The Glass Onion

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This article is about the multifandom fanfiction archive. For the sequel movie, see Knives Out.

Name: The Glass Onion Archive and Glass Onion Meta-Fandom List
Date(s): March 18, 2001 to 2018
Archivist: Alicettlg
Founder: Jintian and Sophia Jirafe (sophia_helix)
Type: Automatic Archive, fanfiction and discussion mailing list
Fandom: multifandom
URL: archive[1] and archived front page of the mailing list
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The Glass Onion was a multifandom mailing list and archive which was founded by Sophia Jirafe and Jintian. The archive is now maintained by Alicettlg. As of April 2012, the mailing list Welcome Email says the list is moderated by alicettlg, Cassandra (geekturnedvamp), Erika, and Tara.

In November 2017, it was announced that The Glass Onion would be moving to the Archive of Our Own as an Open Doors Project.[2] This move was completed in September 2018.

All forms of FPF are accepted (but not RPF). The most common fandoms in the archive are Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X-files.

"Looking through the bent backed tulips
To see how the other half live
Looking through a glass onion."
-- Beatles, White Album, track three.

From the Yahoo Groups mailing list front page:

"A place for "alternative" discussion and fanfiction, all fandoms welcome. Except the Beatles - nothing against them but we're about fictional characters, we don't allow Real People anything on the list.

This is an Adult group. To join, please include your age in the Comments box on the Join This Group page or send an e-mail to [address omitted] giving your age.

All fanfiction will be archived at the Glass Onion Archive unless noted otherwise in the story headers.

Note: Real People Fic/Real People Slash not allowed on list or in the archive."

banner offered to members to advertise the archive

"Nailing" aka Feedback

Like many mailing lists of the time, discussion of fanfic posted to the list was limited to those writers who had "nailed" their fanfic (or rather signaled their willingness to have public discussion of their writing). The nailing term was unique to glass onion. From their FAQ:

"7. What's a nailing?

List members may offer up one of their stories, which may be previously- posted or in progress, for public criticism on the list. The name refers to Martin Luther's nailing of a list of complaints against the Catholic Church to the door of the Wittenburg Church. However, the goal of GO Nailings is helpful, constructive critique, not unrelenting negativity.

Guidelines are as follows:

  • Use "I" statements. With the exception of grammatical errors, most criticism is simply a matter of opinion. Therefore, please try not to phrase your comments as absolute truth. For example, "I think this sentence could have used a little more editing" is always preferable to a blanket "This sentence needs more editing," simply because there is still the implication

that what YOU think is not necessarily what OTHERS might think.

  • Try to address the specific concerns the author brings up, rather than taking a "free-for-all" approach. For instance, it's not all that helpful to only comment on characterization if the author asks for plot criticism.
  • At the risk of preaching to the choir, put yourself in the author's shoes. Read back over your comments before you hit that send button. If you were the one meant to receive them, how would they make you feel? We're not using the term "nailing" literally, remember. Criticism can hurt, but it doesn't have to get personal.
To post a story for Nailing, put "Nailing" in the subject line and post it to the list.


  1. ^ "Wayback Machine link to the archive". Archived from the original on 2018-03-29.
  2. ^ Glass Onion is moving to the AO3 (Accessed 12 November 2017)