Change Is Traditional
Things change at PanHistoria all the time. Small changes you barely notice and changes that derail your cyber-train. One such change is a major restriction to the subject matter of new novels. The new guidelines read: “All Anne Rice fanfiction will be turned down, due to the Author's intolerance of fanfic, nor will her Canon characters be allowed. All other Fanfic will be checked against the author's wishes and desires regarding whether fanfic is permitted.”
While I support the Powers-That-Be decision’s to add the restriction to the guidelines I find it ironic that an author who drew so heavily on mythology, fairy tales, legends and the published works of writers such as Conan Doyle, Le Fanu and Stoker to create what might be called the ultimate fan fiction. This masterpiece of synthesis, as brilliant and cohesive in it’s own way as Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, is now the first forbidden world at PanHistoria.
Yes, you read that correctly, I called Rice’s Vampire Chronicles fan-fiction. Wikipedia describes fan fiction as: “Fan fiction (also spelled fanfiction and commonly abbreviated to fanfic) is fiction written by people who enjoy a film, novel, television show or other media work, using the characters and situations developed in it and developing new plots in which to use these characters.”
More than that fan fiction is also modern myth-making and story-telling on the Internet where once it was done by spoken word. It also notes that it has been “argued that Virgil's epic poem, The Aeneid, was the first work of fan fiction, based on Homer's Odyssey. In it, a Trojan named Aeneas leads a group of Refugees after the fall of the city to find a new homeland, eventually founding Rome.” If you accept that premise than you can also say that Dante wrote fan fiction beginning with the Inferno and continue finding examples such Mr. Darcy Take A Wife by Linda Berndoll, a continuation of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Laurie R. King’s The Beekeeper’s Apprentice about Sherlock Holmes and the continuation of the Dune series by Frank Herbert.
Returning to Anne Rice and her works (Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, and The Queen of the Damned) these works took almost every cliché and theme associated with the subject and created an archetypal vampire myth so thorough it is hard to escape. The nature of evil, the reality of death, the limits of human perception, eroticism, forbidden arts, suspense, the supernatural, historic settings, great spans of time, Heaven, Hell, it’s all there. How can a fan of the genre not want to play in such a world? One of the greatest allurements of fan fiction is the alternate world, one in which the story never ends or that the fan writer rights what was seen as an injustice committed by the author or one where the fan writer can explore ideas unthinkable in daily life. The seductive darkness of Rice’s world and its’ age-old questions is a natural for fan exploration.
Sadly it is one we can no longer explore at easily anymore. The myth of the vampire remains for those willing to find new ways to look at the subject. To ensure that we continue to have a place to write PanHistoria must protect it’s self with measures like these.
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