OTW Fannews: Slapping on labels

  • As fanfiction and other fanworks become an increasingly common mainstream reference, disputes about what it is and isn’t are likely to grow. However, one problem emerges when professionally published content is somehow distinguished from fanfic simply because an outlet like NPR doesn’t want to call it that. “When writers finish a book, they may think they’ve had the last word. But sometimes another writer will decide there’s more to the story. Bertha from Jane Eyre and the father in Little Women are just two examples of secondary characters who have been given a fuller life in a new work of fiction based on a classic novel.”
  • In another terminology mishmash, The Daily Dot reported on a new game called slash: romance without boundaries which takes “Cards Against Humanity to the next level, offering fans the chance to create the ultimate OTP (One True Pairing).” The game successfully raised double its original goal on Kickstarter to begin production, but the title is odd given that the purpose of the game is shipping, not necessarily slashing. The idea seems to come more from how “[t]he game’s designer, Glenn Given…used to weave fanfic crossovers into his high school RPG adventures.”
  • Foreign Policy reported on a variety of new Chinese terms in circulation because “the Chinese Internet [is] obsessed with writing gay Sherlock Holmes fanfiction” However, “[w]hat makes his Chinese fans special…is that some are risking jail to write him into slash fiction. In early 2011, authorities in China’s inland Henan province arrested Wang Chaoju, the webmaster of the slash fiction website Danmei Novels Online, and charged him with ‘disseminating obscene content’ after finding about 1,200 sexually explicit danmei stories among the tens of thousands on the site. Later that year, Justice Online, a legal news website, labeled slash a ‘harmful trend,’ quoting a psychologist who said the literature ‘could lead to a deviation of sexual orientation, difficulty interacting in social situations, and even criminal activity.’ To avoid punishment, writers and readers of explicit slash often exchange content over email, ensuring the work remains invisible to the wider Internet.”

How do you define different fandom terms? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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