It’s not uncommon for writers to get their start by telling stories in a world they’re already comfortable with, but it’s a bit more uncommon for a bestselling author to do it.
Author Andy Weir, who wrote the bestselling sci-fi novel The Martian (it inspired a movie you might’ve heard about), is apparently a very big fan of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. So much so, in fact, that he wrote his own prequel short story within that universe — basically, it was fan fiction. He wrote it for fun, because he loves the world Cline built. Weir posted the story online for fans to read, and that was the end of it.
Or at least it was until Cline got hold of Weir’s story and liked it so much he decided to retcon the story in as official canon. He then went on to include it as an addendum in a new edition of Ready Player One. It’s an awesome bit of fan geekery, and it gives a bit of hope to fan-fiction writers everywhere. It can happen for you! Just, you know, also be a best-selling author.
You can read Weir’s story, “Lacero,” right here.
Check out Weir’s Facebook post about the experience below: