Another Hope

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Fanfiction
Title: Another Hope
Author(s): Lori Jareo
Date(s): July 2005
Length: 292 pages
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Wars
External Links:
front cover, photograph by Robert Gendler

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Another Hope is a 292-page Star Wars novel by Lori Jareo. The novel was originally published as fan fiction in the form of a downloadable PDF file on Jareo's website. It became a subject of much controversy when Jareo self-published the book through her own poetry publishing firm and offered it for sale without authorization from TPTB.

Some fanfic writers were worried that backlash over "Another Hope" could result in a crackdown on fanfic in general.

Amazon lists the published date at July 2005, though it wasn't until April 2006 that the book came to the notice of most people.

Summary of the Story

"Another Hope is an alternative history reimagining of the events presented in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Mixing familiar moments from the film with new story material, Jareo drew inspiration and mixed in elements from the prequel trilogy. She adds in a sueified version of Ryoo Naberrie, described as "a gutsy underling on the Death Star."

The book deals in minute backstage details of the Death Star, the politics of Darth Vader's henchmen, and supposed insight into Vader and the Organas, Princess Leia's adoptive parents. Biggs Darklighter, a minor character from the film who was a childhood friend of Luke Skywalker, has been given an expanded role." [1]

Timeline

  • It was published as a downloadable PDF on Lori Jareo's website (date unknown)
  • It was offered up for sale at Barnes and Noble and Amazon (Amazon lists the date as July 2005)
  • On April 21, 2006, the following disclaimer appeared on Jareo's website: Thank you for your interest in Another Hope. The book has been removed from the Books in Print database and will be removed from book distribution channels effective Tuesday, April 24, 2006.
  • As of April 22, 2006, Jareo's website was offline, although the book was still listed for sale on various websites.
  • On April 26, 2006, the book was removed from Amazon.com.

Reactions and Reviews: The Novel's Content

{{Quotation2| Lori Jareo wrote a not very good novel-length work of Star Wars fanfic called Another Hope. [2]

I'm actually reviewing the book here, this isn't a critique of the nature of this publication.

I downloaded this from the author's website, just out of curiosity. I am a SW fan but don't read much SW fanfic. Ms Jareo's biography states that she has "written technical manuals, [and] how-to articles for the manufacturing technology sector", and that's how this reads. There is more technobabble than in a licensed SW novel. Descriptions are excessively loaded with "technological" details, which results in pages and pages of pure exposition.

Also, some of her details are flat-out wrong. There is no "Star Fleet" in Star Wars, that's a Star Trek organization. The relevant equivalent here is the Imperial Navy.

All debate of copyright infringement aside, this novel isn't very interesting. [3]

I think in all honesty the book has a bit of potential (...)

Revision is a wonderful process and a proof reader is an author's best friend. Revision, however, does not just include editting misspelled words and grammatical errors, and a proof reader isn't a reader who will kiss the writer's ass and confirm what he or she has written is wonderful. From the snippets that I've read on Amazon, this novel just really needs a nice long revision session and a very talented and insightful proof reader to set things straight. As it stands, the beginning falls under the curse of Telling, which is a story's enemy (well, one of them). The audience for the book are Star Wars fans, but the author is writing down to those readers, treating it as if they don't know what happened at the beginning of Episode IV, much less the technology or "historical" bits of the canon. She should have just skipped first few paragraphs and gone straight into telling the story. As it is, the beginning pages are stagnate, overdrawn, and boring.

When she does get around to telling the story, the transition from information to action is shaky. I think the problem is that there is no sense of place, no anchor to hold us down and captivate us as we read. There are a lot of different ways the author could have written the beginning *to* capture our attention, but it seems like she just didn't sit down and revise what she had written, or she didn't have a proof reader who would just give it to her straight and not praise her. "Revision is an on-going process," as the regurgitated phrase goes in creative writing classes...

The author's credentials don't bother me at all. There are many writers out there who aren't English majors or who haven't gone to college. Some of those writers are pretty damn good, too. That people are commenting on her credentials here is a bit concerning, though. It's like saying that the only people who can be artists are people who graduated with an art major. She's not a prolific writer, but then again, how many people are? The prolific writer is an anomaly in the literary world that doesn't happen as often as people think.

Point 1: This novel is a case study for why writers should revise and have proof readers.

Point 2: don't criticize the author; just stick to criticizing what she has written. [4]
Personally I was very disappointed that it wasn't full of lesbian incest. I'm told that's what makes fan fiction subversive. You know, like peeing in a mailbox? [5]

Reactions and Reviews: Selling Fanfiction for Profit

From Dunc, April 20, 2006:
You don’t take money for fanfic, folks. Period. [6]

From John, April 21, 2006:

I learn of Lori Jareo, who has written up a Star Wars fanfic novel, published it without the expressed, written consent of George Lucas, and has it listed for sale on Amazon. Oh, but she's not worried about the massive copyright violation; Indeed, let's see what she has to say about it in her "author interview."

Q: Having set Another Hope in an already existing universe, I find myself wondering if there was any concern on your part regarding copyrights?

No, because I wrote this book for myself. This is a self-published story and is not a commercial book. Yes, it is for sale on Amazon, but only my family, friends and acquaintances know it’s there.

Let me repeat this, just to savor the juicy cluelessness of it: "Yes, it's for sale on Amazon, but only my family, friends and acquaintances know it's there." I feel myself getting stupider every time I read that line, but the good news is that I have a long way to go before I would be actually stupid enough to say that line myself.

For those publishing novices out there, let me, as a public service, outline all the many ways Ms. Jareo's statement above is ill-informed and/or ignorant and/or just plain idiotic.

1. "I wrote this book for myself." If one is writing a book for one's self, then why would one sell it on Amazon? Unless one has clones, of course. And while that would be perfectly consistent with the fictional universe whose copyright Ms. Jareo is violating, in the real world, alas, there are no human clones to be had, much less ones who access Amazon on a regular basis. Also, if it's for one's self, why the Web site promoting it, complete with interviews, reviews and excerpts? Ms. Jareo ain't exactly being all Emily Dickinson on us.

2. "This is a self-published story --" Strangely enough, U.S. Copyright law does not say "you can't violate someone's copyright, unless of course you're self-publishing, in which case it's perfectly fine." Also, Amazon's publisher information has "Wordtech Communications" listed as the publisher of the book in question -- Wordtech Communications being a publishing concern which claims to be "one of the nation's largest poetry publishers." Ms. Jareo is apparently one of the principals of the company, so I guess you could say it's self-published, in the sense that, say, Tom Doherty could claim to be self-published if he were to write a book and have it put out by Tor.

3. "-- and is not a commercial book." Someone explain to me how selling a book on Amazon is not a commercial endeavor. It's possible the book is not commercial in the sense that no one in their right mind would publish it, because then George Lucas' Sith Lord lawyers would unleash their dual-bladed tortsabers on them (leading to the "self-publishing" in this particular case). But, you know, if you offer a book in exchange for money, you're engaging in commerce, and it doesn't really matter if you make any profit off it or not. Lot of publishers publish lots of books that make no money, or even lose money. They're still engaging in commerce.

4. "Only my family, friends and acquaintances know it's there." Hello, Lori Jareo. I'd like to introduce you to my 15,000 daily readers, almost none of whom, I suspect, are your family, friends or acquaintances. Funny how the Internet has a way of being leaky....

I've said before I think fanfic is generally a positive thing for any science fiction universe, but I don't think being a fan means you suddenly have a license to be stupid. Publishing your fanfic novel and selling it online is just plain stupid, and publishing your fanfic novel and selling it online when you're theoretically a professional editor is just about as stupid as you can get without actually receiving head trauma from a tauntaun. If Ms. Jareo is lucky, she'll only get smacked with a Cease and Desist order from Lucas. If she's not lucky -- say, Lucas wants to provide a cautionary example to ambitious-to-the-point-of-oblivious fanficcers everywhere -- she and her company are going to get their asses sued, and given the blatant and obvious and self-incriminating copyright violations here, she should be thankful if she gets out of it without all of her assets, and the assets of her publishing company, encased in carbonite. [7]

From owl, April 27, 2006:

The big issue of the last week or so was the case of Lori Jareo, who self-published her Star Wars fanfic and put it up for sale on amazon.com. She's probably the most notorious fanficcer in the world by now. Most of Star Was fandom and the ficcing world is talking about her, generally using synonyms of "stupid" and "idiot". The responses I wanted to talk about weren't from ficcers, who were mostly concerned about the bad name this fool would give to the rest of fanfic. I was surfing a couple of blogs which have a wider audience, and I kept coming across comments like these: She should have replaced the names and called it a homage, like real first-time writers do... Fanfic is a waste of time. It's not even any good for teaching anyone to write original work... Fanfic 'dilutes' the original creation. It will lose the original creator money. [8]
From Annalee, May 22, 2013:
Rights holders have a brand and a bottom line to protect, as well as their legal and moral rights to a commercial monopoly on their property. If ‘bad apples’ give them the impression that remix culture is a threat, there’s a very real fear that they could try to shut down all fanworks. That’s why remix culture tends to police commercial activity–sometimes even more harshly than the rights-holder themselves would (LucasFilm sent Lori Jareo a polite cease and desist. It was Star Wars fans who ran her out of town with personal attacks and harsh critiques of her writing skill). [9]

External Reading

References

  1. summary from Wookieepedia
  2. comment by Teresa at Annals of short-lived phenomena: Star Wars fanfic on Amazon/WebCite, posted April 22, 2006, accessed May 25, 2013
  3. by K. Affeldt at Amazon, posted April 21, 2006, accessed May 24, 2013
  4. by E. Combs-Cawley at Amazon, posted April 21, 2006, accessed May 24, 2013
  5. from This Will Be Fun to Watch, Nick Mamatas/WebCite, posted April 20, 2006, accessed May 24, 2013
  6. Be you not so stupid/WebCite
  7. The 2006 Stupidest FanFic Writer Award Gets Retired Early/WebCite
  8. A few thoughts on Lori Jareo and fanfic in general/WebCite
  9. comment by Annalee referencing the newly announced Kindle Worlds, Amazon Jumps Into the Fanfic Business/WebCite, posted May 27, 2013, accessed May 28, 2013
  10. Now at Amazon.com: bad fanfic and books whose authors did not write them