NOTE: The following article was first published on April 12, 2010. Thank you to John O’Neill for agreeing to reprint these early articles, so they are archived at Black Gate which has been my home for over 5 years and 250 articles now. Thank you to Deuce Richardson without whom I never would have found my way. Minor editorial changes have been made in some cases to the original text.
Pulp fans are united by an uncommon passion for literary authors and their creations. We read and re-read these seminal works time and again savoring each thrill as if discovering it anew. We read one another’s thoughts on these works in the hope of gaining a greater appreciation of the material or, at the very least, finding some justification for why they affect us so deeply. We dread to consider awakening to a world where there are no new tales of these characters to discover.
A small number of us set out on the precipitous path of making that dream a reality by adding to the existing canon of our favorite characters. Many of those who do so choose to work in the relative safety of fan fiction, content in the knowledge that none will judge their efforts too harshly. Fan fiction, however, is a double-edged sword for while it allows us to work free from criticism, we do so in the knowledge that none will treat our work as a legitimate continuation and that, at the end of the day, is what we all strive to achieve.