SGA Mystery Science Theater

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Journal Community
Name: SGA Mystery Science Theater
Date(s): October 13, 2006-November 5, 2006
Moderator: blade_girl
Founder: blade_girl
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
URL: SGA Mystery Science Theater

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SGA Mystery Science Theater (subtitle: "Shouting Out to Bad Fanfic") was a very short-lived Livejournal which was created for MSTing Stargate: Atlantis fics.

Fan reaction was primarily negative. While there is a long fannish tradition of MISTing fanworks, the popularity of it had taken a hit by the time 2007 rolled around.

The site's rules also did not follow traditional MISTing rules; it used fics without the author's permission (considered not only rude, but also an unauthorized remix), did not give the title or the author of the chosen fic, and only MISTed excerpts rather than the whole story.

Only six fics were MISTed. Critical comments and fans on other sites, lack of participation, and a poor understanding of the history and art of proper MSTing are was what possibly killed this comm.


Remember the quirky series Mystery Science Theatre 3000? The one where some hapless folks were tortured by being forced to watch achingly bad movies every week, and they kept up a hysterically funny running commentary? Well, whether you remember it or not, that’s what this community (which is patterned after svu_mst) strives to emulate, replacing the movies with fanfiction.

Here, we subject the cast of Stargate:Atlantis to samples of the worst SGA fanfiction we can find. Hideously inept grammar, atrocious spelling, ridiculously twisted characterizations, Grand Canyonesque plot holes… all are worthy targets for the members of our favorite space expedition.

Just a few rules to be observed:

1. No names. Period. Do not cite the title of the fic you are lampooning, and do not cite the author. We are here to make fun of the writing mistakes, not to publicly humiliate individuals.

2. Pairing- and slash-bashers need not apply. We intend to lampoon any and all colors and creeds of fanfiction without prejudice, and this community should not be viewed as a platform for attacking fics featuring pairings (het or slash) that you hate simply because you hate them. Please attack the fics for their poor writing and glaring errors instead.

3. Bashings of more traditional kinds also not tolerated. Naturally, we will not allow commentaries containing racist, sexist, or anti-gay sentiments.

4. Subtext is for fanfic, not for commentaries. For purposes of common ground for all, your characters should behave in commentary as they do in canon; ie., John and Rodney are not lovers, Zelenka doesn’t really have a still, and Lorne’s first name is not Marcus, Nick, or Spansky.

5. Keep it real. Don’t fabricate badfic for the purpose of MSTing it here; it’s a waste of perfectly good effort, given that suitable material is already plentiful and ripe for the picking on.

6. No “War and Peace”-like epic posts, please. Life is short and bad fanfic abounds. If your story is long, select an excerpt for your commentary.

7. Walk the walk. Pay heed to your own spelling and grammar if you’re going to point the accusing finger at others. Get thee to a beta if need be.

8. Warn for ratings over PG-13. If the fic you MST warns for language or sexual situations, so should you.

Fan Reactions

I'm saddened that this is what MiSTing has become. At the risk of sounding like a cranky old geezer, I miss the days when it was a respectable fic format. [1]

cressida0201 recently commented [2] about a kerfluffle going on in Stargate: Atlantis fandom. There's now an LJ community, sga_mst, that is doing "MiSTings" of SGA fanfics--well, parts of those fanfics--without permission or even attribution of the author. Hence, much commenting and debating. I thought I'd put in my three-cents' worth, but since this is going to be long, I'm doing it here, rather than commenting on her post.

[snipped, history about "Misting"]

... I will discuss some of the debated elements of MiSTings.

1) MiSTing the whole fic vs. just part. I think a true MiSTing is a MiSTing of the whole fic/post/whatever. The true spirit of MiSTings comes when you're in it for the long haul, just like Joel/Mike and the bots.

2) Host segments. For short, one-off posts, I don't see them as necessary. For longer MiSTings, though, I do see them as an integral part of the MiSTing experience. I know they can be tough--I'd say that host segments were definitely the weakest part of my MiSTings at first--but they do help a MiSTer to create and stay in their characters.

3) Characters doing the MiSTings. I've never been bothered by seeing non-canon characters doing the MiSTings, so long as they're done well. (lynxara's MiSTings with wrestlers definitely spring to mind as well-done non-canonical MiSTings.) Well done is, of course, the key. There needs to be a reasonable explanation about why they're doing the MiSTings, and they should be and stay in their proper characterizations.

4) Grammar/spelling flames. Oy. Funny for only a short time, and that was a long time ago. If you're going to comment about grammar or spelling at all, it should be sparingly, and it should be more subtle than the sledgehammer approach that I'm seeing at sga_mst. [3]


  1. ^ comment by Cressida at MiSTing debate on Metafandom, October 22, 2006
  2. ^ See that post here
  3. ^ comment by Sarah/Bookworm1225 at Sounding off on MiSTings , October 24, 2006