I am sure that many of us have suffered poorly written things in the vein. Fanfiction, written works established around another person's work. (ie: setting, characters, situations, etc.) However, well written ones tend to be as good as, if not better then, the stories that the origional writer has done. I tend to find fanfiction to be a fun writing exercise. Simply put, it answers "what if?" questions. Many of the characters represent intresting twists on basic archtypes and stereotypes, so that is also another fun bonus. In some cases, however, it does tend to get a little bit serious. Some of the early Star Trek novels were fanfiction peices that got licenced by Paramount after the fact. In Japan, fan comics form a huge cottage industry in which new talent emearge. So here's the question. Fan fiction. Useless drabble, fun writing exercise, or serious work?