The VICE Guide to Fan Fiction

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Press Commentary
Title: The VICE Guide to Fan Fiction
Commentator: Jerry McPheerson
Date(s): December 1, 2002
Venue: online
Fandom:
External Links: The VICE Guide to Fan Fiction, Archived version
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Contents

The VICE Guide to Fan Fiction is an article by Jerry McPheerson.

Like many articles written by outsiders, the author offers a highly negative and dismissive attitude towards fan fiction and is an example of fansplaining.

photo used in the article, a staged photo portraying one of the "new breed of hemorrhoid-laden überfan" either reading or writing fanfic

The article includes a Star Wars illo by Krista Kelly (unattributed). It also includes a staged photograph of a fan with a paper sack over their head at their computer, presumably reading or writing fanfic.

Topics Discussed

  • fanfic
  • Star Wars
  • Fanfix.com
  • a focus on "new breed of hemorrhoid-laden überfan"
  • includes the line: "There’s something inherently wrong in hearing about Han and Leia lying around in bed together, probably post-coitally. It’s like hearing your parents do it."
  • "“Alderaan Graveyard” may depict a scene that wasn’t in the films, but many of the poets at fanfix.com are literal to the point of retardation. It’s like having a hyperactive daughter tell you about their favorite part of a movie in excruciating detail."

Excerpts

Sandwiched somewhere between amateur porn pics, romance novel listservs, and Star Trek bulletin boards, there exists fan fiction. This is fandom at its most dedicated. “Fuck owning the director’s cut DVD,” says this new breed of hemorrhoid-laden überfan. “Let’s write twenty years’ worth of sequels using the characters, locations, and atmosphere of the original.”

There are two fundamental camps of fan fiction: the obsessive and the masturbatory. The former is mainly composed of people who look like the guy who owns the comic book store on The Simpsons. Their stories are meticulously correct in terms of both history and technology. “We’re not here to make mistakes,” says Steve Lowles, a Boba Fett expert who just finished a two-chapter adventure about Boba Fett hunting down some bounty in the meteor fields outside of Hoth. “You better be sure when you read my stuff the blasters will be dotted and the thrusters crossed.” Steve is small and chubby with the demeanor of a polar bear cub. He’s wearing an oversized Tommy Hilfiger T-shirt and his red hair is in a gentle middle part. He lives in Brooklyn but has been writing tales of the greatest bounty hunter in the galaxy since he was 10 (that was 21 years ago) in Wisconsin.

At the other end of the spectrum we have the second discipline of fan fiction – the masturbatory. Though it is usually straight-up jerk-off material, there is also a lot of poetry and love stories (something Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s fan fic writers are especially fond of). These guys are particularly hard to get a hold of, but, as Star Trek porn aficionado Dale232 told us via email, “This isn’t about us, it’s all about the fantasy.”
Star Wars Fanfix (“Haven for the wonder of fan fiction”) is the mother of all fan fiction sites. It’s at www.fanfix.com. There is months’ worth of excessively detailed Star Wars-related reading here. Krista Kelly is considered by most in the scene to be the Margaret Atwood of Star Wars poetry. “I just love living in that world,” she told us from her two-bedroom apartment in Bushwick. “I’ve been doing this forever and I’ve watched the community quadruple over the past year or so.” When asked to provide her favorite example of Star Wars poetry Krista came up with something a rival had written. “I’m willing to admit the poem ‘Alderaan Graveyard’ is better than anything I could do,” she said bravely. “It’s a story in which Princess Leia wakes up in the middle of the night, pining for her lost home planet (which the Empire blew up in the original Star Wars). The poem’s author, Mara Jade, ends with this couplet: ‘Han holds me tighter while I weep / until again I am asleep.’ That’s one of the greatest lines of all time.” As Krista goes on to some more favorites we end up feeling creepily peeping-Tomish. There’s something inherently wrong in hearing about Han and Leia lying around in bed together, probably post-coitally. It’s like hearing your parents do it.
The humor section is also well worth checking out. A guy who told us his name was Chris Vader did one particularly funny story in which they try to throw a surprise birthday party for Darth Vader. But oops! Vader’s a Jedi and he can read minds. So he doesn’t get surprised. That’s funny. “I thought it was,” he said indignantly over the phone. It was around that point that we realized we were making fun of an eight-year-old, which isn’t very cool and made us feel like we could be spending our time doing slightly more important things than making fun of kids. Like checking out more fan porn. Of course there’s plenty of Buffy fucking and getting fucked, Spock jerking off, and Dawson’s Creek orgies, but the really out-there shit is about characters whom only a small fraction of humanity would ever think to put into sexual situations.
They may be some of the most fucked up and nerdy human beings we’ve ever spoken to, but online fan fiction writers have an outstanding work ethic and are a hell of a lot more prolific than, say, Stephen King in the 80s. If you’re misanthropic, lonely, have a photographic memory, and obsessively love at least two obscure television shows or movies, this may be the community you’ve been looking for. If not, well then you better be prepared for a life of laughing with your friends, getting laid, talking about stuff, and having a really good time.
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