Pamela Dean

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Name: Pamela Dean
Also Known As:
Occupation: author
Medium: print novels
Works: The Secret Country trilogy, Tam Lin, etc.
Official Website(s): Pamela Dean's Site
Fan Website(s): Pamela Dean at Wikipedia
On Fanlore: Related pages

Pamela Dean is an American fantasy author. Her works include the Secret Country trilogy (comprising The Secret Country, The Hidden Land, and The Whim of the Dragon); Tam Lin, a novel based on the Scottish ballad of the same name; and stories in the Liavek shared-world anthologies edited by Will Shetterly and Emma Bull.

As a Fan

In a 2001 interview, Dean discussed writing fanfiction as a teenager:[1]

Sometime in my early teens I started writing fan fiction. The purpose there, of course, was to provide more of what I liked best about my favorite television shows. My best friend wrote stories too, and we exchanged ours and egged each other on; so for the first time I had a specific audience, though we also argued bitterly about plot lines and characterization.

[Interviewer: Can I ask which shows you wrote about? Lois Bujold writes in a charming essay about the Star Trek stories she and her best friend passed back and forth. Was it Star Trek for you too, or something else?]

Oh, yes, that was a fine essay. She and Lillian were a lot more energetic than I was. I did write a lot of Star Trek stuff, but not while the show was still on; it took me a while to get my mind around it and to really miss it. I wrote Man From U.N.C.L.E. stories and also, I am sorry to have to admit, a huge number of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea stories. I can still watch U.N.C.L.E. with pleasure, but Voyage makes me cringe now. What I liked about it then was not the monsters, but the enclosed society, the interactions of people crammed together in a small space; and also to some extent the technology, which was at least allegedly futuristic.

Fanfiction Policy

In response to a query by Fan Works Inc. in June 2001, Dean stated that she did not have a policy at that time regarding fanfiction based on her works, but would consult her agent for advice. She wrote in part:

I don't allow it or not allow it; the question has not come up before.

Oh, but it is tremendously flattering, there's no doubt about that. I know that the impulse to make fan fiction demonstrates that the original author did a very good job, because I have been on the other side. I've written and read Star Trek fan fiction and even tried to sell a novel to two different editors at Paramount, but they didn't like it. I would hate in any way to quash the impulse, but the law seems capable of landing me in a very nasty situation if I am not very careful. I was horrified to hear that Marion Zimmer Bradley had had to abandon a novel because of complications with fan fiction. I don't want to end up in a situation like that.

Her entire response can be read here.[2]

Other Involvement with Fandom


Dean was a Guest of Honor at Minicon 19 in 1983.

Cassandra Claire Plagiarism Controversy

Main article: The Cassandra Claire Plagiarism Debacle

This article or section needs expansion.

Fanwork Resources


  1. Interview: Pamela Dean by Mary Anne Mohanraj at Strange Horizons. 01 January 2001. (Accessed 31 January 2014.)
  2. Fan Fiction Policies >> Dean, Pamela at Fan Works Inc., archived 12 February 2009. (WebCite)