Fan Fiction on the Net

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Name: "Fan Fiction on the Net" and "Slash Fan Fiction on the Net"
Dates: 1996-1999
Type: fanlisting and meta
Fandom: multifandom
Slash Fan Fiction on the Net.png
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In the late 90's, search engines were not that impressive. A lot of fans would never have found their fix without Karen Nicholas's frequently updated Fan Fiction on the Net and Slash Fan Fiction on the Net pages. She started the original page on June 18, 1996. By March 1999, one of the pages had over 3 million hits.

Another similar very early site was Jennifer Shipp's site, Slash Home Page, created on June 15, 1996 (or before).

Her pages (one page, initially, 20-30 pages by the time she was exhausted and quit) were a combination of Metafandom and fandom newsletters -- they tried to include every fannish link that existed: amazingly thorough one-stop shopping for slash on the net. She included sections on meta (simply called Articles), links to mailing lists, to slash art pages, to review and rec pages, awards pages, convention listings, webrings (wow, we used to spend a lot of time setting up webrings!) and other fans' link pages (all pale shadows of hers). The only section it didn't have was for songtapes (as they were called then); they didn't exist on the web then, and even discussions of where you might be able to order a tape for sale was kept quiet.

Here's a Slash Fan Fiction on the Net: 1998 page from the Wayback machine, Archived version when the slash section alone had just expanded to three pages. The site was a member of the Slash Fan Fiction Ring.

As with most fan sites, initially it was updated frequently. Then less so. (Though unlike most pages, she consistently listed when the page had last changed, and her best guess for the next update.) By late 1999, the job had simply become too big. Also, search engines were getting better, and the need for one big link site had grown less. She never took the page down, it just sat with this message, "This page was last updated August 30, 1999. Next update will be September 29, 1999" for years afterwards, taunting us all.

Dail's Fandoms Page linked to Fan Fiction on the Net.

Fans Comment

  • "KS Nicholas!!!!... KS Nick—she was my moon and my star in the 1990s. I remember my ficsite getting listed and I was SO PROUD OMG. I was on the map! It listed EVERY FANFIC SITE EVER." [1]
  • "yes! ks nicholas! oh man, everyone go read the thing, that site was SO IMPORTANT and that woman should be canonized." [2]
  • "SO TRUE! [KS Nicholas and her website were] One stop shopping and a total life saver. My people, I have found you! (I’m old enough to have been listed there, too, and it was so amazing.) God, the hours I lost thanks to her site. I regret nothing." [3]
  • "Hell yes - KS Nicholas’ page - so much fic all in one place for so many fandoms. And I remember the whole I HAVE ARRIVED when our little site got picked up and listed *G* The BeforeTimes were not all bad." [4]
  • "Right after that Usenet period, you had this sort of very proto-browser web, and it was KS Nick [who] had this page, where literally she was attempting at that point to list all the fan fiction on the Internet—not the actual stories, but the sites. So it was like, list of sites. And then, there were two pages for slash: Slash A-F and, you know, N-Z. And that, you know, that's where you lived, right? And so literally, it was just a plain list of, you know, "Fairycat's Highlander Story," with a link. And just one after the other, I'm sure you've seen it on the Wayback Machine. But [that was] a fundamental kind of site for those of us who came in at that period. That was the whole world. You could look at two pages and say, This was the whole world... the KS Nick page is interesting because it tried to centralize what at that point was decentralized. [5]