Get 'em

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See also: hurt/comfort, whump, BUARA, darkfic, Trash
art by Connie Faddis to illustrate an article about get' ems in Interphase #3
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Get 'em is the gratuitous whumping of a specific character in a work of fanfiction.

Hurt/comfort is one of the earliest genres of fan fiction. Originally, they were called "get" stories -- "get Spock", "get Kirk". "Get" was meant in the slang sense -- to overcome, take revenge, or simply to hit or strike.

While it is hard to know when the term was first used, it was mentioned and explained in the 1972 panel discussion Fan Writing Panel or Don't Make Him Say That!.

"Get" stories were frequently gen, and often light on the comfort. The Star Trek zine Contact contained both 'Get-' style and 'Hurt/comfort' style stories, as well as both friendship and slash stories between Kirk and Spock.

A fan wrote to the Starsky and Hutch letterzine, S and H #22 (June 1981) that Mojave Crossing is the fandom's first get’em and that get’ems, were popular because, "for the sheer practice in dealing with feelings, they can be extremely useful."

Relationship to Hurt/Comfort

The intermixed relationship between the 'Get-' style story and the 'Hurt/comfort' style was pointed out by KS Langley, when she mentioned the editorial in Contact #4, which used both of the terms interchangeably: "CONTACT seems to have become known as the 'get-em' zine of fandom. It abounds with pain and the hurt/comfort syndrome. This was never our original intention. Granted, we all have that masochistic streak that loves to see our heroes suffer but four issues of ONLY this may have run its course."

Maggie Nowakowska writes:

From the inquiries [in the letterzine Jundland Wastes] about editorial attitudes toward violence begins a long debate over what defines a 'get' story: is it simply one in which the severe injury of a major character (a process that is often presented in great detail) is the only reason for the story, or is it any story in which a major character dies? STAR TREK fandom had made the 'get' story a major fanlit form as it put its heroes through innumerable physical and mental dangers in continued efforts to 'explore character.'... At this time, the 'get' story was already in the process of evolving into the 'hurt/comfort' story where the injury is not as important as the recovery thereafter, preferably under the care of a dear and affectionate — and often intimate — friend... This early [1981] in fandom, the pattern in the reactions to these subgenres — first 'get' stories, then 'hurt/comfort' — was not as obvious as it seems today… [1]

Sample Fanart in Zines