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See also: slasher, The Inner Circle, BNF
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Narrowly defined, an intellislasher is one of a group of slash writers in early Harry Potter fandom who didn't like the then prevailing trends in HP slash fic and wrote "intelli-slash" instead. Some of these fics were collected at the Intellislash archive (now defunct).

As far as I know, the term "intellislasher" was coined last spring [2001] and used among the members of the FA crowd (Heidi, Cassandra, the then-sane Stacey, myself, etc.) in reference to the group of slashers on LJ who basically could all play Seven Degrees of Slytherlynx; Rhoddlet, P-Z, Olympia -- basically all of the Post-Split Veelas -- Serious Black, Tradescant, sqeakyclean, Ravenchel, Kay Taylor... the list goes on.

I think the best explanation for why there’s the prefix of intelli- is because that during a period of fandom in which most slash you could find was utter crap (well, it was. despite the fact there were some obscure good fics circulating around then, most slash was either painfully mainstream and canned H/D, or just completely unreadable toss.), these people sprang up and started writing sophisticated, decent slash that catered to a picky palate. They were largely adventurous with the sorts of things they wrote, and managed to break down a lot of walls that were still remaining in the realm of HP slash even six months ago.

This style of elegant-slash, I suppose you could call it, is largely emulated these days. There are a lot of people who have followed along in the wake of this "finding a need and filling it" with their own versions, and relatively new people are being called intellislashers today; at this point in time it mostly refers to a certain community of people, and I don't think it's ever been intended as anything other than a positive term.[1] defines the term as "An intelligent slasher who takes tired and rehashed ideas and works them over in a new and innovative ways."[2]

There was a lot of wank surrounding intellislash, and the term was applied to fic by other authors. In 2005:

What I think going on with the "intellislash" thing is that some people are getting irritated by stylistic devices on a good bit of fic lately and are dubbing the writers and the styles as "intellislash" and the writers are going NOOOOOOOO!!!!! We are not writing "intellislash"! We are NOT CLAIMING to be "intellislashers"!!!" STFU!" So yea. From what I've seen, and the discussions I've looked at, the posters, who aren't writing said fic, are slapping that wrong title on them but I am too lazy to point out, that their links to the actual Intellislash website, if they would read them, would let them know that "Intellislashers" are JUST THOSE GIRLS.[3]

In Other Fandoms

The term intellislasher is specific to Harry Potter, but similar writing style trends did crop up in other fandoms. In a comment to Julad's 2005 SGA meta "Anyone who had a heart...", Beth H said,

Now...I *did* hear a lot about the perception of this kind of coldness creeping into Due South stories at a certain point in time, and I think much of that perception could be ascribed to a more...hmm...literary sensibility in some of the stories of the [then] new DS writers. It wasn't about one group being better writers, per se, but that one group seemed more interested in using figurative language, symbolism, non-linear narratives, and the kind of subtextual clues you're discussing above than the other group (and of course giving less of a focus, in many cases, to conversations and internal monologues that made the characters' feelings explicit).[4]


  1. ^ Marvolo. Quoted on ABOUT THE INTELLISLASHERS, from an October 2002 LiveJournal discussion. (Accessed 7 June 2014)
  2. ^ Fan Fiction Dictionary >> Intellislasher. (Accessed 7 June 2014)
  3. ^ comment by bloodybrilliant posting in bookshop's LiveJournal, 15 November 2005. (Accessed 7 June 2014)
  4. ^ comment by bethbethbeth in "Anyone who had a heart...", posted to livejournal 2005-05-10