The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment
November 12, 2022
Have you ever read a story and when it ended, you wanted more? And then imagined more yourself? Some people do that and then they actually write it down. It's called fan fiction. Fans of certain genres, authors and adventures go on to write the characters past the last chapter of their favorite book. Then they find outlets to publish them. Some publish in blogs or on various websites. Some publish in print.
James Lovegrove is a British writer of what is termed, speculative fiction. Speculative fiction is a professional term used in the broad category of fiction, with authors writing about things that do not exist in reality, history, nature or this universe as of now. It can be supernatural, dealing with the future or the realms of the imagination. Lovegrove likes to step into imagining the character Sherlock Holmes into new stories where Holmes can continue his musings and surmises, with new mysteries to solve.
Lovegrove's most recent publication is "Sherlock Holmes, The Three Winter Terrors." It's 1889. The first terror takes place at a boys prep school in Kent, England. There is a drowning. Does a witch's curse from 200 years ago have anything to do with it? In 1890, the second terror comes as a wealthy man dies from a heart attack. Was it because of a ghost? The third terror, from 1894, happens in a dark woods. A body is cannibalized, hideously ravaged. By whom? Or what?
Holmes uses his power of deduction to unravel each death, from the natural to the supernatural world. Lovegrove captures the spirit and form of Arthur Conan Doyle's writing, and leads the readers through adventures as chilling as winter itself.
In Agatha Christie's "Marple: Twelve New Mysteries" Miss Marple comes alive again for fans. Miss Marple lives in the village of St. Mary Meades, and uses her powers of deduction abilities to solve mysteries both at home and in her travels. As an elderly spinster, she is not always given confidence from the various inspectors she works with. But in the end, they listen and the mystery is solved. Christie wrote 12 books featuring Marple starting with, "The Murder at the Vicarage" in 1930 to "Sleeping Murder" in 1976. Christie also wrote 20 short stories giving Miss Marple the chance to shine and use her personality and power of deduction abilities through extra story lines.
In this newest fan fiction book, 12 different current authors attempt to emulate Miss Marple just as Christie so skillfully wrote her. Each author in "Marple" brings the character into the fray of new and challenging mysteries, once again bringing the Queen of Crime to life in Christie's style but also adding a touch of themselves to the mix.
The 45 years of Christie's Miss Marple moves forward. You be the judge. Did they hit the mark? This is a great book to curl up with as the cold winds pick up, ushering in winter. Blankets and hot cocoa are optional but highly recommended!
One might ask, is there really any difference between speculative and fan fiction? Is it legal, using characters from published authors? Fan fiction is fair use if new writing adds meaning and value to the original author's work. Both Doyle and Christie have passed and they can longer add to their own character's stories or be compensated. Living authors still own the rights to their work, and fan fiction of their characters must not be published to make money.
That means that my own fan fiction, written after the last book of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," telling the story of Harry's son Albus starting school at Hogwarts, cannot bring me fame or fortune. But I must tell you that the satisfaction gained by my own curiosity and imagination, how Albus enters Hogwarts after Voldemort, after Harry's scar burns no more, was a great outlet for me. As of now, only my family have become fans of the fiction I wrote. But believe me, satisfaction is sweet.
Fan fiction keeps beloved characters alive for a bit longer, which is a reward in itself and well worth the effort!
*Midge Lyn'dee is a fictional character used for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.