5 Published Short Stories by Famous Authors (That Are Also Fanfiction)

The world of fandom is brimming with talent.

Fotolia.com | © Stephen Coburn

Fotolia.com | © Stephen Coburn

To an extent, fanfiction is still viewed as the realm of amateur writers. Even now that fanfic is more acceptable for mainstream authors and publishers alike, many famous authors are still reluctant to talk about their stint with fanfiction (if they talk about it at all). It’s a shame, because as fanfiction authors and readers know too well, the world of fandom is brimming with talent and the creative benefits of writing fanfiction are well known.

That’s why it’s heartening to know there are famous authors—both living and dead—who still try their hand at writing fanfiction, even after they’ve already made a name for themselves. In fact, they’re so cool with the idea of fanfic, they’ve even allowed their fan works to be available online for free! (Okay, maybe Mark Twain is an exception.)

Below are five published short stories by famous authors that are also fanfiction:

Title: A Study in Emerald
Author: Neil Gaiman
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes x Cthulhu Mythos
Synopsis: In a Victorian England where the Great Ones have come, two unlikely partners set out to solve the mystery behind the death of a royal heir.
Why Read It: Gaiman is able to capture both the voice of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the terrifying (un)reality of H. P. Lovecraft’s universe. From the beginning, you have this foreboding feeling that something’s not quite right with Sherlock Holmes’ world. As you move closer and closer to the story’s denouement, you’ll find your jaw dropping closer and closer to the floor as well.

Title: Abraham’s Boys
Author: Joe Hill
Fandom: Dracula
Synopsis: Abraham Van Helsing has two sons, who discover the darker side of their father’s occupation.
Why Read It: In the original story, almost everyone who wasn’t Dracula or his minions was portrayed in a positive light. In “Abraham’s Boys,” however, Hill adds more layers to Van Helsing’s character by showing us how his work as a vampire hunter could’ve taken a toll on his psyche. This is a chilling tale that will irreversibly change the way you look at the original.

Title: Dr. Malcolm Long
Author: John Scalzi
Fandom: Watchmen
Synopsis: Dr. Malcolm Long has inappropriate thoughts about Rorschach.
Why Read It: Don’t let the seemingly slashy premise put you off. This is a parody of erotic fiction that will leave you chuckling after every paragraph—whether you’re a Watchmen fan or not.

Title: A Double Barrelled Detective Story
Author: Mark Twain
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes
Synopsis: A young man named Archy Stillman vows to avenge his mother. Meanwhile, Holmes somehow ends up in the American West.
Why Read It: Ever thought that Sherlock Holmes’ abilities were too good to be true? In this story, Twain addresses this question—by completely skewering the idea of an all-knowing detective. Granted, he might’ve gone a little overboard with the parody, but Twain’s trademark wit is always entertaining to read.

Title: Hunting Monsters
Author: S. L. Huang
Fandom: Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White and other fairy tales
Synopsis: After a woman is convicted of killing a grundwirgen, her daughter and partner plot to save her.
Why Read It: Huang mentioned that she’s a fan of transformative works, and it shows. In this crossover fairy tale, you have awesome worldbuilding, more-than-token representation of women and queer characters, and fanfiction done right. Also, if you squint, there are references to fairy tales other than the ones mentioned above. What’s not to love?

There you have it. Five published short stories by famous authors (that are, in fact, fanfiction), written at the height of their careers. Now, try reversing it by making the switch from fanfiction to original fiction!

About Lisa Miranda (2 Articles)
Lisa Miranda is a writer by day and a fangirl by night. She loves anime, slash pairings, and cups of hot chocolate. Also, she appreciates constructive comments and high-fives so feel free to send those her way!

1 Comment on 5 Published Short Stories by Famous Authors (That Are Also Fanfiction)

  1. Rachel Smith Cobleigh // December 3, 2015 at 10:13 am // Reply

    Great article, and thanks for these links! I particularly love knowing that Mark Twain parodied Arthur Conan Doyle. Fanfiction was the norm in Ancient Greece. Why can’t we all get on board with that in modern culture? Let ideas flourish and beget more awesome ideas!

    This one isn’t free, but it’s still awesome: David Gerrold wrote a Doctor Who / Star Trek (original series) crossover comic. Hilarious and perfect! http://boingboing.net/2015/03/05/david-gerrolds-doctor-who-ve.html

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