The Law in Superhero and Science Fiction

It was with mixed feelings a few months ago that I decided to close down my second website, The Law & Science Fiction. (Now housed here). I opened up the place a bit over two years ago because I wanted to do something unique. At the time there was no other website out there that looked at legal issues in speculative fiction. Now, I am happy to say, there are at least two new sites out there that are dedicated to this particular calling. They are Law and the Multiverse, which opened on November 16, 2010 and which is so popular that it’s been featured on NPR, and Superhero Law, which opened up in July of 2009 shortly after The Law & Science Fiction began its short run. Both of these sites look pretty similar to me. They discuss patent and latent legal issues in superhero fiction, and they both seek out questions from their audiences. Given the breadth of source material, I’m sure that they could both go on forever and never talk about the same comic book twice.

I first heard about Law and the Multiverse on the NPR broadcast. The first thing I thought was “hey, I think they are doing what I’m doing.” But I checked out their site and was really impressed with what I found. They were running their blog in the way that I imagined I would run mine, but never quite figured out. They have a very active comments board with questions (hint, hint!) and give some pretty good answers. They both also seem to have avoided the main problem that I encountered on my blog. That is, they rarely have to deal with imagined societies or legal systems, so the legal commentary they give synchs nicely with their reader’s experiences and expectations. On the Law & SF blog I was constantly having to remind readers that “if the problems I was analyzing had happened on Earth, it would come out something like this . . . ” I’m sure that didn’t ever hold anyone back from understanding the point, but it did lead to a blundering feeling in many of the articles I wrote.

So, again I am motivated. I have a few legal articles written that I never published, and a looooong list of books and articles I never got to. I think one day I am going to start putting things up at that second link (this one). Hope you all are there for it.

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