Project AFTER
April 10, 2004

10 Fanfiction Universes We'd Like to See
An editorial by Richard Goodness


It seems that nowadays just about every popular TV show, anime, and book has a fanfic about it. However, that doesn't mean that there are fanfics for everything out there. Partially as a guide to new writers looking to do something different, partially as a way of ensuring that other works get the in-depth exploration that only fanfiction can provide, I have assembled a list of Ten Fanfiction Universes We'd Like To See, presented in an exciting countdown format for your enjoyment:

#10 Nietzschean: The title character of Thus Spake Zarathrusthra has long been an enigmatic and controversial figure. Anyone who would announce the death of God would have to be. Who better to meet and understand him than our good friend Mary Sue? The two could have riveting dialogues together and go off hand in hand to search for the čbermensch. Of course, Nietzsche's painful bouts of syphilis and insanity would put a damper on things, but there's nothing that Mary Sue can't do!

#9 Porn Stars: Sometimes, people want to write some smut, or PWP. And sometimes people want to do fanfics involving real actors. However, the former is usually looked upon with disgust, and the latter is generally a taboo in the fanfiction community. With fanfics set in the universe of porn films, however, you could easily do both and get away with it! Now the world would know what sex between Ron Jeremy and Paris Hilton would be like! The slash branch of this fanfic universe would, of course, be obvious.

#8 Dictionary and Thesaurus: Am I the only one who sees a great deal of tension between the guide words at the top of dictionary and thesaurus pages? I mean, just turn to page 130 in my copy of Roget's--you've got fruitful and fuzzy. What an odd couple--and yet they're fated to spend eternity together. I see all sorts of adventures for them--as fruitful meets up with his archnemesis fruitless, fuzzy has an affair with frustrate, and the pair harbors a fugitive. Just the thought is exciting!

#7 Shakespearean: We've been reading the plays of William Shakespeare for hundreds of years. Don't you think it's a little old? I mean, we all know how they end up. Romeo and Juliet? Passé. But with the magic of fanfiction, all you slash fans would be dying to read Romeo and Julius Caesar! And I know I'd read Othello if the Moor's anger was raised because he was jealous of Hamlet's attentions to Desdemona.

#6 Disney Nature Films: Remember White Wilderness, the movie that fabricated the "fact" that lemmings run to the sea in packs and drown themselves? Or Yellowstone Cubs, the delightful adventures of two bears lost in a camp? I sure do! Now all the cuddly creatures of your favorite Disney nature films can be on your computer screen--in fanfic format! With comedic interludes in which Walt himself argues with the stars of the show, these fanfics would be something that everybody could be "wild" about!

#5 Famous Artists: Most of the great artists were insane--but you'd have to be full-on crazy to not appreciate the beautiful paintings that pairings like Monet/Manet would produce! And so what if Michelangelo and Van Gogh lived in different centuries? There's no reason they couldn't have a romance--Andy Warhol's time machine would eliminate any problems with the space/time continuum!

#4 Sunday Comics: Hey, if we can write fanfics about manga, why not go with the American institution that is Sunday comics? Wouldn't you like to find out what would happen if Calvin and Susie got together? How about a stream-of-consciousness fic where Andy Capp ponders his unhappy marriage and descent into alcoholism? And for the more salacious among us, there's also the possibility of a lemon between Marmaduke, the cast of Mutts, and the dog from Marvin!

#3 Opera/Musical Theatre: Sure, it's nice going to a Broadway play every now and then, but it gets to be really expensive--and if you're not in the New York area, you're generally stuck with touring companies and local knock-offs. The next best thing would, of course, be fanfiction of all the major plays and operas! The songfic genre would be a natural way to put the theatre experience into one easy-to-read text file! Just think: We'd finally have the stories of such plays as Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, and Oliver! in prose form!

#2 TV News Broadcasts: We all watch the evening news, but rarely do we know the behind-the-scenes drama that goes on. I for one would love to know what would happen if, say, Dan Rather and Peter Jennings met. And I'm getting really tempted to write a fic from Walter Cronkite's point of view, set on the day that Kennedy is assassinated.

#1 Project A.F.T.E.R. Forums: Because, really, there are untold stories that we just don't know about! Who knows what Malheidsman and Dai Ou do in their free time? Fanfiction writers, that's who! Though, for the sake of our sanities, no slash fics, please.

Special thanks to Mary Kate Cusack for suggesting Famous Artists and Opera/Musical Theatre; and to Alex Barry for the original inspiration for Porn Star fanfics.

Richard Goodness - 4/10/04