TIME Magazine writes about fan fiction (with a timely Harry Potter slant, of course). I want so badly to quote the whole thing here (but it’s long, 5 “pages” long) so I’ll just grab the snippet being passed around on Tumblr:
Fan fiction is what literature might look like if it were reinvented from scratch after a nuclear apocalypse by a band of brilliant pop-culture junkies trapped in a sealed bunker. They don’t do it for money. That’s not what it’s about. The writers write it and put it up online just for the satisfaction. They’re fans, but they’re not silent, couchbound consumers of media. The culture talks to them, and they talk back to the culture in its own language.
Now if they made a deeper exposé into the whole fandom—especially the way they bend social networks like LiveJournal, DeviantArt, YouTube, Tumblr, and Twitter to their will (think stunning graphics, gifs, videos, and yes, RPG), in such a talented manner, for sheer entertainment, not profit—I’d be a happy camper.