Stargate Atlantis Flashfiction

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Journal Community
Name: sga_flashfic, Stargate Atlantis Flashfiction
Date(s): February 2005-January 2011
Moderator: Speranza, Cathexys, merryish, renenet
Founder: Speranza
Type: LiveJournal community
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
URL: LJ comm; archive link, DW comm

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sga_flashfic is a Stargate Atlantis challenge community, based on the earlier DS Flashfiction. It was founded in February 2005 on LJ, but since May 2009 the community is also on Dreamwidth, and challenge entries can be posted in either place (not crossposted to both though, because there are also feeds set up).[1] As of February 2010 the LJ incarnation is still much larger than the DW one, with 2116 watchers and 1840 members vs 258 members and 383 subscribers on DW. [2] Since January 2011 the comm has been inactive.

Its challenges run for two weeks (or until a moderator closes them). It has very open requirements for genre (gen, slash and het) or word length (from 100-1000 words). This word limit, however, is not enforced, as can be seen in the many long contributions to its wildly popular 2005 Harlequin Challenge. It is not uncommon for a plot bunny to grow to from the original flash fiction format (short, quickly written fictions) to novella size.

A list compiled by temaris[3] gives an overview of all answered challenges through January 2006.

Especially popular were:

2006 Controversy

The 2006 Mission Report Challenge generated some controversy about unauthorized remixes/derivative works of other writers' fic. [4]

The links and summaries below were compiled by metafandom [5]. Some of these entries require a fan to be logged in. See the metafandom page for the live links.

ingridmatthews: Fandom: Yu B Sew Dum — "Fanfic authors have always had a special relationship with other fanfic authors in regard to the proprietary rights to their "universes". It's been an unspoken pact for thirty years that you 'ask first' before doing *anything* to another author's work -- archive it, post it elsewhere, and yes, write "fanfic" of it."

etben: *rubs pennies together* — "No, I don't think that writers should remix someone's fic without permission, be it specific permission or a blanket 'hey, go ahead and stir it up, y'all!' notice. I also don't think that they would. Maybe I'm wrong - maybe I'm projecting my own paranoia and fear of stepping on fannish toes on to the rest of the world - but I really don't think so. In my experience, at least, fandom is a really nice place, full of people who want to get along, and who take steps to avoid pissing each other off. We seem, by and large, to be pretty good with that whole 'common courtesy' thing."

fairestcat: Über-unpopular Fannish Opinion of the Day — "They require credit, but not permission. But then they've backpedaled and offered a loophole for people to request their fic be held to a different standard then is the declared position of the community. And that's where things get fuzzy, because if you truly believe permission is not required, then why offer authors the option of pre-emptively refusing permission? It gives the impression that they are not 100% behind the stand they've taken, and changes the focus of the debate from whether or not permission is necessary to whether or not permission should be the assumed default."

misspamela: Quick link about the wank — "On one hand, the challenge was poorly worded. (In the sense of being unclear.) I also believe strongly that the polite thing to do is to ask permission before using someone else's work. On the other hand, it's polite to say "excuse me" when you bump into someone, but if someone doesn't, you wouldn't turn around and say, "You didn't say 'excuse me,' asshole!"."

amireal: quick flashfic thoughts — "I fear, heartily fear that someone will spear me with a spork with some re-rendition of my fic. I will feel bad and need cuddles and make someone write me porn. I may cry 'fowl!' in private, but mostly for irrational authorial reasons. I fear someone will show me for the hack that I am and I will curl up into a little ball and never have another inspirational thought again. I fear someone ELSE will overreact and the fun community will get hammered."

cedara: SGA fanfic writers watch out! — "It is bad for fandom if someone who is a moderator of a big community chooses to allow their members to forgo all unwritten rules of behaviour by allowing someone else to use someone a third person's fanfic for anything without asking their permission. If anyone did that with anything I wrote, I will publicly declare them plagiarists. Even if you may not agree, it still is a form of abuse. Fanfiction operates in a gray area, do not ruin this space we have made for ourselves by insulting other fen, neither with words nor with deeds."

wickedwords: A little personal fannish history — "The thing is, arguing in this way with the re-use of fannish stories as primary source, kept life in the fandom. 'Fanon' is an outgrowth of this, and love it or hate it, it is a part of who we are. In The Sentinel, someone wrote the first story where there is a basket for mail and keys by the front door; then another fan appropriated it for their own story, and so on from there. At some level, fandom is a large shared universe, where we pick up ideas and thoughts from each other as well as the episodes we watch, and feed it back into this created vision that we share."

thelastgoodname: On courtesy, community, and creativity — "But this is the regular problem in creative fandom: are we primarily a community, or are we primarily creators? If it's former, then yes, respect matters; respect for the community, the members of the community, and for the community's standards, is possibly the most important thing that matters. But if we're a bunch of people making neat stuff — and we care about good grammar and proper citations and stylistic issues — then you don't need to ask permission (but you should always cite)."

lightgetsin: On courtesy, community, and creativity — "So okay, we’re a community, and we have rules. One of which is that it’s polite to ask. I’m totally fine with that, but I would like to point out that it implies a few interesting things. Like that it is necessary to be polite to community members, but perfectly acceptable to be rude by this definition to non-members – pro authors. We are nice to our friends but rude to strangers, because strangers can sue us if they really want, but we’ve got to live with our friends every day."

dracostella: Why must an author ask for permission? — "If specifically asked, I am certain that most of the creators and writers of SGA would not explicitly give permission to the works are written based on their writing. So, what makes fan fiction different? Is it because there is a good possibility that a writer of fan fiction will actually respond to an inquiry? Is it a matter of accessibility? Accessibility as in that a fan fiction writer will more likely say "yes" or "no", where as someone like J.K. Rowling will simply never respond?"

tacky_tramp: I violated your MOM's copyright last night!!! — "There's one thing I'm not confused at all about, though. If you write copyright-infringing fanfic, you absolutely do not get to bitch about people creating derivative works based on the things you've written. If they plagiarize? Hang 'em out to dry. But if they say, "This fic is a reworking of tacky_tramp's fic titled 'Refusal', which I liked but was inspired to tweak and retell from a different point of view," and if I then unleash my own self-righteous cease-and-desist on them, I am a plain old, garden-variety, no-excuse-sir hypocrite."

seimaisin: fandom community — "In short, why wouldn't you want to ask someone's permission to remix their story? Unless, of course, you planned to do something they wouldn't like, or unless you think they wouldn't give permission? That's really the heart of it, to me."

marythefan: 11 cents on the sga flashfic wankery — "This is not one of those "It doesn't matter because it's all plagiarism" arguments, because it's NOT plagiarism, in either case. It's also not stealing. It's NOT like someone took your cake and made trifle out of it and served it up to everybody as their own. Nobody took your cake. Your cake is still there. No one's done anything to your original story, which people are still free to go read."

carolyn_claire: Hey, here's something new... — "The flashfic challenge idea was simply to re-imagine another writer's story from a different point of view. The issue under discussion there, and here, really, is permission--is it what we do? Is it something that can or should change? Has it already changed? And are we all just a bunch of filthy plagiarists*, anyway?."

cathexys: source texts for derivative works: dichotomy or continuum? — "The underlying philosophical argument, however, that affects both sides of the debate, is whether the process of using tv shows etc as our source for derivative fanworks is comparable to using other fan works."

reginabellatrix: what a way to start the afternoon — "I have to agree with those who said that the challenge's original lack of permission requirements would have set some very bad precedent in fandom for how authors interact with one another. Even if it had been confined to the stories posted in the community, I think it would have been bad precedent, though obviously not as much of an affront to the social norms of fandom."

oceana_: SGA Wank — "What I do care about is courtesy. And since common courtesy is so rare these days, it is my personal opinion that it should have been made mandatory in a flashfic challenge in such a large fandom. Not doing so it just asking for the wank (which could have been the whole point, for all I know)."

meinos: of course one of my fandoms had to go to hell — "Someone, somewhere, actually said something to the effect of, 'anyone who would have the wrong interpretation of a fic is the same kind of person who wouldn't even think to ask for permission to use it.' I mean to say, what?! I thought that one of the big things about fandom was interpreting what we're given in whatever way makes us happy. That's what we do with the canon -- why should the fan works be any different?"

lydiabell: if using other people's stories is immoral, what are we doing here? — "I think there's a lot to be said for not rubbing in someone's face that you've made derivative art from their art in a way that they are uncomfortable with. This is one of the reasons I don't like slash (or, really, fanfic in general) being brought up with actors or writers at cons."

zvi_likes_tv: Permission for responding to fanfic in fanfic form — "My basic feeling on this issue is, 'Things which allow people to write more fic are good, things which prevent people from writing fic are bad. Asking for permission to write fan-fanac potentially stops people from writing it (if the primary fan author doesn't give permission), so asking for permission is bad. None of the arguments as to why it would be good to stop people from writing fic make sense to me.'"

Notes

  1. Cesperanza. ADMIN POST: AN EXPERIMENT, posted May 2009
  2. Numbers taken from the profiles on 26 Feb 2010.
  3. January 5th 2006. Temaris. SGA Flashfic Challenge listing. Accessed 28 November 2008.
  4. See ADMIN POST: The Mission Report Challenge post and its comments, and ADMIN: Mission Report Clarification (aka "Running Challenges Is Harrrrd"), both from 21 August 2006 (Accessed 9 May 2011)
  5. Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006: Ownership Issues In Fanfiction