Fanfic Friday — Star Trek Voyager: Inosculation Updated!

Fanfic Friday — Star Trek Voyager: Inosculation Updated!

Okay, so, I may have been just the teensiest bit busy last week and kind of forgot to hit the “publish” button on the last chapter of this story. Not to worry — that just means you all get a double dose this week. So, be not sad and don’t waste any replicator rations — there’s plenty of booze and beverages to go around while you settle in to read the latest two chapters of Star Trek Voyager: Inosculation!

Yeah, I revisited the transwarp flight thing. I didn’t redo the whole episode — just some bits of it (and it’s a multi-chapter work) that are interesting. So, you don’t have to worry about a bunch of rehashed dialogue. I learned a lot from Adrift and Alayne’s Story. But, things are progressing and it’s going to be interesting so go get your read on.

I’m going to be moving my Friday Review entry to Saturday from here on out so check back tomorrow for that.

— G.K.

Fanfic Friday — Star Trek Voyager: Inosculation Updated!

Fanfic Friday -- Star Trek Voyager: Inosculation Updated!

Happy Friday, everyone. The latest chapter of Star Trek Voyager: Inosculation is up for your reading pleasure. Things are moving forward and we learn a bit more about T’Loran’s past and much fun is had. Okay, not so much “fun” but “setting up things” because yay for exposition.

Anyhow, I have some other work to clear out of the way so go on and get your read on!

— G.K.

Fanfic Friday — Star Trek Voyager: Inosculation Updated!

Fanfic Friday -- Star Trek Voyager: Inosculation Updated!

So, fingers crossed because today is a big day. I have an interview lined up that could be interesting. And, while I’m off doing that, here’s the second chapter of my Voyager fanfic for those of you who have been asking me about it. Yes, Star Trek Voyager: Inosculation has been updated. I will be updating this story every Friday. If you’re curious, my current plan is to update The Masterminds on Monday, The Search for the Seven Scepters on Tuesday, In the Shadow of Yggdrasil on Wednesday, Risen Ash on Thursday, and Star Trek Voyager: Inosculation on Friday. A couple of people have been pinging me about getting Alayne’s Story (my insanely, epically-long World of Warcraft fanfic that I wrote over the course of five years) up on this site. A few others have been asking if I’m planning to put Adrift up here as well and a few are asking if I’ve posted it over at AO3. The answers to those questions are: yes. I am planning to add them to this site and I did post Adrift to AO3. No, I’m not going to put them up on Tumblr (the formatting is too big a PITA). There are a few problems with Alayne’s Story that need to be ironed out first but it will be up here once those are taken care of and I’ve had time to get a cover image done for it. I’ll also be adding it to Fanfiction.net and Wattpad as well as AO3.

I’ve had a couple-of-five of you email me via my contact form to ask if I’ll be putting any of my fanfics up on Amazon for 0.00. Short answer in universal sign language below:

I know that Amazon said they were working something out where fanfics could be distributed for free or sold if the rights-holders agreed. I don’t know what came of that (I’ve not kept up with it at all). In theory, I could *probably* give them away in Kindle format via Amazon (again, I *really* need to research the terms of that. I’m not promising a damned thing) or via this website (definitely could do that last one) so long as I credit the original source. The problem is that some places are pretty cool with derivative-work fan creators (Blizzard) and don’t mind too much if they have a tip jar or are selling other things or have a premium access area on their site so long as they don’t actually sell the fanwork itself. Other places (CBS, Paramount, Auntie Beeb) are a little less far down the “cool” spectrum and G.K. can’t afford awesomesauce lawyers. Factor in that, technically, fanfics are a form of copyright infringement and trademark dilution and if I were to profit from it those guys really have no choice but to come after me with a fifty-ton hammer of smiting and it’s just a headache I’m not sure I want to deal with.

Why do you think I’m not running ads on this site? It’s not because I couldn’t use the money. It’s because I’m fucking terrified that if I did, I’d have the BBC and Blizzard suing me for money I don’t fucking have and will never fucking get. We’ll ignore, for now, the fact that I’m also personally liable to David Tennant, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Helmsworth, Anthony Hopkins, AMC, Alexander Enderberg, Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Melissa McBride, and Eric Calderone (among countless others) for unauthorized use of their names and/or personal likenesses. Never mind that I took those likenesses from photos that were released to the public domain by their press representatives or publicists. Technically, the argument could be made and G.K. Masterson and family does not have the money to make a convincing counter-argument before a judge in the US or the UK.

I’m doing my best to stay well under the radar when it comes to my fanworks. I had actually seriously considered sending some of my legit work to a few of my favorite actors as a way of saying “thanks” for the countless hours of entertainment and inspiration they’ve afforded me. However, once I realized how trivial it would be for them to link my legit works to my fanworks (and that was a dumbass move on my part there) and just how liable I was on that, I ditched that idea. The repository sites like Fanfiction.net, AO3, and Wattpad can get away with it because of how they function and because of the terms they present to users. I can also post my own works here as an archive. But selling them, even at 0.00, via Amazon or anything like that…well, it gets really, really tricky when there’s a remote chance of “profiting” from the work at all even if it’s just “someone read my fanfic and bought my legit work while on my website.”

tl;dr — It’s a hassle and, tbh, I have enough stress in my life already so I’ll pass for now, thanks.

Anyway, go on and enjoy this week’s chapter of Star Trek Voyager: Inosculation!

— G.K.

New Story: Fanfic Friday — Star Trek Voyager: Inosculation!

New Story: Fanfic Friday -- Star Trek Voyager: Inosculation!

So, we all have our guilty little pleasures, right? Sometimes we get stumped on our stories and we just need to write something and, well, we’ve all had that one television show we binge-watched on Netflix that had a few minor characters on it that we wished got more screen time and development because they were interesting. That’s why sites like An Archive of Our Own and Fanfiction.net exist (and why I have accounts there). At any rate, without further ado — announcing a new story for all my fellow Trekkies out there: Inosculation. Set in the Star Trek Voyager universe, it introduces a few new faces and gives some other faces more air time and development because G.K. loves Star Trek, Voyager had potential but got railroaded and shafted, and… well, yeah, okay, Vorik deserved better than what was done to him and the actor that portrayed him did as well. Same with Mortimer Harren and several others who only showed up once or when there was a blue moon.

So, go on and get your read on!

— G.K.

Plagarism and the Remix Culture

Plagarism and the Remix Culture

Many, many years ago, when I was a young writer who was just beginning to grasp the importance of things like “letter shapes” and had a vague understanding that spelling might be important in other people being able to read what I’d written (especially since I lacked the skill to remember and translate my earliest works from “toddler-scribbling” into “American English,” thus depriving the world of many epic sagas involving me, my little brother, our dog, and the various and sundry monsters who inhabited our backyard), I was big on what we now call “the remix culture” and I, somewhat intuitively, knew not to claim someone else’s story as my own because I didn’t like it when my brother tried to say that a story I’d made up and told him was his idea.

 

Now, one would think that if a girl of seven can intuit that claiming someone else’s words/story for your own is wrong, then college students and adults would have a much better grasp on the concept of plagiarism (h/t Mad Genius Club). Apparently, it seems, I was a bit precocious in my ethics by figuring out that repeating (and claiming to have “made up”) something like The Last Unicorn was wrong but that making up a different story using the same characters was okay so long as I asked permission (which makes me wonder what Nintendo thought of Nine Year Old Me’s letter asking if they would mind if I wrote a play for the kids in my neighborhood based on The Legend of Zelda that would neatly tie together the first three games — The Legend of Zelda, The Adventure of Link, and A Link to the Past. Cut me some slack. I didn’t understand the difference between commercial and non-commercial use prior to puberty. I should at least get credit for having a vague understanding of copyright rules back then, shouldn’t I?)

 

To continue; as I got older, I continued to write for things other than school assignments. A few of my short stories were completely original. A lot were based on things my friends and I did but with the names and the setting changed (mostly to protect the guilty because none of us wanted to get busted for going to the Bat Cave* after having been told not to). And many were remixes or “in addition to” stories that took the characters and settings of another story and used them to tell a new story. By the time I was in high school, I was a fairly prolific fanfic author when it came to The Legend of Zelda, Star Trek, Star Wars, Dragonlance, and The Wheel of Time. I was also a burgeoning fantasy writer working on my first novel (which needs to be completely rewritten before I let anyone see it), a multitude of short stories, and several RPG adventures/campaigns for AD&D (2nd Edition).

 

Back then, I generally had an “extra” notebook I carried around with me that I worked on when I was finished with whatever we were doing in class. This notebook would have notes on adventures I was writing, fanfics, some of my original stuff, my attempts at poetry and epics, and also poems I was trying to memorize. Once, I left this notebook in my English class and my teacher thumbed through it to figure out whose it was so she could return it. She came upon a poem that I had half-written in there and tracked me down to ask me to finish it. The poem was not one I had created — it was one I was trying to memorize and came from the Dragonlance short story Hunting Destiny. I made sure that she understood that because she was talking about having that poem published once I finished it.

 

It makes me sad to realize that, these days, many students would claim the work as their own for the accolades they could receive (at least until it was revealed they were lying). It also makes me sad to realize that far too many of them don’t understand the difference between remixing and plagiarism. I can sympathize with those who read something and mistakenly paraphrase it without proper attribution (I did this myself a few times and was always embarrassed and quickly corrected it once it was pointed out to me) but I have no such sympathy for people who blatantly rip-off (sometimes word for word) another author and then try to pass that work off as their own after making only a few modifications to try to file the serial numbers off, as it were. I have actually caught a few people ripping off some of my old short stories and trying to claim them as their own for school assignments (and those are always fun emails to get from teachers) which is why I took them down from my website years ago.

 

However, I don’t mind when people remix my stuff. I’ve had a few emails with short stories set in the Lanarian universe. I’m flattered by those even though I won’t read them because I don’t want to be accused of ripping them off later.

 

Remixing is fine, guys. And yes, “real” writers do occasionally remix to one degree or another. Some of us even dabble in the occasional fanfic (I’ve done so with Doctor Who). Many of us fantasy writers actually got our start as fanfic writers (though that’s not what we knew to call it) in our early days. For me, my progression went from writing fanfics set in established universes to taking elements of those universes and tinkering with them to try to build a new universe to eventually developing my own universes. And, I’ve read some damned fine fanfics that beat the living tar out of some of the “official” novels (especially when it comes to TV shows, films, or video games). But every fanfic that takes place in someone else’s universe comes with a disclaimer giving credit to the original source. Even many remixes that pass muster as “original works” and not “derivatives” come with an acknowledgement of influences.

 

We authors love to give credit to the authors and works that inspired and influenced our own writing. Just as musicians will credit other acts for inspiring them to get into music or for inspiring a particular song, we give credit to the authors who came before us and inspired and influenced us. We know that “what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) So, we give credit. And if you want to be respected as an author, you’ll need to give credit, too. That doesn’t mean citing every sentence you write. It doesn’t mean sending out a ream of letters before you publish something. It means being willing (and even proud) to say “this story was inspired by X” or “my writing is influenced by Y.” It does not mean taking what X or Y has written, changing a few words, adding a few scenes, and then slapping your name on it and calling it a “remix” when you get busted.

 

That’s enough for now. As you can tell, this is one of my hot-button issues. 🙂

 

— G.K.

 


*The Bat Cave wasn’t anything cool like from Batman. It was a long storm drain pipe that ran under a road. There were bats living in there which is why we called it “the bat cave.”

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