Jasper Fforde

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Name: Jasper Fforde
Also Known As:
Occupation: Writer
Medium: Novels
Works: Thursday Next, Nursery Crime, The Last Dragonslayer, Shades of Grey
Official Website(s): jasperfforde.com
Fan Website(s): Jasper Fforde at Wikipedia
On Fanlore: Related pages

Jasper Fforde is an English novelist best known for the Thursday Next series, the first of which is The Eyre Affair, published in 2001.

Views on Fanfiction

What are your thoughts on Fan Fiction and people making Thursday Next RPG's on the internet?

December 2010: After speaking to many Fanfictioneers and understanding the genre a litttle better, I have modified my opinion since writing the following. I still have no interest in reading any of it, but would regard it more as a celebration of writing rather than simple copying. The bottom line is that all creative writing is good, wherever it is, whoever does it, and whatever the subject, and nobody should attempt either conciously or unconciously to discourage those who wish to express themselves. Question: Is the Thursday Next series itself Fanfiction? Does the act of publication define Fanfiction? And how do we properly define publication?

I have featured Fanfiction in 'One of Our Thursdays is Missing'.

My thoughts on Fan Fiction are pretty much this: That it seems strange to want to copy or 'augment' someone else's work when you could expend just as much energy and have a lot more fun making up your own. I feel, and I think with good reason, very proprietorial about Thursday and all her escapades; clearly I can't stop you writing and playing what you want in private, and am very flattered that you wish to do so. But anything published in any form whatsoever - and that specifically includes the internet - I cannot encourage, nor approve of.

(I've already had one person complain that I had 'stolen' one of their ideas from a Thursday Next fanfiction site I knew nothing about!) [1]

Q. “Although I had not personally supposed that Thursday might battle the Daleks with Dr. Who in a literary landscape, in here it was very much business as usual” (p. 295). Is there Thursday Next fan fiction? If so, has such a match actually been written about?

There IS Thursday Next fan fiction, and the notion that fan fiction is not so much about mindless copying but a celebration is pretty much how I feel about it. I used to feel negative toward fan fiction, but only because I didn’t understand it. All creative endeavors, irrespective of content, is good. People can write what they want and no one should ever say they shouldn’t. Copyright issues are another thing, naturally-there’s a reason the characters I purloin for my books are all in the public domain. And no, I don’t think the Daleks have ever battled in Austenland.[2]

One of Our Thursdays Is Missing

The sixth Thursday Next book, One of Our Thursdays Is Missing, published in 2011, features a character visiting a Fan Fiction land (among other genres of BookWorld). Fan Fiction is "isolated" and "poorly regarded" on the already "shunned" Vanity Island; Sargasso Plaza is nearby. Those attempting to leave Fan Fiction are shot. Among those shot are "several hundred other Bagginses, three dozen Gandalfs, a plethora of Pratchett characters and sixty-seven Harry Potters."

There is a party in Fan Fiction, and one Hobbit character comments: "Fan Fiction isn’t copying—it’s a celebration. One long party, from the first capital letter to the last period! [...] Few do [think of that]—especially the authors who should really accept the praise with better grace. They’re a bunch of pompous fatheads, really—no slur intended." The character residents of Fan Fiction are "flat": "a natural consequence of being borrowed from somewhere else." Another fanfiction character comments: "It doesn’t make us any less real or lacking in quality. But being written by someone who might not quite understand the subconscious nuance of the character leaves us in varying degrees of flatness."

Although ostensibly pro-fanfic and a commentary on Fforde's past unfair negative perception of fanfiction, some fans find the depiction insulting.[3]


  1. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". 2011-02-22. Archived from the original on 2013-06-29. Removed from the FAQs as of 30 November 2022.
  2. ^ "A Conversation with Jasper Fforde", One of Our Thursdays Is Missing Reader’s Guide on Penguin Random House, c. 2011.
  3. ^ Fail_fandomanon commentators have described it as snide and backhanded: Re: Obvious Responses (2 December 2021) and Re: Word of God that made you drop a creator (23 August 2023).