What is 'slash' fiction?
October 8, 2004 10:18 PM   Subscribe

[TruthStrangerThanFictionFilter] I have come across this extremely compelling, and somehwat NSFW, document. It claims to be fiction, but the details don't seem to conflict with reality in any way. How does one go about verifying such documents?

also, what is this "slash" fiction? I don't see any cutting or other violence that suggests knife-work.
posted by Kwantsar to Society & Culture (15 answers total)
1. You're kidding, right?

2. If not -- here's the scoop -- "slash fiction" is generally fictionalized accounts written by True Fans (or True Haters) of pop-culture figures. For instance, if you google for "Buffy The Vampire Slayer Slash Fiction" or "X-Files Slash Fiction" you'll likely get some *very* racy scenes involving Mulder & Scully. If you're a Trek fan, try searching for "Kirk and Spock Slash Fiction" -- but you've been warned.
posted by davidmsc at 10:32 PM on October 8, 2004

Slash Fiction wikipedia article - the first result in a google search. Homosexual fan fiction involving well known characters.
posted by rhapsodie at 10:33 PM on October 8, 2004

How do you verify that something that claims to be a lie isn't? Whaaaa?
posted by kindall at 10:40 PM on October 8, 2004

Slash is an offshoot of fan fiction. Here's a good general framework for context (and for suffering hysterical design blindness, unfortunately).

The Joanna Russ article cited, "Pornography by Women, for Women, with Love" is a damn interesting read on the subject. It makes Star Trek reruns even more endearing, though I find her omission of analysis of Tribbles as vaginal substitutes frankly puzzling.
posted by melissa may at 1:18 AM on October 9, 2004

The definition I always used was this:

Homosexual/homoerotic/homoromantic fan-written fiction based upon media-created universes.

Of course, that doesn't leave room for the real-person stuff (like the story above), but I'm working on that...

Although I suppose it could be said that politics and pop (the primary places to find real-person-slash) could be considered media-created universes...
posted by Katemonkey at 1:29 AM on October 9, 2004

Is slash always gay? I never read the stuff, but I always assumed the word referred to any fan-written sexual fantasies about tv characters. If "slash" = "homosexual/homoerotic/homoromantic," what would you call similar fiction featuring hetero lust?
posted by languagehat at 9:01 AM on October 9, 2004

Gen. Short for "generic". And if written by a slash fan, it'll usually have warnings on the top of the story indicating that heteroseuxal content is in it, because that's a turn-off to some fans. If you want hetero porn stories, they're easy to get, so it's assumed that if you're on a slash site, you want slash stories and live in that mindset, and thus may want to be warned when you're about to read gen.

And shows/media that have canonically gay characters, like Queer as Folk, don't technically fit the definition of slash, and are not nearly as popular a target for this kind of treatment than shows/media where everyone is ostensibly hetero. Slash is in large part about uncovering hidden or repressed emotions or relationships; two Out characters have little place in that world, and generally get little focus in the stories.

By the way, this is not the first time I've ever seen political RPS (Real People Slash). There's a Kerry-Edwards slash community at LiveJournal. Enter at your own risk! (I supposed that says something about the fact that our political environment is, to use Katemoneky's definition, something of a media-created universe, one which fans want to reclaim.)
posted by Asparagirl at 9:42 AM on October 9, 2004

I have to disagree just a little with Asparagirl. Hetero-lust about media characters would be het. Gen reflects the show as it is without a focus on romance (unless the show happens to be about romance,) but at this point, with shows like QAF, the old categories are getting harder and harder to define. I've seen people using "slash" to define non-canonical het pairings (which, IMHO, is wrong, wrong, wrong,) but it would seem weird to see somebody label a QAF story with the characters getting in AWN as "gen," even though it technically would be.

Real People Fic and Real People Slash is a whole 'nother ball of wax, but if the author says it didn't happen- it didn't happen. (More's the pity, because I'd love to see Michael Rosenbaum and Tom Welling get it on, but alas, it's just pretend...)
posted by headspace at 10:33 AM on October 9, 2004

There was a rather detailed and dare I say academic discussion of slash fiction on Metafilter this spring...
posted by whatzit at 11:13 AM on October 9, 2004

Is there MetaFilter slash?
posted by mwhybark at 11:41 AM on October 9, 2004

mwhybark: yes, but it's all ParisParamus/Quonsar. I dunno how much you would like it.
posted by headspace at 11:49 AM on October 9, 2004

Headspace, my admiration and respect shows no bounds here, but the convention is that the dom character goes on the left side of the slash.

(mwhybark, you make an excellent straight man, unless you'd prefer otherwise.)
posted by melissa may at 12:46 PM on October 9, 2004

But Melissa, haven't you read MeFi Threads 7033, 9958, 11234 and 12033? The canon clearly shows a shift in power. Maybe that's not what TPTB intended, but that's definitely the way I'm reading it.

(*ba da dum!*)
posted by headspace at 12:49 PM on October 9, 2004

whatzit: Thanks, that was a great discussion, and it sent me to the Wiki entry, which would have cleared up my confusion right away had I only thought to consult it.
*makes mental note to visit Wikipedia more often*
posted by languagehat at 1:22 PM on October 9, 2004

Woops, noticed after posting that rhapsodie already linked to the Wiki in this thread.
*makes mental note to read threads more carefully*
posted by languagehat at 1:23 PM on October 9, 2004

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