Amazon announced Kindle Worlds today, a new program which will encourage fan fiction writers to submit stories about "worlds" that Amazon has somehow convinced to agree to officially sanction this. From their description:
Get ready for Kindle Worlds, a place for you to publish fan fiction inspired by popular books, shows, movies, comics, music, and games. With Kindle Worlds, you can write new stories based on featured Worlds, engage an audience of readers, and earn royalties. Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. for Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and The Vampire Diaries, with licenses for more Worlds on the way.
On the surface, this seems like an attempt to get fans to produce content that will sell for tens of dollars to other fans and make money for Amazon and participating intellectual property owners, but, in reality, it is an attempt to get fans to produce content that will sell for tens of dollars to other fans and make money for Amazon and participating intellectual property owners using clumsily written erotica. This is great news for fans who really enjoy The Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl, but feel that the series are lacking the essential component of Blake Lively getting tag teamed by the Salvatore brothers.
Look, it's not that we have a problem with fanfic writers. It's just that, well, we can, because they are lower on the nerd food chain than we are. It goes like this: Star Wars fans can pick on Manga readers, who can pick on Doctor Who fans, who can pick on D&D players, who can pick on Comic Book Fanboys, who can pick on Harry Potter and Twilight fans, who can pick on Trekkies, who can pick on Bronies, who can pick on Furries, who can pick on fanfic writers, who can pick on Joss Whedon fans, who can pick on people who listen to Rush. That's just the way it goes. We don't make up the rules.
While Amazon only has the three properties listed above, it should be noted that all three are owned by Warner Bros, which also owns DC comics. Just think of the possibilities there. And I'm not just talking about the first ever recorded instances of fanfic writers walking off projects due to editorial interference. I've always wanted to ship Stephanie Brown and the Swamp Thing, and my dreams may finally become an officially sanctioned reality. Not to mention, if they start to introduce older IP into the mix, I can finally breathe life back into my ongoing Golden Girls slashfic project ("Oh Rose," moaned Blanche, "did you really learn this from a donkey in St Olaf?").
You can read more about Kindle Worlds at the Kindle Worlds for Authors page. Keep in mind, Amazon keeps the publishing rights to your work, and the IP owner gets ownership of any ideas you come up with.
So how about you, readers? What fictional character will be fucking another fictional character in your Kindle Worlds submission?