Maybe you know this, but my first three professional stories were Star Trek fanfic. Back in the early 2000’s, Pocket Books produced an annual anthology called Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. The idea was that fans with less than three professional publishing credits would submit short stories and the editors at Pocket would choose the best to put in the book. And they paid us professional rates, which was unheard of at the time. A lot of authors got their start in SNW, including Dayton Ward, Isla Bick, Gerri Leen, Jim Johnson and so many others that there’s no way I can name them all. And me. My first story, ISOLATION WARD 4, was on the preliminary ballot for the Nebula Awards back in 2002 and I wrote two more Star Trek stories after that.
I thought I was done with fanfic after Star Trek, but I ended up writing a fanfic for Kindle Worlds: The World of Kurt Vonnegut. That story, THE BELL CURSE, was my first foray into the world of indie publishing and the catalyst for LEGENDARIUM and pretty much everything I’ve published since 2013. THE BELL CURSE is an homage to BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS though it can stand alone if you’ve never read it. Of course, if you’ve never read Kurt Vonnegut you should literally stop what you’re doing right now and go buy one of his books!
I know that quite a few of the folks that come to my site are fans of my Legendarium co-author, Michael Bunker. Michael is best known for his PENNSYLVANIA novel and for inventing the genre of Amish Science Fiction, but did you know that he also wrote a fanfic novel set in the World of Kurt Vonnegut? OSAGE TWO DIAMONDS is actually my favorite work by Michael Bunker. It’s a sequel to Cat’s Cradle, though the book can also be read independently. Osage is a full-length novel and it’s on sale today, so you should grab it while you can.
As for the future, I don’t know if I’ll write any more fanfic. I read on Facebook the other day that the well-know author James A. Owen is contemplating writing and drawing a Superman fanfic comic, and if that happens I’m going to be the first in line to check it out. Fanfic is often criticized, but don’t forget that WIDE SARGASSO SEA is actually fanfic for JANE EYRE. The cream always rises to the top, so don’t be afraid of fanfic, you might stumble on a wonderful story hidden in the depth of Kindle Worlds.