Subtext and Slash: Having Your Cake and Eating it Too

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News Media Commentary
Title: Subtext and Slash: Having Your Cake and Eating it Too
Commentator: Julia Houston
Date(s): April 24, 1999
Venue: online
Fandom: slash
External Links: archived here
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Subtext and Slash: Having Your Cake and Eating it Too is a four-part essay about slash fan fiction written by Julia Houston that was published on in 1999.

It was cited in Jae's essay Young, Female, Single…? A Study of Demographics and Writing-/Reading-Habits of Fanfiction Writers and Readers.


  • Part 1: Slash
  • Part Two: Homosexuality: The Final Obstacle to Romance?
  • Part Three: Why Write Slash? Asking the Authors
  • Part Four: Why Write Slash? Asking Star Trek


It may simply be impossible to have text without subtext, that suggestion of something unspoken that invites the reader to "read between the lines." It's certainly impossible to keep people from seeing more in what you write than you may have intended, because any piece of writing becomes the property of the reader's imagination at the instant the work is read.

Thus, while Paramount retains the legal rights to its characters, Star Trek's fanfic authors exercise their right to folklore, personal interpretation, collective storytelling, and all the rest by putting those characters into new situations with yet other characters -- copied and original -- to continue the existence of Kirk, Troi, Bashir, or whoever else strikes the author's fancy well beyond the limitations of a few hundred syndicated episodes and nine films.}}