Fandom's Final Frontier: Homoerotic Literature

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Press Commentary
Title: Fandom's Final Frontier: Homoerotic Literature
Commentator: Mary McNamara
Date(s): 03 April 2001
Venue: Los Angeles Times
Fandom: slash
External Links: Fandom's Final Frontier: Homoerotic Literature (latimes.com); WebCite
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Contents

Fandom's Final Frontier: Homoerotic Literature is an article about slash fanfiction. It introduces the genre to a lay audience and names several of the big slash fandoms of its time. Fanfic writers were interviewed for the article and are quoted on topics such as Why Slash and the difference between zine and net fandom.

The article also refers to a panel at a 2001 slash convention in Santa Barbara, addresses the prevalence of m/m, and mentions "a small but growing genre of lesbian slash--focused around such shows as "Xena: Warrior Princess," and "ER".

This article was reprinted in DIAL #18. It was cited in Jae's essay "Young, Female, Single? A Study of Demographics and Writing-/Reading-Habits of Fanfiction Writers and Readers.

Some Excerpts

  • "From Star Trek, slash spread to buddy-cop shows - Starsky and Hutch and Emergency! were among early favorites - and other sci-fi offerings. As copying became cheaper, fanzines, including those devoted to slash fiction, proliferated; Kinko's remains the patron saint of fandom. But then along came the Internet and slash was never the same again. Hundreds of slash sites litter the Internet, some with art, graphic and otherwise, most of them with archives full of stories. Hundreds of stories. Thousands of stories. Stories that describe cooings and couplings of the most extraordinary nature. Nothing is sacred, everything is slashed. Wonder what it would be like if Hawkeye and Trapper ever got together? Luke and Han Solo? Mulder and Skinner? The cast of Homicide: Life on the Street? Easy to find out, in novellas that range from the sweedy romantic to the eye-poppingly hard-core..."
  • "There is a small but growing genre of lesbian slash - focused around such shows as Xena: Warrior Princess, and ER, but the vast majority of slash remains devoted to men. Many of the story lines are reminiscent of romance novels - forbidden love, with obstacles both external and internal - with a striking difference. The main characters are truly equal. And the fact that women must turn to gay male relationships to find this equality says much about the way women are portrayed onTV and in the movies."
  • "When I came in [to the slash community] everyone gave back," says one writer. "If you couldn't write, you collated. And the social network was stronger - you couldn't find slash if you didn't know someone. Now, you just go to Google and you can find hundreds of sites in two minutes."
  • "Of course 90% of anything is crap," says one longtime writer. "But at least with zines there was some editing. Now people just type away and send; they don't even spell check, much less get creative feedback. I know that some people are writing for the quick emotional thrill, and that's fine. But we do try to do outreach. We tell them, if you take your time, work on your craft, you'll get an even better thrill."
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