Many authors and reviewers can be very ‘sniffy’ about fan-fiction. To be fair, some of it is truly awful, amounting to little more than personal wish-fulfilment in a particular genre, and some should never see the light of day for other reasons!
On the other hand, some of it is very good and extends the official works in ways that could never have been done otherwise.
I have a great deal to be thankful for in this regard. My own original contributions to ‘Elite’ were fan-fiction – and the Oolite Saga is still available. They were unofficial, free and helped me to grow my own skills in writing stories, ultimately leading to being a published author. If someone had slapped me down back then I might have given up long before writing Elite: Reclamation.
So, I’m all for it – done well and with an eye on quality. Here’s the list of what’s already been written for Elite: Reclamation.
It’s very heartening to see, given I can’t write a sequel to ER at the moment, that fans are taking the characters in my stories forward on their own. As I mentioned before, some fan groups (Player factions in the Elite: Dangerous game itself) have asked me whether or not they could adopt some of my characters to head up their organisations and act for them in-game.
I was delighted to agree to this, as I think it’s what Frontier intended all along – a sort of continuing and evolving story line. My characters have the advantage of having rather more backstory to them, which is what I think is attracting players.
So, if you’re interested in doing this, just a few rules:
1. Please contact me in the first instance. I’m unlikely to turn down your request, but it’s just polite to ask. So far everyone has – the community has good manners! I’ll be happy to give you some advice. I will need to read the story in its entirety in order to give my blessing. I reserve the right to advise you on tweaks and suggestions if I feel you’re not interpreting a character correctly.
2. Assuming you want to use ER characters, remember you’re writing in Frontier’s Elite: Dangerous universe. They’ve generously provided a means for you to do this, but you must not distribute your work for commercial gain in any fashion and you must acknowledge them correctly. I refer you to their guidance on this topic. Please read and observe it. I suggest the following text is placed in your document.
“<Name of Project> was created using assets <and imagery> from Elite Dangerous, with the permission of Frontier Developments plc, for non-commercial purposes. It is not endorsed by nor reflects the views or opinions of Frontier Developments and no employee of Frontier Developments was involved in the making of it.”
3. My characters remain my copyright. This must be acknowledged. I suggest the following wording.
<Character Name/s> is/are assets from the book Elite: Reclamation by Drew Wagar and used here with kind permission.
4. The content must be appropriate. It goes without saying that I won’t endorse a story which contains any inappropriate content and I’m sure Frontier will take a dim view of it too. I don’t think I need to elaborate on this nowadays, but consider it said anyway. 😉
Other than that, I suggest you write on, Commanders! Good luck.