Fifty Shades Is About To Get Put In Its Place By Another Twilight Fanfic-Turned-Novel

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Twilight fanfic The Office published novel Beautiful Bastard Christina Hobbs Lauren Billings Fifty Shades of Grey Master of the UniverseNever did I think that I would be excited to hear about yet another Twilight fanfic becoming an honest-to-God published novel, but that's the strange turn of events on this, an otherwise regular Thursday. Because The Office, the fanfic that's gotten snatched up by Gallery Books, is one of the original sexy Twilight fics, and because the authors have rewritten it so that only about 20% of the original story still exists. And for that reason I can respect it more than Fifty Shades of Grey.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, authors Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings have adapted Hobbs' fic The Office into a novel called Beautiful Bastard. (Like Fifty Shades, the new title comes from the nickname for Edward within the story; in Master of the Universe, Bella privately called him “Fifty Shades of Fucked-Up,” and here he's her “Beautiful Bastard.”) Like MotU, The Office was a fanfic that reimagined Edward as a human and Bella in a subservient role to him. But there are a couple of important points to consider:

1) The Office came before Master of the Universe, circa 2009.

2) While it existed in the first wave of sexually explicit Twilight fics, The Office is celebrated for valuing plot on the same level as porn. So many fics are termed PWP (“porn without plot” or “plot? what plot?”), but Hobbs ensured that there was an actual narrative arc in place.

3) It's well-written! No “inner goddess,” as far as I can tell.

THR has a description of the book, but I'd rather quote the synopsis from a Twilight fan blog review that better sums up the highlights. (Note: “Lemons” are fandom-speak for sex scenes.)

Edward Cullen is Bella Swan’s boss. They really do not get along. They start hatefucking. It is hot. As the affair continues, they both slowly realize they want more. It’s extremely sweet.

For those who haven’t read this story, I will say that it is absolutely FULL of lemons. There are lemons happening in every damn chapter, and it is freakin’ awesome. I’ve noticed that usually when the author’s main concern in the story is sex, there is no real plot or the writing is not really advanced enough to pull this off. That is not the case with this fan fic. This story is so well written, I found myself already liking Bella’s character after only the first few paragraphs. I could relate (up until a certain point of course) because, who among us hasn’t had that awful boss from hell?

Now, let's get into the thorny issue of what parts of The Office got changed for legitimate publication. Bella is now Chloe Mills, and Edward is Bennett Ryan. Like I said, Hobbs was the original author of the fic; she teamed up with Billings in 2010 to write other fic together. But when it came time to revisit The Office, they collaborated—which means already it has a new set of eyes.

Hobbs and Billings, writing under the pen name Christina Lauren, have reworked The Office into Beautiful Bastard (out February 12, 2013) and its sequel Beautiful Stranger (out May 28, 2013). Yep, this is enough to convince me that they've taken what was originally fanfiction and changed it dramatically enough for it to count as original fiction.

However, I reserve full judgment until I've read it through and ensured that there is no lip-biting.

[via The Mary Sue]

Photo: kfmatheny1985 on Tumblr