Fan-fiction has been around since the second cave painting featured characters from the first cave painting. (Editor’s note: that’s probably not true) Ok. It’s been around for a very long time. There were legions of Sherlock Holmes fan-fiction authors writing their own adventures while Arthur Conan Doyle was still telling the story of the master detective. (Editor’s note: that part is true) Amazon’s Kindle Worlds program took fan-fiction to a new level by allowing authors to get paid for their unofficial contributions to certain literary universes. But now, something completely new and different is hitting the scene: fan-fiction as reality show survival competition.
Much has been written about Apocalypse Weird, Wonderment Media’s ground-breaking effort to create something akin to a Marvel Cinematic Universe in novel form. On launch day, five new novels will join the first book, Nick Cole’s The Red King, to unveil this shared apocalyptic universe. Other new novels will join over coming months to add to the story. But now, the brain trust at Wonderment has announced Apocalypse Weird: Survivors, the new fan-fiction piece of the AW universe. Anyone can write for AW:S with very few restrictions (no porn, for example). A simple 2-page universe guide spells out the rules. Authors can then submit their stories through a submission form on the AW:S web site. It’s important to note that this isn’t Kindle Worlds. Fanfic authors don’t get paid for their stories and they can’t publish them anywhere else.
So is this the return to hard working fanfic authors writing stories for no money just to help line the pockets of the man? No. And that’s where the ‘reality survival show’ aspect comes in. When the AW universe launches on February 23, readers will be able to vote up, share and otherwise promote their favorite AW:S stories. Those stories that are most popular will be evaluated by Wonderment Media to consider the author for a contract to officially contribute to the AW universe. So to participate in the AW:S universe, visit the AW:S Facebook group linked below, attend the “community work day” on February 7th, and grab a portion of the Universe for yourself. But leave Detroit alone. That city belongs to me.