Godawful Fan Fiction

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Name: Godawful Fan Fiction, GAFF, GATF
Dates: October 15, 1998-present (founded the same day as Fanfiction.net)
Type: meta
Fandom: Multifandom
URL: http://www.godawful.net/
Godawful Fan Fiction Archive.jpg
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Godawful Fan Fiction is a controversial website devoted to mocking badfic.

It was founded in October 1998, the same day as Fanfiction.net.

The community's original focus was Star Trek; in roughly the fall of 2000, it dropped the Trek focus and became multi-fandom.

There was both a fiction website where excerpts of stories were posted and mocked, and a message board.

A November 1998 Announcement

Ever read any fan fiction? Ever read any *bad* fan fiction? Ever wondered how much worse it could possibly be? You can quit wondering. We've tracked down and reviewed the very worst examples of Star Trek fan fiction ever to crawl onto the web. Be afraid, be very afraid! [1]


From the main page:
Three small words that bring terror to the hearts and bile to the throats of the bravest souls. We've scoured the 'net since 1998 to bring you the foulest fan fiction available and we like to think that we're responsible for many a dry heave and sleepless night, but the truth of the matter is, we just showcase these abominations. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank those deluded souls actually writing Godawful Fan Fiction, without whom this site would never have been possible. Or necessary.

Please note: This website contains adult material and is suitable for adults only.

When you've had your fill of slash, gen, and 'ship fiction (fanfic terms for various character enganglements) [sic], when you groan at the arrival of each new "Mary Sue" (a ludicrously empowered author proxy), when you find yourself wishing every story you read had been beta-ed (i.e. edited), then it's time to visit Godawful Fan Fiction, where the worst fan fiction on the Web is filleted with the hot knife of peer criticism. - The New York Times Book Review



Godawful Star Trek Fan Fiction is created and made available to the public on a free Tripod page. The Wayback Machine has an archived copy of the site from October 5th 1998 here


After numerous death threats, threats of legal action and outraged claims that we would be the death of fan fiction we are finally TOSsed from Tripod. We never liked their pop-ups anyway. We set up shop on a another free server.
The first Godawful Message Board goes online as a direct result of requests from our regulars sick of using the guestbook as a default forum. That link will take you to our very first guestbook where the oldest message is dated Wednesday, May 12th 1999 - 03:12:35 PM (older messages had already scrolled off and are now lost). Also of note for gafftorians - the tail end of our very first flamewar (Cheile vs GAFF over her Star Trek: Voyager story set on the Titanic) is archived there.
Mary Sue Whipple is born on the Message Board.


We get a blurb in Yahoo Internet Life Magazine!
Godawful Star Trek Fan Fiction morphs into Godawful Fan Fiction as we turn our attention to all fandoms. No one is safe.
Our second message board goes online after our first ceases to exist. Traffic picks up.
Two words. Aaron Agassi.


Johnny Wizard, our resident troll, begins posting.



US TV Guide considers us one of "the Internet's best web sites"
We get a mention in the UK newspaper The Guardian.
GAFF goes down! Our free host reduces our bandwith to zero, forcing us offline, although loyal Regulars continue to fight the good fight on the message board.
Due to the growing popularity of the message board, despite its clunky interface, we move up to our bigger, better, faster, third message board.


Our third message board is TOSsed! Woe!
Godawful Fan Fiction goes legit and finally gets its own domain. We are TOSSproof at last! Sadly, Johnny Wizard is lost in the shuffle.
The New York Times Book Review singles us out for attention.
After existing in reduced circumstances for far too long the main site finally returns! Huzzah!


We get wicked-awesome new forums and traffic goes through the roof. Verily, The Golden Times are upon us.
Our prodigal troll, Johnny Wizard, reappears. Aw, bless.


The forums become too successful for their own good and the site outgrows its server space. Alas, access to the forums is limited, and there is much gnashing of teeth.
The webmaster disappears, despair descends, the end is nigh. Woe!


Rebirth! The webmaster returns from exile (looking suspiciously tanned) and finally bites the bullet and purchases GAFF its very own server.[2]

Similar Sites of the Time

Fan Reaction: 1998

I hate pages like this. [3]
You know, I did laugh at some of the comments, but I agree with you [about hating pages like this]. One of the stories in the "Best Smeller" section (ample, *ample* for anyone who wants to see what the site is about) has a review that goes on for paragraphs. Think of the time and energy that went into that pan. And the whole site. The graphics and code alone... The reviewer mentions that she teaches composition. Well, I do too, and I understand how really awful and painful it is to be forced to read a very badly written piece--and then one has to come up with constructive commentary, because after all one is paid to do so, and besides, only a sadist makes people feel bad on purpose and for no reason; only a person hung up on revenge wants to inflict suffering to exceed the suffering one has undergone. And it does exceed it, of course. Does anybody really think that the threat of appearing on a page like this will make people not write comma splices or tiresome Mary Sue stories? If only writing well were this kind of easily conditioned response. It is not. Giving negative feedback that will actually change people's writing behavior is the single hardest thing I have to try to do. The frustrated kid in me does sometimes dream of losing it and saying some of the stuff that comes to mind, but thank god I haven't yet lost it to the extent of building a site any more than I have started spray-painting graffiti on students' lockers. As teaching techniques, these are roughly similar. These people need another hobby. [4]
I find the Godawful Trek page painful and mean-spirited, and I can't imagine how anyone could think that it's cute, clever, or beneficial in any way. I agree with you one hundred percent. [5]
I have said more than once, that people in glass web sites shouldn't throw stones. Not only is it mean spirited, it is cowardly to announce to the world "Be afraid, be very afraid" when hiding behind anonymity. I admit to frequently checking the site, hoping against hope to be found archived there--without permission. I would deem it a badge of honor to be among those who have begun, and ended a piece of fanfic, and had the guts to post it before god and everybody [6]
What I truly and honestly don't understand about the Godawful FanFic page is this: Writing fanfic is something we do for fun. None of us get paid for it. It's a creative endeavor that comes purely out of joy and, in most cases, the same is returned to the writer via feedback. So I just don't understand why it is so important to these people (or to story flamers, in general) to take the fun out of it. I think the "writing for fun" is what separates fanfic from profic, more than the idea of pay, editorial restrictions, or quality of product. Many people use the comments and encouragement they receive to develop into better writers. So it seems really ridiculous for some jerk(s) with a webpage to go on a crusade against bad fanfic, since it is so obviously not intended to be helpful in any way whatsoever. It is a disgusting attempt to impose the standards of a small group on the community and to get certain people to stop writing. I don't care if they call it criticism; protesting the existence of the stories is censorship. I also find it interesting that these same folk don't tell us what they consider to be "good" fanfic. And they won't. Because the problem with being a snob is that the minute you say, "I really liked such-and-such," someone else can out-snob you by looking down their nose and sneering, "You liked that piece of crap?" Their page is not about fanfic; it's about their own self-important image. [7]
Of course--they think they're being cute when they're not, as Wildcat said. And (now this is just a guess) they're probably writers who might post here but might not have as much popularity as some of the authors listed on that page, so they are striking back in the most childish way possible and because they're too scared to blast the authors "to their face", they hide and try to throw their weight around, figuratively speaking of course. [8]
Anyone who pretends that what that site does is constructive is a few bricks short.[9]
See, my feeling is that every world needs a little mean-spiritedness in it. Unfortunately, in the Trekifanficiverse, *I* am the mean-spiritedness, and those jerks at Godawful shall feel my wrath. Well, if I had time to actually exercise my wrath, which I don't. Instead, they shall suffer the wrath of Alanis Morrisette. It's like RAAAAAAAAAAYYAYAYAYAYAYIIIINNNNNN on your wedding DAAYYYYY. It's a free RIYIYIYIYIYIYIYIIIIIIDE when you've already paid. It's like good ADVIIIIYIYIYIYIYICE that you just didn't take. Who would have thought; it figgurs. I figure that ought to keep them clutching their ears in pain for a while. [10]
For the record, I like the God Awful Trek site. Things here on ASC are just a little too touchy, feely, politically correct sometimes. And as for the 'let's be nice' nazi's...come on all, it's just for fun. It may not be your type of fun, but hey, they never promised you it would be. If you don't like what GATF stands for, don't read it. IMO, GATF fill a niche in our little corner of the fanfic world. It may be benthic in nature, but necessary none the less. And I, for one, am glad it's there. [11]
One of the reasons I support GATF and why several others post there is that they hope that one author, JUST ONE, will look at GATF and learn something from it and better there writing. If ONE person can be reached and learned something, then all the better. Being an active poster there, I have got to say, bickering on the board aside, I have learned a lot about writing because on GATF they have problem on the board disecting a story and saying what they feel which I've learned from previous accidents isn't tolerated here well. The other reason I post there is because when I have a problem with a fan

fiction, whining to the author or even being extremely polite and commenting on a typo has blown up in my face. I wrote on author and went on for pages about what I liked about a story and mentioned one or two minor grammar things that didn't work. I got that shoved back in my face. When this happens and when some one reads crap, well we all need to vent. GATF provides a forum for like minded indivudals to vent. Because of GATF, I've strengthened two of my on-line aquantneces to geniune real life friendship and I've learned a lot. In fact, hell, most of the time on the board we don't trash fic at all. I rarely see the page itself. I would really love to, if I had the time, start one for fic in general and for published stuff because man, I've read some real stinkers. On the issue of "we all right for fun", erm, no. I know of a couple of authors who write not for fun but to gain attention. That conflicts. Besides, even if you are writing for fun, you should still be able to write basic plots, spell check a story and use proper grammar. If you are writing Mary Sue fun, then write for fun. GATF isn't advocating that you stop writing. If you are writing for fun, then leave it on your hard drive and don't let GATF see it. Let the

GATF reviewers have their fun too. Don't deny one group their right too. Both parties can have fun. If the writers don't find GATF, then they can ignore it. Bsides, lots of cool people post to GATF and lurk their. Check it out. Tara from the PTC and Dangermom... Even they get sick of crap and the normal means of helping people write better just don't work.[12]
i like godawful for the fact that they show you how not to wirte a piece or crap by the examples that have been posted to their site. Mary Sue runs ampant their. Also if anyone has check out the best smeller burning thistles amongst the thorns you would have to agree that it is pretty awful. I had a headache after reading the first paragraph. it is as though the person swallowed an entire theasaurus. I am willing to bet that those authors have gotten feedback telling them how great their story is and so forth, but never any constructive crictism. And if they did i am also willing to bet that the author probably flamed the poor reader for giving constructive feedback to begin with. this is why i refuse to send feed back to any author because of this. This is a two way street. An author wants an audience to read their stories and keep coming back and have them tell their friends and so forth, but if you threathen and attack that reader for expressing their opinion then in their eyes the author is a rotten person and the reader will tell their friends how this person attack them and to not read that particular persons stories. Then readship drops off for the author and the writer will be left in the dark as to why no one is reading their stories. You catch more filies with honey then you do with vinegar. Which is why there is so much godawful trekficiton out there. Authors want feedback from their audience but all they want is good feedback. i have run into this problem on gatf with two frequent posters there. my thing is if you are going to write then damnit use a spell checker and get a beta reader. Don't inflict your poor spelling, bad grammar and awful sex scenes on your audience. [13]
I confess, I like the GATF site, too. I lurk on the message board sometimes, and I feel I've learned a lot from it. The criticism offered there is honest, but generally not brutal or unkind. I find it very useful. [14]
Wolfen, you know how much I love you, hon, but I have to disagree with you on this. I can't see how making fun of someone's writing efforts *publicly* can be termed "necessary." And as for ASC being "too touchy, feely," I prefer civil, mature discussion rather than flame wars. ASC is like a refuge compared to other newsgroups in this respect. Yes, I agree. If you don't like GATF, don't visit the site. But just knowing that it's out there turns my stomach and makes me angry. I was not blessed with high self-esteem as a child and teen, and when I was young, I was sometimes targeted by those who were "only having fun" -- at my expense. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. In *my* opinion, I think those at GATF still have some maturing to do.[15]
I agree that there is too little genuine criticism in the fanfic world. That said, the appropriate means of delivering most constructive criticism is privately, in an one-on-one communication. This is partly a matter of not hurting anyone's feelings, but more importantly, it guarantees that the message is heard and understood by the author. This is public ridicule for amusement. If you're going to indulge in it, nobody can stop you, but don't pretend to be on some crusade for good writing. [16]
Y'know, several times a year, GATF posts a site advertisement or an announcement of an update, and _every single time_ we have to have this big debate on the merits of the site. If you like it, read it. If you don't, treat it like a troll. I've seen some very effective troll cures around here. [17]
I would also prefer civil, mature discussion. But, in all reality, do we really get that on ASC? I'm not saying GATF is out there as a kindly service to the writers they have put on their site. I see their site as a backlash to the stiffling enviroment of ASC. And what I mean by that is, I do not believe ASC promotes and/or supports 'truth in feedback' no matter how much they purport to do so. [18]
ASC, from what I have been told my others, used to be a place where a writer could come in and get honest feedback and get help and actually improve. Hell, that type of atmosphere, I'd give my right eye for. Instead though, there is an air of non productivity. You rarely get an honest view or information that wil help you. Unless you're an established author or have a clique here, you won't get feedback or anythign constructive. I'd prefer for ASC to be like it sued to be, before the feedback of "you rock" or "Hey I liked your story and in the my next, I'll have that promised sex story out for you ;-)" Tell me, who benefits there?...And if you have a low self esteem, then don't post. Really, don't post. If you need only positive feedback, then send it to your friends via e-mail because not everyone likes everything. If you are that insecure that a little thing like that can't be used as a growing experince, then you aren't ready to post. Really. Don't post. I don't wish a GATf review upon any one either but if I see a piece on the internet, I will naturally assume that the author has the self esteem to post it and that they can deal with it because anyone with a brain knows that YOU CAN'T PLEASE EVERYONE ALL THE TIME. [19]
So what you're saying, [Laura Hale], is that the whole point of GATF is to provide a public forum to blast fiction written by others. Your purpose is *not* to help the writers, to show them the error of their ways as you interpret it. If there is indeed a group of readers who feel the need to "vent" about what they consider atrocious writing, then why not set up an email list since the comments aren't intended for the writers anyway....For the record, my self-esteem is rock-solid. As a 38-year-old mother of five who has lived a life of exhilarating highs and devastating lows, I've seen a lot and grown a lot since my childhood. The real world offers us enough cruelty and mean-spiritedness without us adding to it. I prefer to promote a more positive spirit. [20]
I have two objections to GATF: 1) Their review style is one that only hurts, and does not explain why. The language chosen in their reviews only causes anger, leading to any good advice they may have being lost in it's haze. 2) They've been told not to link directly to the ASC Archive stories, and are still doing so.. [21]
My personal opinion of the site is: if my stories were to appear there (which they may already, I only read so far until I caught the gist of the site), it would be akin to Nancy Reagan telling me my decor sucked. Who gives a rat's ass? I, however, am not like everyone and there are probably people who WOULD be offended by having their stories snidely commented upon on this page. It isn't making fun of the author. Ah, but it IS making fun of the author. And if the people who put this page up would simply ADMIT as much, this discussion would've ended a long time ago. It DOES make fun of the author. That is apparently its sole purpose. That and some deep seated need of the authors of the page to make jokes at other peoples' expense. Um, where, exactly in the GATF page is the CONSTRUCTIVE criticism? As you stated before, this is NOT a page for the WRITER, but a page for frustrated READERS who apparently cannot find constructive outlets for their irritation. It is a page for those who would point and laugh at someone who injured themselves without bothering to try to assist that person....No, one cannot please everyone all the time and to try is to make a ridiculous attempt to alter ones writing to serve the public. Yet you seem to EXPECT this from anyone whose fic is sited on GATF. So you don't like Mary Sue stories, so DON'T READ THEM. If you don't like J/C turbolift sex, MOVE ON TO A DIFFERENT STORY! There are people out there who DO like these things and there are people who enjoy writing them as well. Should they stop simply because GATF thinks it's awful? No, they shouldn't, they should continue to produce what they enjoy writing regardless of whether GATF thinks it's bad or not. Who the hell died and made GATF the Trek Fic Police? [22]
You have GOT to be joking! You think anyone who writes a story that ends up on GATF is going to have ANY desire to wade through the catty remarks, snide comments and rude observations and THEN write another story because they took these comments to heart???? What planet are you on?? GATF doesn't care about the authors improving, it cares about being as snidely amusing as it possibly can and giving its regular readers a good laugh at someone else's expense. [23]
I have no wish to deny you your constitutional rights. You have as much right to dislike, ridicule and post that opinion as I do or anyone else who is a citizen of the United States (an assumption I am making since you made the above statement first). My problem is with your perpetuating this MYTH that it is some sort of fabulous boon to authors whose stories appear on GATF as if you are providing them some sort of service for which you should be thanked. You aren't. You are providing yourselves with a venue to make fun of stories you dislike intensely, that's it. If you truly wished to assist these authors in improving their works, you would not be nearly as obnoxious about it. Simply admit to what it is the page represents and stop trying to behave as if you're being harrassed for no reason! [24]
I have trouble with this argument too. I don't bother reading bad stories. It's usually pretty obvious from the first few lines if a story is a hopeless Mary Sue, or the writer can't put together a complete sentence. I move on to something else. No frustration, and hence no need to vent. I sure don't need a website to tell me about all the bad stories so I can go and read them, and then...get frustrated by all the bad stories. Why are you spending so much time reading and reviewing stuff that makes you gag? If there are other readers out there who love the stories you think are trash, why shouldn't they enjoy them?[25]
I don't give a shit what those GATf people say about because like they are lameos and they wouldn't know good writing if it bit them in the ass. in fact they wrote that slash shit./ I went searching for that once and one of those idiots wrote a garak bashir slash. That stuff is so morally repupsulive. Maybe that's why they only list het stories. Besides you have restrictions. I meabn if I sent my fan zine when I get it done to braga I'm sure he'd happily shut down the whole fan fiction world except for me becaus eI'm cute and I'd sleep with him....I e-mailed them and like asked them and they told me that my fan fiction was the only good fan fiction.  :-) They have good tastes. did I tell you they are the leader of my fan club? I have one. It cost $20 to join. Erm.. oh yeah... that's kinda or.... but really, I e-mailed them and they said that I was the best fan fiction writer and told me that they would help me to win the ASC AWRDS! Dude, isn't that like the coolest? So there you go, I defined good fan fiction for you. Just e-mail those pro-slash idiots and ask (I forgive them for their moral error cause dude, they love me! [26] [27]
I have read a lot of things, pro and novice, internet published and paper published. Not everything I have read has been great and a lot of it, I really would rather not have read but for various reasons I have. Among the things I have read that are not what I would normal by their defintion quailfy as good are slash stories, accounting text books, unfamiliar authors, moby dick and other selected classics. By being forced to read them through obligations to upkeep my grades, at the pressure of friends, out of a geniune desire to increase my exposure to a more ecletic selection of material, to find out what all the hoopla, I've grown personally. I've learned a great deal more about the world that I would not have known otherwise. Heck, I even enjoy reading certain slash stories. I've aquired a greater apprecation for accountants. My horizons have broadened exponetially because I didn't set a bad piece of work, something that conflicts with my tastes, to the side and only read stuff I was known an familiar with. To say that you should pass on things that you don't like... well, in my opinion that's stifling yourself and making your world smaller. I would not be the person I am if I hadn;t sludged through Moby Dick, read War and Peace, read my 6th grade history book. So, really, by saying that should just pass on stuff that you view as bad, seems to me to be asking the person to narrow their world view and not be willing to accept different ideas. [28]
Sorry, I couldn't let this pass unremarked. I've read Moby Dick. Moby Dick was a friend of mine. And lousy fanfic is *not* Moby Dick! I just have trouble with the concept that by not reading poorly written fanfic, or fanfic in a genre that we dislike, we're somehow 'narrowing our world view'. Would it also be true that we're narrowing our world view if we fail to read every book in the bookstore and library, and see every movie ever made? I support people's right to write and post fanfic, any fanfic, even the worst and lousiest fanfic in the world. But to make the claim that I'm a narrow-minded person if I don't *read* it all is really taking it too far. You have the right to write and to post. You do *not* have the right to insist that I *read* what you wrote, or to cast aspersions on me if I choose not to. Life is too short to read bad fanfic. [29]
I think the GATF folks are out of line and mean. It's much more useful to write a serious essay on the subject, rather than ripping poor little innocent writers--who may just be getting their sea legs, for God's sake--to pieces. Just because *I* am rhino-hided doesn't mean that I'm insensitive to the needs of people who aren't. Just because I happen to write reasonably well doesn't mean that I'm insensitive to those who don't. [30]
All I can say to this fact is that it is a very hurtful thing that these folks are doing here. I can speak from experience. I wrote my first Trek fic earlier this year. I had no writing experience whatsoever, had no idea what a beta reader was - so neededless to say COMMAND DECISIONS left a lot to be desired. But I received no flames, only encouragement. It was that encouragement that inspired me to keep writing and improving my craft. Instead of being critical of my mistakes and inexperience, a very special and kind person here read my story and contacted me privately concerning it. This person commended my efforts and my ideas and very tactfully showed me the errors that are common with new writers. The same person offered their valuable time to help me learn the mechanics of good writing and I hungrily accepted. At first, my ego was deflated when I saw how pitiful my writing structure really was (I came to this conclusion myself - the friend would have never said so). But I decided to learn from the mistakes, listen to the counsel and improve where I could. I realize that I still have a long way to go, but I and others can see the improvement in my writing...My point here is that if I had been put down or found my stories on the web site in question, I would have been hurt and discouraged beyond belief and probably would have never written again. Instead, I am now going back to college at age 30 to study creative writing in hopes of becoming a professional author in the future. I owe this all to the thoughtful people who encouraged me instead of being critical. I owe the most thanks to the dear person who came to my rescue and has become a great friend. So I am not 'coming down' on those that have the GATF site. That is their personal business, but I do hope they re-think what they are doing to people's lives. It isn't just a game or a joke. There are real people and real feelings behind the stories here. Please think about how you would feel if the situation was reversed. Maybe you could give these folks some much needed writing assistance like someone did for me instead of making fun and putting them down. Your time and efforts would be much better spent and you might just be blessed in return. [31]
I haven't been there, but I think the premise for the website is completely misguided, at best; at worst, it comes dangerously close to what I would consider hate-mongering. Otherwise why would it be necessary to post this "real criticism" publicly? Do they somehow think it's more effective than E-mailing it privately? [32]
...the [Godawful Fan Fiction] board has been very quiet lately. i am up for a good debate. i do hope everyone drops by, we need some fresh meat. [33]

Fan Reaction: 2015

Comments below from: Fail_Fandomanon: Concrit and Fan Culture; archive link part 1; archive link part 2; archive link part 3; archive link part 4.

I remember the olden days of the OBAFU, and Godawful Fanfic, where "concrit," was encouraged, and authors were expected not to take "concrit," personally and to use it to grow. But in retrospect, most of it was BS, it was a way of subtly bullying younger, less experienced authors, and authors whose fic you didn't agree with.
Speaking for someone who was in GAFF -- there was a pretty hard rule that you did not tell the writer that they were being sporked. No one wanted the writer to show up in the discussion. Sporkings weren't meant to be concrit or review, they were meant to be entertainment. But within the group itself there was plenty of wank and disagreement over very petty things. They really didn't get the concept of YMMV or YKINMKBTOK and being mean was definitely A-Okay. They would not be the people to go to for concrit.
I was in Godawful Fanfic I think it is really telling that they never could get up a fic recs section. No one felt safe enough to recommend fics because everyone felt perfectly safe in tearing down a fic for any reason, including just not liking the pairing. It's all fine to tear down someone else, but it's not so easy to put yourself in a position to be torn down. I actually left GAFF because I figured that if I was going to mock people for writing fic, I should write fic myself, so that I was on an even footing. Once I had, I realized just how repressed and uptight a bunch they were.
I remember GAFF, and I remember it being really vicious for what seemed to be really innocuous reasons, like not liking the pairing. I remember people being afraid of ending up with a fic of theirs there, because it was like the Official Badfic Author stamp or something. I've seen the complaint that GAFF is repressed and uptight a couple of times on meme. I wasn't a frequent enough visitor to know, so I'd like to know where this comes from.
Where does it come from? Because they had trained themselves to be. Only the safest, most vanilla tastes could possibly be expressed without someone going off on how awful it was. All slash fic (don't even mention femmeslash!) was disturbingly wrong. Any fetish other than PIV was declared loudly icky. Any pairing that wasn't canon (and some that were) were bad. Any fic that wasn't 100 percent canon compliant/canon pairing/PG was the worst thing ever to someone. Then you go into fandom and you can choose from all the pairings and all the kinks and all the tropes and my word reading "badfic" was a lot more fun than reading "goodfic" (which no one could ever agree on even existing).
Ooooh, now I get it. Like I said, I didn't hang out there long, but somewhere downthread I mentioned the whole "standards of badfic ratcheting lower until nothing is good", in communities/forums/general gathering places with a similar ethos (for lack of a better word) to GAFF. And you're right. "Badfic" is a lot more fun. Especially when the few things that were considered "good" are either boring or "would be considered badfic if it wasn't by a prominent person".
The interesting thing in retrospect was that so much of it was a lie. I don't believe for a second the GAFFers limited themselves to the g rated canon compliant fic literature they claimed to. It's just that they had set up a positive feedback loop for negativity. Basically you could be as absurd as you wanted to be as long as you were talking something down. There were no limits to how picky you were allowed to be and still embraced So they didn't just pick on the big stuff, they picked on anything they could conceivably pick on. And it turns out nit-picking is an extremely easy, totally safe pass time. Against that any positivity had an unrewarding uphill battle. It really is no wonder that the site fell apart under the weight of it's own unreasonableness.
I wonder how much of it was a total lie, as in "people reading stuff they loudly proclaimed 'badfic' when they weren't screaming about how bad it was" and how much of it was "Everything left that could be considered 'good' is not particularly interesting if that's all there is". At least in other similar places I hung out in, the problem I had, among a couple others, was that anything that could fit the definition of "good", within the increasingly narrow parameters of what a given community would approve of, could comfortably occupy the space of a 3.5" floppy disc and there'd still be plenty of room left on the disc for the guilty pleasure fics with emphasis on "guilty".

Further Reading


  1. ASC
  2. Godawful Fan Fiction - A Brief History, via Wayback: 07 December 2008. (Accessed 01 April 2013)
  3. Yahtzee at ASC, November 1998
  4. Jane at ASC, November 1998
  5. Wildcat at ASC, November 1998
  6. Bridget at ASC, November 1998
  7. Jungle Kitty at ASC, November 1998
  8. Cheile at ASC, November 1998
  9. Lori at ASC, November 1998
  10. Laura JV at ASC, November 1998
  11. wolfen at ASC, November 1998
  12. Laura Hale at ASC, November 1998
  13. Eliza at ASC, November 1998
  14. Shayney at ASC, November 1998
  15. TrexPhile at ASC, November 1998
  16. Yahtzee at ASC, November 1998
  17. Brooke at ASC, November 1998
  18. wolfen at ASC, November 1998
  19. Laura Hale at ASC, November 1998
  20. TrexPhile at ASC, November 1998
  21. Stephen Ratliff at ASC, November 1998
  22. Bevster at ASC, November 1998
  23. TrexPhile at ASC, November 1998
  24. Bevster at ASC, November 1998
  25. Marlissa Campbell at ASC, November 1998
  26. Mary Sue Whipple at ASC, November 1998
  27. Laura Hale claims to be Mary Sue Whipple, something that is a untrue and misleading. See Mary Sue Whipple: Co-oped, and Not in the Way the Creator Intended.
  28. Laura Hale at ASC, November 1998
  29. Joyce Harmon at ASC, November 1998
  30. Laura JV at ASC, November 1998
  31. Micaela Harris at ASC, November 1998
  32. Gamin Davis at ASC, November 1998
  33. Tamara at ASC, November 1998
Related Concepts, Fandoms, Terms, Fanworks
See also badfic, MSTing, Sporking, Turkey Reading, Netiquette of badfic!, Bad Fanfic! No Biscuit!, Citizens Against Bad Slash