Diana Gabaldon's Moral Dilemma

Diana Gabaldon’s post, FAN-FICTION AND MORAL CONUNDRUMS has been making the rounds on Twitter. People expect the thread to turn ugly fast (it may have already gotten there by now). It’s a very readable rant even if it comes off condescending but she’s entitled to her opinions. I guess the whole point of her post was that she has a moral dilemma on her hands involving fanfiction and she’s asking for outside opinions. In the end, though, I’m sure she’ll get more than she’s bargained for with that post.

I rarely read author blogs but I’ve been reading Gabaldon for years and am already familiar with her stance on many things (controversial or not) outside of books. The point being: I’m already fan. It’s less likely that I’ll simply drop an author for their provocative or controversial opinions.

On the other hand, if an unfamiliar author has said something publicly I strongly disagree with and I’ve not read them, chances are more likely that I won’t ever pick up their books to read. But anyway I don’t read fanfiction so I have no ax to grind with Gabaldon but her post may upset some of her fans. Some authors can afford the hit while others simply can not. In the end though, that decision is theirs to make.

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About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
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5 Responses to Diana Gabaldon's Moral Dilemma

  1. willaful says:

    I have no particular opinion, other than I wish that someone would teach Gabaldon the html italics command.

  2. jmc says:

    The rant was hard to read. Was tempted to leave a tl;dr comment.

    I must be missing something somewhere. Writing fan fiction is immoral? According to whose moral code? Is Gabaldon now the arbiter of morality for all?

  3. Sydney says:

    I haven’t read anything by this author, but I have to say that I wouldn’t, after reading this rant.

    A simple “I don’t like fanfiction and would prefer people do not write it about my characters” would have been mostly respected (there’s always someone who doesn’t care about the author’s wishes, but most fanfiction writers I’ve met do a quick google search before posting anything in a new-to-them fandom).

    Author blogs can be a tricky thing – They’re great advertisement if handled correctly, but one outburst on a bad day can tarnish the author’s reputation for years. The longer the comments are left open, with ever more dramatic proclamations from both sides, the more distasteful the whole thing becomes.

    Unfairly, those comments left by others will reflect on her as well. She’d have done better to close commenting when she saw it was going to blow up.

  4. Some authors like fan fiction, and also share their characters with other authors in “shared universes,’ releasing anthologies about characters as viewed by other published authors. Some don’t want their characters written about by others. Gabaldon is not the only author who doesn’t want others to publicly share fan fiction. Shouldn’t an author have the power to decide?

    Since a character is created by an author, who holds the copyright, I feel that an author should have the power to decide if he/she wants others to post stories such as fan fiction using that character publicly.

    This is also a legal issue. Authors have apparently been sued by fans who wrote fanfiction about a character when later they thought the author used some of their fan fiction work! Marion Zimmer Bradley was discussed as an author who had some legal troubles in this way, according to a panel discussion of writers at a science fiction convention I attended. That would be bizarre — being sued for writing about your own character!

  5. Liza says:

    Just take a look at the people writing fanfiction. If you’ve nothing better to do all day than sit around piggybacking off the creativity of others . . . how sad must your life really be?

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