The novel Fifty Shades, that started out as the Twilight alternative universe fanfiction called Master of the Universe, has rocketed to the top of sales charts on Amazon.com and USA Today. It recently received coverage on the Today Show and MSN.
We haven’t ever really covered fanfiction on the Lexicon other than to make mention of when it was connected to a larger story, or to mention fanfic archives in passing Fanfiction.net, Twilighted, Ramblings and Thoughts(in the spirit of full-disclosure Laura founded this site but it has been run by Open Home for the last two years). When we opened the Lexicon, we actually made a conscious decision not to incorporate it as part of our site because we had experienced first hand back in our Harry Potter days A) how much work moderating a fanfic archive was and B) how much contention usually surrounded it. The largest number of complaints and flames wars we had to deal with on our Potter website were fanfic related, and we didn’t want to repeat the headache.
Fifty Shades has certainly had its share of controversy surrounding its success. There seem to be three basic camps into which people fall. Some argue that it is the illegal publishing of a derivative work of Stephenie Meyer(it should be noted that there was been no legal action from Little Brown or Stephenie Meyer regarding this work that we are aware of, though they are no doubt aware of its existence). Others argue that it is such an original story that it’s not illegal, but that promoting it initially in the Twilight world then doing a global replace on the names is unethical. Lastly the third camp has no problem with the work at all and defends its journey from AU fanfic to
self published fledgling publishing house success story.
Where does Stephenie Meyer stand on the issue? Unknown as far as this specific work. Her most recent statement regarding fanfiction of any type can be found in the transcript from the fanjunket interview of June 2010.
Where do you stand? Please, if we could beg a favor for the sanity of our moderators, please attack the ball and not the players. No doubt people will have incredibly strong opinion here, but lets keep it to healthy and spirited debate of the work in question and not personal attacks on those having an alternate viewpoint.