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You may be looking for the Sentinel zine, Obsenads.

See also: drabble, vignette, Senad, Feedback Fic
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An obSenad, most often used in the Sentinel fandom, [1] was Senad's version of a tradition from other mailing lists (and newsgroups?), where an off-topic post was allowed so long as it included at least something on-topic -- an "obligatory" topic-related note, in other words. Such notes usually started with "ob(Topic/Listname)", such as "obDS" on due South lists such as DUESOUTH-L.

See Ob.

Senad took the tradition in a different route. Rather than adding a simple discussion note, James Walkswithwind -- the original list owner -- started a tradition of making obSenads be a very short piece of fiction. The vignettes can be anything Sentinel-related, but since Senad is an adult list that leans heavily toward Jim/Blair slash, they're most often slashy in nature, and sometimes explicit.

ObSenads are most often included right in the off-topic posts, but if a list member forgets to do so, they may later send a separate post consisting just of their obSenad as a "penalty" for having posted OT. From a fan in 1998:
But what is an Obsenad? There should be some explanation, as Sentinel fandom has quieted down considerably from its hectic first years, and these days the on-line discussion list has largely been replaced by LiveJournal (as the discussion list replaced the round-robin newsletter before it).

SenAd is the name of a Sentinel Adult discussion list online. All discussions on the list must concern the show The Sentinel or its denizens in some way. If someone breaks this rule—if she rants about a news item, wants to make an announcement, or mourns a lost person—that person is required to provide a snippet, blurb or comment that in some way references the Sentinel in context with what was just mentioned (Blair reads the paper and rants about a news item, Simon announces something in the bullpen, Rafe mourns the loss of a relative). In other words, this blurb or snippet of miniature fiction provides the Obligatory Senad content—or Obsenad. shortened.

Like many short forms of art created for another purpose {such as in more recent times, the Livejournal icon), Obsenads have taken on a life of their own in many cases. They can be as simple as Blair at the computer ("Hey. Jim, says here that Bush was hiding WMDs in his pants!") or as complex as creating an all-dog version of The Sentinel... [2]

At some point, obSenads began reflecting the OT posts themselves -- for instance, in an OT post about taking a new pet to the vet, someone might write an obSenad about Jim and Blair adopting a pet and taking it to the vet for its shots.

Fan Comments

I also feel massive guilt over those obsenads.. it seemed like a good idea at the time.) [3]

They *were* a good idea at the time! When good writers tossed off a little quick vignette at the end of an occasional OT post. Unfortunately, [A] started doing the thing with putting Jim and Blair in the situation she was posting the OT thing about, and other people picked up on it. Then they got longer, then people were writing them who were fundamentally incapable of writing fic. Then people started

using them as a subject of their own, practically. They became a way of life on Senad: instead of just a brief "here's something Sen-ish to make up for the OT post", it got twisted around to "I want to write an obsenad so here's something OT". Now there are people on Senad who deliberately post "me too" after "me too" so they can post idiotic obsenads. Thus the dismay at the thought of them being on this list, from people who've been on Senad the last couple of years. [4]


  1. ^ Senad policy
  2. ^ from the introduction to Obsenads #2
  3. ^ anonymous quote from Prospect-L (June 2000)
  4. ^ anonymous quote from Prospect-L (June 2000)