62: Beth Mayorga on fan fiction

What People Do

23-05-2023 • 54 min

Beth Mayorga hosts her own podcast, The Fan Fic Maverick. What is “fan fic”? The definition is always being fought over in online forums, but Beth says it simply: You’re writing stories using someone else’s IP (intellectual property).

An early form of this in the 1960s that Beth and I mention are Star Trek stories written by fans shared way before the internet was big about Kirk and Spock’s evolving relationship outside the "approved" TV show—sometimes romantically. No, that doesn’t mean all fan fic is erotic fantasy. Any time a writer or a creator makes stories using someone else’s characters, that’s fan fic.

But, wait, wait: Isn’t that what happens in myth? Heck yeah it is. So, in this convo, we situate fan fic in its wider place in literature as the newest outgrowth of a practice that’s thousands of years old: making up new stories using characters you didn’t make up.

To feed further curiosity

Ready to dive in? You’ve got two options.

  1. Head to Archive of Our Own, which is jammed with one of the internet’s biggest repository of fan fic on just about anything you love. Pick a character you love. A theme you want expressed. A story from movie, TV or books you want continued. Dive in.
  1. Go the podcast route, and join Beth and Sara as they feature a two-part fan fic history in their two podcasts: Part 1 is at Sara’s Talkin’ Fanfic, and Part 2 is on Beth’s podcast.

Dig Beth? She promises, at the end of our interview, that she’s working on some written, video or podcast stuff on the history and culture of fan fiction writers. YAY!

Enjoy. :)