The Terrible Satisfactions of Fan Fiction (and Writing Who We Know As Fan Fiction)

In the late 90s, I was obsessed with a television show on USA Network, La Femme Nikita,* which was vaguely based on the wonderful French movie La Femme Nikita and the horrible remake Point of No Return. The show centered around Nikita, a woman who was forced into being a government agent for a nefarious covert agency who often had to consider the greater good while doing bad things. There were all kinds of supporting characters like Michael, her love interest and the main who trained Nikita as an agent, Birkoff, the computer genius who helped run the covert operations from headquarters, Operations, the dastardly man in charge of Section (the covert agency), and Madeline, Operations’s sometimes lover and the second in command at Section, and also worked with Nikita who was the tormented emotional core of the show. The show was filled with angsty goodness in each episode as Nikita struggled with the life she was forced into, having to kill or be killed. She had freedom, but only so much. She had Michael, but only so much. It was romantic and agonizing and wonderful. Sometimes, I wanted more than what I could get from a one hour episode. That’s how I learned about fan fiction, where fans of the show wrote elaborate stories using the characters and the world built within the show as a starting point for telling new stories. There were hundreds and hundreds of stories that asked and answered the question, “What if?” posed in countless different ways. I could read stories about Nikita marrying Michael and having a child and negotiating their careers as spies, or Birkoff and Operations having an affair (SLASH), or Nikita and Operations having an affair, or Nikita escaping and starting over only to be caught, or  Madeline taking over Section or Nikita going rogue. The permutations were endless and there was something terribly satisfying about seeing just what was possible within the Nikita universe when the characters were freed from their creators.


Craft Notes / 12 Comments
April 7th, 2011 / 4:19 pm

My name has never sounded sexier.

Dead ringer.

Dead ringer.

I’m not sure how many people know this already, but “Justin Taylor” is–among other things–also the name of a fictional character from the now-defunct TV show Queer as Folk. What’s NOT defunct is the stream of fan-fiction concerning Justin’s relationship with Brian Kinney. There’s tons of it being produced and published, almost entirely on Livejournal. Often times they move the characters into new environments/situations/worlds, such as a sci-fi-ish future or else, as in today’s offering, a high school that’s also somehow “like Muppet Babies.”  In the grand tradition of slashfiction, all of this *ahem* literature is known by the collective title of Brian/Justin fiction, or, simply–and perfectly, am I right?–BJ fic. How do I know all this? Uh, own-name Google alert–anybody? Here’s an extract from chapter two of QAF Babies (click anywhere to get swept away to QAFland):

Then he stops leaning on his hand and tilts his head. He asks, in a sultry voice (or so I think), “What’s your real name, Sunshine?”

I smile. “Justin. Justin Taylor.”

He repeats slowly, “Justin Taylor.” My name has never sounded sexier.

I laugh uncomfortably and then whisper (Mrs. Newman had already shot us a couple warning looks), “You never answered my first question.”

In response, he asks playfully, “Why shouldn’t I take home ec? Where else will I learn how to cook my man a hearty meal, balance his checkbook, care for all our adopted babies, and darn his socks?”
I stare at him blankly. After a minute or two, he chuckles. “Maybe I just want to ogle your hot ass as you bend over to put cookies in the oven…”

Author Spotlight & Excerpts / 16 Comments
April 13th, 2009 / 2:19 pm