|Tropes and genres
|pastfic, kidfic, next generation, Post-Gauda Prime, Post-NFA, Next Generation
|open canon, closed canon, Aged up
|Related articles on Fanlore.
Futurefic (noun) is a type of fan fiction set in the "future" relative to current available canon. Futurefic can be written for either open canons (such as a television show currently on the air) or closed canons (such as a show that has been cancelled). Futurefic can include stories set in the 24th century (e.g. Reboot Spock's retirement party) or in the 19th (e.g. the birth of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy's child).
Example: I wrote a futurefic about Clark and Lex taking their three-year-old daughter to school.
Futurefic is often combined with other fannish story tropes. In crossovers between disparate fandoms, one or both timelines have to be adjusted, or pushed into the future. Futurefics can also include tropes common in kidfic, time travel fic or Apocafic.
Some fandoms, such as Austen, use "sequel" for this type of story. In closed canons, these works are often tagged as "Post-Canon".
In open canons, it allows fans to set stories far enough in the future that the next season won't immediately joss their story, it opens up the possibilities of the canon (sure, now they don't have any -- friends, money, choices, whatever -- but maybe in the future they will), and allows a writer to speedbump specific things they may not like about the current canon storyline. In many works, it allows writers to focus on the domestic relationship of a pairing that is not canon, yet.
In canons, with minors a future fic can provide writers an opportunity to age up characters. Futurefic is a popular genre in Smallville fandom. In the beginning, it allowed fans to age Clark Kent forward from 15 or 16 to an age where they felt more comfortable putting him in sexual situations. This is no longer relevant now that Clark's old enough to vote, but changing Clark's age isn't the only reason why the genre's so popular. A Smallville futurefic might put Clark in college, working at the Daily Planet, or a hundred years in the future. It gives fanwriters the opportunity to play off events in Superman and DC Comics canon and marry them with elements specific to Smallville. Futurefic is popular in fandoms without Smallville's unique crossover issues, too.
With characters who have a well known story, like Clark Kent, Merlin or Bruce Wayne, a new younger and less experienced iteration of the character is often aged up, to a point where writers can tackle other aspects of their story. For example future fics set when John Connor from TSCC is a General fighting the machines, or works where the Gotham version of Bruce Wayne has donned the cape.
In other works, future fics brush aside ongoing wars or other canon obstacles to focus on character interactions.
Futurefic is especially common in sources with very 'tight' canon -- shows like 24 and standalone movies like Die Hard that are set in a single day or two, where there's no room to write stories within the actual time of the show or movie.
Futurefic is also common in closed canons that end more or less abruptly with couples getting together, where fanwriters often want to explore the relationship in more detail; an example is Austen, where sequels featuring the canonical pairings are one of the most common types of fanfiction. Some fics set post-canon can be virtual seasons in the cases of TV shows that are canceled unexpectedly or have unsatisfactory endings.
A fic set post available canon, does not always adhere to all available canon, such was the case with many Harry Potter future fics and Next Generation works that ignored JK Rowling's epilogue. These fics also demonstrate how works set post canon can flesh out characters that were not the focus of the original source material; in this case, the children of Harry, Ron, Hermione and Draco. While these works appeared to be based on a closed canon, much fanon was jossed by the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
- Phoenix Burning by Yahtzee is a novel-length episode tag to a Buffy episode... that starts 350 years later.
- Rumor by florahart is an HP slash futurefic, written when Harry and Ron were still children, but set after they are more appropriately aged.
- Synecdochic's Freedom's Just Another Word For Nothing Left To Lose is a famous SGA story set after the (non-canonical) death of a major character.
- Tiffany Rawlins' The Long Run and its related stories are popslash futurefic, set in a future where Chris owns a bar, Lance is a mogul and the group members have scattered to go their own ways.
- Firimar by Ithilwen is a far-future vignette in Tolkien fandom, where futurefic (often termed 'Fourth Age' fanfiction) is a very common genre.