Fans add own scenes to fictional favorites

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News Media Commentary
Title: Fans add own scenes to fictional favorites
Commentator: A.S Berman
Date(s): 22 February 2001
Venue: USA Today
Fandom: multimedia
External Links: reposted here; archive link
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Contents

Fans add own scenes to fictional favorites is an article which tried to explain the popularity behind fan fiction. Published in 2001, it was a little behind the curve in the great rush of other journalists trying to do the same. This piece focused on fanfiction.net and in typical fashion, cherry-picked some odder examples of fanfic, calling them "highlights."

Excerpts

The X-Files agents find themselves lost in the nightmare world of The Matrix, Ally McBeal loses her brother to a predatory secretary, and Hogan's Heroes chief Nazi seeks deathbed absolution on a very special Touched By An Angel.

Sweeps week already?

If only. These are just some of the strange story lines found on FanFiction.net, a site that whisks popular culture through the looking glass by allowing visitors to contribute original stories based on movies, TV shows, video games, even music groups.

With a few mouse clicks, one is liable to discover an original South Park episode in which the kids travel through time, new adventures based on the video game Quake, and Britney Spears' bitter lament over 'N Sync member Justin Timberlake.

Wait a minute. Britney and 'N Sync?

I have an acquaintance who writes 'N Sync (fan fiction), but she would regard their stage persona as characters, Savage says.

Launched in 1998 by Los Angeles software designer Xing Li, FanFiction.net reads like the 21st century successor to the poetry slams of the Beat Generation. Encouragement comes in the form of short reviews, usually positive, that visitors submit after reading a story.
"It's like the adult version of when kids play at being TV characters," explains Steven Savage, 32, of Columbus, Ohio, who writes a column for FanFiction.net, in addition to doing programming for the site. The stories, he says, are an example of what can happen "when people really care about something."