Elf Sternberg

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Elf Mathieu Sternberg, born May 7, 1966,[1] is the former keeper of the alt.sex FAQ.[2] He is also the author of many erotic stories and articles on sexuality and sexual practices, and is considered one of the most notable and prolific online erotica authors.[3]

Sternberg’s best known piece of writing is probably the erotic short story “The Only Fair Game” [1], which became famous/infamous for raising legal questions about fan fiction. Its speculation about homosexual and BDSM practices among Larry Niven’s Kzinti got Sternberg a cease-and-desist letter from Niven’s lawyers in an incident that to date remains notorious within the SF fandom community. Elf Sternberg claims the story is covered under parody protections; Larry Niven maintains that the story is a violation of copyright, but has not pursued further legal action. Larry Niven commented directly on this issue in a Slashdot interview.[4]

Elf is also the creator of The Journal Entries of Kennet R’yal Shardik, a long-running series of short erotica featuring a massive body of work covering the fictional ringworld Pendor (The Pendorwright Projects), and the wide variety of humans, humanoid species, robots, and artificial intelligences that inhabit it.[5]

He has been a regular poster on the Usenet groups alt.sex, rec.arts.sf.written, rec.arts.sf.composition and alt.atheism, and is listed on the Net.Legends FAQ.[6]


  1. ^ "elfs - Profile". Livejournal. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  2. ^ "Sex and the Internet: A volatile mix when kids are involved". CNN. December 14, 1996. 
  3. ^ "Ole Joe’s Guide". Retrieved 2007-09-22. Profiles, reviews, and several thousand story links for about 600 notable authors of erotic fiction, c. 1990-2004...P JURADO and Elf Sternberg are the most prolific science fiction and fantasy writers in the group. 
  4. ^ "Ladies and Gentlemen, Dr. Larry Niven". Slashdot. March 10, 2003. Retrieved 2007-09-22. I probably issued a cease-and-desist when the story was described to me as violating my copyright. It does that, of course...“If you want more Known Space stories” was intended as an invitation to daydream, not to violate my copyrights and steal my ideas. 
  5. ^ "Website Review: Elf Sternberg". Clean Sheets Erotica Magazine. August 22, 1997. Retrieved 2007-09-25. Elf Sternberg has been writing erotic fiction since 1989. That’s a long time. Almost 10 years’ worth of fiction has been uploaded to this website, the equivalent of two 360-page paperbacks a year...putting him in the ranks of the most prolific writers I’ve seen. 
  6. ^ DeLaney, David. "Net.Legends.FAQ (Noticeable Phenomena Of UseNet)". Retrieved 2007-09-24. Lesser Lights (Honorable Mention): not all of these are loons (many are quite sane), but all are notable in more than one group to some degree, or notorious in one group. There are *far* too many odd people on the net to mention all of them, or even a fraction thereof; these are some of the ones that have stuck in *other* peoples’ minds as...distinctive. 

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