Mercedes Lackey

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Name: Mercedes Lackey
Also Known As: Misty Lackey
Occupation: writer
Medium: books,filk
Works: Valdemar Series, Elemental Masters series and more more
Official Website(s): Author Wikipedia Page
Bibliography Wikipedia Page
Worlds of Mercedes Lackey
Fan Website(s):
On Fanlore: Related pages

Mercedes Lackey is the author of numerous fantasy novels in several series, most notably the Valdemar series and a group of interlocking series featuring elves and other magical beings in (mostly) modern urban settings.

She has also written many short stories and edited several anthologies, some of those with Marion Zimmer Bradley.

She often collaborates with her husband Larry Dixon.

Lackey the Filker

Lackey started out as a filker. [1]

She is the author of a sizeable number of filk song lyrics. Her earliest work includes filk inspired by the novels of C.J. Cherryh, but following the publication of Arrows of the Queen, most of her subsequent work has been inspired by her own Valdemar novels.

Since she has very rarely created music to accompany her lyrics, most of the tunes for Lackey's songs have been written by other hands. Her best-known musical collaborator is probably Leslie Fish, but other composers have included Heather Alexander, Cecilia Eng, Michael Longcor, and members of the folk groups Tempest and Golden Bough. Many of Lackey's songs have been recorded and released on albums published by Off Centaur Publications and/or Firebird Arts & Music. A few of the earliest live convention albums feature performances by Lackey herself, and she performed the part of Selenay on the album Heralds, Harpers and Havoc.[2].

She was also a Darkover filker: see The Horse-Tamer's Daughter (album) and Xenofilkia.

Lackey the Con Attendee

Lackey and her husband's (Larry Dixon) attitudes and opinions regarding fans at cons (and elsewhere) is a complicated one.

In 1993, the editor of Lackey's official newsletter wrote: "There have been some grumblings in fandom that Misty and Larry no longer have time for their friends and fans. There are always a discontented few who are jealous of the success of others." The editor followed up with a post by Lackey's husband, Larry Dixon, comments that he had made on GENie in roughly December 1992. In those comments, he described their fans, and conventions, as very capable of theft, violence, confrontations, and threats:

At a convention, many of the folks attending have codes of honor & guilt that psychologists might politely term `aberrant.' I have encountered a bootlegger who feels it is his deity-given right to make knockoffs of anyone's tapes if they refuse to sell him the rights. There's a female fan artist on the circuit now who plagiarizes 80% of her work. A couple of months ago, a dealer in Oregon was physically assaulted for allegedly giving a dollar's incorrect change; the assaulter was not expelled from the convention, even after the police came. Several people in San Francisco area fandom are being tracked by police as poisoning suspects; two artists I have met on the circuit are tax evaders & travel under aliases (present whereabouts unknown). "Every extreme can be found at a convention. We appear at them for the 90% who are fine people, but we take no chances with the other 10%!..... Nothing is harmless; believing your surroundings are Perfectly Safe only means the predators have to work less." - Larry [3]

Lackey commented: "We did attend the 1992 Rivercon, which was in fact the last convention we actually enjoyed. [4]

Despite these treacheries and lack of fun, Lackey was a regular attendee at cons until summer 1997. That's the year she and her husband attended Dragon*Con, and many things occurred. First, a little background: Lackey and her husband's personal life was self-reported to have been difficult in the last part of 1996 and early part of 1997: [5] In January 1997, Lackey wrote The Last Straw in which she ranted about the poor behavior of some fans. Four months later, this essay was linked to the official newsletter. [6]

The editor of Lackey's official newsletter reported on Dragon*Con in August 1997, a month after the con occurred:

We who attended Dragon*Con had a pretty good time, thanks to Morgan and her competent assistants. Morgan did her usual excellent job with the Queen's Own Collegia track of programming, and it was enjoyed by all, including Misty and Larry. There were panels on all sorts of topics, autograph sessions, and readings. Equally important was the chance to spend time with other people who understand our enthusiasm for Valdemar. Three cheers for Morgan! As for the rest of the con, I felt it was too many activities spread out over too wide an area. I ignored it in favor of the QOC panels. [7]

Lackey, however, reported that her time there was not a good one. See Mercedes Lackey - "The Dragoncon Report" for her comments, as well as fans' comments.

As a result of these alleged events, Lackey discontinued her con appearances. She announced this in the 1997 essay, "The Camel's Back."

On August 30, 2001, Lackey said:

Why won't Misty attend Cons?

"I often get asked if --- or when --- I'm going to go to X, Y or ZCon. After all, the stalkers are gone, so we should be flinging ourselves back into the convention circuit, right?

Well, no.

The plain truth is, after being off the circuit, we don't really want to go back to it.

We lose a lot of work-time going to cons. One day going, one day returning, and the three days of the convention.

Conventions are enormously tiring, and the higher up on the desired - GoH food-chain you are, the more exhausting they are. Typically we end up getting only two or even one meal in a day, because there just is no time to eat what with all the panels, autograph sessions, and random encounters with fans. It is exactly like being in a live play that goes on from the moment we pass our hotel door in the morning until the time we go back in late that night.

Travel is just as tiring. Planes these days are always crowded, often late, connections generally a mad dash across a vast expanse of terminal. And I don't do coach well anymore; bad backs will do that to you.

Hotel rooms aren't home. They're small, cramped, often smell of mildew or tobacco smoke ("quiet" or non-party floors are usually the less-desirable smoking floors since there are fewer of them). Even when they're on quiet floors, there are people chatting in halls or playing the TV too loud or otherwise enjoying themselves in the next room. Or there's a crying baby. Or small children in the room above (or people acting like small children). And when have you EVER attended a con when the fire alarm didn't go off at least once during the middle of the night?

And last --- and one of the biggest factors --- every convention I attended I've gotten ConPlague. Every convention is basically a mixing-pot for varietals of cold and flu viruses that I haven't been exposed to. And I'm getting a lot less exposure to viruses these days since I work at home, so my own immunity is low. In fact, last year I spent a grand total of four hours in the Baen suite and came down with the worst case of ConPlague I've had in years --- I literally passed out for three days at poor Roberta Gellis's house.

I know that conventions are important to a lot of you, and you have an enormous amount of fun at them. But they just aren't fun for me anymore, and there are a lot of other things I can do for fans that don't "cost" me in so much time, energy, and general well-being. [8]

In 2002, Lackey told a fan that the September 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. were a reason she attended fewer cons:

Although Larry and I had been thinking about going back to conventions again, in the light of recent events, we have decided not to. Traveling has become that much more difficult; when you add the 3 to 4 hour process of going through security checks to the rest of it, that means we would essentially lose two entire days of work just in the traveling process --- a total of five lost days of work for the entire convention. It just isn't worth trying to struggle to make up those five lost days given the heavy work schedule we have. [9]

Another comment from 2002:

We had been invited to the 2000 Rivercon, but do not intend to go, though we appreciated the invitation. What we would like to do in the future, if any conventions are interested, is to setup Internet teleconferencing and ship in signed bookplates. This would enable us to do things like show you our latest rehab birds. And we would get to stay cozily at home!" [10]

In 2003, Lackey resumed some convention appearances. [11]

Lackey began appearing again at Dragon*Con, beginning in 2010. [12] [13] [14]

Lackey the Public Figure

Lackey made many, many comments regarding the difficulty of being, along with her husband Larry Dixon, the subject of attention by fans.

Lackey commented publicly about being impersonated, stalked, taken advantage of, plagiarized, and generally mistreated.

Some examples:

  • 1999: "By far and away, the vast, vast majority of our fans are such incredibly fine people, conscientious, compassionate, and caring, that the only possible answer is that without a doubt it is worth it. As for others experiencing the same headaches...well, it is a fact of life that anyone in the public eye these days has a chance of attracting a lunatic. One of the professors at Rogers College attracted a dangerous stalker---all the more dangerous because he was local and knew exactly where she lived---just because she had a half-hour show on the college TV station about creative writing! And the only reason he DIDN'T kill her was because he murdered his mother first and was caught!"
  • 1999: "While I understand why someone might want a tattoo of Larry's or Jody's artwork, I'm sorry to tell you that we don't want that done. This is because once a tattoo artist does a piece, he adds it to his "flash" book, and it starts getting passed around to other tattoo artists, and people start wearing it who have no idea where it came from or what it means. Folks, I really don't want to find out that some guy who killed 20 nuns is walking around the Federal Pen with Amberdrake or Elspeth and Gwena on his back, OK?"
  • 1999: "What you and your friends saw [at a SCA con] is an impersonater [sic]. Larry and I have several---we're not alone in this, many other writers also have impersonators. I'm not sure what most of these sad individuals get out of their charade, but some have been dangerous---one impersonator of Simon Hawke got a fan to offer him a guest-room then raped the fan's pre-teen daughter."

One of Lackey's complaints was that some fans were unable to tell the difference between "real life," Lackey's beliefs, and the things she wrote about in her books: From alt.books.m-lackey FAQ:

4. Does she really believe in all that stuff she writes about?

Maybe. She might be a member of an alternative religion; she hasn't said for sure. However, she sums it up best in the Author's Note at the back of Sacred Ground (1994 edition):

"I am not a guru, shaman, Grand High Pooh-Bah, Guardian, Mistress of the Martian Arts, or any incarnation of the same. I have no lock on Immortal Wisdom, and in my experience, anyone who claims to, has his eye on your money (granted, I do too, but only insofar as entertaining you enough to buy my next book). To confuse me with what I write is as fallacious as confusing a truck driver with his Peterbilt." [15]

Lackey the Fanficcer

Prior to becoming a professional author, and after, Lackey was a writer of fanfiction.

A fan in 1994 wrote:

I think a lot of fan writers have the fantasy that they'll get 'discovered' writing fanfic. It happens, but not so often as they'd believe. Misty is one writer whose innate talent lifted her very quickly out of the fanfic markets -- she had her own stories to tell, and DAW liked her originality and verve. [16]

Lackey wrote in the Darkover universe as well as and stories inspired by a role-playing game titled Bureau 13: Stalking the Night Fantastic.

Diana Tregarde, one of Lackey's series protagonists, first appeared in 1982 in the fanzine, Shadowstar. [17] The Tregarde stories continued in that zine until 1988.

Some of Lackey's fanworks:

  • Merry Xmas to All (Diana Tregarde's first appearance) (Shadowstar #8)
  • A Friendly Place (Shadowstar #11)
  • Worldwalker (crossover with Star Wars) (Shadowstar #14)
  • Night Moves ("Diana Tregarde faces a nameless horror who stalks and kills in the streets of New York, and her only help is a benevolent vampire.") (Shadowstar #14)
  • Over the Rainbow? (crossover with Indiana Jones) (Shadowstar #16)
  • Selkie, Selkie (Shadowstar #16)
  • Not for Burning ("Gifted with the Sight, befriended by animals, orphaned, and forced to flee in the face of accusations of witchcraft in Puritan England, Cassandra Tregarde is led to a fate she has only dreamed...") (Shadowstar #17)
  • Crucible (how Diana Tregarde became a Worldwalker) (Shadowstar #19)
  • Troubleshooter (crossover with Grimjack) (Shadowstar #23)
  • Swan Song (Shadowstar #28)

Lackey was also a frequent contributor to Shadowstar and created fiction, art, meta, cartoons, and poems there in other fandoms, such as her "Dawntreader" stories ("They're roughly based on the Andre Norton universe of The Last Planet et al, plus a few embellishments of my own." [18]), as well as The Real Ghostbusters and crossovers with Diana Tregarde and Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Shakespeare, and Grimjack.

The "Dawntreader" stories:

  • Graduation Day (Shadowstar #9)
  • Chameleon (Shadowstar #11)
  • Masks (Shadowstar #13)
  • High Line (Shadowstar #14)
  • Cry Havoc! (Shadowstar #16)
  • Second Chance (Shadowstar #20)
  • Old Friends? (Shadowstar #20)
  • Tomorrow is the Past (Shadowstar #21/22)
  • Alone Again (Shadowstar #25)
  • Decisions (Shadowstar #26)
  • Journey's End (Shadowstar #27)

Other fanfiction:

Lackey wrote a letter to fans in Shadowstar #28 in which she explained why she was no longer writing fanfiction for that zine series:

...there won't be any more Misty Lackey fanfic.

I literally can't afford to take the time to write it, anymore. And - no kidding — I wish I could.

[...]

I hope you don't take this as bragging; it isn't meant to be. I just want you to know why I'm not writing fanfic, why I'm not going to cons, why I seem a little strained when I do go. This is the (I hope) last uphill rush; I hope to be able to quit my job soon and write full time.

[...]

Nor does this mean you have to stop seeing fanfic about the characters I created. Like Marion Bradley, I approve of fanfic. Those of you out there who wish to "play in my sandbox," be welcome! Take the "Patrol Universe"; borrow DT and Andre; have fun with the Cross-Timers! I would like to see these permutations of my creations, MJ [19], but I would never dream of censoring them. And (although I'm sure my poor agent would have hives if he knew I was saying this), if MJ wants to collect the Dawntreader or DT stories, she has my carte blanche to do so. For that matter, if any of you wish to do Herald fanfic, be my guest. You'll only be starting exactly as I started; maybe you'll end up in the same place. It's hard work — but I think that it's worth it. [20]

Both Bradley and C. J. Cherryh served as mentors to Lackey as she transitioned from fanfiction to professional publication.

Four of Lackey's Darkover fics were published in Bradley's for-pay fanfic DAW Darkover Anthologies: There were "A Different Kind of Courage" (1985), "An Object Lesson" (1990), "Set a Thief" (1991), and "Poetic License" (1994). [21]

Lackey's Attitudes About Fanworks

Lackey's Attitudes About Fanfiction Set in Her Own Universes

Mercedes Lackey's position regarding fanfic set in her original literary universes has varied considerably over time.

Below are Lackey's own statements, those of her moderators and publishers, comments on official sites, and some by fans.

1982

  • Lackey's first fanfiction was in Shadowstar #8 in 1982.

1983

  • 1983 - Lackey: "Must say that I see no problem in writing derivate [sic] fiction; ultimately, all fiction is derivate — we are our roots. You'll notice that, though my stuff is supposedly "original," it owes tons to Tolkien ("Merry Xmas"), Andre Norton ("Graduation Day"), and Fred Saberhagen ("Night Lord"). "Were Hunter" owes its entirety to the song/video by Duran Duran,"Hungry Like the Wolf." So, as my postdoc friend Di (the direct inspiration for Diana Tregarde) says, "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke." Or, in translation, "If you don't like what I'm doing, ignore it or shut up about it." [22]
  • 1983 - Lackey: "Must say that I see no problem in writing derivative fiction; ultimately, all fiction is derivative — we are our roots. You'll notice that, though my stuff is supposedly "original," it owes tons to Tolkien ("Merry Xmas"), Andre Norton ("Graduation Day"), and Fred Saberhagen ("Night Lord"). The piece enclosed in this issue [of Shadowstar] ("Were Hunter") owes its entirety to the song/video by Duran Duran,"Hungry Like the Wolf." So, as my postdoc friend Di (the direct inspiration for Diana Tregarde) says, "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke." Or, in translation, "If you don't like what I'm doing, ignore it or shut up about it." [23]

1985

  • 1985 - Lackey wrote the essay, Shady Thoughts: Why I Like Reading/Writing Fan Fiction: an excerpt: "Well, that's probably why we all do these weird things [like write fanfiction]: we've fallen in love with a certain universe and world-view, but there just isn't enough of it around. You can only watch Star Wars a finite number of times before you can recite the dialogue with the sound turned off (which, by the by, is what happened recently at a theater I went to when the sound system failed for about ten minutes). When that happens, there's only one thing to do: you go out and build more detail into that universe yourself, or you read what others have done there. Since George Lucas won't create more magic for us (to the exclusion of eating, sleeping, and other pursuits), we have to fill the void, somehow. [snipped] I like the stuff! I like writing it, and partially because I have the freedom to interact my characters with the creations of other people, a chance that I would never have had, were I trying to sell what I was doing. And also because this is my own small way of paying tribute to the people whose works have touched/moved/changed me."

1988

  • 1988 - Lackey: "...there won't be any more Misty Lackey fanfic [written by me]. I literally can't afford to take the time to write it, anymore. And - no kidding — I wish I could. There's things I'm dying to do that I can't get away with in "pro" fiction. More Derek and Darla, for one thing. I'd love to get my hands on Star Trek: the Next Generation and space the empath. Diana Tregarde and Vincent from Beauty and the Beast. But — I have three novels under contract to write before the end of the year.[...] this [doesn't] mean you have to stop seeing fanfic about the characters I created. Like Marion Bradley, I approve of fanfic. Those of you out there who wish to "play in my sandbox," be welcome! Take the "Patrol Universe"; borrow DT and Andre; have fun with the Cross-Timers! I would like to see these permutations of my creations but I would never dream of censoring them. And (although I'm sure my poor agent would have hives if he knew I was saying this), if MJ wants to collect the Dawntreader or DT stories, she has my carte blanche to do so. For that matter, if any of you wish to do Herald fanfic, be my guest. You'll only be starting exactly as I started; maybe you'll end up in the same place. It's hard work — but I think that it's worth it. But whether you just do it for fun or with the goal of trying for "prodom," you are giving something of yourself to those who will be reading it. And you will be joining the long line of us that goes right back to the caves, the ones who are moved to respond when someone says: "Tell me a story." [24]
  • 1988 - Lackey stablished guidelines allowing members of Queen's Own[25] (her authorized fan club devoted to her Valdemar series) to create personae and write fanfic set in Valdemar - specifically, in an AU branching from an alternate ending to "Arrow's Fall" ).[26]
  • 1991 - Lackey: "I wrote a lot when I was a kid, mainly Andre Norton pastiches, because she wasn't turning out books at a fast enough rate to suit me." [27]

1992

Fanfic and permissions were heavy on many fans' and professional writers mind in late 1992 and early 1993 due to the Marion Zimmer Bradley Fanfiction Controversy .

  • 1992 - In December, Lackey published a long statement in Queen's Own. Queen's Own Newsletter. It included the first release form. Citing advice from her agent, Russell Galen, Lackey withdrew support for most fanfiction based on her published works. Stories circulate indicating that she and/or Galen and/or her legal counsel aggressively discourage fanfiction brought to her attention during this period. Lackey was one of several pro authors who either brought the hammer down on or clarified their views on fanworks based on her books. Some other authors who joined Lackey in 1992: Marion Zimmer Bradley, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Anne McCaffrey, and P.N. Elrod. See I'm about to bring the cold, cruel, mundane world into our fun for a moment. Some excerpts:
    First of all, you may not be aware of it, but I am rare in permitting people to write fanfic based on my work. Many authors and agents feel it confuses copyrights enough that they do not permit it at all. [&]... Having established that I am a Good Guy for letting you play in my sandbox, following the footsteps of my mentor Marion Zimmer Bradley, let me continue. Some folks have been horribly incensed because I asked, politely, that you not post Valdemar fanfic over in Prodigy, because that service lists itself as a PUBLISHING SERVICE and not an information service, and it is a FOR PROFIT entity. This was to protect YOU. If my agent or publisher decided that this fanfic was in violation of my copyrights, they could very easily sue YOU, your parents if you are a minor, your school if you were using a school machine ... at the very least you would be required, after paying several thousand dollars in legal costs, to pay several more thousand dollars in apology-ads in major booksellers publications, just like that fanzine publisher. I doubt that many of you have that kind of money to throw away; I certainly don't. And I'm afraid that there would be nothing I could do to call off my agent; in areas where my rights---and HIS future income---are concerned, HE has every right to vigorously protect those rights. Be warned, this Has already happened TO ONE FAN WRITER AND PUBLISHER. [snipped] So I am going to require a release from those of you who wish to participate in the electronic fiction CATs, and I am not sure yet what to do about paper fanfic. [QO reported later that: "The decision has been made that you MUST sign a release form for any work created in Misty's Worlds that you intend to share with others ... You need a release form for EVERY story set in Misty's universe that you write..."]. [&].... I don't have to let you in my world. I could be like Yarbo, and forbid it entirely. I don't want to deprive you of the kind of pleasure I got from writing Darkover and other fanfic. I like having you in my sandbox. All I am asking for is a little courtesy and consideration. This piece may be downloaded <or photocopied> and posted to any other systems you choose, with my permission." -- Mercedes Lackey [snipped] Just bear with us until we get an Official Policy thingie nailed down on it. Hugs! -- Misty & Larry" [28]

1994

  • 1994 (perhaps before) - Lackey (along with Larry Dixon) hosted and moderated an online community, Modems of the Queen, on GEnie[29]. Participants were required to submit a release form in order to create fanfic set both in Valdemar and in Lackey's "urban elves" universe.
  • 1994 - One of Lackey's spokespersons on the Usenet (Tal Greywolf) commented on fanfiction: "I will discuss with Misty the idea of some fanfic being posted... it's possible that what might happen is before it's posted you have to send it in for review, just like submitting any other kind of work. But don't hold your breath on this one." [30]
  • 1994 - One of Lackey's spokespersons on the Usenet (Tal Greywolf) commented on fanfiction: "Misty as a fan has encouraged folks to 'play' in her world. But that play has to be in spots where she can see it, comment about it and even say NO when necessary. The only online area where a person can play is on GEnie in her 'Modems of the Queen' place, and the Queen's Own 'zines. And even there, the ground rules are that you can't use her characters (with the exception of Herald Chronicler Myste) and that you can't alter the events that have occurred. But inside of those guidelines you can play quite a bit." [31]

1996

  • 1996 - From Captain Silkfur McFluffy, the moderator of alt.books.m-lackey: "...folks - Just Say No to Lackey-MUDS. If you want to write Fanfic, please send mail to the Queen's Own or HighFlight addresses above, and request a release form. Don't go doing something that you're going to wind up regretting, later." [32]

1999

  • 1999 - interchange between two fans: "Hi, I was wondering, is fanfic based in Valdemar still something Misty doesn't like? Was it just Valdemar or all of her worlds?" [Reply]: Oh... it's definitely still a bad thing. There's an entire legal issue for her. See, friends of hers like Marion Zimmer Bradley have be burned by fanfic. The prob. with fanfic is that, even if the author (such as Misty) doesn't read what others write, if she happens to get an idea that is similar to something in fanfic and she uses it, the author of the fanfic can sue and has a good chance of winning. It probably also stems from the fact that her characters are her 'children' in a sense and that she doesn't want to see them, or her worlds, used in a way that she never intended." -- Shay[33]

2000

2002

  • 2002 - Lackey answered a fan: "I know that people would really like it if I could look at their work, even just to comment on it. I can't. I won't. Here's why: [legal liability, practical issues, hurting your feelings]" Lackey ends with "The best thing you can do, if you want people to look at your work, is to publish it in fanzines." [35]
  • 2002 - Released a commentary via her Web site discussing the evolution of fanfiction from printzines to the online era.[36] See Copyright, fair use, and complications far beyond the ken of mortal man.....
  • 2002 - Lackey answered a question about fanfic based on Valdemar: "It's been so long that I read [my own release form] that I'd forgotten about that. Publishing a Valdemar novel would be a Bad Idea. I'm afraid my agent is inclined to go ballistic on the idea of someone publishing a Valdemar novel other than me or Larry. You don't want my agent to go ballistic. He's a very polite shark, but he's still a shark. The release form was copied wholesale from Marion Zimmer Bradley's fanfiction release form and covers the occasion when she used someone's idea (with their permission and signature) in one of her Darkover novels. It also covers the novels that another author finished after her death. It probably shouldn't be in there, considering how our agent feels about fanfic in general and fanfic novels in particular, but if someone ever does take me to court that's one more item to get the case dismissed before it gets into high legal fees. I really hate having to do things this way, but given the grief that Marion went through, and the fact that I've already had hysterical letters accusing me of "stealing" someone's fanfiction, I'm just not willing to take the chance anymore." [37]
  • 2002 - Lackey answered a question about fanfic and webrings: "We don't allow online fanfiction or online games, MUDs, MUCKs or MUSHs;anything else is fine." [38]
  • 2002 - Lackey wrote the essay: Copyright, fair use, and complications far beyond the ken of mortal man....
  • 2002 - A fan named Teri asked Lackey: "Misty, several people have asked for your e-mail address or Post office box so that they can send you manuscripts of their fan fiction. Where do people get the idea that you are a first reader for fan fiction? The only saving grace is that most of them seem to be young." Lackey replied: "Sigh. How many times do we have to say "I don't and won't read fanfiction?" [39]

2003

  • 2003 - A 13-year old fan asked Lackey: " I saw that you don't read fanfics, so I'm not even going to bother writing one, besides the fact that it'll probably be against the copyright rules. That, and it'll probably be so bad it'd be more of an insult than anything else." Lackey's reply: "As for your ideas "not being good enough," well, the only way you get better at writing is to write, and the only way you get better at coming up with ideas is to write them out and see if they work. Just because I don't read fan fiction doesn't mean you shouldn't write it if you want to; there are plenty of other people who would be happy to read it, and there are whole fanzines and websites with peoples' fanfiction on them." [40]
  • 2003 - A fan asked Lackey: "I just found out about your strict copywrite laws. I've been working on a fanfic novel for [q]uite some time now, though I had no plans for it. I was considering sending it to you, but I won't now that I know you don't appreciate that sort of thing. Which is understandable, considering your prior experiences with that. Anyway, my question was, would it be okay to publish my fanfic on the net? I don't know if that would be violating copywrite laws or not. I wouldn't be getting any profit from it, and I would most certainly give you full credit for Valdemar and such, but I don't know if that's enough to make it legal. If it is at all possible to legally publish my novel on the net, what exactly would I have to do? Thanks for your time in answering this, and I apologize if I'm just being extremely ignorant." Lackey's reply: "Pardon me if I come out sounding a little irritated about this question, but I must have answered letters similar, if not identical to this one, at least a dozen times, and those replies should still be available for anyone who bothers to look through the old answers. First of all the reason that I do not and will not read fanfiction has nothing to do with "my" strict copyright laws. The copyright laws are what they are and I didn't go to Congress and the International Copyright Covention in Berne Switzerland and ask them to write laws just for me. It also has nothing to do with the interpretation of those laws, nor with the vigor with which my agent Russel Galen defends our copyrights. What it DOES have to do with is the fact that if I read fanfiction, someone, somwhere [sic] out there, someday, will drag me into court claiming I "stole their idea." Actually, this will probably happen anyway at some point --- I've certainly been accused of doing so already in letters that I have receivedf rom time to time --- but at least if I am on record as saying and have witnesses that I don't read fanfiction I have a better chance of having the case dismissed before it becomes expensive. Are we all perfectly clear on that point now? Secondly, at this point, it is not legal nor permissable [sic] for you to publish any fiction based on my copywrited [sic] works on the net. Nor is it legal for you to publish a novel-length work in ANY form. My agent reluctantly permits paper publication of short fiction in fanzines; he is inclined to go ballistic over anything longer than a short-story. He has not yet granted permission to anyone to publish net fan-fiction. If you would care to go head-to-head with him directly, you may write him at: Russell Galen, Scovil Chichak Galen Literary Agency, 381 Park Avenue South,Suite 1020, New York NY 10016. If you expect to get any answer from his agency at all, enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope. You may very well get a letter, not from him, but from the agency legal department. In making him my agent, I legally delegated the responsibility for administration of my copyrighted material to him. If he does not defend those copyrights, they may lose value. Defending and administering that property is how he makes his living. You should not be surprised, hurt, or offended if he takes exception to people who attempt to interfere with his ability to make a living. I might add that (as you may have inferred from the Park Avenue address) this is not some idiot in Dubuque who has an office and letterhead and calls himself an agent; this agency handles clients like Norman Mailer and Johnny Cochrane." An added Note from Firebird. "This is the second message from the same fan, the first one I answered, and did not forward to Misty. Not taking a polite no, this message came in and was answered directly by Misty, who was more than a bit testy about being asked the same basic question for the millionth time." [41]

2004

  • 2004 - Lackey: "I knew that I was a writer when I began writing amateur fiction ("fanfic") and costuming articles and getting them published in fanzines and getting some nice comments." [42].

2006

  • 2006 - Lackey: "I think it's an excellent outlet for people, whether they just want the thrill of being read or a tool to become an honest-to-god professional. I think it would be horrible if some monolithic ruling came down that said thou shalt never do this again.... It's all collaborative stuff that depends very strongly on the reaction of the other people's characters, and as a consequence, manipulating entirely unexpected reactions that I have to react to. That's one of the things that keeps it fresh and allows me to think about different plotting paths that I might not have gone down. This is opening up new synapse paths for me. It's made things a lot more interesting in my 'real writing.'" [43]
  • 2006 - Comments on her release form: "The release form basically says, you'll not hold me liable if my stuff resembles what you wrote. It's my fallback in case somebody comes along and says 'you stole my idea,' And if you haven't filed it, then I can say, 'What do you mean? You are [writing fan fiction] without authorization.' It's kind of Kafkaesque, but what the hell... Feel free to adapt it to your own purposes and use it." [44]
  • 2006 - Lackey revealed on Making Light that she still writes fanfic[45], and that she approves of not-for-profit fanfic[46].
  • 2006 - Lackey: "I....shuffle mumble shuffle....still write fanfic. Of all darn things, fanfic set in a superhero MMORPG, City of Heroes".[45] She is also one of several writers who has created a story arc or arcs at the request of the game's sponsors.[47]

2008

  • 2008 - From Lackey's newsletter: "No public posting of stories/fanfiction is allowed on the Internet. (This includes talking in character in chatrooms or sending stories via e-mail.) You can submit fanfiction to and read it in the various approved Mercedes Lackey fanzines." [48]

2009

  • 2009 - From Lackey's newsletter: "Heads up, editors! We have permission to send out our zines via e-mail! Although some sites have been given permission to post online, there are restrictions, and we really don’t have the time to police it. But if you would like to send out chapter newsletters and zines containing fanfiction, you may do so to your members. One caveat: Misty has requested that all material distributed in this fashion be kept to PG-13. Other ratings are permitted, but they must not be sent to or put anywhere minors can get at them. Other than that, have fun!" [49]
  • 2009 - Lackey released a statement via her Web site formally granting fanfic writers permission to create derivative works based on her stories, under a specified Creative Commons license.[50]

2000

  • 2000 - Lackey: "There has been a trend for people to send stories or art with the request that Misty read, edit, or market the work. Folks, please stop doing this. There are some unpleasant realities about doing business today. Misty isn't being mean, stuck up, or nasty when she refuses to read stories by her fans. She is following the strict orders from her agent and attorney. More details are in the Ask Misty section on Writing, but here's the short form. Fan sends a story off. Writer looks it over. Writer then writes a new book/short story/whatever. Does not use story idea. Fan sees new work, and claims that the story idea was used by the writer. Much unpleasantness ensues, and much expense if the fan manages to convince a lawyer to get involved. Money, time and emotional distress is spent dealing with the situation. This takes time away from producing new books. Writer is not making money. Agent is not making money, the only people who make money are the assorted attorneys. Things don't get resolved, writer gets sued, publisher gets sued, everyone spends money defending against untrue claims. Everyone is unhappy. And broke. Attorneys continue to make money. No books are being produced. The fans are now unhappy. Seems unlikely? This very thing happened to Marion Zimmer Bradley, and the result is that across the publishing industry agent are now forbidding their writers to look at fan fiction in any form. The only way to defend against this kind of accusation is to never read ANY fan submitted fiction. That way when this situation comes along, Misty can swear that she has never read the work in question." [51]

2001

  • 2001 - fan: "If Mercedes Lackey is never going to do another Tregarde novel because of the flake who threatened her, why won't she allow fan-fiction based on those characters? She's not going to suffer a loss of profit on things she's written off anyway." [Another fan responds]: "Darned if I know, I'm not psychic. But I would imagine it is simply to simplify legal policy. "No Fan-Fiction" is a much simpler stand than "No fan-fiction except for fan fiction involving characters X, Y, and Z, unless I decide to write a novel based on subsidiary characters Xa, Ya, or Zb, in which case, scrap it." [52]

2010

  • 2010 -- Lackey: “I’d been writing fiction for a long, long time – I always wrote. I used to make up stories for the kids I baby-sat, which made me very popular, which meant I got more babysitting gigs! And I wrote fan fiction. [snipped] ‘‘I’m not reading fanfic based on any of my stuff and never will read it, because I don’t want to get into that ‘You stole my idea!’ stuff. However, yes, I do allow fanfic of my work published under Creative Commons. As Marion’s agent, Russell Galen did not like fanfic – seriously did not like online fanfic, because it’s distributed everywhere with no control. But Cory Doctorow’s a client, and (god bless Cory!) he has brought about a sea-change in Russell Galen. So now the answer is, ‘Yes, you may do fanfic, under Creative Commons, even though I don’t understand how Creative Commons works. If I were a lawyer, I would be a lawyer! So if you want to work out a correct licensing agreement, you go find a Creative Commons lawyer and you deal with it. I’m not going to do any of that – I’m just allowing it.’" [53]

2011

  • 2011 - Lackey: "FanFic now ok if Creative Commons licensed... As you folks already know, my agent, Russel Galen, has in the past been opposed to fanfiction. However, he is also Cory Doctorow's agent now, and Cory is a persuasive little gnome. As a result of this, I am happy to announce that we are officially permitting fanfiction to be licensed as derivative fiction under the Creative Commons umbrella. What this means is: NO, you cannot make money on it. NO, you cannot self-publish a fanfiction novel of Valdemar (or any of my other stuff) and try and sell it on Amazon. And NO, I still am not going to read it, because I am already so far behind on my research reading I barely have time to read that. But YES, you may write and post away, folks, so long as you license it as derivative and under Creative Commons. If it is anything other than PG-13, please take all the proper precautions to stick it somewhere that innocent souls won't be corrupted. Do not scare the children or the horses. Have fun!" [...] It is recommended that you make it clear that fan fiction based on M. Lackey's work is derivative. [54]

2016

  • 2016 - Lackey's Dragon*Con blurb: "Mercedes Lackey had always written from her early teens, and developed this hobby by writing fan-fiction for various amateur magazines." [55]

Lackey's Attitudes Towards Role-Playing Games Set in Her Own Universe

See Mercedes Lackey's Attitudes Toward Role-Playing Games Set in Her Own Universe.

Lackey's Attitudes Towards Fan Art and Tattoos

In 1999, a fan asked about fanart and tattoos. While the question was about Larry Dixon's art, one can assumed that Lackey's reply would be the same regarding hers: :

Can I use some art of Larry's for a tattoo?

[Lackey's response]: While I understand why someone might want a tattoo of Larry's or Jody's artwork, I'm sorry to tell you that we don't want that done. This is because once a tattoo artist does a piece, he adds it to his "flash" book, and it starts getting passed around to other tattoo artists, and people start wearing it who have no idea where it came from or what it means. Folks, I really don't want to find out that some guy who killed 20 nuns is walking around the Federal Pen with Amberdrake or Elspeth and Gwena on his back, OK? [56]

The Difficulties in Sorting Out Permission, Release Forms, and Definitions

Wading through permissions and definitions of terms was a demon at the gate for many fans.

In 2001, fans were trying to figure out where they stood:

Heyla, Misty fans!

As people are starting to submit more persona projects to us and send more stories to the Queen’s Own-approved fanzines, we have been deluged with questions about when you need to use the release form that Misty requires for all fan fiction. Those questions have started us thinking that we need to go back and revise the Helpful Handouts to clarify when you need to fill out a release. Misty originally said (and it still says on the release form) that you only need to fill out the release if you write a "short story or novel" based on her work. She specified in the original Helpful Handouts that you do not need to fill out a release for "character sketches, poems or filk." This distinction was made quite a number of years ago, before the Net became ubiquitous and before several Supreme Court rulings on US Copyright law were handed down. The confusion that we’re seeing flood our e-mail boxes seems to stem from the definitions of these genres and the legalese in the release form. While we are not lawyers and our suggestions should in no way be taken as legal advice, we thought we would try to explain these terms and (hopefully) clear up some of the confusion.

A "short story" is essentially a prose narrative that is shorter and simpler than a novel. A "novel" is a long prose narrative that is usually complex. Of course, some "novels" are "short" (Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is less than 100 pages), and some "short stories" are rather long. Then, too, a "novel" like James Joyce’s Ulysses is filled with poetry, a stage play and several other genre forms, so "narrative prose" is not necessarily required for something to be categorized as a "novel." This has led to a distinction among literary scholars that essentially says that a short story concentrates on mood rather than plot whereas a novel relates human experiences. (Lost yet?)

We do not know what Misty meant by a "character sketch", but, according to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary: Tenth Edition this is a short narrative treatment that "resembles a short story" but that is a bit more informal. (How to tell a "character sketch" from a "short story" is something of a mystery to us.)

"Poetry" is a type of writing where the emphasis is on the language and the intention is to create an emotional response. But when a poem contains a plot, such as telling a story in bardic verse or epic style, then it becomes something of a matter of opinion whether that is really a poem or a short story (or novel, depending on the length) written in poetic style.

"Filk" is quite simply a headache. It can consist of parodies of existing songs or original music with words about science fiction or fantasy or the like. (Note: If you use an existing piece of music, you must parody the original song in order to avoid copyright infringement. If you simply take an existing tune and put new words to it, that is copyright infringement. If you write an original tune but use someone else’s words/lyrics, that is also copyright infringement.) The complication with the release form arises when the words of the song tell a story. (Is that a short story set to music?)

The release form used by Queen’s Own states in Item 1 that "I understand that, as the creator and copyright owner of the Valdemar and other series, you alone have the authority to authorize the preparation of derivative works based on the characters and world you have created in that series. I understand and acknowledge that the preparation of such a story constitutes a copyright infringement unless authorized by you. I acknowledge that the material submitted with this agreement is a derivative work based upon your previous work." (In this item, "I" is you the author of the derivative work, and "you" is Mercedes Lackey.) The key words in this item are "derivative works." According to Space 6 of the US copyright form for literary works (TX), "a ‘derivative work’ is ‘a work based on one or more preexisting works.’ Examples of derivative works include translations, fictionalizations, abridgments, condensations, or ‘any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted.’" That strikes us as pretty broad, and the US Supreme Court is in the habit of interpreting copyright law in the broadest possible sense (which favors the original author).

Given the difficulty in telling the difference among short stories, novels, character sketches, poems and filk, with so much relying on the opinions of the person who is classifying the work, we strongly recommend that any time you write anything that is "based on" a work or works by Mercedes Lackey that you file the release with High Flight (for your protection and for Misty’s). Whether or not the release is "required" for a given piece is up to each fanzine editor to determine. From now on, however, we are requiring the release for anything that uses anything that Misty created (Companions and Heralds, Tayledras, the Star-Eyed, Vanyel, Kerowyn, Shin’a’in, anything that specifically comes from a work by Mercedes Lackey).

Since we now publish all submissions to Queen’s Own in Children of Velgarth, we have become increasingly concerned about our liability with respect to works that fall in the "grey area," that may or may not be considered by some people to be short stories. Therefore, we are going to be changing the "when to fill out the release form" rule on the Queen’s Own website and the Helpful Handouts. If you write a poem or filk about a unicorn, then you do not need to fill out the release. But if the poem or filk is about Vanyel and Bard Stefen, then we want to see the release filled out. We have also been seeing "character sketches" that are 5- to 10-page short stories inserted into the middle of a persona sheet taken from D&D or Pern or some other RPG-type form. This sort of thing has become so common (whether or not it is intended to get around the requirement for a release) that we are now requiring that the release be submitted for all "character sketches" as well. (Release forms are not required for art as long as you aren’t producing something like a storyboard or comic book.)

As it has long said on the Helpful Handouts, "Misty isn't trying to spoil our fun, but she must protect her interests." We want to make sure that you and all of our editors are protected as well. [57]

There was still confusion a year later, including some from Lackey herself:

A fan asked]: ... would you allow other authors to publish *books* in Velgarth? I've noticed that the release form says "manuscript for a short story or novel." Reading the release carefully, I find it does not prevent an author from reaching an agreement with you on the subject. It does cover what would happen if you accepted a short story into an anthology - could a similar arrangement be made for a novel? ... [Lackey replied]: A: It's been so long that I read the thing that I'd forgotten about that. Publishing a Valdemar novel would be a Bad Idea. I'm afraid my agent is inclined to go ballistic on the idea of someone publishing a Valdemar novel other than me or Larry. You don't want my agent to go ballistic. He's a very polite shark, but he's still a shark. The release form was copied wholesale from Marion Zimmer Bradley's fanfiction release form and covers the occasion when she used someone's idea (with their permission and signature) in one of her Darkover novels. It also covers the novels that another author finished after her death. It probably shouldn't be in there, considering how our agent feels about fanfic in general and fanfic novels in particular, but if someone ever does take me to court that's one more item to get the case dismissed before it gets into high legal fees. I really hate having to do things this way, but given the grief that Marion went through, and the fact that I've already had hysterical letters accusing gme of "stealing" someone's fanfiction, I'm just not willing to take the chance anymore. [58]

Lackey and the Lost Marion Zimmer Bradley Novel

Mercedes Lackey's involvement with Marion Zimmer Bradley is extensive.

Her early short fiction includes work set in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover universe. [59].

Lackey is also the keeper of the skeleton of "Contraband," the MZB novel that was supposedly scuttled due to complicated involvement with fans.

In March 1993, Bradley wrote, "I'm afraid that Contraband, the novel involved in this unfortunate affair, is dead—at least, for my lifetime. The fan tried to get Mercedes Lackey to read it [the novel] but she refused, so it's possible that Misty could write it after my death. I'm leaving her the notes I made on it before I read the fan's story." [60]

A 2002 conversation among three fans at rec.arts.sf.written:

Does anyone know if/when any more MZB's Darkover books are going to be published? I wonder if Deborah J. Ross is going to finish the clingfire trilogy??? Also this tidbit was in the Alt.fan.pern FAQ: "...To expand on this a bit, this prohibition is meant to protect Ms. McCaffrey from legal problems along the lines that have prevented Marion Zimmer Bradley from publishing one of her books. (I'm not completely familiar with the specifics of this case; inquiries to rec.arts.sf.written will probably result in more information than you ever wanted to know. ;-)..." Does anyone know what MZB book thats about? Hungry for more Darkover, -- Connie

Last I heard (talking to Ann Sharp at MZB's funeral) Adrienne Martine-Barnes still has a contract to do two or three more of them. -- Dorothy J. Heydt
Hi Dorothy; Thanks so much for your reply. I have read the Darkover novels and am currently collecting/reading the anthologies that are listed within. I recognized your name as I have just enjoyed a couple of your 'Donald and Marguerida' stories. I hope you write a novel about them (as the stories seem related)! I will look forward to Adrienne Martine-Barnes novel(s). Best regards, Connie
Unlikely to happen. The Darkover universe belongs to the MZB Trust and nothing more is going to be written in it except by contract. I did talk to Ann at the funeral [61] and indicated that I could think of an interesting novel waiting to be written there, and she said, "Hmmm, someday maybe, we'll see." Which translates as VERY unlikely. -- Dorothy J. Heydt
Didn't I read somewhere that Mercedes Lackey was supposed to 'inherit' Darkover? -- Simon van Dongen
Maybe, but it won't happen till after Adrienne has done her two or three. Contracts are contracts. -- Dorothy J. Heydt [62]

For more on this "lost" novel, and Mercedes Lackey's involvement, see The Marion Zimmer Bradley Fanfiction Controversy.

Mailing Lists and Fan Clubs

Meta/Further Reading

By Lackey

By Others

Zines

References

  1. ^ Queen's Own, April 1991
  2. ^ Worlds of Mercedes Lackey (Ask Misty: Music) Accessed March 15, 2010.
  3. ^ Queen's Own, January 1993
  4. ^ Mercedes Lackey - The Official Website, Archived version (2002)
  5. ^ From a report by Lackey's husband in Lackey's official newsletter (January 1997): "You know, I've been through a lot---garage hit by tornado, studio lost to fire, previous studio lost to flood, financial scares, stalkers, auto crashes, drunk drivers, fights, sabotage, betrayals, fraud, and so on. But is that cause to feel victimized? Nah. These things happen for good reasons. People who live intensely instead of just talking or faking get banged up. When you play life hard you're bound to get knocked around a bit! In my case it's been a good way to have perspective. Kindness isn't a weakness, generosity isn't either, but losing them both can be. "I've been heartened and uplifted by the love and support from you all---especially about the studio fire. Don't think for a moment that it hasn't been effective in getting me by. In fact, these special bookmarks, which Misty and I printed, stamped, and trimmed ourselves for you, were initially going to be printed on some cardstock that survived the fire (a bit scorched in places but serviceable), but alas, it was too thick to run through my printer. The intent was to show you in a tangible way, by using it, that not fire, flood, tornado, or nut-case will stop me---or us---from doing what needs to be done." -- Larry Dixon in Queen's Own], January 1997
  6. ^ Queen's Own, April 1997 issue
  7. ^ The Queen's Own
  8. ^ As explained by her to the Baen's Bar chat group, (kindly posted to ABML by Claviux from the Crater on August 30, 2001), one example is posted at ABML FAQ, Part 2
  9. ^ Mercedes Lackey - The Official Website, Archived version (2002)
  10. ^ Mercedes Lackey - The Official Website, Archived version
  11. ^ "We are going to conventions now, but we are limiting ourselves to no more than one or two a year at the absolute most." -- Mercedes Lackey - The Official Website, Archived version
  12. ^ Mutant Science, Bellydancing and Other Stuff You'll Learn at Dragon Con
  13. ^ Mercedes Lackey, accessed October 4, 2016
  14. ^ DragonCon, accessed October 4, 2016
  15. ^ alt.books.m-lackey FAQ 1994, updated in 1998
  16. ^ a Usenet comment from What this place is about (October 31, 1994)
  17. ^ fail_fandomanon: FFA DW Post # 388 - Re: Why didn't anyone TELL me?, Archived version (March 10, 2016)
  18. ^ from a letter of comment by Lackey in Shadowstar #11
  19. ^ MJ is Mary Jean Holmes, the editor of Shadowstar.
  20. ^ See Shadowstar/Issues 27-28#Issue 28 for more of this letter
  21. ^ "Of course these are first stories, and some of them are bound to show growing pains. Some of them feel like fan fiction because they are. It's strange to see two now-famous authors testing their legs in the world of fan writing. [...] Mercedes Lackey joins the Darkover fan club with "A Different Kind of Courage." This blushingly amateur fan story lavishes on the overdone emotions and forced drama, with a heroine ultimately rescued from her own life in what feels like childish wish fulfillment." -- a review of "A Different Kind of Courage," in "Magical Beginnings", a book edited by Steven H. Silver & Martin H. Greenberg, DAW Books, 2003
  22. ^ from a letter of comment by Misty Lackey in "Shadowstar" #11
  23. ^ from a letter of comment by Lackey in Shadowstar #11
  24. ^ from Shadowstar #28
  25. ^ Queen's Own FAQ Accessed March 15, 2010.
  26. ^ "Queen's Own Fan Fiction Guidelines (accessed 14 Mar 2010)
  27. ^ Queen's Own Newsletter--December 1991, Archived version
  28. ^ excerpted from I'm about to bring the cold, cruel, mundane world into our fun for a moment
  29. ^ Queen's Own Newsletter--April 1992 Accessed March 15, 2010. This appears to be the first reference to MotQ as a chapter of Queen's Own, but the GEnie community had been active for some time prior to the newsletter's cover date.
  30. ^ from What this place is about (October 30, 1994)
  31. ^ from What this place is about (October 30, 1994)
  32. ^ FAQ 1 of 2 (Apr 1, 1996)
  33. ^ at alt.books.m-lackey -- Valdemar fanfic still a no-no? (July 18, 1999)
  34. ^ from Misty Mailing List (Aug 16, 2000, )
  35. ^ The World of Mercedes Lackey
  36. ^ Worlds of Mercedes Lackey: Ask Misty Accessed March 15, 2010.
  37. ^ Lackey's reply to this question: "... would you allow other authors to publish *books* in Velgarth? I've noticed that the release form says "manuscript for a short story or novel." Reading the release carefully, I find it does not prevent an author from reaching an agreement with you on the subject. It does cover what would happen if you accepted a short story into an anthology - could a similar arrangement be made for a novel?" ... Writing, Archived version, posted in 2002, accessed September 26, 2016
  38. ^ [fan asked]: Please don't flame me for this! My friend and I just created a Hawkbrother fanclub that has our fanfiction on it (our fanfiction is not published anywhere except online). We honestly didn't know that all fanfiction needed a release form until just recently, and we were told that the release form doesn't have anything to do with web fanfiction. So we wanted to know whether you permitted web fanfiction or not and, if so, what sort of legalities we need to go through. Also, we'd like to know if you permit unofficial webrings (my friend and I also began a mini-ring. It's actually just a "Links" page, but we thought we'd give it a fancier name). If you do not permit any of these online activities, my friend and I will promptly shut down the site. We're very sorry for the inconvenience." [Lackey's answer]: "We don't allow online fanfiction or online games, MUDs, MUCKs or MUSHs;anything else is fine."Mercedes Lackey - The Official Website, Archived version
  39. ^ The World of Mercedes Lackey
  40. ^ from The World of Mercedes Lackey, accessed January 3, 2021
  41. ^ from The World of Mercedes Lackey, accessed January 3, 2021
  42. ^ Ebon Tower: Mercedes Lackey Interview (conducted in January 2004) Accessed March 15, 2010.
  43. ^ from Wizard Oil (May-June 2006)
  44. ^ from Wizard Oil
  45. ^ a b April 26, 2006 comment by Mercedes Lackey on Making Light. Accessed October 1, 2008.
  46. ^ April 26, 2006 comment by Mercedes Lackey on Making Light. Accessed October 1, 2008.
  47. ^ City of Heroes: News Archive Accessed March 15, 2010.
  48. ^ Queen's Own, updated statement, July 22, 2008
  49. ^ from Queen's Own, December 2009
  50. ^ Worlds of Mercedes Lackey - News (bottom of page) Accessed March 14, 2010.
  51. ^ "Here's the latest newsletter from Firebird, including a new Queen's Own website. *G* Enjoy!", posted to [Fwd: Mecedes Lackey Mailing 5/12/00] (May 13, 2000)
  52. ^ Newbie (here) (May 11, 2001)
  53. ^ from an interview with Lackey, excerpted at "Locus Online": "Mercedes Lackey: Making Fun". Archived from the original on 2011-03-16. November 10, 2010
  54. ^ Originlly [sic] published on the HighFlight web site in June 2011, re-posted to ABML FAQ, Part 2: The Author (monthly posting, minor update only) (the July 1 "minor update only" is dishonestly titled, as this was a very major update), a variation was posted to Mercedes Lackey: The Official Website, accessed May 1, 2011.
  55. ^ Dragon*Con blurb, where she was a guest, mentions fanfic: Mercedes Lackey, accessed October 4, 2016
  56. ^ The World of Mercedes Lackey
  57. ^ from Queen's Own], newsletter, Series 3, Vol. 2, No. 7, July 1, 2001
  58. ^ Writing, Archived version, posted in 2002, accessed September 26, 2016
  59. ^ Wikipedia: Free Amazons of Darkover Accessed March 15, 2010.
  60. ^ Darkover Newsletter no. 60
  61. ^ Marion Zimmer Bradley died September 25, 1999.
  62. ^ rec.arts.sf.written: Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover (April 8, 2002)