There used to be a big, long, pretentious paragraph here about my personal philosophy of fic and why it’s important and all the ways I think it’s worthy of study as a genre yaddah yaddah yaddah but the upshot, and the only part worth saving, was this: fanfic not just what fans do—it’s how we think. My favorite thing about fic is teasing out the logic of an AU, watching the innovation of a trope, experiencing another writer’s worldbuilding of a familiar (or very foreign) setting. Fic is a re-seeing, a re-vision, a peek inside the collective (but oh-so diverse) brain of resistance reading. That’s what keeps me in fandom, that’s what’s kept me away from novels for years. The links below lead to rec lists, a representative culling of everything I’ve been reading other than books these last several years. Some are more developed than others—SPN, for example, is mostly aspirational at the moment. But it’s a project that’s been a long time coming and will likely be ongoing, seeing as I’m still pretty successfully ignoring novels.

Newsies (1992 film) (Jack/David, Blink/Mush, Spot/Race, misc. others)

Merlin (Merlin/Arthur)

Supernatural (Dean/Cas)

Star Trek reboot (Kirk/McCoy, Kirk/Spock, misc. others)

X-Men: First Class (Charles/Erik)

“Fanfiction is what literature might look like if it were reinvented from scratch after a nuclear apocalypse by a band of brilliant pop-culture junkies trapped in a sealed bunker. They don’t do it for money. That’s not what it’s about. The writers write it and put it up online just for the satisfaction. They’re fans, but they’re not silent, couchbound consumers of media. The culture talks to them, and they talk back to the culture in its own language.”

― Lev Grossman