfiction.net, James’ stories attracted a strong following and were released commercially in 2011 by Writer’s Coffee Shop. [...] “It is widely known that E.L James began to capture a following as a writer shortly after she posted her second fan fiction story,’’ Vintage said in a statement. “She subsequently took that story and re-wrote the work, with new characters and situations. That was the beginning of the `Fifty Shades’ trilogy. The great majority of readers, including fan fiction aficionados, have found `Fifty Shades’ deeply immersive and incredibly satisfying.’’

In the Kansas City Star, in "Kinky romance is a hit," Jenee' Osterheldt wrote It’s hard to believe it started out as free: online fan fiction, largely inspired by “Twilight,” but definitely written for adults.

The Houston Chronicle's Hot Topics blog discussed Popular, raunchy book series and the fan fiction debate.

Western Australia Today's Alecia Simmonds, in "50 shades of WRONG," wrote Bloggers have grumbled that the book lacks originality because it started as Twilight fan-fiction. Other commentators have noted how e-books function as the perfect brown paper bag; letting us indulge in ‘smut’ unbeknownst to our fellow commuters. But surely the real question is: why has a romance novel about male domination been so incredibly popular?

In "Grey area" for The Star (Toronto), Greg Quill wrote Ethical objections of fan fiction aficionados over James’s alleged appropriation of copyrighted material, and her breach of fan fiction writers’ most sacred tenet — Thou Shalt Not Publish For Profit — have been drowned out in the rush to find the next “mommy porn” contender in online media outlets once considered outlaw territory and beneath contempt by legit publishers. In another Star article, Quill wrote Legitimate book publishers are routinely scanning web sites dedicated to self-published works and fan fiction — literary mash-ups of existing best-sellers whose authors and publishers allow fans to create new versions online, but not for commercial publication — hoping to find the next female erotica blockbuster. Really??

MediaBistro's Jason Boog wrote Fifty Shades of Grey Began as Twilight Fan Fiction and asked Will Fifty Shades of Grey Inspire More Fan Fiction Writers to Publish? And, in "'Fifty Shades Of Grey': Publishing's Sexiest Trend," for NPR, Boog wrote The book emerged from the steamy land of fan fiction, an online community of readers who write unauthorized extensions of their favorite stories.

The (Alabama) Times Daily's Franklin Harris wrote, in "'Dangerous' book sees everything in 'Shades of Grey'," "50 Shades of Grey" is not your typical best-seller. Not that most best-sellers have especially impressive literary pedigrees, but “50 Shades of Grey” comes from a lowly estate indeed. It began as fan fiction — and not just ordinary fan fiction, but “Twilight” fan fiction. Fan fiction is itself a “gray” area — a shadowy world where mostly anonymous authors write mostly atrocious stories of legally suspect status featuring other writers’ characters. The Internet is full of these stories, where sex scenes are plentiful, inventive and almost invariably bad. But no one makes money off fan fiction, and most professional authors are sensible enough to leave these besotted typists alone. Then, sometimes, a fanfic writer or a particular work of fan fiction will gain a following.

For the International Business Times, Christina Merrill, in " 'Fifty Shades' Trilogy Makes A Splash, But Is It Breaking New Ground?," wrote James' story started off as "Twilight" fan fiction posted on FanFiction.Net. It was originally titled "Master of the Universe" and gave readers graphic sex scenes between the characters of Bella and Edward (for those who never partook of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" books, let's just say that steamy sex scenes are pretty much nonexistent).

USA Today's Joyce Lamb, in "Fifty Shades of Grey: Who knew women like erotica?!?!?," wrote I'm sure most everyone reading this knows the history of Fifty Shades of Grey. Started out as Twilight fan fiction, struck a chord with readers, author changed the names and other aspects, published it as a trilogy and, wham, we're looking at massive sales followed by a seven-figure book deal.

In "'Fifty Shades of Grey': What is the appeal?" for The Christian Science Monitor, Meredith Bennett-Smith wrote “50 Shades of Grey” is not exactly your typical book club read. An erotic novel with fan-fiction origins, penned by a mysterious British mother named E. L. James, this first book of a now infamous trilogy, includes explicit scenes and heavy doses of bondage and sado-masichism.

The Daily Beast's Lizzie Skurnick, in "‘50 Shades of Grey,’ a Self-Published E-Book, Is the Future of Publishing," wrote [James] published the book with The Writer’s Coffee Shop in Australia, a “book-loving community” that’s a social sharing site as well as a distributor. One tab welcomes visitors to “Become a Writer,” which James certainly did, happily basing her characters on Edward and Bella in her fan fiction, then morphing them, allegedly, into her own. But she, and we, are not disturbed that this transformation did not come to pass. Edward and Bella are meant—like her manuscript—to be shared.

In the Philadephia Inquirer, in "Steaming up moms' e-readers," Amy S. Rosenberg wrote The novel's success has actually turned off some romance fans who feel that Fifty Shades should not be marketed as an original work, because its main characters derive from the main characters of Twilight. And some complain that Fifty Shades' publication as an e-book, and now as a paperback, is a betrayal of its origin as Master of the Universe, a reworking of the Bella and Edward story, S&M-style, using the names Bella and Edward, on the website FanFiction.net. (Fan fiction is written by fans who reimagine beloved books or genres and share them with other fans on the Internet.)

In "Steamy yet discreet: an e-book revolution," for Canberra Times and republished across Australia, Linda Morris quoted Angela James, the head of Harlequin's e-book arm: ''I certainly see why readers find it compelling,'' James says, ''though it's certainly not the most well-written or original book, especially given its start as Twilight fan fiction. But clearly there's a perfect storm of story elements that make it attractive to a commercial fiction audience, and anything that increases the profile of romance, books and publishing is a win for all of us.''

For FOX News, in "Erotic novel '50 Shades of Grey' unites gals, unnerves some guys," Jo Piazza wrote While women are applauding the book, some men are expressing concern over whether women should be insulted by a plot dominated by a man who tells a woman when to sleep, eat, work out and even how to groom herself.

On Hollywood Reporter, Andy Lewis and Kim Masters, in "Movie Rights Auction Set for 'Mommy Porn' Book Sensation 'Fifty Shades of Grey'", wrote James, the author, is a former TV executive and mother of two from London. The story started out as posts on ff.net, a site devoted to fan fiction, as a riff on the Twilight books called "Master of the Universe." Yeah, they actually called it "ff.net." Wonder where they saw that?

And finally, for Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch, Abby West wrote As E. L. James’ bestselling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey continues its path from fan fiction to publishing house gold to possible movie, it’s time to start thinking about just who you’d like to see play the leads, Christian and Anastasia.
wneleh: by Mirnell (Default)
2011-12-05 06:56 am
Entry tags:

Media References to Fanfic, the week ending 12/3/11

HitFix's Drew McWeeny wrote The Bigger Picture: Muppets, Avengers, and Life In The Age Of Fanfiction; if I wasn't the closest I've ever been to not getting this post done, I think I'd be all over this.

Nathalie Atkinson assured readers of the National Post (Canada) that Shame is not Magneto fan fiction or some sort of X-Men/ Jane Eyre mash-up - no sexy young mutant or simmering Rochester here. More's the pity.

More Muppets, Frankenstein )

Oprah, rap RPF, more meta )

In The Eastern Progress (Eastern Kentucky University), Stephanie Collins profiled fellow student/aspiring author Mara Gover, who began writing fan fiction in her younger years, a hobby that developed into general fiction writing once she entered high school.

The Guardian muffed the def of slash.

WBEZ's Claire Zulkey put out a call for Cleatus [(the FOX football robot)] fan fiction.

Finally, 3 News's Daniel Rutledge talked to (not that) Sean Bean about "EA’s upcoming fantasy RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning," asking, "Are you looking forward to going through some of the fan fiction and so forth?" Bean answered, Oh, absolutely. One of the hardest things for us is to know all the things that will precede and come after the game.
wneleh: by Mirnell (Default)
2011-04-07 06:26 am

While waiting for my LJ to load

Or rather, while giving up on waiting for my LJ to load...

I'm surfing around my DW friends reading list, trying very, very, very hard not to go ballistic at commenters who don't get that LJ is currently being targeted by terrorists for being a platform for free expression.

I think I should go do something else.
wneleh: by Mirnell (Default)
2010-09-08 07:47 pm

What would getting a paid account get me?

Could someone point me to somewhere that lays out what upgrading to paid on DW would get me? I don't really care how many icons I have; but I would like to be able to import images from my Mac, cross-post to multiple accounts, and - really, no clue what else I'd do.

Do I need a paid account to import my LJ?

- Helen, tired of not having a functional journaling life
wneleh: by Mirnell (Default)
2010-09-01 07:44 am
Entry tags:

LJ-Facebook comment!fail post

A place to send comments.
wneleh: by Mirnell (Default)
2009-04-17 08:58 pm

Why haven't I friended (or whatever) you back?


I'm not planning on using this journal except for commenting, so for the foreseeable future I'm not going to be friending people here - just too much for me to deal with on an ongoing basis, and I don't want to do it for some people and not others.

If you are posting under f-lock on LJ and sending comments into locked posts here, I'd really like access here, else I'll probably cry out of frustration and general sense of hurt. Really.
wneleh: by Mirnell (Default)
2009-04-14 08:53 pm


Thanks to the very kind pocketmouse, here I am!