Squickfic and Satire

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Title: Squickfic and Satire
Creator: Laura Jacquez Valentine
Date(s): March 2001
Medium: online
External Links: Wayback; WebCite
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Squickfic and Satire is an essay by Laura Jacquez Valentine.

Summary: "A reaction to the reaction to "A Few Small Dreams"." That story is here.

Originally posted to ROG. Edited together from multiple posts and further edited slightly for clarity. It is at listen to me! listen to me! essays.


[The] vast majority of the people who found ["A Few Small Dreams"] funny were people who are familiar with my work, and who pretty much expect me to turn out the occasional piece of satirical squickfic. Like Mary Ellen [1] said, squickfic's an acquired taste, and I haven't seen much of it in Highlander--it's more common in Trek, where I started writing fanfiction, but actually seems fairly rare in most fandoms. Hard Core Logo and Due South both seem to have their share--unsurprisingly. Highlander has some, but it's mostly serious, not humorous.

"A Few Small Dreams" is actually squickfic only by coincidence--it's intended as satire, and sometimes that involves squick. To my mind, if you're doing it right, it almost *always* involves *some* kind of squick--but then, not everyone agrees with me. Certainly there are folks who aren't squicked by anything in "Candide." I don't understand that, but there you have it.

Satire is blindingly rare in most fandoms, probably because most authors don't like being taken for serious when they're not. I know I don't, which is why in many places I labelled this "humor" and intended to do so here; I'm kind of a wuss sometimes. On the other hand, the reaction has been incredibly interesting, and I think I've learned a bit as a writer from reading the comments, so perhaps I shouldn't be so leery of writing/posting satire--first, it's good for squishing the ego to be misunderstood, and second, there really is a lot to be learned from how damn *hard* it is to write understandable satire that's still satire. I actually think this story edges over too far into parody, myself, and that's something I was trying to avoid.