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I think this could use an explanation of the debate over "Windsor" (was there discussion that could be linked to?) -- the author's notes say it was written for a challenge on a slash community, so was it at some point labeled gen or described as gen by some people?--Penknife 14:09, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

FWIW I couldn't find any arguments in the original post to the community [1], though some recs [2] recs I've seen label it "pre-slash" rather than slash, but not gen. Maybe a different example would work better? Like the SGA story Freedom's Just Another Word For Nothing Left To Lose - Synecdochic which is usually considered a slash story including by the author, but won a gen award.--Ratcreature 14:36, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I've taken "Windsor" out, because I think it's just an example of straight-up pre-slash or slash -- it might belong over on the Pre-slash page if people debated those two labels, but no one seems to have called it gen. I started a new section for "Stories with slash pairings but without sex or romance," and used Freedom's Just Another Word there, because the issue there is not that it's pre-slash/UST, but that its plot is mainly about things other than sex or romance.--Penknife 16:20, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't understand what the last edit is supposed to do, i.e. now the sentence is "Some fans feel that certain types of gen fanworks are more aptly known as pre-slash, or UST, while others maintain that any sexual interest--explicit or implicit, intended or not--makes it slash. " explaining the controversy over whether to apply a pre-slash label, and whether that label makes sense. Before ("Some fans feel that certain types of gen fanworks are more aptly known as pre-slash, or UST, while others maintain that there is no subtext intended.") that sentence explained that some people call stories gen, that others call pre-slash. I agree that the "intended" in the phrasing is maybe not ideal when talking about how readers see a story, but it is for what label gets slapped onto a story. I mean, the controversial thing over calling something gen usually happens when an author says it is gen, and they and the readers reading it as gen don't see any "subtext" whereas other readers think that story has subtexts and ought to be labelled for it, depending on preference either as "pre-slash" or as "slash", but the slash vs pre-slash label thing is not the gen controversy.--Ratcreature 15:37, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

I've revised to try to make more clear what I agree is the most common controversial situation (author says the story is gen, other readers say it's pre-slash or slash, author is annoyed). I think any more detailed discussion of controversies over the difference between slash and pre-slash should go over on the Pre-slash page.--Penknife 16:16, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

I put the friendship plot parts into the smarm section and reverted the plot-heavy paragraph. I think those are two different boundaries.--Ratcreature 16:58, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Not if Freedom was the example being used. I was one of the ones labeling it gen, and the issue is the same basic one as smarm, about where the line is drawn between intense friendship and slash. --rache 17:00, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
But Sheppard was dead in that one and it was about Rodney teaching, no? I don't remember it well, because deadJohn stories aren't my thing. Either way, I then think the example should be moved, but the "intense friendship" and "smarm" should go together in one paragraph and the action-adventure with implied coupledom in another.--Ratcreature 17:06, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I moved freedom, and left the other one standing without examples, as right now I cannot think of an established relationship sort of story that focused on a case that wasn't labeled slash. Someone else will have to add that. --rache 17:11, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Should the paragraph be still called smarm then, rather than something more general like "intense friendship" with smarm being part of the paragraph? I mean death stories can't really be smarm, can they? IIRC, I never reread that because it was so bleak.--Ratcreature 17:16, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Great minds! I relabeled it to include the intense friendship bit, but maybe Smarm should be completely dropped from the label. And death stories can be smarm, as there are some good death stories in Starsky and Hutch, and they are completely gen. --rache 17:20, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
yeah sure, gen death stories are around a lot, they are just usually angst or h/c or something. I just get disturbing images of people petting corpses when I combine smarm+deathfic in my head... (ETA: actually I think Waxjism wrote that one in TS)--Ratcreature 17:25, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I think the pre-slash/UST and smarm/intense friendship sections now sort of overlap, especially in terms of "the author says it's gen, but people think it's really slashy" situations, and I'm not quite sure how to distinguish the two sections more clearly. Thoughts, anyone?--Penknife 18:10, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Wasn't the confusion over Freedom that Rodney refers to himself as a widower, and Syne and some readers saw that as literal (slash) but some readers saw it as just an expression of how much he platonically loved John. Loving someone platonically so much that you consider yourself a widower when they're dead sounds like smarm to me. --Kyuuketsukirui 01:47, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

possible examples?

I think Strategic Depth by Mace M and Wax Jism could be an example. They posted it to Senfic as gen first in April 2000 and it remained labeled gen on their site, but there was a slash pairing (I think Blair/other? I don't remember for sure butnot J/B) in the story as minor element, so people complained on Senfic and it got archived at 852Prospect as "pre-slash" rather than as gen.--Ratcreature 17:34, 1 December 2008 (UTC)


It seems to be begging the question to say "no sexual relationship was alluded to" in stories that include descriptions of how one party takes to wearing sweatpants because the other party is constantly ripping the pants off him for access to his body-- non sexually, of course. I mean, that sure looks like an allusion to a sexual relationship, right up until you get to the author saying "in a totally platonic way" and then there is a great grinding of gears. --Betty 08:06, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Heh. To be fair to smarm stories though, they tend to get only to the point of naked cuddling if there is some setup for why the naked (platonic) cuddling happens, like them needing to touch for some reason (sentinel senses, potions, spells, ancient machinery...). I mean, it's obviously a kink for the authors and the readers, but depending on how well they do their worldbuilding I can buy that it isn't sexual for the charcters in their context, but stressed that it isn't, which I guess is part of the kink. Maybe it's the Doylist/Watsonian equivalent for the labeling dilemma, i.e. do you label for an intra-universe POV or based on what the readers take away from it? --Ratcreature 08:24, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, maybe I'm just quibbling at 'alluded' which is a bit of a hazy word; if it said no sexual relationship was *depicted* or *intended*, I would agree. (Er, except in the one case of smarm I encountered in pro-fic, but that was an exception. Dear god. I hope.) If you don't disagree, I'll edit that.
I think part of the reason some smarm seems so borderline slash is that it can read very like a certain kind of very soft-focus porn where all the description is on the sensation, described in somewhat abstract metaphors, and none on the mechanics, so that it gets so the reader is trained to think "spiralling ecstasy" means "buttsex". --Betty 08:37, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
I have no problem with a different wording. Mostly I just want to avoid implying this theory that authors of extreme smarm just shy away from the slash label, or that they really are writing slash but don't want to admit it and similar stuff, because I don't think that holds up. Some authors who write for example the TS bonding stories they label as gen, including the extreme ones, also post slash under the same pseud, or archive slash on their sites, or allow slash stories to be written using their universe, so they don't seem to have issues with that, and still label other stories gen.--Ratcreature 08:46, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Right, I've reworded it. Really? It would be interesting to read slash written by the hard-core smarm crowd and try to get a sense of where that line is for them (since it's very obviously in a different place for a lot of other people.) Anyway, I've tried not to imply more than that there does exist a certain scepticism of some smarm, whether or not that scepticism is fair. --Betty 08:45, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Shipping as Default--LJ focus?

In looking back over my history of fannish involvement, I'd say finding gen is difficult on LJ, but it wasn't when I was playing in Highlander. There are some fandoms with more gen than relationship focused stories, such as Quantum Leap. So can we hedge this in some manner, since it's not universal over time? --rache 18:25, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

An primarily off-line fan friend of mine remembers this discussion on the big blake's 7 list. She believes that in 1994 or so, she combed through several GAZ (generic Ad zines) and counted up the gen vs. slash zines, and there were far more gen zines than slash. She compared it with The Professionals fandom breakdown, and for that fandom, there were far more slash zines than gen. Of course, she has none of this information saved, and it was in 1994, so how do I cite this sort of experience? --rache 19:37, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
"personal communication"?--Aethel 19:45, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

lack of gen etc.

I don't know whether these impressions are universally true either, but the people in the LJ articles and comments linked as reference weren't just talking about their impressions on LJ, so adding "on livejournal" in that place distorts what the people paraphrased said.--Ratcreature 18:25, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I fussed with it more to say that the commenter on LJ was estimating based on their personal experience, which I think covers that now. the rest of the section may need some fussing still. --rache 18:41, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Hey, what happened to adult?

Yes, I know there's an article for adult, but in this Gen article, there's no discussion about the line between gen and adult. Aren't there ever issues with gen stories and non-sexual violence?

But isn't that an issue of the rating rather than the genre boundaries? I think the usage that "gen" rather than "G" is used as rating is obsolete?--Ratcreature 21:09, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Sure, of course there would be. I haven't experienced any, but the often mentioned confusion between gen and `general viewing' deserves some write-up.--awils1 07:45, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

AO3 stats

this post and all the lovely numerical analysis within might be helpful for the 'Is Shipping the Default for Fanfic Fandoms?' section. I tend to think it enhances the argument that it isn't all shipping, though certainly a lot of it is. Also to provide contrast to estimates and impressions to some degree. Sungabraverday (talk) 09:48, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

conflicting accounts of the definition of gen

user:KTJ added a 60s-70s definition of gen being fanfic that didn't use canon characters on a few Fanlore pages: Gen, Genzine, and Star Trek: The Original Series (I removed it from the Star Trek page before I realized I'd have to update several pages the same way). K.S. Langley said this wasn't true and gave me a different definition (non-explicit content). I haven't seen any other source for KTJ's definition on Fanlore, but I wasn't around then and don't have access to zines. Anyone have any insight into this? Could both definitions have coexisted at the same time or maybe the reason for Nu Ormenal's labeling just wasn't clear?--aethel (talk) 23:42, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

My understanding is that the definition of gen has not been static. When I came into fandom in the early 1990s, I was taught that gen = no sex or romance, het = het romance/sex, and slash = slash sex/romance (note: at the time any hint of any same sex relationship even if only hand holding in the non platonic way was labeled "adult" or "NC17", needed a warning and had to be restricted to 18 and over). However, I have seen gen used like in the example above. But the usage was very rare so I'd move it to the bottom of the list with a note about it being non-standard.--MeeDee (talk) 14:34, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

OK, I've cleaned up the page a bit and added more context on variant definitions and timing.--aethel (talk) 16:09, 14 June 2015 (UTC)