The Amazing World of Harry Potter Fan Fiction

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News Media Commentary
Title: The Amazing World of Harry Potter Fan Fiction
Commentator: Heidi Tandy
Date(s): 2004
Venue: Movie Magic
Fandom: Harry Potter
External Links: archived at a fan's site: Huh. - Luna, Archived version (screencaps, transcript, commentary)
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
The Amazing World of Harry Potter Fan Fiction.jpg

The Amazing World of Harry Potter Fan Fiction is an article that was published in a Harry Potter-themed special issue of Movie Magic. It gives an introduction to Harry Potter fanfiction with links and summaries of a handful of selected stories.

[The links were provided by Heidi Tandy]: This overview of Harry Potter fan fiction was provided by Heidi Tandy, a founding administrator of FictionAlley, the largest fanfic site in the world of Harry Potter fandom (http://www.fictionalley.org/). FictionAlley also hosts message boards, writing discussions and links to thousands of pieces of fanart.

Excerpt from the Article

Since late 1999, thousands of writers have tried their hand at Harry Potter "fanfic". Short for fan fiction, fanfic is a genre of writing in which authors put the teenaged wizard, his family, his friends and even his sworn enemies into stories that they themselves write. Plots include situations ranging from romance to chat rooms; locations vary from Disney World to Siberia; and time frames range back to - and even before - the founding of Hogwarts, and ahead through the third millennium. Fanfic writers enjoy sharing their creations, and there are numerous websites dedicated to them. You will find various web addresses listed throughout this feature in the event you wish to read the complete works of some of the fanfic authors discussed here.

The reasons why people write fanfic are as numerous as the authors themselves. Some people just enjoy creative writing. Others are so entranced by J.K. Rowling’s characters that they yearn to see them in different situations, and still others just can’t wait for a new Rowling book, so they write them themselves. Then there are the authors who write fanfic to make a point or flesh out an argument about the series; that’s why Heidi Tandy, and administrator of one of the largest Potter fanfic sites, wrote The Kidnapping (http://www.riddikulus.org/authorLinks.Heidi), a very short story in which Ron Weasley is kidnapped by Death Eaters, and is very happy about it. Other stories hypothesize what may happen in a future Harry Potter book on and off the page, like George Pushdragon’s “Estate of Sirius Black v. Ministry of Magic” (http://www.riddikulus.org/authorLinks/George_Pushdragon/), which asks the question, “Who is in charge of Occupations Health & Safety at the Ministry?” That story then proceeds to answer it with shockingly good humor, which is a bit of a relief for those who are still upset by J.K. Rowling’s decision to send Sirius Black through the wall.

On occasion, a single image has inspired a whole story, as with the incident in which Draco makes an origami bird and flies it over to Harry in the film version of Prisoner of Azkaban. And other times, a very minor character gets major play in a full-length tale. Madhuri’s Magizoologist in Training (http://www.thedarkarts.org/cgi-bin/links/jump.cgi?ID=11) answers the not-often-pondered question, “What was Newt Scamander like at Hogwarts?” It’s more common, though, for a fanfic author to explore a single character in more depth than Rowling’s been able to in the books. Sirius Black, Ginny Weasley, Draco Malfoy, Aberfoth Dumbledore and Severius Snape have all been the subject of thousands of fanfics.

The following entries will give you a few excellent introductions to Harry Potter fanfic.

The Fics Linked or Mentioned

The following fics were given as "excellent introductions to Harry Potter fanfic":

Other stories mentioned in the text of the article include:

Fan Reactions

Some people were upset about the article and there were rumors, speculation and misinformation.[1] Some people were afraid of drawing the attention of TPTB and that Rowling's lawyers would send out C&D letters to shut down websites.[2] Rumor had it that the article was written for a teen magazine, that it included links to NC-17 fanfic and that it linked to stories on LiveJournal without asking the authors first.[1] However, there were no links to explicit fanfiction, all the authors on LJ were asked first, authors on public archives were googleable to begin with, and that "JKR's people have never, and will never, do anything against fanfics or archives that are not NC17 rated, and only then, if the sites don't have password or lock-screeners to dissuade people under 18 from reading them."[3]

Comments

[luna k]:

So... I had heard around LJ that a well known webmaster of FictionAlley had written an article about Harry Potter fanfic for a teen magazine, and some people were pretty upset. Today, I was browing Barnes & Nobles and was taken aback when I discovered that very same article. It was not, BTW, a teen magazine, but in a fan magazine ala SFX called Movie Magic, in a Harry Potter-themed special issue.

I was pretty surprised that this article got put out... not really upset or anything, just, surprised. [4]
[ladyoneill]:

So...why are people upset?

*she who [[lurks]] so far in her own HP corner she knows nothing*

*g* [5]
[luna k]:

So...why are people upset?

Well, from what I could tell, some people were upset because people thought she was linking to NC17 stories, a big no-no with JK Rowling & the publishing company. That wasn't the case, although it did mention Cassie Claire's NC17 story without a link. [6]
[ladyoneill]:

So...maybe before getting upset, they should have checked to make sure they were all family friendly fics?

*g*

People sure do fly off the handle easily. [7]
[armchair lurker]:

People were upset for many reasons:

because Rowling's lawyers have sent out C&D letters and shut down websites and people were afraid of drawing attention

because not every author mentioned was asked ahead of time if they wanted their livejournals or fanfictions linked in a publication

and so on [8]
[luna k]:

because not every author mentioned was asked ahead of time if they wanted their livejournals or fanfictions linked in a publication

I was wondering about the linking to personal LJ's... that was a little weird. I would have thought she'd ask permission to do that, since people usually have more stuff than just fiction on an LJ. [9]
[heidi 8]:

I did ask before linking to the LJs. I didn't ask each author whose fics were included, though, if I linked to it on a fanfiction archive, because they're all googleable and public anyway. Plus, JKR's people have never, and will never, do anything against fanfics or archives that are not NC17 rated, and only then, if the sites don't have password or lock-screeners to dissuade people under 18 from reading them.

Furthermore, the only R-rated story I mentioned was George Pushdragon's one, and the only reason it's even rated R was because of one single word, which Fudge throws out to distract people, and anyone under 17 who knows what that word means is grown up enough to read R-rated stories, in my opinion as a mother. [10]
[luna k]:

Hi Heidi...

I feel like first thing I should say, when I posted this, I was really quite new in HP fandom at the time. It may have been only 6 months ago but I really didn't know what was going on in HP fandom, or who anyone was, or anything. I wasn't trying to step on any toes. I'd noticed some people on my friends list and Fandom_Wank talking about an article about HP fic, and there were all these different versions of what the article was about, etc etc. I thought it might be helpful to share the article with my flist, so everyone could judge for themselves.

The concern about the NC17 fics or R rated fics was something a couple other people had mentioned; I'm not sure where it came from. I think at the time, I also had some kind of notion that Cassie Claire's Draco Triology was R/NC17. Again, I was kinda clueless.

As far as the arguement about NC17 fic and minors, I've had many discussions and debates about that on my LJ. Suffice it to say, when I posted this, I wasn't reading any NC17 HP fics at all, and my attitude was much different.

One more thing... I'm curious, all these months later, how you came about finding this post? Now that I've been in the fandom for a little bit, I've come to find out who you are, but I can't figure out how you would know me. :) [11]
[heidi8]:

When I read your post, it didn't feel or sound like you were stepping on toes - you sounded like a concerned person, and it would be silly and unfair for me to goggle at other people's concerns. Except Fandom Scruples, because, you know, whacky.

Cassie's Trilogy actually is rated R in parts - there's too much blood to merit a PG-13 - but I didn't give the url for that, specifically because I was asked to avoid R-rated fics. Same reason I didn't mention After The End, which caused a lot of complaints from the R/Hr side of the fandom, who were convinced that every fic I'd recommended was H/Hr. Again, you know, whacky.

And it's because of you wanting to share the article that I found your LJ - I was looking to find the scan of it that I *knew* people had posted when it was published, because I wanted to put it up on FA, so I googled the article, and your LJ popped up! Yes, vaguely random. [12]
[luna k]:

In what I posted before, I wasn't trying to criticize, just to explain. Hope you didn't mind?

No, not at all! Thanks for explaining further so I understand better.

And that's so cool that my LJ came up on Google. I feel all famous. :D[13]
[tiamet]: Okay, why are people upset? The only reason I can see to be upset is if you are one of the aurthors (cause J.K. Rowlings loves to go after fanfic writers), but besides that I have no clue why. In fact I'm now using it as a fanfic rec since I haven't read all of these.[14]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 luna_k. Huh., 21 March 2004. (Accessed 01 April 2012)
  2. armchair_lurker. Comment, 21 March 2004. (Accessed 01 April 2012)
  3. pinkfinity. Comment, 25 August 2004. (Accessed 01 April 2012)
  4. Huh. - Luna, Archived version
  5. Huh. - Luna, Archived version
  6. Huh. - Luna, Archived version
  7. Huh. - Luna, Archived version
  8. Huh. - Luna, Archived version
  9. Huh. - Luna, Archived version
  10. Huh. - Luna, Archived version
  11. Huh. - Luna, Archived version
  12. Huh. - Luna, Archived version
  13. Huh. - Luna, Archived version
  14. Huh. - Luna, Archived version