UPDATE 2pm: See this link for important legal information.
I found myself in a nice combination of bewildered amusement and perplexed anger at something in my mailbox today. I’ll decline to reveal the author’s name, however.
Said author seemed to generally like Sailor Nothing, but was “bothered by the way you act as though it’s an original fiction, when it’s not, at all.”
The letter went on to say that it was disturbing to said reader that I dared to call this anything other than a Sailor Moon fanfic, and that it was illegal that I was trying to make money off it. Apparently, I am not writing original fiction, I am writing “Sailor Moon fanfic, belonging to the original senshi category.”
After taking a moment to wipe up the drool left on the floor by my act of rolling around on it while laughing, let me quote out of my e-mail reply:
“It is impossible to create creative works in a vacuum. How much science fiction is really that far removed from Asimov, or even Metropolis? Speilberg’s A.I. brings nothing to the table that Asimov and Gibson and Roddenbury haven’t already thought of. Dungeons and Dragons owes a hell of a lot to Tolkein. (Hobbits? Dwarves? Elves? Halflings?) Even Disney’s Atlantis owes to Plato, who in turn owes to an even more ancient myth which he based his Atlantis-theory on. How about music? Should every punk band out right now be sued by the Sex Pistols for copying their three power chord structure and even their accent? Or should the Sex Pistols be sued by earlier rock musicians whose work they aped and made sloppy as they were finding their own take on the genre? Should those rock musicians be sued by early black composers whose spiritualist songs eventually were made mainstream by people like Jerry Lee Lewis?
“Everything you hear in life, everything you read and everything you see goes into your own work with your own spin on it. That’s what art is. To assume that only completely unique and new ideas spawn forth from an artist is fallicy.”