Reason magazine investigates the Fan Fiction Phenomena…in an article by a fanfic writer!

By now many people outside the peculiar world of fandom know there exists something called fan fiction—that there are reams of reader-generated stories floating around the Internet based on characters from TV, movies, and books. Fanfic has been around for a long time, but it has attracted an unusual amount of media attention in the last three or four years. Several major papers, including The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and The Wall Street Journal, have devoted articles to the phenomenon—though no one seems sure whether to treat it as a literary genre or a quaintly amusing hobby.

Fanfic’s stigma seems to be receding: Some fan writers have snagged lucrative contracts, either for original works or for books based on older literary classics not protected by copyright. At least one well-known mainstream author has “come out” as a fan writer: Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries) has disclosed that as a college student she wrote stories based on Anne McCaffrey’s fantasy novels. Still, fanfic remains a bastard child in the literary family, its very right to exist still in dispute in some quarters.