Erin A. Bisson

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Name: Erin A. Bisson
Abbreviation(s): KoB (King of Bones)
Creator: Erin A. Bisson
Date(s): 2012-
Medium: book
Country of Origin:
External Links: taichara at Dreamwidth
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Erin A. Bisson is a science fiction and fantasy author whose works have been plagued by malicious wrangling on AO3 and who was outed by the AO3 tag wranglers in 2017. This has been a somewhat common topic of discussion on fail_fandomanon.

Her first book, the fantasy novel King of Bones, was published in 2012 and has been nominated several times for Yuletide; its prequel Fire and Thorn was published in 2014. Her stand-alone science fiction works are Machine City Knights (published 2013), Reunification (published 2015), and Triskelion (published 2016). She has also written fanfiction of her own work for fannish challenges, which she describes as "pseudo-canon at most."[1]

AO3 tag wrangling strife and outing

For a more details and background, see AO3 Original Works and Self-Pub Wrangling Debacle

In a post on Dreamwidth in early November, 2017, kalloway wrote out a report of her recent communications with AO3 Support regarding the synning of the "King of Bones - Erin A. Bisson" fandom tag with the "Original Works" fandom tag. After some back-and-forth, the reply she got from AO3 Support detailing the wranglers' decision to synn the two tags was as follows:

Hi again, Kalloway:

The Wranglers did review their decision. Because the works posted were written either by an individual who has self-identified as Erin Bisson, or are gifted to Mx. Bisson, the Wranglers feel their is not enough of a fannish usage to canonize the tag at this time. If the fandom does eventually grow, as with all tag decisions, they will review the new data. At this time, however, they are leaving the tag as a synonym of "Original Work", with the other fandom-of-fanwork Fandom tags.

If you have any questions, we'll pass them on.[1]

Kalloway replied:

The only works gifted to anyone that are tagged King of Bones are gifted to me. I am not Erin Bisson. As for the self-identification, I would like to know how the wranglers arrived at that conclusion. What evidence did they use and how did they obtain it? I would like to know if these steps are taken before canonizing all new-to-the-archive fandoms to determine the provenance of the work, or if this is some bizarre special circumstance. If it is, I would like to know why it's a special circumstance.

There are admitted other creators who write fanwork of their own, published work and post it on the archive. Why is this a different situation? Is there a number of different creators required for a fandom to exist now?

That goes against the wrangling guidelines here:

Which states: Note: A fandom (regardless of size or origin) is considered a Fandom (rather than an Original Work) if fanworks exist for it.

Fanworks exist for King of Bones. Even the works not written by myself are fanworks according to the author of those fanworks.

I remind you, and the wranglers, again, that King of Bones is a published novel. It is not posted on AO3 or any other website aside from ones where it can be purchased.

And since then, I've noticed that every single fandom for Erin A. Bisson's works has been de-canonized, including Machine City Knights, which I received gifts in several Yuletides ago by a user named 'misura'.


This makes no sense, because King of Bones, and the other novels of Erin Bisson, are not fanworks. They are published novels. Multiple people have created fanwork for these novels and I would like them to be recognized as such. These novels are not posted to AO3 and no canonical material related to these novels exists on AO3.[1]

The author confirmed on her own Dreamwidth account that she had never linked her professional publishing name with her fannish identity on AO3.[2]

An anonymous wrangler on fail_fandomanon dug into the wrangling notes for the King of Bones fandom tag. There were two fandom tags, one without the middle name initial and one with the middle initial and both had notes linking the author's fannish AO3 and Dreamwidth identity with her publishing identity. The tag without the middle initial had its note written in April, 2017, while the tag with the middle initial had its note written in September, 2017. This is likely when they were respectively synned.[3]

By March, 2018, the "Machine City Knights - Erin A. Bisson" tag was re-canonized,[4] and although it was suggested that the reason was because a third author wrote something for the tag, that's also true of Triskelion which has not has its fandom tag re-canonized.


King of Bones

Machine City Knights



The Pale Gate

(A short story published in the King of Bones prequel, Fire and Thorn.)

AO3 tags

AO3 searches that actually display the fanworks


  1. ^ a b c A Central Post For Keeping Track of AO3 Communication, posted by kalloway on 08 November 2017. (Accessed 31 July 2018.)
  2. ^ taichara (Erin A. Bisson) in her post AO3, near-doxxing, and arbitrary definition of "fanworks" as applied to Yours Truly. Posted 09 November 2017. (Accessed 31 July 2018.)
  3. ^ Anonymous posting to fail_fandomanon on 02 December 2017. (Accessed 31 July 2018.)
  4. ^ Anonymous posting to fail_fandomanon on 11 March 2018. (Accessed 31 July 2018.)