We usually speak of the events of a work of fiction in present tense, even though they may clearly have happened in the past: "Macbeth hallucinates a dagger floating before him." This is because the events of the work in a sense unfold as you're reading them, so they are always in the present.
But does this extend to facts about the work itself? Specifically, does it extend to discussion of the work's authorship?
Which of these sentences is more correct?
- A Brief History of Time is written by Stephen Hawking.
- A Brief History of Time was written by Stephen Hawking.
Does the age of the work in question matter?
- Macbeth is written by William Shakespeare.
- Macbeth was written by William Shakespeare.
Does it matter if the work is an ongoing series?
- Welcome to Night Vale is written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor.
- Welcome to Night Vale was written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor.
Are there other subtleties I haven't thought of?