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From: Michael Andre-Driussi <mantis@siriusfiction.com>
Subject: (whorl) Wombat on TBOTSS and fanfic
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 12:15:20 

Wombat, he quoted and wrote:
>At 05:26 PM 6/20/01 -0700, Mantis wrote:
>>So the writing by H & H, while buttressed by interviews, snatches of
>>conversation, and editorial consensus, amounts to a patch written by fans,
>>which is rather like a fan fiction in the broad sense (rather than the
>>specific sense of "slash" or "Mary Sue").
>"Fanfic" is not the same thing as "fiction written by fans"; "fan" is not
>the same thing as "admirer of"; "biography" is not the same as "fiction".

Ah.  Okay.

Apparently I'm being so sloppy with terms that I'm nearly incomprehensible.

SHORT/LONG SUN                     EARTH
biography                          fiction
autobiography                      fiction
biography masked as autobiography  fiction
autobiography masked as biography  fiction
docudrama                          fiction
based on a true story              fiction

In TBOTSS, the power of the text is important: the text being TBOTLS.

Many people on Blue have read TBOTLS, a biography in novel form * (rather
like the Little House on the Prairie series, come to think of it).  People
who have never met Silk in the flesh are huge "admirers of" him, to the
point that, for example, Gaon launches an expedition to get Silk from the
Whorl, just as New Viron does.

Now then, the Little House books are not exactly "biography" or
"autobiography," (in the shelving sense for libraries and bookstores) but
they are close, since they were written by a participant (Laura) and/or her
daughter (Rose).  (Contrast with THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN, which
claims to be biography, and may have some basis in the childhood
experiences of "Mark Twain," but is understood to be fiction unencumbered
by biography.)

The Little House series proved popular, and more books have been written
(to fill in the gaps before and behind) by people further removed: the
Little Farm in the Ozarks books, if I got the title right, are presumably
more reliant upon texts (historical texts, the Little House books, diaries,
etc.) than direct personal experience of the life and times of Laura.  So
the Ozarks books are a species of fiction, written "in the tradition of"
and "continuing the saga of" an earlier series of
fiction-based-on-autobiography books; but the autobiographical/first person
pov has dropped out and been replaced with the fabrication (within limits
set by historical facts and the flavors established by the master text) of
huge "admirers of" who have read all the other books, know all the relevant
history, and can generate an esthetically competant text (semi-pastiche?).


Funny, I don't recall all this definition gaming/term policing when people
were calling Robert Borski's work "fanfic"--I guess I must've dozed and
missed all of his slash and Mary Sue stuff! (I could've sworn that others
used this term, but who knows, perhaps I started misusing it even then!)

But yes, on another topic (or is it? hmmm), I did enjoy PALE FIRE greatly.
More than ADA.  About as much as LOLITA, I guess.

* If you are going to argue that TBOTLS is, within its universe, strict
BIOGRAPHY as opposed to BIOGRAPHY IN NOVEL FORM (`"biography" is not the
same as "fiction"') then by all means, make your argument.


Sirius Fiction
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