So the other day John Scalzi posted on his blog that he is writing a “reboot” of H. Beam Piper’s science fiction novel “Little Fuzzy”. He says:
Why did you do this?
Because as far as I know itâ€™s never been done before. Science fiction TV and movie series are rebooted all the time â€” see Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek for recent examples of this â€” but I canâ€™t think of a significant, original universe in science fiction literature in which this has been done, at least, not by someone who is not the original author. So I thought, hey, this seems like it could be a fun thing to do. So I did it.
If your eyes aren’t rolling enough already (because, hello, fan fiction?), melannen pointed out to me that Ardath Mayhar, a female author, had even written a professionally published retelling of the Little Fuzzy story (a fact that’s mentioned on the Wikipedia page for Little Fuzzy, so it’s hardly obscure.)
Is it time for another round of How To Suppress Women’s Writing?
- She didnâ€™t write it.
(But if itâ€™s clear she did the deed. . .)
- She wrote it, but she shouldnâ€™t have. (Itâ€™s political, sexual, masculine, feminist.)
- She wrote it, but look what she wrote about. (The bedroom, the kitchen, her family. Other women!)
- She wrote it, but she wrote only one of it. (â€œJane Eyre. Poor dear, thatâ€™s all she ever. . .â€)
- She wrote it, but she isnâ€™t really an artist, and it isnâ€™t really art. (Itâ€™s a thriller, a romance, a childrenâ€™s book. Itâ€™s sci fi!)
- She wrote it, but she had help. (Robert Browning. Branwell Bronte. Her own â€œmasculine side.â€)
- She wrote it, but sheâ€™s an anomaly. (Woolf. With Leonardâ€™s help….)
- She wrote it BUT. . .
When women do it, it’s just fan fiction. When men do it, it’s a reboot. Right.
ETA: I’ve been pointed at a subsequent post in which Scalzi admits he’s writing fanfic.
For those who are new here, I’d like to point out that we have a comment policy which asks you to “Be at least one of: feminist, friendly, amusing, or perspicacious. Two is even better.” Comments along the lines of “She wrote it, BUT…” (it wasn’t commercially published, it wasn’t called a reboot because we hadn’t invented that word yet, she didn’t have permission from TPTB…) will be bitbucketed.