Sci-fi fans who are users of the Internet: take a stab at rewriting your favorite shows

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Press Commentary
Title: Sci-fi fans who are users of the Internet: take a stab at rewriting your favorite shows
Commentator: Melissa Perenson
Date(s): February 1998
Venue: Sci-Fi Entertainment
Fandom: The X-Files
External Links: Sci-fi fans who are users of the Internet: take a stab at rewriting your favorite shows (Wayback)
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Sci-fi fans who are users of the Internet: take a stab at rewriting your favorite shows is an article about fanfiction on the internet.

The incredible phenomenon of fanfic on the Net is not an overnight sensation. Since about 1992, fanfic has been slowly building to the crescendo that it's reached today. The Internet has served as the great equaliser - good or bad, everyone now has a shot at having their stories read in public forum, accessible for millions worldwide. No longer is there a gatekeeper - be it a professional editor at a book publisher, or a self-declared editor of a fanzine. And because that barrier has been removed, fanfic is bordering on becoming a pop culture phenomenon - albeit one that's limited to the community of those connected online. A casual search on Yahoo reveals that there are 485 fan fiction sites on the Internet. And although not all of those are tied to science fiction series and movies, the vast majority are.

The article explains the phenomenon to a lay audience and quotes several fanfiction writers and readers (including some X-Files BNFs) on their motivation and the appeal of the genre. According to the article, "The X-Files is the dominating fanfic force on the Net, generating the most traffic as well as the most archive sites - both general and specialty - of any other science fiction property around."

Other online fandoms mentioned include: Star Trek (especially Voyager), Lois and Clark, Star Wars, Babylon 5, Sliders, Xena, Dr. Who, Quantum Leap, Highlander, SeaQuest DSV, Beauty and the Beast.

More recent articles often just claim that fanfiction is a genre written by young women, this article, on the other hand, refers to a survey with slightly different results:

There's no limit to the audience for fanfic: An informal survey posted on Usenet showed that the people who read fanfic range in age from 12 to 55 (with a particular popularity amongst the twentysomething demographic), ranging from teenagers and university students to professionals by trade. In many cases, fanfic provides a way to perpetuate the memory of a series, to keep the flame alive even after the show has long since been cancelled. Although fanfic is popular with both sexes, it's predominately written by women. Most people tend to discover fanfic by pure happenstance, stumbling across archives while perusing the Web, often soon after getting online for the first time.

Websites named and linked to in the article include: the X-Files Romantic Fanfic Archive and a Lois and Clark virtual fifth season ("one of five available on the Net").

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