What do Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, and Slaughterhouse-Five all have in common? Well, now people can write and sell completely legal fan fiction based on each of them, thanks to Amazon's Kindle Worlds program. This cannot end well.
Amazon announced that the entire Vonnegut library would be joining the Worlds service, which allows people to write stories using the characters, settings and everything else, while divvying up the money among the writers, the license holders, and of course Amazon itself. In theory, the idea is solid, and as I mentioned when Amazon first announced the service, it's a great way to bring fans and a franchise together and make everybody a bit of money at the same time.
But Kurt Vonnegut? FUCK AND NO. The man is one of America's literary icons. To allow fan fiction based on his work is a disgrace to it, because while someone might write a Vampire Diaries story as good as the original Vampire Diaries author, there is no goddamned way anyone is going to write a story starring Kurt Vonnegut's characters as well as Vonnegut did.
This is just as insane as if the works of William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Harper Lee or J.D. Salinger were added to the Kindle Worlds program — and just in case Amazon somehow thinks that's a good idea, IT'S NOT. DON'T DO IT.
Amazon, you can add so much else to your program without tarnishing the works of one of America's greatest authors — or without tarnishing the works of any great author. You have so many perfectly acceptable candidates to choose from that there's no way you'll suffer without letting somebody write about Billy Pilgrim turning out to be Gossip Girl, okay?
Here's a tip — if you sell it in your "Classic Literature and Fiction" section, maybe people shouldn't be able to write legal fan fic of it, all right?
[Via L.A. Times]