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Keeping up with the journalses

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I'm probably at least a month behind on reading my LiveJournal friends list, and unlikely to catch up anytime soon. I've been peeking at various journals sporadically, but the volume of LJ postings is such that I never want to look at them these days unless I have a big block of time, which almost never happens. Unfortunate. So if there's anything you've been expecting me to see and reply to in your journal, drop me a note in email, or post a comment on this entry (on my journal page, not in LJ) and point me to it. (It's a little like Usenet; there came a point, maybe twelve years ago when I was working at Apple, when I realized that I could spend 24 hours a day reading interesting newsgroups, and that the only sane solution was to quit cold turkey. I'm not quite ready to give up on reading LJ entirely, but I'm having a hard time reading it only in moderation.)

Anyway, so I'm not going to have time to look at Beth B's shiny new LJ anytime soon, or for that matter Lawrence S's (which has been around a fair bit longer). (Lawrence was one of my Clarion classmates—the only one I know of who has much of an online presence these days.)

I did notice that there's apparently been something of a kerfuffle (or perhaps a brouhaha) over fanfic and slash lately, but I also know that I dasn't go start reading it—that way lies madness, and I have an awful lot to do this weekend, including writing a couple of long-delayed entries of my own (unrelated to fanfic). But Beth points to the relevant Making Light entry and assorted other stuff, so if you're interested, go forth and follow links.

8 Comments

I've been reading through some of the LJ discussion on this, and, er. Mostly I find the conversation kind of boring, except that I just realized that there are a lot of people out there who are using the word "slash" to refer to "gay porn written by women". Or maybe just "gay porn that talks a lot about feelings as well as fucking". Like, the concept of "non-fanfic slash." I think I'm out of the loop, or something, because non-fanfic slash? Isn't that just erotica? I'm so not hip.


For the record: this thing I have said here? It is (or I guess was--the conversational wave seems to have crested) under Intense Debate in the livejournal discussions. I personally am gobsmacked by the idea that many people are comfortable calling [i]Swordspoint[/i] slash, or that if (for example) Pamela Dean were to start writing sexual stories about her own characters, that would also be considered slash. This is all completely and thoroughly at odds with my understanding of the definition (and boundaries) of slash fiction that I'm having trouble parsing some of it. But, of course, I am not yet Queen of the World, and not everyone uses the same definitions as I do. (how dare they?)


I have a summary of the links to the various discussions (and my feelings around it, kinda) in my LJ. Check it out if you want.


Thank you! (and hey, that's you! I saw all those posts of yours over there!) I'm way burnt out on this now--I mostly just don't care, and yet the whole thing was oddly hypnotic, as reading. I have no ill-will towards slash (or fanfic in general), I just kind of find it boring, and as such I'm puzzled by how many people are willing to put so much time and energy into discussing it. (and even more puzzled by why I spent hours reading all the discussion.) It's like, I don't know, model train enthusiasts, or dog breeders. Some of the conversations just didn't parse for me.


Thanks for the excellent summary, Dawn! Very helpful. And I'm pleased and impressed to hear that most of it has happened without flamewars—I tend to assume that any discussion of fanfic and slash that includes people who don't read or write it (especially if some of them are pro authors) will result immediately in heavy flames, so that's really great. I imagine that TNH starting things off with a generally positive posting must've helped legitimize fanfic for a lot of people; go, TNH!

...So after reading your summary, I did actually take a look at a couple of the items you pointed to, though I didn't read any of them too closely or read through the comments/discussion attached to them. A couple quick thoughts:

For writers who may be thinking this has nothing to do with anything they care about, Teresa's comments cover a lot of interesting ground about the difficulties of writing about sex and Difficult Stuff in general.

I also think The Brat Queen's What Is Slash? makes a lot of good points. It's more aimed at fanfic writers who don't like noncanonical homosexual pairings than at people who are bewildered by the notion of fanfic in the first place, but it makes some things clear that I hadn't seen explained before.

Anyway, thanks again for the summary! Oh, and I took the liberty of changing your URL to a link for ease of clicking.


Fanfic is evil, man! Evil because is just sucks you right in. i spent a whole afternoon one day at Clarion (Clarion, I tell you!!) reading a Harry Potter fanfic that someone linked in an IM. I was supposed to be writing, but I clicked on this link thinking I could just take a peek at the thing and BAM, I was reading it and not writing. Sheesh.


Whatever you think about the fanfic/slash discussion, some of the offshoot discussions are interesting. I especially like Lawrence Schimel's posts about The Power Pyramid, which branched off from his posts about slash, gay men, and gender.


Okay, Susan, who are you? Just wondering if you commented there too under another name.

And Jed, thanks for fixing the link. I wasn't sure about the HTML versus the bulliten board code, and obviously didn't read your helpful note at the top of the comment field.

Glad people found my summary useful.


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