Puppies in a Box

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Name: Puppies in a Box
Owner/Maintainer: Helen
Dates: December, 2000 - ?? [now defunct]
Type: website
Fandom: 'N Sync
URL: Puppies in a Box (waxjism.net) 2001, Puppies in a Box (helenish.org) 2002 - ?? Wayback Machine
Puppies! in! a! Box!.png
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This site was an influential center for popslash rps, especially in the first wave of the fandom's growth[1]. It moved several times[2], was hosted for a while by waxjism, and five authors archived stories there--Helen, Synchronik, Cecilia, Laura and Sinead. Helen ran the site, writing and maintaining all of the non-story pages and doing the fic updates.

This picture was displayed on a later version of the Puppies in a Box website. Manip by Dacey.

The metaphor of "puppies in a box" reflected part of the fannish feeling toward boybands; the boys in said bands were all cute, pick any one, any two, any group of them! The website's name also contained an element of ironic self-mockery[3] that was particularly prevalent among the first wave of media fans who fell in love with popslash fandom[4], a tendency which is more obvious to the casual observer in website names like Temporary Insanity and I will not be afraid of boybands.

The phrase "puppies in a box" originated[5] in one of Synchronik's earliest stories in the fandom[6], which was part of "On The Bus", a very loosely-knit series of stories and snippets hosted on the site. The series' unifying element was that all the stories took place on the 'N Sync tour buses; it included gen stories and slash of varying pairings, and followed no set time line. These were some of popslash's gateway entry stories; they were the among the first things recced to newbies, and many people read them on their way into the fandom, as well as many other stories on the site[7]. The site's high traffic sometimes exceeded its allotted bandwidth.

fan Comments

[2002]: I used to be a hardcore NSync fan (*hangs head*) and I first discovered fanfiction through that sometime around June 2000. At first all I could find were Mary Sues and I read more of those than any human being should ever be subjected to until finally stumbling across a site called Puppies in a Box and falling in love with slash. Because... touchy boy love! Whee! [8]


  1. ^ Roughly, late 2000 into 2002. See Popslash History
  2. ^ Here is an old redirect from April 2001, accessed 16 October 2008 via wayback.
  3. ^ See also ironic distance for information about a related trend in fandom.
  4. ^ The guide, a page from the website containing a tongue-in-cheek discussion between Helen and Synchronik that demonstrates the simultaneous impulses to mock and to squee. (Accessed via wayback, Oct. 2008.)
  5. ^ [1] Page titled *the hell? from the puppies website. For a small selection of contemporary (approx. 2001) fan comments and jokes about 'N Sync, see the quotes page (both links accessed via wayback Oct. 2008).
  6. ^ External link accessed via wayback Oct. 2008.
  7. ^ e.g., The Same Inside, Run Through (accessed via wayback, Oct. 2008)
  8. ^ comment in "How I discovered U2 slash" post at u2slash dated November 21, 2002; reference link.