Ten Reasons to Avoid Reading AUs

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Title: Ten Reasons to Avoid Reading AUs
Date(s): December 10, 1993
Medium: online
Fandom: The Professionals
External Links:
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Ten Reasons to Avoid Reading AUs is a 1993 Professionals essay by Alexfandra.

It was posted to Virgule-L and quoted here on Fanlore with permission.

The topic: the tropes of The Professionals fanfic.

For additional context, see Timeline of Slash Meta and Slash Meta, as well as Meta Essays, List Surveys and Notable Discussions on Virgule-L.

The Essay

1. ELVES RULE! It's a proven scientific fact that AUs use "elven" to describe Ray Doyle, whether he's really an elf or not, five times more often than in regular fanfic.

2. WHO ARE THOSE GUYS, ANYWAY? You'll spend more time trying to figure out how the two characters referred to as "Bodie" and "Doyle" in the AUs actually relate to the two characters on Pros named "Bodie" and "Doyle" than you will in reading the story.

3. DOST THOU DESIRE A KISS, LORD RAYMOND? You will get to experience the Joy of Archaic Language.

4. MULTIPLE CHOICE PROFESSIONS You will discover the joys of originality as you encounter one AU after another in which Doyle is either a) artistic, b) a whore, or c) both.

5. ANIMALS HAVE MORE FUN So far I've encountered B&D as horses, canines, felines, centaurs, and teddy bears. I don't think the t-bears had sex, though. Thank goodness for small mercies.

6. WHAT'S MY PLOT? Gee, this story sounds awfully familiar. Wonder which second- rate B-movie or hack novel the author stole it from? Too bad the second-rate original was so much better.

7. WEIRD OCCUPATIONS FROM HELL So far, my vote goes to "Harlequin Airs" for managing to come up with the most contrived plot device ever seen in order to have both Bodie and Doyle as trapeze artists while still maintaining a CI5-based universe, and getting Doyle to look just like Don DiMarco to boot. Way to go.

8. HOW TO INVEST IN BINDERS, PART ONE. OF MANY. Do you have any idea how prolific "Jane" of Australia is?

9. HARLEQUIN ROMANCE SYNDROME In AUs, it's a lot easier to have a Bodie and Doyle who don't hit it off at first sight (especially when you have Doyle The Whore AU Characterization #1). And that means you can have the standard romance plot: Boy Meets Boy; Boy Dislikes Boy; Boy and Boy taunt, fight, banter, and tease each other mercilessly for 200 pages until suddenly realizing this is what's known as "true love".

10. THE REAL REASON: They suck.

That said, I'd like to go on record as stating that "Rainbow Chasers", a stolen-plot, Harlequin-Romance-type AU in which Doyle is a whore (but not artistic!), is one of my all-time favorite Pros novels.

But that's different. That was a *good* AU.

Fan Comments

Oh God, Alex, these are fall-down funny ... and I even like some AU's. Not Jane's mind you, but some. [1]


  1. ^ comment by a fan on Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (December 11, 1993)