Alli Snow (allisnow) wrote,
Alli Snow

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The Quarterly Fic Rant

I've been thinking about this because of some comments made on other LJs... the guilty shall remain anonymous ;) This is pretty much all territory I've covered before, but hey, it's called a pet peeve for a reason. Ye all have been warned.

I wish I could figure out something about this fandom. I'm not asking to understand all of it, because, well, some things are simply beyond understanding. Fandom now exists in the Twilight Zone, and if I try to wrap my mind around the concept as a whole it'll probably implode.

But the fic thing... that I wish I could understand. I've thought about, and ranted about, the subject so many times that you would think that I would eventually get somewhere. However, it just keeps going around in circles... kind of like fandom.

Why is it so impossible to write a fic about Sam and Jack and have it not automatically be a Sam-and-Jack-shipfic? Is it just because it's such a rare thing? Really, there are only a handful of writers who can do it and do it well -- the first to come to mind are Denise, Doc, Sel and Suz... and I think the last three are pretty much considered shipfic writers. And Denise, if she keeps down this road, is going to ruin her reputation ;) I've written one plot-centered story that didn't take the characters past canon, at least in a physical sense, and even that is considered shipfic by some people. Is it because 99% of what I write is Sam/Jack-relationship-based? Is it because my primary audience is shippers who are going to read anything into anything? Or is it just that fic that is Sam and Jack but not SamandJack simply... boggles the mind?

Why can Jack and Daniel, in fanfic, 'get away with' so much more than Sam and Jack can in the eyes of certain people? Is it because they're both straight men with no interest in each other beyond friendship, so while a hug between Sam and Jack might involve hormones, a hug between Jack and Daniel won't? Is it because they're so incredibly close, more than brothers, more than friends, that obsessing and cuddling and pining after each other is perfectly natural and supported by canon where the boys are concerned, and unheard of when it comes to Sam?

Shipfic (used here to refer to Sam/Jack shipfic) is kind of this catch-all for any story that focuses on Sam and Jack and the relationship they have. Sometimes that relationship is physical, sometimes it isn't. Sometimes it involves UST, sometimes it doesn't. But when it's Jack and Daniel, it seems that things have to progress to a greater degree before it's considered slash. Otherwise, it's dumped into that big-ass hole in the ground labelled 'gen'.

Ahh... 'gen'. The greatest of all lies in this fandom. The most worthless label I believe I've ever encountered.

What is 'gen'? A story that deals with the whole team? A fanfic that could easily be an episode on the screen? Is it simply used to refer to a family-friendly rating? Or is it what some people claim: a signpost to declare that the fanfic is officially UST-free?

Because Jack and Daniel don't have UST, after all. When it them, it's smarm. And smarm is 'gen'.
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