The Death Gate Cycle

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Contents

Introduction

The Death Gate Cycle is a series of seven fantasy novels published between 1990 and 1994. Though the books were widely read and translated into over a dozen languages, the online fandom remains small with little fan fiction output. There are no archives dedicated to the series, leaving fics scattered across personal sites, series sites, and FanFiction.Net. Fanart is the more common form of fanwork produced in this fandom, and it can be found on archives such as Elfwood and DeviantArt.

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The Authors

The Death Gate Cycle is a collaboration between fantasy authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, who are most famous for their Dragonlance work.

The Canon

Aside from the seven books themselves, some fans draw inspiration from the authors' comments in interviews and mailing list responses. The computer game itself is regarded more as entertainment than canon due to considerable differences in plot and characterization, but a short story by the series' authors was packaged with the game and may be considered canon. However, few fans have had access to this story.

Terminology

Below is a list of terms and their definitions that are used in this fan fiction community.

  • DG is an abbreviation for "Death Gate," which can refer to the book series or the computer game depending on its usage.
  • DGC is an abbreviation for "The Death Gate Cycle."

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Fan fiction policy and history

There have been second-hand reports of e-mails and conversations with Weis and Hickman about their positions on fan fiction. However, neither author has made a direct public statement themselves supporting or forbidding it when based on their works.

Both authors have acknowledged the existence of fan fiction. Weis has pointed out officially-sanctioned fan fiction contests. [1] When asked if posting fan fiction is illegal, Hickman stated in issue #93 of his newsletter, "I cannot really give you advice on this very legally charged subject of intellectual property rights -- that is probably better left up to the lawyers."

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Timeline

Below is a partial timeline of events that took place in this fandom.

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1990

  • In February 1990, Bantam Spectra published the first book, Dragon Wing.
  • In November 1990, Bantam Spectra published the second book, Elven Star.
  • As early as 1990, fan were discussing The Death Gate Cycle on Usenet. The series never had its own newsgroup, so discussions primarily took place on rec.arts.sf.written and alt.fan.dragonlance.

1991

  • In August 1991, Bantam Spectra published the third book, Fire Sea.

1992

  • In April 1992, Bantam Spectra published the fourth book, Serpent Mage.

1993

  • In April 1993, Bantam Spectra published the fifth book, The Hand of Chaos.
  • In December 1993, Bantam Spectra published the sixth book, Into the Labyrinth.

1994

  • In September 1994, Bantam Spectra published the seventh and final book, The Seventh Gate.
  • In 1994, Legend Entertainment released an award-winning computer adventure game called Death Gate based on The Death Gate Cycle.

1995

  • Around April 1995, Dee's Death Gate Cycle Tribute site opened. Though it has changed addresses and has not been updated in a decade, it remains the longest-running fansite dedicated to The Death Gate Cycle. Webmaster Dee Schlatter received permission and assistance from Margaret Weis and the video game team for the materials used.
  • On December 29, 1995, Frank West released a text adventure called "The Deadly Labyrinth" inspired by The Death Gate Cycle. [2]
  • Later in the 1990s, the RinkWorks website released Book-A-Minute SF/F: The Death Gate Cycle, a "condensed" version of the series.
  • In June 1995, production began on a MUD based on The Death Gate Cycle. It opened publicly in June 1996 under the name "The Vortex."

2001

  • In 2001, JacquesLink created the website Death Gate Cycle: The Morrowind Connection, a combination fansite and project to produce a modded version of the then-upcoming Morrowind game. [3] The site eventually relocated to DeathGateCycle.com and was renamed to The Death Gate Cycle Online. Its forums were popular with fans of the series and interested volunteers. The game project never got off the ground and the website stopped updating in 2003. The site went offline sometime in late 2006 and has not returned. [4]

2003

2004

  • Sometime in 2004, FanFiction.Net created a separate category for fan fiction from The Death Gate Cycle. Previously, authors posted their DGC fics to the Dragonlance category.

2005

2006

2007

Kerfluffles

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Influential Stories

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Fandom Members

See also Category:Death Gate Cycle fans.

Fandom Size

As of October 6, 2007, there are 26 fics on FanFiction.Net. [7]

As of October 5, 2008, there are 31 fics on FanFiction.Net. [8]

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External Links

Sources

Below is a partial list of articles and academic sources to help you continue to learn about this community.

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