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Tallific is a mailing list that eventually spawned a semi-public archive composed of public sections as well as sections that were only accessible to the mailing list membership with a login and password. The list and archive are centered around RPS based on the band Metallica and their close associates in the music world.
The list began in November 1999 when the original moderator, Spooks, posted a crossover story, "Awakening Soul," to the KSmithAres, a mostly slash list for fanfiction featuring Ares from the series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and other characters played by Kevin Smith. Spooks's story included a number of characters called Elementals which were based on the members of Metallica.
Given the general taboo against real person slash in many media fandom communities, the story created some tensions on list. Partly in reaction to that tension, Spooks created a new list on which to be able to post the story. That list was dubbed Tallific, and a number of regular readers of the KSmithAres migrated to the new list which was hosted on yahoogroups, as so many mailing lists in 1999 were.
RPS and media fandom
Although not as widely known in fandom as the RPS juggernauts that would develop in the next few years (such as popslash and LOTRPS), Tallific remains one model of the strategies used by RPS fans in the early days of RPS before it became more tolerated within media fandom as a whole.
It could not be characterized as a feral fandom in the sense that most people who joined the list were either concurrently involved in other media fandoms or had previously been involved in other fandoms before ending up on Tallific. In addition, it was not similar to the femslash fandom that developed around Xena: Warrior Princess, which had many of the same structures and tendencies as other fandoms, but which developed somewhat independently in terms of the terminology and structures (e.g., many XWP fans used terms like "subtext" stories rather than femslash and Uber stories instead of AU stories). On Tallific, most list members came to the list from another male/male slash fandom. However, it was never a mainstream fandom with a large following that was a regular generator of content at slash conventions in the United States. The list always had a relatively small membership that peaked at just over 100 members. This membership is certainly small when compared with many other larger fandoms, but given the taboos against RPS and the fact that the list survived simply based on word of mouth with its members so geographically dispersed and without support at slash conventions these numbers are pretty impressive. In many cases the list had posts monthly that numbered close to 2000.
The list did have one major face to face get together of its own making in late November and early December of 2000, when a number of list members traveled to London to meet up for what was unofficially dubbed "SpookyCon." It was not a formal convention in the sense of renting out meeting space at a hotel, but it did involve the usual convention activities of getting together to watch footage and squee and otherwise hang out. The get together coincided with Metallica's appearance at the My VH1 Music Awards which were held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on 30 November 2000. List members assembled at Spooky's house to watch the awards show, which turned out to be the last public appearance of Jason Newstead with the band before his departure and replacement with Robert Trujillo.
Since the ethics of RPS were and continue to be debated within fandom, Tallific was no different from other fandoms in that it engaged in debates about the boundaries of privacy and ethics in relation to fans' desire to play with the personae of public figures. One early marker of that discussion was Tallific's enduring rule that although the members of the group Metallica were fair game, any non-performing people associated with the group were not considered appropriate fodder for fan created texts. The "No Wives" rule remained in force on the mailing list and in the archive throughout Tallific's tenure.
When several people decided the "no wives" rule was too restrictive for them, they left the list in 2001 and started a list called Metslash.
In May of 2001 the Tallific archive was deleted and then re-established as the Talli-fic group on Yahoo Groups. Near the end of 2001 Spooky decided that she was no longer able to care for the list and the Talli-fic group and the reigns were handed over to Selursera (loracea) and Iphy, who are still moderators for the group.