852 Prospect

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For the Sentinel zine 852 Prospect see 852 Prospect (Sentinel zine).
Name: 852 Prospect: The Sentinel Adult Fiction Archive
Date(s): October 1, 1996 – present
Archivist: Magician
Founder: Nita
Type: Adult (Slash and Het)
Fandom: The Sentinel
URL: 852 Prospect Archive AO3 Collection
www.852prospect.org (wayback)

Old website:
www.squidge.org/archive/index.html (wayback)
buckaroo-bonsai-tree.mit.edu/SXF (wayback)
http://b-b-t.mit.edu/SXF/ (defunct, 1999 or before[1])

852 Prospect logo
852 Prospect logo
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852 Prospect was an archive for adult fanfiction based on the TV show The Sentinel. While it accepted both het and slash adult stories, the majority of the stories on the archive were slash, reflecting the fandom.

Origin of the Title

The archive is named for the fictional address where the two main characters of the show live: 852 Prospect Ave., Apt. 307, Cascade, WA 98765, USA.


The original Sentinel Slash Archive, starting in 1996, was manually updated and run by Michelle. In 1997, when the archive had not been updated for over six months and Michelle could not be reached, Merry, Nita and several other fans started an Interim Archive on Tripod using copies they had of the some of the existing stories, adding new stories regularly as they were posted on the Sentinel fiction lists. Nita became the chief archivist shortly after the Interim Archive was created. A server meltdown took the original archive down in 1998 or 1999.

By November 1999, the Interim Archive had moved to a more permanent home on squidge.org. It was renamed 852 Prospect, and became the primary adult archive in the fandom.

Nita stayed on as archivist, mainly solo with occasional help from other fans, until July 2004, when she handed it over to alice ttlg. During the archive move to AO3 in 2012, Magician took over the role as moderator of the archive and has been its archivist ever since.

852 Prospect started out like all archives of the time: manual. The archivist and her helpers had to add each story by hand, coding all the links on various navigation pages. astolat wrote the first Automated Archive script for 852 Prospect while it was still on Tripod, making it the first automated fanfic archive on the web.

Work Categorisation

Works uploaded to the automated 852 Prospect could be categorised (and searched) using the following ratings, categories, pairings and warnings:

  • Ratings: G || PG || R || NC17
  • Category: Alternate Universes || Challenges || Crossovers || Drama || Episode Related || Filk || First Times || Holidays || Humor || Plot What Plot? || Poetry || Romance || Senslash Fun || Series
  • Pairings: J/B || J/S || B/S || J/m || B/m || S/m || J/f || B/f || S/f || J/B/S || J/B/m || J/B/f || Other Pairing || Pre-Slash || Stories with no pairing info
  • Warnings: b/d s/m violence death story m/m m/f f/f multiple partners rape/nc h/c song lyrics crossovers AU bestiality angst partner betrayal none Other: see story notes

Warnings were defined on the Posting to the Archive FAQ:

B/D: Bondage/Domination. This warning indicates that some variety of consensual bondage and/or dominance/submission content, usually sexual, will be occur within the story. Violence may or may not be involved.

S/M: Sadism/Masochism. This warning indicates that some variety of consensual sadism/masochism, usually sexual, will occur within the story.

Violence: There are varying degrees of violence. A punch in the nose is obviously less violent than ripping someone's head off. Use your own judgment with regard to what level of violence in a story requires a violence warning.

Death Story: This warning indicates that a major canonical character dies within the story.

M/M: Don't look at me that way. This is still the Adult Fiction Archive, not the Slash Fiction Archive, even if no one would notice if I changed that.

M/F: This warning is generally used on stories that also include heterosexual sex.

F/F: This warning is generally used to indicate that the homoerotic content of the slash story occurs between two female characters.

Multiple partners: This warning usually applies to stories containing characters involved in sexual or romantic relationships with more than one other character. This may include threesomes (such as J/B/S, etc.), or serial relationships (such as J/B, J/S, J/f, etc.).

Rape/NC: This warning indicates that some variety of forced sexual contact will occur within the story. Violence may or may not be involved.

H/C: Hurt/Comfort. This warning indicates that in the course of the story, one character will be harmed in some way and other characters will offer comfort. Violence may or may not be involved.

Song Lyrics: Yes, Song Lyrics. If the story contains paragraphs with Jim and/or Blair singing to each other or quoting song lyrics to show how they feel, please include this warning. If you just used small snippets from a song to separate sections of the story, nevermind.

Crossover: This warning is for those stories that take place in more than one show universe. If Jim's solving crimes that involve headless corpses, and trails an immortal to Seacouver. If Blair's an ensign on a starship. If Simon's a Nietzchian.

AU: Alternate Universe. This warning applies to stories that take place outside of the canonical "universe" of the show. Examples include stories set in the distant past or future, stories set in fantasy worlds, stories involving odd mental or magical powers, stories involving mythical creatures, etc. An AU may also be a story that intentionally ignores a point of show canon or branches off from canon before the end of the series and takes a different path -- such as, a story that takes for granted that The Sentinel by Blair Sandburg never happened, or a story that takes for granted that Jim never came back to Cascade, etc. You're going to have to use your own judgment here, too. If you're not sure, write to me and ask. I won't bite.

Bestiality: Jim's spirit animal is a very large, black jaguar. Blair's is a wolf. If you go there, just make sure you warn. 'Nuff said.

Partner Betrayal: This warning usually applies to betrayals on a large scale. If Jim frames Blair for murder, that's Partner Betrayal. Same if Blair publishes his dissertation, turns Jim over to bad guys, and whistles on his way to the bank, while ignoring Jim's screams in the background.

None: Choose this if the story needs no warnings at all.

Other: see story notes: Use this warning if the story contains some content you feel is not covered by the standard set of warnings. Or if you want to explain another warning in more detail.[2]

Import to Archive of Our Own

In July 2010, alice ttlg announced on the SXF mailing list that she was looking for an archivist to take over maintaining 852 Prospect:

The archive has been around a long time and it's run on a very old

version of autoarchive that requires manual maintenance. For various reasons (work, health, etc.) I've never had the time to upgrade it to a newer version or convert it one of the other archiving programs. If you're interested in running the archive, maintaining it as is or converting it, please contact me. I'm happy to continue hosting it for free (I own the server and host about 300 websites, mostly fannish) and pay for the domain name.

Maintaining it as is does require knowledge of ftp, text editing of a large flat (non-mysql) databases, html and css. Converting it to something else (efiction or whatever Archive of Our Own has created) requires more technical knowledge, some knowledge of php and mysql and a willingness to invest time, a lot of time. I'm not looking for helpers, I don't have time to train people to work with the existing archive. It's an all or nothing deal, take it over and maintain it, convert it, etc. or not. It doesn't require money (I'll continue to host and pay the domain), it requires time.

I won't hand it over to the first taker, I do want to see a demonstration of some knowledge and involvement, otherwise the archive would just stagnate under someone else's hands. I want to know that if someone takes it over, they'll do something with it. In the 13 years I've been in fandom I've seen a helluva lot of people gafiate and I know of only a few archivists still actively maintaining their archives after 10 years. I took 852 over because the original archivists had stopped maintaining it.

I'll continue running the archive as I can but I am tired of the attitude that it's somehow all a snap for me, that manually removing 150 stories out of 6000 is somehow a breeze. Archiving in any fandom, large or small, is never an easy task and I host and maintain about nine other archives. I pay the bill for the server each month (and have going on ten years now) and I don't ask for donations for any of it. Getting comments that I should hand it over to someone else is rather silly when that waiting list of people wanting to take over the archive is currently zero.

And I'm not seeking thanks or kudos or whatever - the people complaining are an extremely small minority (total of TWO) and I get random positive emails enough to know that people are still actively reading and enjoying the archive and so I'm committed to keeping it going but if there are people willing and able to put in the time and effort, I'd like to know.

Please feel free to distribute this email to other interested parties. [3]

In 2012, she began working with the Open Doors committee of the Organization for Transformative Works to import the archive to the Archive of Our Own.[4]

The import encountered several delays due to performance issues on the Archive of Our Own,[5][6] but the collection was created in January 2013 to allow 852 Prospect authors to manually import their works if they wished with Magician as the collection's archivist.[7] The rest of the 852 Prospect archive was imported to the Archive of Our Own on May 10, 2013, making it the second classic fic archive to be rescued by being imported into the Archive of Our Own.[8][9] All story links on the original 852 Prospect archive now redirect to their imported counterparts on the Archive of Our Own (with the exception of stories that have been deleted by their authors).

Some Stats

In 2007, Sentinel fans debated whether their fandom was on the wane. In a post to the Prospect-L mailing list one fan provided some helpful stats about the early years on 852 Prospect archive:

"I'm lucky enough to have some stats on hand from the earlier days of the 852 Prospect archive (as a result of a discussion claiming that this very mailing list was the death-knell of Sentinel fandom, believe it or not!)

Anyway, here's the info I have.....

"The archive was started 10/1/96. From that date to the end of June '97, we have 250 stories archived. The rest of these numbers run from July 1 to June 30 of the years mentioned.

1997-98 - 251 stories
1998-99 - 1272 stories
1999-00 - 979 stories
2000-01 - 773 stories

(The surge in 1998-99 is a result of the automated posting interface allowing people to catch up on previously-unarchived stories.)"

So yeah, there were a lot more stories being written in the heyday of Sentinel fandom."[10]

Other stats (supplied by the Prospect-L admin in 2007):

2002 - 635 stories
2003 - 514 stories
2004 - 423 stories
2005 - 305 stories
2006 - 254 stories

Fan Comments

The largest collection of The Sentinel SLASH fanfiction anywhere, this archive also accepts any HET/ADULT fanfic story or poem. Updated daily, it is easily navigated using the Automated Archive's Quicksearch system. Fanfic posted to the main mailing lists is automatically added to the archive, but authors can also post stories directly on the archive using the simple Automated Posting Interface. This archive is extremely user-friendly, and one can always find just what they're looking for with as little effort as possible. I used to use this sucker for my homepage, if that gives you any clue. :) [11]


  1. ^ Link from T'Mar's Slash Page: Wayback: 28 November 1999, Archived version Accessed: 18 April 2012
  2. ^ "Posting to the Archive". Archived from the original on 2007-09-11. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  3. ^ originally posted to SXF, reposted to Prospect-L, July 2010
  4. ^ "852 Prospect Moves In With the AO3". Archived from the original on 2014-09-11. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  5. ^ "852 Prospect: Not coming as soon as we thought". Archived from the original on 2014-06-15. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Open Doors 852 Prospect Delay". Archived from the original on 2014-06-15. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  7. ^ "852 Prospect - Manual Import FAQ". Archived from the original on 2014-09-01. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  8. ^ "852 Prospect Archive". Archived from the original on 2022-06-02. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  9. ^ "852 Prospect - AO3 Supports our Sentinel". Archived from the original on 2014-08-16. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  10. ^ January 24, 2007 post to Prospect-L quoted anonymously with permission. The stats were prepared by the 852 Prospect admin.
  11. ^ Moonbeam's Fanfiction Predilections. Fanfiction Quicklinks, Archived version (Last updated July 2005, Accessed 05 December 2015)