As a reader who has a love-hate relationship with Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga, I was still stunned and disappointed to find out about the recent controversy surrounding Midnight Sun. Midnight Sun, Twilight from Edward’s perspective, was to be Meyer’s next (and possibly last) contribution to the four-part Twilight Saga. Ravenous fans have been looking forward to this book for ages, and now, as of August 28, 2008, Meyer says on her website that she is putting the project “on hold indefinitely.”
Why? A partial first draft of the book was leaked on the Internet recently by someone Meyer describes as a “trusted individual” with “no malicious intent.” Needless to say, things got out of hand. The leaked copy spread like wildfire, and Meyer responded on her website Thursday, clearly hurt by the infringement of her trust (and her legal rights). In answer to the question of what will happen to Midnight Sun now, she says, “In any case, I feel too sad about what has happened to continue working on Midnight Sun, and so it is on hold indefinitely.”
I can’t say that I’ve ever heard of something like this happening before. Sure, manuscripts are leaked all the time (many of them fake), but I have never heard of a leak actually preventing an author from finishing a book. This will certainly be a cautionary tale for fans. We may never know who leaked the manuscript or exactly why, but it is ironic that one person’s zealousness to get their hands on Midnight Sun will now make it so that millions never get a chance to read the entire story. What a devastating loss for Meyer, her fans and for her story. Now Edward’s perspective will never be told.
This also raises new questions about intellectual property rights and the Internet. As a blogger, I obviously embrace the Web as a dynamic space for idea sharing and community building, but Midnight Sun is just another example of how one dishonest individual can ruin things for the community. Really, this whole fiasco is a sad moment for Twilight fans and for the Internet community as a whole.
*Thanks to Teen Troves for first alerting me to this debacle.