Boys in Chains

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Name: Boys in Chains
Date(s): 2000 – 2005
October 2014 – present
Archivist: duskpeterson
Founder: RavenD
Type: slash
Fandom: Multiple Fandoms
at main domain
AO3 Collection
Chains: The Powerfic Archive
Boyschains logo.jpg
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Boys in Chains was a hand-coded multifandom slash fan fiction archive (with a companion mailing list, boysinchains and BIC-Announcements) devoted to fanworks about "power inequalities" or "structurally unequal relationships."

The original archive categories were slavefic, prisonfic, hookerfic, and Tie Me Up Fic (the archive's category for BDSM themes). The mission statement was expanded on 29 May 2007 to "make it clear that list members may post fan fiction and original fiction in the categories of m/m slash, f/f slash, gen, and het. Yaoi, yuri, and gay/lesbian fiction are also welcomed."[note 1]

Boys in Chains also archived portions of the Key Game[1] universe fiction. By the time the archive stopped updating, it had 478 stories.

From their main website:

"This site was created and is maintained by delicate, etiquette-oriented young women who are looking for academic discussions about how slashing characters built in a capitalistic system reclaims our power.

Long look

Did you buy that? Poor, innocent sod.

Honestly, we like fic, we like boys and we like chains (although RavenD's not at all opposed to leather). This is a happy home for all of the above.

In addition to the fan fiction archive, the website hosted art and photo manips focusing on themes of dominance and submission. Samples are below and more can be found in the Boys in Chains Art Gallery (via Wayback) or in the Chains AO3 Collection.

The boysinchains mailing list was still active until the mid-2000s, and in 2011 the mod of the list (duskpeterson) was looking to get the archive back on line.[2].

In October 2014, Open Doors and Dusk announced that the archive will be imported to the Archive of Our Own and renamed Chains: the Powerfic archive[3]. The import was completed in July 2015.

Proposed Print Zine

In 2001, the website began advertising for submissions for a fanzine "Boys in Chains Anthology" to be published by Torquere Press. The zine was never published. A submission request:

Torquere Press is proud to announce the upcoming puclication [sic] of the first "Boys in Chains" zine. This is a multi-fandom zine featuring the BIC 'themes' of slave fic, prisoner fic, whore fic and tie-me-ups (BDSM) with preference given to 'real slavery' stories. Submissions are now closed and editing has begun. Final copies of accepted submissions are to be in by July 30th. Expected publication date to be the end of September. To date we have fics from Star Wars and TPM, Gundam Wing, Highlander, Sentinel, Due South, Star Trek, Queer as Folk and Velvet Goldmine although the finished make-up of the zine is yet to finalized. [4]

Art Gallery

'Chained' by Black Rose for the novel L'Histoire d'Obi. Note: Marked as sexually explicit; minimized.
'Calligraphy' by Black Rose for the novel L'Histoire d'Obi. Note: Marked as sexually explicit; minimized.
'Slave' by Fuumin. Note: Marked as sexually explicit; minimized.
'Rope' by The Theban Band created specially for the Archive. Note: Marked as sexually explicit; minimized.

Timeline and History

warning page



RavenD: webmistress, listmom, and archivist of any fandoms not mentioned below.

VelmaDoo (later renamed Darth Velma): list co-moderator and archivist for Star Trek, Babylon 5, and Gladiator fic.

MJ Lee: archivist for Star Wars, X-Files and Comic fic.

Basinke: archivist for The Sentinel and Highlander fic.

  • September 25, 2000: RavenD solicits stories for a new "Girls in Chains" section of the archive, devoted to f/f slash.
  • September 28, 2000: The archive acquires its first gen story.
  • October 4, 2000: The archive acquires its first anime story.
  • October 7, 2000: An IRC channel, #bic, is opened at for real-time chat.
  • October 10, 2000: The archive's home page receives its 5000th hit.
  • December 22, 2000: The archive acquires its first original slash story.


  • January 7, 2001: MJ Lee, now a member of the staff, announces that the archive has a new category: whorefic. At some point, a humor fic section is added. The archive also include sections for art, recommendations, links, and "Bunnies on the Block" (writing resources), as well as a guestbook.
  • February 20, 2001: In a report to the e-mail list about her time at the Escapade slash con, RavenD straight-facedly denies reports of orgies and states that she and her fellow con-goers "are delicate, etiquette-oriented young women who were looking for academic discussions about how slashing characters built in a capitalistic system reclaimed our power." List member Glass Houses promptly requests that the line be included on the archive's warning page.
  • March 1, 2001: RavenD and MJ Lee solicit stories for a Boys in Chains zine.
  • April 2001: An article in the German gay magazine Hinnerk about slash fiction includes a link to Boys in Chains.


  • October 16, 2002: On this day, RavenD posts what proves to be the archive's final update during her tenure as webmistress. For the next decade, the archive will go on and offline more than once, and the list and archive will be periodically without leadership.


  • April 24, 2004: Rauhnee leads a discussion on various aspects of the archive's future, including whether to expand its original mission.


  • July 27, 2006: Dusk takes over as list moderator and later, by default, becomes maintainer of the archive.


  • October 31, 2014: The archive's move to the AO3 and its renaming is announced.
  • June 2015 - The archive's move to the AO3 is completed.

Work Categorisation

The hand-coded archive had the following categories, some of which were further broken down into fandom pages:

Works were listed on each page alphabetically by author (or by fandom and then author on the Misc pages) with and included title, author, pairing, rating, summary and warnings. Pairings, Ratings and Warnings were not standardised by the archive.


  1. ^ correspondence from duskpeterson to FishieMishie dated 10 August 2013, quoted with permission.