Smugglers Stash

Smugglers’ Stash and News

Hello everybody!

We have a few bits and pieces to share (including the newest Internet brouhaha) and giveaway winners to declare before we talk about what we will be reading this week.

First up are our giveaways winners.

Giveaway Winners

The four winners of Magic on the Storm by Devon Monk are:

elaing8 (comment #23)

Heidi C (comment #44)

Jennzah (comment #31)

Chris (comment #34)

The winner of Feed by Mira Grant is:

Laura (comment #31)

You all know the drill. Email us (contact AT thebooksmugglers DOT com) with your snail mail address and we will get your winnings out to you as soon as possible. NOTE: due to the increasing number of unclaimed prizes, winners have one week to contact us/reply to our email. After one week, we pick a new winner.Thanks again to everyone that entered, and congratulations to all of the winners!

The Latest Internet Brouhaha:

The latest Internet brouhaha is all about Fan Fiction. It started with writer Diana Gabaldon, of the Outlander fame, declaring it immoral and illegal. Fantasy author George R R Martin chimes in saying he is against it and cites as an example the differences between authors Edgar Rice Burroughs’ and H P Lovecraft’s stance on copyright and how one died a millionaire and the other in poverty. Both pieces caused quite the shit-storm – and rightfully so, as it seems neither has clear ideas of what fan fiction is all about. To be fair, in reply to the clarifications they both received, the two authors wrote follow-ups in which they take onboard those clarifications. Then blogger James Long from Speculative Horizons stirs the pot and says that fanfiction is “pointless” and “masturbation in prose form”.

If you were taken aback by these powerful negative declarations and like us, want to learn more and want to read about fanfiction, from people who actually DO know what they are talking about, we suggest you read these articles:

Nick Mamata’s awesome reply to George RR Martin and how he is wrong about the Lovecraft issue

The Bookshop’s, incredible, comprehensive reply to Diana Gabaldon, including links to breakdown to the legal status of fanfiction in the US and a list of authors who support fanfiction

Author Sarah Rees Brennan’s heartfelt post about the subject

And finally, the jewel of the crown:

Cory Doctorow’s article “In Praise of Fanfic”.

We sort of understand how some authors might be so attached to their creations they feel they shouldn’t be touched by other people and we think that their wish of not allowing fanfiction should be respected by their fans but we also believe that fanfic is not about them. It is about creative expression and cultural appropriation and as Philip Pullman so beautifully puts:

“It’s just another aspect of the democracy of reading.”

EDIT: It appears Ms. Gabaldon has taken down her posts pertaining to fanfic.

Authors Signings

Speaking of Doctorow: his new YA novel FOR THE WIN hits shelves next Tues, May 11th and the author will be touring all over the USA:


Wednesday, May 12, 2010, 7:00 PM
Anderson’s Bookshop
123 West Jefferson Avenue

Thursday, May 13, 2010, 5:00 PM
Chicago Public Library
“YOUmedia” Teen Space
Harold Washington Library Center


Friday, May 14, 2010, 7:00 PM
Sunset Tavern
5433 Ballard Ave
Book Signing and Q&A with Paul Constant
* Special performance by lit-minded rock band Pillow Army
Part of The Stranger’s Reading Series, $5 at the door


Saturday, May 15, 2010, 2:00 PM
Powell’s Books
Cedar Hills Crossing


Monday, May 17, 2010, 7:00 PM
866 Valencia Street

Tuesday, May 18, 2010, 7:00 PM
* Not Your Mother’s BookClub *
Books, Inc.
855 El Camino Real (Palo Alto)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 7:30 PM
“Geek Reading” Electronic Frontier Foundation [EFF] Fundraiser
111 Minna Street
$25 in advance, $30 at the door


Thursday, May 20, 2010, 7:00 PM
603 North Lamar

Thursday, May 20, 2010, 8:00 PM
Whuffiefest/ Presented by EFF-Austin and Plutopia Productions
Amelia’s RetroVogue and Relics
2213 South 1st Street
$10 Entry/ Drinks and Music


Saturday, May 22, 2010, 4:00 PM
Barnes & Noble
760 SE Maynard

Sunday, May 23, 2010, 1:00 PM
Flyleaf Books
752 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd


Wednesday, May 26, 2010, 6:00 PM
Books of Wonder
18 West 18th Street

Thursday, May 27, 2010, 7:30 PM
powerHouse Books
with Gary Shteyngart and Rivka Galchen
* Moderated by Ben Greenman, New Yorker
37 Main Street

Friday, May 28, 2010, 7:00 PM
McNally Jackson
52 Prince Street

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, in London, at that fabulous bookstore Forbidden Planet: Three authors, one signing:

On May 20th 6-7pm
Forbidden Planet Megastore
179 Shaftesbury Avenue
London WC2H 8JR

TV Shows

Now that Lost is coming to an end – pause for sobbing – we need to find new TV Shows to keep us occupied. There are two new shows coming to ABC Family this fall, which we plan to check out, since both are based on YA novels:

Based on the young adult series written by Sara Shepard and with its premiere on June 8th, the show stars Lucy Hale (Privileged) as “Aria,” Shay Mitchell as “Emily,” Troian Bellisario as “Spencer,” Ashley Benson as “Hanna,” Sasha Pieterse as “Allison,” Holy Marie Combs (Charmed), Chad Lowe (24), Laura Leighton (Melrose Place), Ian Harding, and Bianca Lawson.

Then, on June 28th, it is the premiere of HUGE – no poster yet. Based on a novel of the same name by Sasha Paley, the drama series is about seven teens sent to a summer weight-loss camp called Wellness Canyon and it stars Nikki Blonsky and Gina Torres (of Firefly fame) amongst others.

We can’t wait.

But meanwhile we prepare ourselves for the sad, inevitable END of all things LOST. How will life be without it? The answer … is here in this awesome promo video called…”Obsession”:

This Week on The Book Smugglers

On Monday, Ana reviews Paper Towns by John Green, her new author crush for all things YA and Geekery.

On Tuesday, it’s Thea’s turn with her review of YA Fantasy Mistwood by Leah Cypess.

We continue our YA-inclined week, with Ana’s review of Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson on Wednesday.

On Thursday Thea reviews the highly anticipated Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi.

And finally, on Friday, Ana reviews The Demon’s Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan, followed by Thea’s review of God Stalk by PC Hodgell.

Phew. That’s it from us today. But before we leave, in hommage to what we went through in the UK this week ….

More awesome Empire Magazine Election Mash-Up posters

~ Your friendly neighborhood Book Smugglers


  • Estara
    May 9, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Yay, P.C. Hodgell AND Sarah Rees Brennan. An excellent Friday to look forward to. I finally read Demon’s Lexicon and really enjoyed the family dynamics and how nothing is as it seems at the start.

    Since you mention God Stalk, I take it you read the first part of the omnibus only? That’s a good start but the major plot of the series (which is ongoing up to the current books) basically starts in the second part/former second novel collected here (when Jame has a bit more of a grasp on herself and her background). I hope you enjoyed it enough to want to find out more, but I’ll wait for Friday to find out ^^.

    Re the Fanfiction brouhaha – another very good answer in explanation of this was Kate Nepveu‘s informative list of the huge amount of fiction inspired by previous books we have seen through the ages (only we didn’t call it fanfiction then) on her LJ here:
    An open letter to professionally-published authors who despise fanfic of their own works
    You two know her from the Lord of the Rings re-read on, I’m sure.

  • KMont
    May 9, 2010 at 5:56 am

    Nice schedule for this week, ladies. 🙂 Looking forward to just about all of the reviews you’ve planned.

  • Cindy
    May 9, 2010 at 6:15 am

    Ha ha! I am SO looking forward to your review of “The demon’s convenant”. I really enjoy “The demon’s lexicon” even tough some revelations – especially about Nick – puzzled me.

    Great planning !

  • Estara
    May 9, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Re the Fanfic link I offered: It’s still a good explanation for fair use but I mixed up the content with the bookshoplink you’re mentioning in your own article. 😳 My apologies to both LJers.

  • Estelle
    May 9, 2010 at 8:15 am

    As a huge fan and avid reader of fanfiction, I was shocked when s*it hit the fan with D Gabaldon’t article.

    For my part, I really like JKR’s stance on fanfic. And, contrary to what G R R Martin says, that’s one lady who will never lack for money for the rest of her life.

    The world of fanfiction is wonderful. And I must say that I do read more Fanfiction than published books these days because they’re (the ones I read at least) better written or more original than what publishers offer romance readers these days.

    I mostly read Harry Potter fanfiction and more specifically Snape/Hermione fanfiction. Don’t say “Ewww” too quickly though. It does work and works wonderfully well at that in the hands of good writers and this ‘ship’ attracts many of them. The fics are often rated R or NC-17 and are not for kiddies.

  • Estelle
    May 9, 2010 at 8:18 am

    I forgot…I know you’ve reviewed books by Holly Black. That author and her friend Cassandra Clare actually first became famous when writing Harry Potter fanfiction.

    They were so successful that they got noticed by publishers and are now published authors writing original stories.

  • danielle
    May 9, 2010 at 9:08 am

    I don’t see the problem in fan fiction. If the author doesn’t like it, then they can politely request that no one write it about their stories. But I think its pretty bitchy to call every fan fiction author immoral hackjobs or something. Some authors have no problem with it.

  • John J.
    May 9, 2010 at 9:37 am

    We had a very interesting discussion on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books about the fanfic mess. I am seriously considering a refusal to read Galbadon now. I haven’t started her books yet, but any author that doesn’t understand fan fiction, especially one that has so many hard core fans, along with refusing their genre’s origins (I mean, the whole ‘I don’t write romance’ thing is getting old) is really a questionable author to support. I’d rather read an author who likes that I enjoy his/her characters so much.

  • elaing8
    May 9, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Thanks you for the book win.I am emailing my info now.Congrats to the other winnes.

    Looking forward to Tuesday and Friday.

  • katiebabs
    May 9, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I enjoy reading fanfiction and there are some talented writers of it. But why put all your time and energy in writing that when you can come up with your own original stories and sell them? Then perhaps one day a few will write fanfiction based on your work.

  • Estara
    May 9, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I come bearing another interesting link which just this day was written by Sherwood Smith at Book View Café, bearing on what happens to an author’s creativity once it is out there, and where fanficton comes into that (which might be a possible answer to katiebabs‘ question above me)

    The pros and cons of fanfiction from authors’ perspectives is a complicated subject, but for now I don’t want to go there, I want to stick to readers and ways they participate in what they read or watch.

    Fanfiction writers write for love of the canon, and for love of the participatory experience of the fanfiction world. Nearly all the writers post good faith statements at the top of their fiction, stating that the the world and characters belong to the author. They do not attempt to charge money for their work.

    more here:
    Bad readers, good readers, and fanfiction

    Authors I have heard admit they used to write fanfiction: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Meljean Brook. I’m sure there are more ^^. From what I understand Cassandra Clare and Meljean Brook were contacted by editors on the strength of their fanfiction.

    Of course, fanfiction authors can be plagiarists, as well, as the brouhaha regarding Clare’s widely-read Harry Potter fics with parts allegedly taken from Pamela Dean novels attests.

    I guess what I’m trying to say, the situation isn’t black and white, but shades of grey.

  • Sarah Rees Brennan
    May 9, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Link to little old me? Coolness, fame. 😉 No really, nice to see all the different viewpoints linked to in a post. And awesome Pullman quote.

    Plus something to be nervous about before Tour Starts Sunday… I shall get out my smelling salts!

  • Celine
    May 9, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    The Diana Gabaldon pages have been taken down I think ( that or the links are broke?) Shame, I would have liked to read them for myself before commenting. Personally I can’t see why any writer would take exception to fanfic based on thier work – can’t they see it for the huge compliment it is?

  • The Bookish Type
    May 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Thanks so much for the defense of fanfic links! They were really interesting to read!

  • Renee
    May 9, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Looking forward to hearing more about Demon’s Covenant, since I LOVED Demon’s Lexicon. (Also, can’t wait to hear about more new-to-me YA.)

  • Diana Peterfreund
    May 10, 2010 at 4:00 am

    Estelle wrote:
    I forgot…I know you’ve reviewed books by Holly Black. That author and her friend Cassandra Clare actually first became famous when writing Harry Potter fanfiction.

    They were so successful that they got noticed by publishers and are now published authors writing original stories.

    Holly Black is news to me. I think you must be thinking of Sarah Rees Brennan, another good friend of Holly’s and Cassandra Clare’s. Rees Brennan and Clare were both well-known Potter fanfic writers before selling their first original books. Black’s first book came out in 2002, which means it was probably sold in 2000 or 2001, which is far earlier than there were any “famous” Harry Potter fanfic writers!

    And the first Spiderwick Chronicles book was 2003.

    katiebabs wrote:
    I enjoy reading fanfiction and there are some talented writers of it. But why put all your time and energy in writing that when you can come up with your own original stories and sell them? Then perhaps one day a few will write fanfiction based on your work.

    That depends on the writer. In my case (I also wrote fanfiction many years ago), I was still working on my writerly chops. Fanfiction, for me, was like training wheels. When you put training wheels on your bike, you get support and balance while you learn the mechanics of steering, pedaling, and braking. I was able to learn about writing snappy dialogue and how to pace and plot while I got the support of an already developed world and characters. I knew that it was time to STOP writing fanfiction and start writing original fiction when my fanfiction began to be populated by mostly original characters.

    In other writers cases, perhaps they have no interest in being published writers. I know many writers who write just for fun. Some people write “fanfic” — any fanfic, for the love of having people on the internet read their work. Other people read or write it because they love that particular world and they want to stay in it forever and ever, or provide something that the world itself doesn’t provide. As a fan (not a writer) that was also the case for me with my fanfic. I read and wrote fanfic in one world only. There have been works that I loved much more since, but I have never been tempted to read fanfic in those works, because I didn’t feel like they were really “missing” something that I wanted to insert with my imaginary fanfic.

    As for fanfic based on my own work, I’ve seen my fans discuss it on my website, and even try to send me some, but though I have no problem with its existence, I cannot, for legal reasons, read it or discuss it with you. Fan *ART* — visual or video art based on my text — I love to see and I will put it on my blog if you send it to me, but I will ignore all links to fanfic and I can’t read it.

    My husband likes to joke that the free “secret stories” on my website based in the Secret Society Girl series — are the closest I’ve come to writing fanfic in years. They aren’t part of the books, and they are all told from minor characters’ perspectives. I wonder if someone can make fanfic out of their own work. 🙄

  • Celine
    May 10, 2010 at 5:55 am

    @Diana Peterfreund >>I wonder if someone can make fanfic out of their own work<<

    heh heh. I certainly do. if I need to get something out of my system re the characters that just doesn't fit into the story I'll fic them up and move on. Like yourself though, I won't/can't/don't read fic's based on the books. ( I love seeing fanart though.)

  • Adrienne
    May 10, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I’m excited for YA week!

    With regards to Fan Fiction, could it be a higher compliment to the author for how readers feel about their work? Of course; imitation is a high form of flattery. Also, fan fiction is posted to authors web pages or fan pages (Mugglenet, Twilight Moms, etc)and some of the authors read the fan fiction and enjoy it. Interesting that some authors really have issues with it. I get the copy right infringement-free, unauthorized copies of books are not great especially since the writer ultimately is the victim.

    I might have to agree with a previous poster; if an author wrote a scathing remark or post about how much fan fiction is a joke, I would tend NOT to buy their next novel. Because, dear author, it is those fans that love your characters (and want the story to continue on after the last pages) that tell complete strangers in a store to buy your book 😕

  • Jennygirl
    May 10, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Disappointed that Gabaldon took the posts down. If she was sorry or rethinking what she wrote she could have just done another post. Gotta say I’m thinking twice about her. Read Martin’s posts and some of the bazillion comments. It is all very interesting.

    Fanfic is here to stay and if anything it is the highest form of flattery. Plus it keeps the source work prevalent. People will want to read the original work, I think.
    Oh well. Thanks for the informative post and have a good week. 😉

  • azteclady
    May 10, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    I’m with those who would have liked to read the Gabaldon posts–and their comments threads–along with the rest.

    As someone who was pretty much consumed by the Outlander books for a couple of years, and who got other people into them, it’s no fun to confess that Ms Gabaldon’s attitude toward both fanfiction and ger comments on plagiarism/copyright irk me.

    Ah well, there are many other really talented authors out there.

    Thank you, lady smugglers, for the interesting read!

  • Erika (Jawas Read, Too)
    May 10, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Fanfiction has always been surrounded by controversy. I think I agree best with Diana Peterfreund’s training wheel analogy. When I wrote fanfiction (about 12 years ago), I wrote to get the hang of the dynamics. To learn the basics. I made the decision to stop when I realized I wanted to use my creativity for my own characters, my own settings, my own world. I also stopped reading fanfiction.

    Since then I’ve branched away from prose. Mostly, when I write outside of reviews (which are fun!), it’s poetry – I even earned a degree in that thing which I grew up enjoying so much, and which fanfiction helped encourage: creative writing.

    There are complications that make it impossible to discuss the issue without creating further controversy. Fans, writers, or supporters of fanfiction will be called ignorant if they rush to its defense. Authors will appear cold, cruel, and obtuse if they are quick to point out the copyright and legal aspects of fanfiction.

    The nature of the legal arguments seem to arise from the slippery slope type of argument. If an author allows one person write fanfiction, who has no monetary motivations, then that must inevitably mean that the bad apples are just around the corner waiting to exploit these good graces.

    It’s a difficult conversation to have, but I’m glad it’s been brought here. Thank you Ana & Thea! 🙂

  • katiebabs
    May 10, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    If Gabaldon is so strong in her opinions about fan-fiction, why did she delete her post?

  • Erika (Jawas Read, Too)
    May 10, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Catherynne M. Valente posted her thoughts on the matter here. It’s eloquent and she links to some other posts that may be noteworthy. 🙂

  • Ana
    May 10, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Thank you for all the thoughful comments on the subject of fanfiction and for all the extra links. The Valente one is great!

    I am very surprised – and disappointed – that Diana Gabaldon took down her posts too.

  • World Wide Wednesday: Births and Deaths | Fantasy Literature's Fantasy Book Reviews
    May 12, 2010 at 7:02 am

    […] the subject) and George R R Martin. The Book Smugglers gave a series of handy links in their latest Stash and News post – also providing some arguments on the pro side of Fan Fic. Certainly this is a heated […]

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