The SGA Project, a.k.a., "Flavor Of The Year."

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Title: The SGA Project, a.k.a., "Flavor Of The Year."
Creator: Icarus
Date(s): January 2, 2007
Medium:
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Topic:
External Links: Livejournal Slashcity
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The SGA Project, a.k.a., "Flavor Of The Year." is a meta essay by Icarus posted in 2007 that discusses SGA fandom and fanfiction for the year 2006. In that year, various parts of Season 2 and Season 3 of SGA aired, depending on your country of viewing.

The essay had the stated goal to:

The goal: Give readers a taste of 2006 Stargate fandom, provide a rec-list with context, a description of intertexts, and explanation.

Why: Coming from the Harry Potter fandom, I find myself constantly explaining stories we wrote and read two-three years ago, "yes, yes, well… canon was like this, you see, and there was this story and then someone wrote that other story in response and…." Fanfiction is interdependent, relying what happens in canon, in mainstream media, and in between other stories in fandom. Stargate Atlantis is just in its second year of fanfic, new enough that we can still trace these connections. Well. More or less. I mean, how do you trace the connections between over 2,000 writers and 7,000 stories?

Caveat: I don't speak for fandom, I only speak for my own limited view. Picture it as a fish-eye camera in the room: it's just "a" perspective but not the only one, and a different camera mounted at a different angle, pointed somewhere else, will capture a completely different picture. Anyone who wants to create their own analysis, or write more based on other pairings, please go ahead. I regret I can't cover everything. A particular bummer is that I can't do Het (don't know it) and I'm only touching on Gen. Any volunteers? Bueller-?

Methodology: I could just arbitrarily pick stories based on my personal feeling -- it is ultimately a rec-list after all -- but I've tried to have a method to my madness. [1]
The appendix at the end of the post contains a more detailed disclaimer as to the focus of the essay:

- This list is slanted towards fandom big wheels because of my methodology. Certain writers do have a greater than average impact on fandom because they're very active and involved, and they tend to garner more reviews. The price I pay to be able to back up my choices with stats is that lesser-known writers do get short-shrift. I acknowledge that shortcoming right off the bat.

- This list is slanted towards slash, is in fact almost entirely slash, because that's what I read. Originally I wanted to include Gen and Het and all the slash pairings, but I found I couldn't discuss, say, John/Elizabeth because I don't know much about the pairing. Likewise, non-fanfiction (such as vids) are not included unless they have a direct connection to a fanfiction story. I gotta draw the line somewhere.

- I'm just glancing over this and I've noticed that Trinityofone turns up time and time again. I can't claim to be unbiased, I am a fan. But in this case I think that she just took a lot of risks and this sort of essay zeros in on what's new and different and she was always out there on the skinny branches. Other than Trinity this is pretty balanced.

- This list is slanted towards John/Rodney. SGA slash is slanted towards John/Rodney as a whole, but this project overemphasizes the pairing because, again, that's what I read.[1]

The methodology section explains that the fanfic listed is chosen as examples of trends or responses to canon and that the choices are based on popularity defined by numbers of reviews (comment counts in most cases) and appearance on rec lists.

There is a brief synopsis of the section of Season 2 that aired in 2006 that includes the canon highlights that the fic examples refer back to. The part of Season 3 that aired in that year in Canada is not included.

The bulk of the essay is a discussion of how canon has influenced fandom and fans in what they write and how they react to fanfiction. The essay identifies tropes or themes in fanfic and gauges the decline or rise in interest in the various categories and posits reasons for fans latching on to or moving away from certain tropes. For example:

As a result of contact with home, the desperate darkness of 2005's season one fanfiction (Exigencies, Taste Of Apples) disappeared since the expedition was no longer trapped. But some of the carefree silliness or "crack!fics" (penguin fics inspired by March of the Penguins, the gleeful madness of Pegasus B, 2005's infamous Harlequin Challenge) also dispersed once the expedition was more closely tied to the "real" world of Stargate Command. [1]

The essay also discussed the way fans dealt with DADT, wrote Genderswap or Genderfuck, the controversy over Take Clothes Off As Directed and the fondness of SGA fans for multimedia works.

The remainder is a recs list of over 50 stories, almost all written in 2006, and a list of other recs lists.

The essay provides a snapshot of one view of SGA fandom in its earlier days.

Sections

  • "Methodology"
  • "Acknowledgements"
  • "Canon Synopsis, Let Us Take You Back"
  • "Affect of Canon on Fanfiction"
  • "Affect of Pop Culture on Fanon"
  • "Taking the Military Seriously"
  • "Effect of Current Events on Fandom, or Stargate's Usual Delight in Politics"
  • "The Natural Growth of a New Fandom. The Joys of Minor Characters"
  • "That Kiss," and its Affect on Slash"
  • "A New Slashy Interest in John Sheppard"
  • "Fanon's Affect on Fanon, or, When in Doubt, Make it Up"
  • "Oh, Cool, A Direct Conversation between Fanfics"
  • "A Silly Fandom Taking Itself More Seriously, This Time With Crossgender"
  • "Multimedia. Yes, It's a Buzzword, but it's Also True"
  • "The Backbone of the Stargate Atlantis Fanfiction"
  • "The Lure of the Meme That Ate Fandom"
  • "The Recs"

Immediate Reaction

liviapenn comments to clarify the focus of the portion of fandom the essay covers, "As it stands, this is not "a taste of 2006 Stargate fandom," it's a taste of 2006 Stargate fandom (1) with a tight focus on slash stories, (2) within the subset of slash, a tight focus on John/Rodney stories, and (3) when not actually explicitly John/Rodney, a tight focus on John and/or Rodney as the main characters in the story. " She also identifies several trends from her perspective and mentions that she saw, "A lot more BDSM and kinkfic just in general, as well as stories including elements of D/s or kink in otherwise "typical" First Time or established relationship stories".[2]

cathexys initiates a discussion with Icarus in comments that covers the difficulty of linking particular stories to specific inspirations.[3]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Livejournal The SGA Project, a.k.a., "Flavor Of The Year." on Livejournal, accessed April 8, 2011(some quotations have been edited to repair broken links)
  2. Liviapenn's comment to the Livejournal post, accessed April 8, 2011
  3. Thread beginning with Cathexys comment about context arguments, accessed April 8, 2011