My only comment on Harry Potter (I hope)

Blog of a Bookslut has this remarkable item.

Updated, but not deleted:

Whoops. I know the Watley Review is a joke–but something’s happened, and I haven’t seen an updated version since late June. Otherwise, I would have read the hoax story before reading Blog of a Bookslut. And, duh, I didn’t click through to the cited article (which I would have recognized, since I do read the Watley Review), since the excerpt was what I wanted to comment on.

In other words, none of this actually happened. It’s a joke. I bit. I don’t know whether Bookslut bit or was seeing how many of her readers are gullible. Well, count me as one.

And now, since I’m willing for my gullibility to be part of The Permanent Record, on with my original (duh) post–and thanks to T.Scott and Rikhei for catching me on it so quickly!

Briefly (indirectly), a Pottermaniac decided that the woman in Britain with her name on the covers had deviated from the True Potter Path in the latest book, so produced her own version that’s true to the Potter Mythos.

Let’s not get into the copyright issues (in this particular case, I’m on Rowling’s side). I just find this sort of thing bizarre.

I know it’s not the first time; Trekkies (the lunatic fringe, as opposed to Trekkers) certainly grumped from time to time about the show’s writers/producers losing their way. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are Buffy fans busily plotting the Slayer’s future beyond Season 7. (In Cleveland, perhaps?) Don’t point me to any of this stuff: I don’t have the time. On the other hand, I haven’t heard too many suggestions that Joss Whedon doesn’t understand the Buffyverse… [Yes, I'll probably post more about this latter thing later. I regard BtVS as one of the most under-appreciated TV series in recent history.]

When an author dreams up a world, no matter how derivative or hackneyed, the author gets to run that world. If the world is popular enough so that a publisher wants more episodes, the author still controls the world.

If the readers don’t like it, they’re free to stop reading–or, if they’re talented, to create their own worlds. But to suggest that they know the writer’s world better than the writer, and should be able to take over from the writer…well, I think there’s a serious confusion here between fiction and reality. (I’m not going to political here, although it’s awfully tempting…)

Harry Potter is fiction. The whole series is J.K. Rowling’s world. Don’t like it? Don’t read it. There are thousands of books out there at least as well written. Some of them are probably as semi-addictive.

Confession: So far, I’ve only read the first volume. My wife’s read all but the latest. I will read the rest–but, well, I didn’t find it hard to put the first down. Oh, I enjoyed it, and I’ve enjoyed the movies as well. I just don’t find it as compelling as a few million other people do. Different people, different tastes. (I find very few books so compelling that I can’t set them aside to be picked up again later. In some ways, I’d rather not read anything longer than a novella in a single sitting. That’s just me.)

Again: The “revised version” is a hoax. Never mind.

7 Responses to “My only comment on Harry Potter (I hope)”

  1. Dorothea Salo Says:

    Everybody hush. Don’t tell Walt about fanfic, and especially not about slash.


  2. walt Says:

    ‘Sokay. I know about fan fiction in general, and I’m sure I could locate Buffyverse stuff if I had the time and interest.

    I probably shouldn’t have even included the parallel. Whedon’s pretty much done with the mythos; I’m guessing he’s not opposed to others extending and expanding it. (Just a guess…) Just as George Lucas actually welcomes fan flicks, to some extent–and probably more so now that he’s said that Episodes 7-9 weren’t ever *really* on the planning board (at least I think that’s what he said).

    [Although I've avoided fandom since my teenage years, when I was very briefly involved with the Elves, Gnomes, Leprechauns and Little People's Chowder and Marching Society in Berkeley---an SFan group, despite the name--that's a matter of time/interest, not disdain. Even in pro SF/fantasy, I'm certainly aware of shared universes, extended universes, all that stuff. Some purists believe it's contributing to the Death of True SF. I'm not much of a purist, even though I do try to distinguish between science fiction and Sci-Fi.]

  3. T Scott Says:

    It’s a joke. The Watley Review publishes “articles completely without journalistic merit or factual basis.”

  4. Rikhei Says:

    For what it’s worth, I completely agree with you. But it turns out the story isn’t true (though I daresay it could have been). The Bookslut links to this story in the Watley Review, which declares itself to be a parody work.

    I also just noticed, with some amusement, that the offended fan in question is named Mary Sue Pembroke. While I’m not a fan fiction read or writer myself, so many of my friends read and write it that I have picked up some of the lingo – and “Mary Sue” usually refers to the author inserting herself into the story as a sort of perfect character. (There’s actually a Wikipedia entry on Mary Sues!!)

  5. walt Says:

    Thanks, T Scott and Rikhei. I’ve revised the entry to note that it’s a joke and that I bit. The odd thing is: I read the Watley Review–but my bookmark still shows a June 26 issue. Guess it’s time to re-find the Watley Review and replace the bookmark (or favorite, or whatever). If I’d had a current bookmark, this post wouldn’t have happened, because the order is such that I get to WR before I get to Blog of a Bookslut.

    Meanwhile: Duh. But the story’s so plausible–one of Watley’s hallmarks.

  6. Eli Says:

    On the other hand, I haven’t heard too many suggestions that Joss Whedon doesn’t understand the Buffyverse…

    Joss … heaven forfend, no. On the other hand, ask some devoted fans who hated Seasons 5 and 6 about Marti Noxon, and the walls may well blister …

  7. Seth Finkelstein Says:

    This gave it away:

    “Pembroke’s version involves a new romance for Harry with an exchange student from America whose physical description is remarkably close to the picture on her website.”

    Subtle enough if you don’t know the term “Mary Sue”. But a tip-off if you do.

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