I tend to discover new fandoms via fan fiction that has been written for them, so I wish there was more Liaden fan fiction so more people like me could discover this wonderful universe, but I know that that is only one simple reader’s perspective and am honestly/really curious about how you feel about fan fiction in general and for your own universes in particular. Is it strange/uncomfortable to have other people interpret one’s own characters, or …? Thanks!!!
I’m obliged to you for the information that there is so little Liaden fanfic out there, though, frankly, I wish there were none. I don’t want “other people interpreting” our characters. Interpreting our characters is what Steve and I do; it’s our job. Nobody else is going to get it right.
This may sound rude and elitist, but honestly, it’s not easy for us to get it right sometimes, and we’ve been living with these characters. . .for a very long time. I created the prototypes for Val Con and Miri when I was 12 — so that’s almost 50 years together at this point, and there are still misunderstandings.
So, my position with regard to fanfic of our work? We built our universes, and our characters; they are our intellectual property; and they are not toys lying about some virtual sandbox for other kids to pick up and modify at their whim. Steve and I do not sanction fanfic written in our universes; any such work that exists, exists without our permission, and certainly without our support.
I know that some of my colleagues think that having their stuff fanficed is swell, and actively encourage derivative work. So my advice, for people with a yen to write fanfic, is to work in the universes of those authors who permit and encourage it — and to respect the wishes of those of us who do not.
Thank you for your question.