Hanson

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RPF Fandom
Name(s): Hanson
Scope/Focus: Hanson, The Moffatts, and associated bands
Date(s): 1997-present
See also: Official website
Wikipedia article
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Contents

circa 1998, "Hanson in Black" fanart by Kodiak, whose site was featured in Hanson's own zine MOE.
Table of contents of the fanfic issue of PULPHanson
Taylor and Alley from Catapult by Ella, drawn by Lily Fox
Hanslash by Adalen from her comic Skeddios

Hanson consist of three brothers -- Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson -- from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The band performed their first concert in 1992 and recorded two independent records before signing with Mercury Records and recording 1997's Middle of Nowhere. They achieved great commercial success with this album and the single MMMBop. The band suffered from the merger that moved them from Mercury Records to Island Def Jam, and in 2003 formed their own company, 3CG Records.

History

This fandom developed in the days before LiveJournal and FanFiction.Net. Most of the early fan sites, art and fiction was located on free websites, often through hosting services such as Geocities and Angelfire. Although much of the fandom has migrated to LiveJournal in recent years, many fans do still host their own stories on private websites. The Hanson fandom was at its largest from 1997 to 2000, and has gradually declined in size since then. The boys' marriages (Taylor in 2002, Zac and Isaac in 2006) also put a strain on the fandom and influenced the type of stories that were written.

Three of the most popular websites that hosted hanfic were Alone In The Pretense, HansonFiction.com and The Yellow Walkie Talkie . Currently, the largest hanfic site on the web is PlaceToHide.net, which hosts fic, awards and challenges, as well as posting articles, reviews and more information about hanfic.

Terminology

Het and Gen Fiction

Like most popstars, early hanfic (especially stories written by female fans) featured het plotlines pairing the boys with OFCs. Unlike other fandoms, such as popslash, het has remained popular in hanfic. An article in USA Today (archived on an old Hanson website) criticized the writing in early hanfic stories, but ultimately came to the conclusion that it was a healthy form of expression for young fans.[3]

Sherman sees the good. "They're making friends based on their interest and their love of creative writing," she says. As a teen, "I used to write screenplays for my favorite TV shows. I would write a character for myself to play," she says. "I never sent them to anyone. It was my way of dreaming about it." She was a Partridge Family fan. She wishes she'd had an internet connection. "It would have been amazing if I had known that other girls my age were doing the same thing," she says.

Another article from Tulsa World was less forgiving:[4]

The web is now thoroughly packed with clearinghouses of this novice prose. The stories are written mostly by girls and -- yeeees -- a few older women, and they cover just what you'd expect them to: idolizing a Hanson, meeting a Hanson and eventually smooching a Hanson.

One snippet of a fan's rebuttal (which can be read in full at the above link):

There are some beautifully written stories on the internet that should not go ignored. If Hanson has proven to be a muse for these authors, I'm sure Isaac, Taylor and Zac would feel honored. They are essentially artists at heart.

Pairings with other female celebrities are quite rare, despite rumored relationships with M2M and Michelle Branch. Few stories featured their real life girlfriends (and rumored girlfriends) prior to Taylor's marriage.

Gen is not incredibly popular within this fandom; most stories contain some amount of romance. Typical gen stories might focus on some sort of drama or angst within the band. Other genres are explored within gen stories, as well. Historical AU, horror, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, comedy (sometimes bordering on crackfic) and others have been represented in hanfic. Of these, horror and supernatural themes are quite popular, and a few fans once coined the term "torturing Taylor" to describe their brand of whumping. From an article title "Why Justin Bieber Keeps Dying in Fan Fiction:" [5]

The phenomenon (deathfic) goes back to the serendipitously timed dawn of both the internet going mainstream and the late ’90s/early ’00s rise of boy bands. In a story from 2001, Taylor Hanson is a drug dealer incarcerated on death row penning a letter to the unborn child of his pregnant girlfriend: “Taylor handed an envelope to Isaac shortly before his lethal injection, ‘Give this to Jr when he’s 14, I know that he’ll have music in his veins’… The shot took effect and Taylor was pronounced dead at 4:27 PM.”

Slash Fiction

Incestuous pairings are quite popular in this fandom, the most popular being Zac/Taylor, more often abbreviated to Zaylor. In recent years, there has been much contention between "het" and "cest" fans. Cest fans are more likely to embrace LiveJournal and their stories are largely flocked.

In the past, crossovers which paired the boys with members of The Moffatts were quite popular. Among these stories, Scott/Taylor was the most popular pairing, with Zac/Dave coming in second. Zac/Bob was also quite popular (primarily because both are drummers). If paired at all, Isaac was usually paired with Clint.German popstars Gil and Tal Ofarim, who had recorded with The Moffatts, occasionally made their way into stories, with Taylor/Gil and Zac/Tal being popular pairings.

Taylor/Eminem is a pairing made popular largely due to Ahestele's stories. Taylor is also often paired with Alex Greenwald of the band Phantom Planet, due to their rumored relationship. Zac's friendship with Carrick Moore Gerrety of the band Everybody Else, close friends of Hanson, has lead to the two of them being paired together as well. Recently, a story called SNAFU has popularized the Taylor/Tommy Joe Ratliff pairing, but so far it's the only story of any length to pair the two.

Notable Stories and Authors

  • Bed of Lies by Brittney. Written after Taylor's shotgun wedding, this story is written from the point of view of a girl whose one night stand with Taylor leads to a fake wedding to save face. The story and its sequel, Happily Ever After Doesn't Exist, show the growth of their relationship in the face of stalking, death threats and attempts on their lives.
  • Catapult by Ella. Features a plot similar to the movie Just Like Heaven, although the fic was written first. Currently being converted to original fiction.
  • The Day The Earth Moved by Taylor Quest. One of the first stories by a gay male author to achieve popularity among female fans. The series is still in progress, making it the longest running hanfic to date.
  • Devil Angel by Aspen. The first story to slash Taylor and Scott Moffatt. Spawned a fandom unto itself, thanks to the Devil Angel E-group. The author encouraged her fans to write "lost chapters" which explored various sexual relationships within the story. Some also attempted to finish the story, which remains incomplete to this day.
  • Embers by Ahestele. A crossover which slashed Taylor with Eminem, in an alternate universe where the two are figure skaters.
  • I'm Not A Playa I Just Crush A Lot by Amber. One of the first mainstream stories to feature explicit (and occasionally non-consensual) sexual content. The story is quite infamous for its controversial portrayal of Taylor.
  • Lost Without Each Other Trilogy by Kerry. This story and its author spawned the term Zaylor, although the genre had existed for years without a pairing smush name.
  • The Manchester Trilogy by Stephen. This well-received series includes MMMmiracle, Sins of the Father, and the never completed Angels Unaware. MMMmiracle and Angels Unware are crossover hanfics, utilizing the characters from the CBS television show Touched by an Angel. The author was one of the few male hanfic writers and also created the popular Taylight Zone anthology series. The stories are featured on The Yellow Walkie Talkie.
  • Myra's Stories. This author wrote a number of popular series and stand alone stories, many of which featured quite adult content for their time. One of the stories has been converted into original fic and published. [6]
  • On My Own by Akimbie. One of the earliest stories to feature Taylor and Zac in an incestous relationship, written by an author who had previously established herself by writing het. Brought slash and incest into the mainstream fandom.
  • SNAFU and sequel FUBAR by Ali. Notable for slashing Taylor with Tommy Joe Ratliff, and being highly popular within the Adam Lambert fandom.
  • The Sweet Shoppe by Candystix. Popular early erotica, with some incestuous stories that may have predated On My Own. Mostly oneshots.
  • Tulsa 74132 by Sarah, Laurie and Melissa. Written as a parody of teen soap operas, Tulsa 71432 was one of the earliest fics to achieve widespread popularity. The name is obviously a reference to the tv show Beverly Hills 90210. Possibly the first hanfic, as one website states that it was first published in July 1997.
  • Zac Says Tay Still Wets The Bed by Nick. One of few gen fics to be widely popular, this story mixes comedy and adventure in a plot involving a highjacked airplane which Hanson happens to be on. Two sequels, I Ain't No Angel and My Little Blonde Friend, were also written.

External Links

References

  1. Chapter of If You Read This with possible first usage of the term hancest
  2. Chapter of You'll Never Escape with possibly first usage of the term zaylor
  3. Archived version of USA Today article on early het hanfic
  4. transcript of the original Tulsa World article on Hanson fanfic, along with comments by an author
  5. Why Justin Bieber Keeps Dying in Fan Fiction, article that mentions hanfic as well
  6. Colorblind by Myra J., a hanfic with the serial numbers filed off and published as original fic
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