wMay 28, 2007

Wiscon 31 Panel Report: "Please Explain Slash to Me"

Please Explain Slash To Me

Reading, Viewing, and Critiquing SF&F•Capitol B• Saturday, 10:00-11:15 a.m.

Slash fans and authors explain the appeal of their chosen pastime. Why are women in particular so drawn to this form of expression, as readers and writers? What's so special about mucking around in someone else's fictional world?

Sharyn November, Yoon Ha Lee, Rebecca Marjesdatter, Lyda Morehouse, JJ Pionke


I went to this panel because the questions in its description are questions that I have asked. I am a member of lots of fandom-related communities on LiveJournal - for anime, for TV shows, etc. Thus, I see lots of links posted to people's slash fanfiction. Even before that, my first online fandom was Final Fantasy VII, and to this day, it remains really the only fandom for which I've ever taken a stab at writing fanfiction, and the only fandom for which I ever made a concerted effort to seek out well-written fanfiction, and read it. I think I still have Frank Vederosa's "Shards," a FF7 fanfic about my favorite character Tifa Lockheart, printed out and inside of a binder in my room at my parents' house.
Despite being aware of slash fiction, I've never written it, have rarely read it, and never really understood the appeal of it. Thus, I went to this panel.


The panel opened with a definition of slash. Slash is romantic or erotic fanfiction which focuses on unresolved sexual tension between two characters from a book, TV show, movie, etc. The sexual tension is unresolved because it focuses on two (or more) characters who would never get together in the actual show/book/whatever. There is slash for everything, not just Harry Potter or anime. There is slash fiction for the TV show JAG (and lots for The West Wing! I've seen it!). There is slash fiction for Winnie the Pooh. No, I am not kidding.
Most often, the tension is unresolved because the characters are heterosexual, but both of the same sex. Slash fiction will often taken canonically heterosexual characters and make them homo- or bisexual for the purpose of the fanfiction.

Here are the rest of my notes.

Special Quotes
"Harry is like rice, which goes with everything, but the question is: which one goes on top?" A lot of people in the audience seemed to read, or had written, Harry Potter fanfiction, so this caused much uproarious laughter.

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scribbled mystickeeper at 1:05 PM

Of course we all get engrossed in fanfics, but I was not aware that the erotic ones had a name. I usually just laugh and eventually get uncomfortable w/ the ones that make such odd pairings as bad guys/good guys and Snape and ANY of the KIDS.

By Blogger Steph, at 12:19 AM, May 29, 2007  

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