Canadian Shack Fic

From Fanlore
(Redirected from Canadian Shack)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Tropes and genres
Related tropes/genresDue South, Snowed In, Huddling for Warmth
See alsoCabin Fic
Related articles on Fanlore.

Canadian Shack fics originated in Due South fandom, with characters often finding themselves isolated at a Canadian shack in DS fanfiction.

This trope became more widely known after the 2001 multifandom challenge, 101 Ways To End Up In A Canadian Shack organized by Speranza.

Within Due South fandom, many of these works are set after the series finale, Call of the Wild, and involve Ray Kowalski and Benton Fraser "shacking up" in northern Canada (sometimes, but not always, literally in a shack).

Many early Due South Canadian Shack fics were referred to as "cabin fics"[1] and it was likely the 2001 Challenge which popularized the term Canadian Shack.

As of June 2022, 358 works used the Canadian Shack tag on AO3, including MCU, Sherlock, Hockey RPF and Hannibal works.

Example Fanworks

  • Four Virtues by Speranza, "It is a love thing and a sex thing. Also a food thing. A cow thing. A beef thing." (due South - 24 Jun 2001)
  • Canadian Shack #24 by Viridian5, When Mulder returns to consciousness tied up in a Canadian shack, he has unexpected, impossible company. (The X-Files - 01 Dec 2001)
  • Two Solitudes by emungere, After the fall, Will drags Hannibal out of the Atlantic and they find their way north to a remote part of Labrador, where they try to make a life together. (Hannibal - 02 Aug 2017)


Some fans were critical towards the trope. In response to the 2011 revival of the challenge, Canadian fan staranise wrote:

OMG, can the Canadian Shack meme die please die.

Someone over IM mentioned a story where the characters go to places all over the world--which had a lovely local detail about her area, which pleased her. She told me a bit about it, and I got into a snit. (If you can identify the fic, please don't use this post as a pretext to go be mean to the author. It's not about her as much as a whole meme that's been around for years)

The fic names several places the characters go. A town of 20,000 people in the American Midwest; a city of 100,000, and another of 300,000 on the Black Sea; a city of 3 million people in South America; and a... shack, in Canada.

That's it. A shack in Canada. All of Canada: shackland, where the gay white boys frolic and play. Canada has no cities! Just shacks. [...]

And yeah, we're a rich Western country with a strongly Northern European settler population, but come on. Everyone already knows this. Don't fucking overwrite someone else's geography and culture just so you can make it easier for your characters to fuck.

– staranise, 2012[2]

Her post in turn made Fandom Wank.[3] One commenter's suggestion to "write some porn set in rural south USA in a welfare slum trailer" was pointed out as especially outrageous.[4]

Soon after, naraht to post a linkspam of Canadian-shack-meta related links showing that discussion had spread to Fail Fandomanon as well as individual journals.[5]

The trope was discussed in a 2020 episode of fannish podcast Fansplaining:

For the first of potentially many episodes in the Patrons-only “Tropefest” series, Flourish and Elizabeth start at the only logical place at this moment in history: the “trapped together” trope. Elevators, storage closets, prison cells, snowstorms, and the granddaddy of all trapped together tropes, the “Canadian shack.”

– fansplaining, March 2020[6]

In 2022, sineala discussed the trope on Tumblr in response to an ask:

feverdreamdrifting asked: I have just discovered that there are 341 works in the ao3 tag “Canadian Shack”….. as a Canadian idek what to say. I can’t believe that’s like…. a trope

Oh! Oh! I know all about this! [...]

And then, as happens with fanon, other fans who might not have even been familiar with the Due South origin picked up the trope and ran with it because who doesn’t want to stick their OTP in a shack together because hooray forced-proximity tropes, and it became a thing that took on a life of its own, and that’s where we are today.

So, yeah. It’s one of those tropes that maybe makes a little more sense in its originating fandom but that everyone else has subsequently adopted in their own fandoms – like the daemons from His Dark Materials or the psychic wolves from the Iskryne series, or, for a certain value of “making sense in its original fandom,” Sentinel/Guide tropes (which are based on a popular genre of very intricate AUs in Sentinel fandom and doesn’t really have much basis in canon).

– sineala, March 8, 2022[7]

Archives & Links