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Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World
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Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World

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3.64  ·  Rating details ·  512 ratings  ·  130 reviews
What is fanfiction, and what is it not? Why does fanfiction matter? And what makes it so important to the future of literature?

Fic is a groundbreaking exploration of the history and culture of fan writing and what it means for the way we think about reading, writing, and authorship. It’s a story about literature, community, and technology—about what stories are being told,
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Paperback, 418 pages
Published November 26th 2013 by Smart Pop
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Rose
Pre-read: I'm reading this book for the sheer measure of wondering what these authors have to say on the subject matter. Call me very curious, intrigued, and scared.

Post-read: In Agent Dale Cooper's words to the Sheriff in "Twin Peaks":

"...I think we have a lot to talk about."

Full review:

This review's going to be divided up into three sections: the first is a personal expansion on fandom musings coming from yours truly, as a woman of color, and basically the perspectives and biases that I hold w
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Jeanne
Jun 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
Privileged Perspective of Fan Fiction and Fandom.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger Warning: Transphobia, I use a quote from the book where the author (Anne Jamison) misgenders transmen.

Additional Disclosure: I am mentioned in this book in the acknowledgements. I believe this was done to give the false impression that I’m on friendly terms with the author. In actuality I have a lot of issues with the author’s conduct both in gathering data
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Lilia Ford
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5

"Writing and reading fanfiction isn't just something you do; it's a way of thinking critically about the media you consume, of being aware of all the implicit assumptions that a canonical work carries with it, and of considering the possibility that those assumptions might not be the only way things have to be."

The above was from Lev Grossman's introduction but was only one of dozens of passages I highlighted in Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World. I found just about everything in t
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Sandra
Jul 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
It's so nice to be quoted without permission or have your shelves listed as an example of cattiness. /sarcasm
Liviania
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Based on the long list of names above, I assumed that FIC: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World was a collection of academic essays edited by Anne Jamison. But no, it is a long scholarly work by Anne Jamison with periodic short essays by other people with various perspectives on fandom has a whole.

FIC is divided into sections based on several megafandoms. The first four, on Sherlock, Star Trek, Buffy, and the X-Files, are fairly well done. Sherlock and Star Trek both cover a great deal of pre
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Nicola
Nov 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, kindle
When I was about 8 years old, my friends and I all loved The Borrowers book series. We loved them so much that we decided we would write and exchange our own Borrowers books, to give us more(moremore) to read. Of course, very little came of this endeavour (8-year-olds don’t make very committed novelists, I guess), but this memory always reminds me that although sometimes fanfiction may seem like an odd, modern invention (and one that’s inextricably linked to the internet), actually it’s as old a ...more
Norielle
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Potentially a great book, in the end a big disappointment. Seeing a genuine academic has decided to write this book, I was expecting a more balanced and better reasoned elaborate on fanfiction and fandom. Instead, the whole book flowed really slowly and by the end I was praying to finally finish it.

The first half was good. The origins of fandom and fan writing, first three major fandoms, however the strong emphasis on slash and its authors was just quite uncomfortable to read. Then came Harry Po
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Carmen
Oct 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Fanfiction fans and authors
Recommended to Carmen by: Library
I had to DNF this, on the simple basis that I just don't care enough.

There are perhaps two fanfiction stories I enjoy. In order to find those two, I had to read and discard about 2,000 or more.

Fanfiction is not something I hate or disrespect, but it's also not something I have an interest in and not something I care enough about to get through a whole book of dissertations on.

Fanfiction is not a part of my daily life - but I know it is for some people, and for those people (or authors) I would r
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John Carter McKnight
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely superb academic anthology on fanfiction. It's well-structured, relevant, fascinating, and much more consistent in quality than academic anthologies tend to.

It's one of the best works on the prehistory of fic, from unpublished juvenalia to Conan Doyle's remarkable tolerance of Holmes fic, through the zine culture of early modern media fandom. However, its real strength is in an area I'd never thought I'd be interested in reading about, its long section on Twilight fandom. Twilight, ap
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Carey Gibbons
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Back in the late 90s, I was reading X-Files (my first major fandom) fanfic without knowing the word "fanfic". After learning how dirty the word fanfic was, I stopped reading it all together. Then, I became a writer and the idea of fanfic made me so mad. I would have hated the idea of someone else reappropriating characters that I created just to make them do gross things to each other - things that they would never do. I'm still kind of repulsed by this idea but that's mostly because I am obsess ...more
Thomas Edmund
Oct 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-on-writing
This book intrigued me from the moment I saw it. I must admit first of all that I have a very hesitant opinion of fanfiction. While I understand that people want to expand, explore or twist fictional (or celebrity) universes and share their thoughts, there is another part of me that rankles at the thought of writing about characters and a world that someone else slaved to create.

If anything this book did give me some things to think about, such as comparing mainstream adaptations (such as Sherl
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Melody
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I discovered fanfiction over a decade ago, and my life has been significantly altered by this fact. That is approximately half my life, over half my reading life, and encompasses all of my transformative years. I am interested in how fanfiction, and the fanfiction community, alters ones world views. I think looking at fan communities from a largely enthographic standpoint is fascinating. Overall, this book pushed the right buttons for me and got me thinking in a good way. Was it perfect? No. But ...more
Margaret Sankey
Nov 24, 2013 rated it liked it
How the hell did I not know about Wold Newton? Seriously, this piece of continuity restores order and meaning to my life. Jamison begins this cultural examination of the phenomena of fanfiction by finding examples as far back as the 18th century (Jane Austen was an early writer of revisions of Shakespeare as well as parodies), but things really took off when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle let fans carry on after Reichenbach Falls. TV ushered in new fields of fandom, with Star Trek at the center of fan-p ...more
Chris
Nov 07, 2013 marked it as contemplating-its-sins  ·  review of another edition
I've officially given up on this one - I just haven't been in the mood to read academic writing. Might never be in the mood to do that, actually. :)
Frankie Brown
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So refreshing to read an academic work on fanfiction. Highly recommended -- especially for Sherlockians.
Nadia Elisa
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
Yes and no. Thank you for your effort but, no thank you. I'm not big on writing very long, in-depth reviews so just a few thoughts; take it or leave it. The HP part was over so quickly. I was expecting a lot more elaboration on this subject given its immense online presence. Then she started praising the Twilight fan fiction and books.......YIKES. She completely lost me there. Clearly in favor of publishing fan fiction works as original, and although yes I have read some ff stories that are orig ...more
Elisabeth
Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fandom, non-fiction
I would like to give this book many more stars. It is fascinating, insightful, compassionate, well-researched, wide-ranging, and frequently quite funny. For all that it barely scratches the surface of the world it describes.

When most people hear fanfiction, they think either 'porn' or 'theft.' Neither is (necessarily) entirely inaccurate, but at the same time, as is so often the case, the truth is much, MUCH more complicated. And interesting.

I have written a little (and read a very little - I c
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Kifflie
Nov 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
I need to lead off with two disclaimers: 1) I personally know the publisher of this book; 2) I am a write and consumer of fanfic.

This was much more book than I was expecting, to be honest. There are scads of essays by all sorts of people within all sorts of fandoms. I thought it was well organized by Anne Jamison, who added some excellent commentary of her own.

I especially appreciated her discussion around the issue of "pulling" fic off of fansites to "file off the serial numbers" (i.e., change
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Savannah
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Husband's comment after looking at me reading just the introduction:

"Pencil and highlighter and sticky notes? What are you reading? It's another great big hard novel like Parade's End again, isn't it?"

Yes, I did in fact read it that thoroughly because this is simply the best available collection on this topic that yet exists. Jamison has done a good, if not definitive (she herself admits that some writers she hoped to include refused either initially or once they saw who else was included) job o
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Cris
I found the subject--fandom, fanfiction and the ongoing change in the relationship between fans and published media--very interesting. The actual book Jamison has written, not so much. I wasn't bored, but I was never riveted and when I set the book down, I didn't feel any particular desire to pick it back up again.

Jamison tried to accomplish several tasks simultaneously: explain fanfiction to a general audience, validate fan fiction and discuss how fanfiction has and continues to change the medi
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Whitney
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
It was absolutely fascinating to learn so much about this community I knew almost nothing about (with the exception of some completely clueless X-Philes fic I wrote as a kid, I haven't ever belonged to a fandom). And some of the reviews here are equally fascinating. Jamison warns about the anger and vitriol in fan communities (the reason I feel a lot of nerds are scared to get involved), and these goodreads comments are a great illustration of that kind of passion. It actually reminds me a lot o ...more
Dana
Nov 13, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a good overview of fanfiction; I like that Jamison calls it "an important grassroots cultural activity."

If you've been in fandom for awhile, there's not much new here, although I did like learning more about the history of fanfiction.

Some of the essays are more successful than others in supporting Jamison's contention that fanfiction is worthwhile, even important. I'd imagine that someone unfamiliar with fanfiction would balk at the essay discussing mpreg and a/b/o, even if they were re
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Amanda
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A wonderful history of fanfiction, especially early zine distribution and recent works in the Internet age. Much fandom scholarship focuses on the early days of ficcing, and while that is useful for historical and educational purposes, those of us who got our fix through dial-up rather than mail-order zines can't relate personally to that era. Jamison's Fic is the first wide survey of fandom to the present day that I have come across, and I loved the chance to relive my own first years in fandom ...more
First Second Books
This book has the best-ever summary of literary history.

(Also it is both informative and interesting.)
Luciana Darce
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Os primeiros textos que publiquei na internet eram fanfics de Harry Potter. Entre 2004 e 2009 fui uma autora razoavelmente ativa no Fanfiction.net sob o pseudônimo de Silverghost, além de participar de um misto de fanfic colaborativa e RPG no Expresso Hogwarts como a geniosa domadora de dragões, Mina MacFusty. De lá pra cá, não escrevi mais fanfics, mas ainda leio muitas, em vários fandoms e sempre achei a ideia da ‘ficção por fãs’ um fenômeno interessante - não apenas como produtora e consumido ...more
Sara
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m going to be more generous than the previous reviewers, although I absolutely see their point about inclusion. Jamison says very early on, however, that the book covers only a limited sample—Sherlock, Star Trek, Buffy, etc—so she gets a pass. I enjoyed her enthusiasm and reading about the history of fanfic. The section on Twific also made me (middle-aged fanfic evangelist) reconsider my own snobbery. That said, while the book does have quite a bit to say about male slash, it glosses over the ...more
Jamie
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A really exhaustive look at fanfiction, its birth and rise to cultural (semi) prominence. Definitely an academic book, so not something you’ll race through, but overall I enjoyed it even if it did take my 3ish years to finish.
Ninakix
Jul 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, actually, and I'm glad to see more work analyzing the phenomenon if fanfiction. It's strengths are in it's analysis of the history of fanfiction and fandom, as well as an understanding that different fandoms have contributed different things to the history and culture of the practice of fandom as a whole. But I have quite a few reservations about the book. Firstly, there is a lot of bias here. Particularly in descriptions of the Twilight fandom, in which you can sense ...more
Meril
Nov 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: essays, nonfiction, p
Valuable for the multiple essays from many authors, especially the ones who aren't involved in the Internet fanfiction scene. It's probably good that the focus of the book is on the fic itself as well as the writing of the fic rather than as a study of fans, because that's where a lot of books of its type break down. And dealing with the ephemeral Internet, where a lot of fans are untraceable once gafiated...that's even worse. For instance--Chris Rankin's essay about the early Harry Potter fando ...more
Donna
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is a collection of essays about fanfiction, including its history, some of the largest groupings, and some controversies/disagreements.

Good thing: There are tons of different viewpoints from fic writers to authors who are/were fic writers to readers, etc. etc.

Bad thing(s):
I read this book because I wanted to (1) update myself on what's out there in fanfic and what new directions it's taken; (2) find out suggestions on what to read; (3) as always, revel in enjoying the love of fannish thing
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“Fanfiction is the madwoman in mainstream culture’s attic, but the attic won’t contain it forever. Writing and reading fanfiction isn’t just something you do; it’s a way of thinking critically about the media you consume, of being aware of all the implicit assumptions that a canonical work carries with it, and of considering the possibility that those assumptions might not be the only way things have to be.” 13 likes
“Irritated fans produce fanfic like irritated oysters produce pearls.” 9 likes
More quotes…