Katherine Kurtz

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Name: Katherine Kurtz
Also Known As: Countess Bevin Frasier of Sterling (SCA name)
Occupation: Author
Medium: Novels and short stories
Official Website(s):
Fan Website(s):
On Fanlore: Related pages

Katherine Kurtz is the author of the Deryni series of books.

She was a frequent guest of honor at conventions.

Kurtz was a Darkover BNF and peer of Marion Zimmer Bradley, Mercedes Lackey, and others.

Views on Fanworks: A 2005 Fan Discussion

... if

they submit for publication in Deryni Archives, the 'zine, then KK does review for glaring errors in continuity/characterizations.

Just go to fanfiction.net and you can see the license people have taken with a wide variety of worlds. Slash abounds.

The official position is authors do not condone fanfic, and aren't allowed to read it. A fanfic writer can try to claim she showed the author a fanfic and the author stole a story from it. Agents and publishers don't like competition for their author's books.

In reality, however, KK obviously does read fanfic, and that position is implied heavily by the publication of the 'zine and the compilation, Deryni Tales.[1]

Katherine not only encourages fanfic within certain parameters, but acknowledges it. She started the Deryni Archives Fanzine over 20 years ago, and edited ten issues of it herself. In 2002, she published the fanfiction collection Deryni Tales drawn from submissions to the Archives along with an original story of her own through her official publisher, Ace Books Granted, that was a very special deal after over 30 years as an established author, and who knows if Ace will agree to publish a second volume of Deryni fanfic. But if Ace was adamantly against fanfic, I assume they would have refused to publish the Tales, at all.

My own feeling is, if the original author has given their permission for fans to write fanfic for their mutual enjoyment on a non-profit basis, than nobody is getting hurt, so long as the fans observe the limitations laid down. I think an established author would be a lot more worried about a fan trying to horn in on their world and earn money from it than a fan would have to worry about an established author stealing one of their ideas. The author would have to be very unethical to do that. Intellectual property law is already like nailing jello to the wall, and not all established authors are as broadminded about it as Katherine is. Some refuse to sanction it at all, so the competition from amateurs element is definitely part of the mix.[2]

Some authors, like Mercedes Lackey, have run into legal troubles with fans (suing and/or being sued in a court of law) over fanfiction. The end result of that, sadly, is that if one is going to write in Lackey's Valdemar universe even for fanzine/amateur publication, one has to download and sign a waiver and presumably mail it to Ms. Lackey. And she is not the only one. This is one of the reasons that I personally don't write Valdemar fanfic.

Other authors I've heard of are dead-set against fanfiction.

Fortunately, this is not the case with Katherine. Katherine has said that she believes in encouraging young (and not-so-young) writers; that if people enjoy her books enough to want to continue the adventures of the Deryni by writing their own stories, that's all right with her -- AS LONG AS the characters stay true to what we've already seen of them in the books. (there goes the slash genre. Say bye-bye to Deryni slash -- thank heavens!) She's also said that she prefers stories that are completely new set in her universe and using characters of the author's own creation, not necessarily KK's characters.

> Does KK have to vet > everybody else's Deryni stories to make sure the authors are true to the > characters and/or scenarios?

Only stories for _Deryni Archives the Zine)_, because in some senses, the zine becomes canon of the Deryni universe. And I get to read new stories and edit them first before Katherine sees them. :) This is why Melissa occasionally refers to my great editorial power. :) Katherine reads, and does the final edits of the zine submissions. However, there are lots of other places, like the internet, to post Deryni fanfiction and these other places would not have to meet Katherine's --or my -- editorial eye. :) [3]



  1. ^ Fanfic question, comment by Beth, July 2005
  2. ^ Fanfic question, comment by Melissa Houle, July 2005
  3. ^ Fanfic question, comment by Julianne Toomey-Kautz , July 2005