Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology sets about retelling the stories of Thor, Loki and Odin in the author's voice. The book is an accessible and enjoyable read.
But in the telling of these stories, has Gaiman produced a piece of fiction, or is the retelling similar to a fanfic about your favourite superhero or starship captain? And if he has, should there be a stigma attach to that?
Stevie and Emmet discuss the book in relation to Gaiman's successful career as a storyteller who brings his dedicated following to his reinventions of DC/Marvel Comics properties or Doctor Who. The conversation then segues into Meg Downey's The Age of Transformative Works Has Changed The Rules of Compelling Narratives. What does it mean to tell stories today when there is competition between published authors and licensed creators with fans willing to produce novel-sized manuscripts on their favourite characters? For free, to boot!
Why is diversity being blamed for dips in publishing sales by Marvel Comics, when fan fiction readily caters to diverse audience? And has given rise to successful mainstream creators who first found a following writing about Potter, Buffy, or Twilight? What exactly lies behind the stigma against fan fiction?