Mt. Vernon Register-News

Features

May 22, 2013

In fan fiction, your favorite characters do what you want them to

When J.J. Abrams took over the "Star Trek" franchise in 2009, he boldly went where the series hadn't gone before — romantically — pairing Uhura with Spock. Many fans disliked the change. Some loved it. Others didn't care, because they just wanted to see Kirk and Spock make out.

This story is about that third category.

For decades, Kirk/Spock has been one of the most popular couples in fan fiction, a genre in which fans write stories using characters from books, movies, TV shows and even real life. (Kirk/Spock spawned the subgenre "slash" — fan fiction about same-sex entanglements.)

Fan fiction is having a moment right now, and not just because "Star Trek Into Darkness" has thrown a luscious new villain, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, into the mix.

The success of "Fifty Shades of Grey," originally written as Twilight fan fiction, has major publishing houses intrigued. In February, Simon & Schuster published "Beautiful Bastard," a reworking of another Twilight fan fiction; the sequel is out May 28. Last fall, Penguin hired a 16-year-old to adapt her One Direction fan fiction into a young-adult novel.

Maybe it's about time. "Fan fiction is one of the great unsung popular literary movements of the past 50 years," Time magazine book critic and author Lev Grossman wrote this month. His novel "The Magicians" and its sequel riff on the magical worlds of J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien and others, so you know that dude reads fan fic.

Fan fiction is like methadone to a heroin addict, offering a come-down from the high of the original creation. It's a rebound relationship, filling the gaping hole left when a favorite series ends (or starts to decline).

Text Only
Features
  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 21, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.49.09 PM.png Train, entertain your pets with these 3 smartphone apps

    While they may not have thumbs to use the phone, pets can benefit from smartphone apps designed specifically for them.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Millions of Android phones, tablets vulnerable to Heartbleed bug

    Millions of smartphones and tablets running Google's Android operating system have the Heartbleed software bug, in a sign of how broadly the flaw extends beyond the Web and into consumer devices.

    April 11, 2014

  • DayCareCosts.jpg Day care's cost can exceed college tuition in some states

    Most parents will deal with an even larger kid-related expense long before college, and it's a cost that very few of them are as prepared for: day care.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10 tips for surviving a severe allergy season

    My colleague Brady Dennis reported recently that the arrival of warmer weather will soon unleash a pollen tsunami in parts of the country where the winter has been especially long and cold. Here are some survival tips from Clifford W. Bassett, an allergy specialist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.

    April 9, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks