An unknown writer called Lady Sybilla has announced that her book, Russet Noon, will be published in September of this year. Despite its odd title it isn't a new form of potato-porn: it's far, far better than that.
It's fan fiction. An unofficial sequel to Stephenie Mayer's Twilight series. And, children, we all know what fan fiction is, don't we? Say it with me:
Lady Sybilla insists that her book doesn't infringe any copyrights because, as she writes in the comments thread here,
The characters in SM's novels were not copyrighted because she never drew them or hired an artist to draw them. Today she shares her character copyrights with Summit. And, no, Russet Noon does not have direct permission from SM to publish this sequel, which is why the article says that it is a "Tribute" or "Unauthorized" Sequel.Unsurprisingly, Lady Sybilla got a swift response when she defended the book's publication at the Twilight Lexicon and pointed out that other people had also written Twilight fan fic: the Lexicon's owners responded,
So when it comes right down to it, you’re a self admitted thief whose only defense is “well they were doing it too.” (*Insert foot stamp, pouty lip, and flounce here*)Lady Sybilla is talking nonsense, and is going to get sued from here to Pluto and back if she persists with this publication. Especially if anyone were to sell copies of the book on eBay ahead of the publication date, which someone has tried to do (you'll note, though, that the auction has ended and refunds have been promised: perhaps the lawyers are onto Lady Sybilla already).
There's an active discussion about this already at Absolute Write; Lee Goldberg has blogged about it beautifully; Fandom Wank has an excellent analysis in which Lady Sybilla's casting-call for models for the graphic novel edition is revealed; if you want to read the preface to Russet Noon it's been copied into the comments here; and there's even a YouTube reading available if you want to enjoy the full russet-rich experience.
Edited 5 April
Many of the links I provided originally are to pages which have now been taken down. The eBay auctions have been closed ahead of time; the Russet Noon website has been closed, apparently by Lady Sibilla herself. She is now complaining about Fandom Wank's postings about her, but has only encouraged more people to point and laugh. And blogger Dal Jeanis has posted a great Russet Noon Analysis, and another post in which he suggests How to Win the Russet Noon Lawsuit, and points out that titles are not copyrightable. I can feel another Atlanta Nights coming on... anyone?