I’ve written about The Martian here (more than once), and I’ve also written about Ready Player One. Tonight I learned (via Facebook) that Andy Weir, author of The Martian, is also a big fan of Ready Player One. In fact, he enjoyed it enough that he wrote a short bit of Ready Player One fanfic—which Ernest Cline, author of Ready Player One, enjoyed enough that he sought and obtained Weir’s permission to republish it in the forthcoming Subterranean Press edition of Ready Player One, officially declaring it canonical.
Happily, you don’t have to buy the book to read the fanfic, “Lacero”—it’s still up on Weir’s web site. It probably won’t mean much to you without having read Ready Player One first, though. So you should just go ahead and read that first. (Honestly, you should probably read it anyway. It’s just that awesome.)
Apart from the Inception-like amusement value of the author of one of my favorite books enjoying another favorite book enough that he wrote fanfic of it, which the author of that book then made canonical, I think this points out one of the fun things about our new digital world. Instead of fanfic being something to be feared, some authors of this new generation see it as something to to republish. Well, at least one does, anyway.