How have authors integrated fanfic into their canon?
Eric Flint's 1632 / Assiti Shards universe includes material that was originally developed as fanfic (he strongly encourages fanfics and promotes research for the; finds some fanfics he likes, edits and publishes them, and integrates them into his ongoing storytelling).
I know that Flint is a big time experiment builder in general (he seems to be one of the - if not the main - driving forces behind Baen's Free Library concept).
Therefore I was wondering whether he was the first to treat fanfics in this way (as full fledged publishing-quality material worth including in his own ongoing canon), and where he stands vis-à-vis the trend of this development in Speculative Fiction publishing?
- Is Flint following the trends of other authors in this integration of fanfic?
- Is his treatment revolutionary compared to how other popular and established S&SF authors treat fanfics, or is it just an evolution that's slightly more accepting than other experimentalists?
- Is acceptance and integration of fanfics by the original author a growing trend?
By "fanfic", I'm looking for work produced by what anyone reasonable would genuinely consider an amateur fanfic creator. I refer to literary works produced by people who:
have not been commissioned by a publishing house/owner associated with the universe
have not written their works with the expectation of being officially included in the universe (e.g. people writing a Star Trek episode script to submit to Paramount in hopes of being made into an episode are not fanfic writers).
did not create their work as a result of a request by the owner/author of the universe.
aren't an established author creating a crossover tribute by agreement.