|Editor(s):||Susan Ryan and Sharon Richards|
|Date(s):||Feb 2000-June 2006|
|External Links:||Rooftop Sessions; WayBack link to the previous version of the website named "Rational Magic"|
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The Rooftop Sessions were a series of The Beatles RPF fan fiction anthologies published online between 2000 and 2006. Exactly how much content was available freely online and how much was subscriber based is not clear. In addition, at least four volumes were offered for sale as printed books. The publisher also maintained a Cafe Press store with merchandise containing their website logo.
The publication schedule for the online issues seems to have begun on a monthly basis. These early online issues were initially released under the name "Rational Magic" and contained general science fiction and fantasy articles and essays along with Beatles fan fiction. In this iteration, "Rooftop Sessions" referred solely to the fan fiction portion of the ezine. Further complicating matters is that the publisher also compiled stories into Digests which were then sold. In addition to the publisher compiled digest issues, after the website went on hiatus in 2006, fans created their own six volume digest issues.
The zines were edited by Susan Ryan and had apparently stringent and detailed submission guidelines which can be read here. Writers had to submit a 'proper submission letter.' Online fic was not accepted and cross-overs and slash were not permitted. "Martin Luther Lennon" stories, i.e., stories that treat John like a one-dimensional, sainted martyr of peace and love" were forbidden along with "George at the Pearly Gates" stories. Additionally, we will NOT accept stories about George "as he lays dying." The use of "clever pen names" was also discouraged.
After the publisher went on hiatus, fans compiled the online fiction into epub and pdf book formats with new covers. They were available online here until 2012.
Interview with the Editor
In 2004 the editor Susan Ryan gave an interview about the ezine's origins:
"Rooftop Sessions came about almost as a joke...I was talking one day to Aviva Rothschild (author of "With Strings Attached" and a very good friend of mine) and we were lamenting the lack of good Beatles fan fiction on the Web. I mentioned that I wished I could do something about that, because there was so much really bad stuff out there, stuff that people had just slapped up without proofreading or editing. The problem was, at the time I did not have any web design skills or ability. Aviva, however, did, and she also had just started her own webzine, Rational Magic. She offered me space on RM for my own fanfic webzine, with the idea that I would eventually learn how to do it myself and take the site to its own URL. Essentially, Rooftop Sessions was born out of a desire to prove to the world that there was more to Beatles fan fiction than badly-written, unedited drivel -- to treat it as a legitimate literary form, with professional guidelines."
Back issues of the ezine can only be accessed via the WayBack Machine as the website does not maintain a record of the tables of contents by issue.
The August 2000 table of contents for the Rooftop Sessions is archived here.
The September 2001 table of contents for the Rooftop Sessions is archived here.
Issue 13 of Rational Magic was published Feb 2001. The table of contents is archived here.
The Jan 2001 portion of the Rooftop Sessions is archived here.
In Feb 2001, the first volume of the Rooftop Sessions Fiction Digest was offered for sale. Details are here along with the Feb 2001 online issue.
By June 2001, Rooftop Sessions moved to its own website and changed its numbering system. The July 2001 issue was known as Volume 2, Number 5 and can be found here.
The September 2001 - Volume 2, Number 7 issue can be found here.
The November 2001 - Volume 2, Number 9 issue is here.
The April 2002 - Volume 3, Number 2 issue is here along with the second volume of the Rooftop Sessions Fiction Digest.
The May 2002 - Volume 3, Number 3 issue is here.
The June 2002 - Volume 3, Number 4 issue is here.
The July 2002 - Volume 3, Number 5 issue is here.
The September 2002 - Volume 3, Number 7 issue is here.
The November 2002 - Volume 3, Number 9 issue was here.
The February 2003 - Volume 3, Number 12 issue is here.
The April 2003 - Volume 4, Number 2 issue is here.
The May 2003 - Volume 4, Number 3 issue is here.
The June 2003 - Volume 4, Number 4 issue is here along with the third volume of the Rooftop Sessions Fiction Digest.
The July 2003 - Volume 4, Number 5 issue is here.
The August 2003 - Volume 4, Number 6 issue.
The October 2003 - Volume 4, Number 8 issue.
The December 2003 - Volume 4, Number 10 issue.
The January 2004 - Volume 4, Number 11 issue.
The February 2004 - Volume 4, Number 12 issue is here.
The April 2004 - Volume 5, Number 2 issue is here.
The May 2004 - Volume 5, Number 3 table of contents is here.
The June 2004 - Volume 5, Number 4 table of contents is here.
The July 2004 - Volume 5, Number 5 issue.
The August 2004 - Volume 5, Number 6 issue.
The September 2004 - Volume 5, Number 7 issue.
The November 2004 - Volume 5, Number 9 issue.
The December 2004 - Volume 5, Number 10 issue.
The January 2005 - Volume 5, Number 11 issue.
The February 2005 - Volume 5, Number 12' issue.
The March 2005 Volume 6, Number 1 issue.
The May 2005 Volume 6, Number 3 issue.
The July 2005 Volume 6, Number 5 issue is here along with the fourth volume of the Rooftop Sessions Fiction Digest.
The August 2005 Volume 6, Number 6 issue.
The October 2005 Volume 6, Number 8 issue.
The December 2005 Volume 6, Number 10 issue. The ezine then went on hiatus.
The ezine resumed for the June 2006 Volume 7, Number 1 issue. This was the last issue.
"If you check out Rooftop Sessions, you will run into very few Mary-Sue stories, but these are of high caliber. One author who is a Ringo fan has a few Mary-Sue characters, but they are quasi Mary-Sues as opposed to a stomach turning, predictable and trite Mary-Sue. You won't find that kind of schlock on Rooftop Sessions."