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Old 05-28-2009, 07:50 AM
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Default The Strange Allure of "Slash"

This was brought up in another part of the forum under another thread title. I thought it might be interesting to try and discuss it in the appropriate part of the forum. Remember, there are kids who read this forum, so please, keep your comments appropriate.

Trek fandom invented this. The first "slash" fiction was written and published in those early mimiographed fanzines that you'd buy at conventions. For decades, it's been fandom's "dirty little secret." Yet, to me, this seems like just a healthy bit of fantasy about characters that we all love and follow the exploits of. Sure, a lot of it is GLBT oriented, but there's also a ton of stories out there that delve into the straight love lives of many of the characters as well.

Trek has always had an appeal to the post adolecent demographic. People who are still coming to terms with the storm of homones that brought them to adulthood. What could be more natural than fantasizing about your heroes in this way?

Lots of it is badly written, and almost painful to read. But when it "works" the stories are often quite moving.

What's your opinion?
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:05 PM
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I well remember those early slash publications...mostly printed out on mimeograph. Some of them are available for purchase from collectors...the ones I've seen haven't been that expensive. If you're interested, drop me a note and I'll try to point you in the right directio.n (I've never bought one...but oddly, have scanned copies of several..funny that) Fan Fiction in general--Slash or not--can be attributed largely to Trek. Yes, there was some before but it took off with Trek.

For the uninitiated, the term "slash" evolved this way: in early stories if it was about Kirk and Spock as the main characters, but there was no romance or sex between them, it was designated "Kirk and Spock". If it was about Kirk and Spock but there was a suggestion of romance or sex between them, it was designated "Kirk/Spock". The "/" became a thing unto itself: SLASH. Now it means any sexual situation between two characters not known in the original work to be involved (there are a lot of Hermione Granger {after reaching adulthood} / Severus Snape stories in the Harry Potter fandom. I know of at least one site completely devoted to it.). However, Slash really brings homosexuality to mind and most stories that are considered Slash will have that element.

Fanwriter, I find it interesting that you equate Slash with the "post adolescent demographic" because fans and writers of Slash are overwhelmingly females "of a certain age" ( I'm a good example...yes, there are younger women, but the core group is making decisions on how to handle grey hair and menopause).

I think we like it for very much the same reasons many men like to watch porn featuring two women...as Paul Reiser said in Mad About You: "I agree with both of them!". I think women generally prefer to use their imaginations to envision the characters while men like to see the characters. I'm not going to go into a big analysis about why that is, but it seems to be true (sort of like more women like the lights off than men and fewer women are big fans of "daylight sex").

I've noted in other threads that there is a wonderful series of stories that track Spock/Uhura from the first episodes, through the gap, through the movies and beyond that can only be read with a box of Kleenex at hand because it is amazingly touching and wonderful. I suspect that series (thank you Wildcat!) is why the new movie worked so well for me. (even though I ship Spock/McCoy....and do I now have to explain "ship"?)

I've written Slash. I read it frequently. Heck, I'm currently working on photo manipulations for a Slashy video (soon to be showing up on youtube, not by me...I just help with the pictures). So, my opinion is Slash is good!
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:48 PM
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Thanks for the explanation Eliza. I did not know what "slash" meant. I figured it was horror comics or violent bloody stories.

I don't think I like the homosexual aspects. I am a big supporter of gay rights, but I don't like the idea of messing with characters I already know. I never thought there was a gay feel to any of the scenes between Spock and Kirk, not like the ones between Frodo and his Sam in LOTR!
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:25 PM
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Are you open to fan fiction as a general concept? Because there are sites that are strictly "non sexual" but let the fans take the characters and run.

I have to sort of laugh at your Sam/Frodo thing...because...I really think that concept would not be out there if the Kirk/Spock thing hadn't taken such a big hold on the imagination of the masses (again...not my ship).
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:29 AM
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After all these decades of being a fan I've only heard of slash fiction through this forum but who knows? I might be surprised. I'd be very surprised. Maybe I'll give it a try after I get around to the 999 other things on my 'to read' list. Truth is I don't have the desire to do so, in any way. Interesting concept though. Or rather I find it interesting that the concept exists. Though not surprised. The world is full of a number of things.

And Eliza, umm, would you explain 'ship'. I'm a little slow on the uptake. But I eventually get there.
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:49 AM
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It took me a long time to get the "ship" thing. To me, it suggests sending a package across country. It's really short for "relationship"... but those who support a particular "ship" are called "shippers" which led to the word becoming a verb ("to ship") as well as a noun (I like the Spock/McCoy ship).
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:02 AM
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Hmmm. Thanks.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:12 AM
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"-shipping" is also big among some of the fans of the new Battlestar Galactica.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Great explanation, Eliza. So in a nutshell, slash is often about "ships".

"Hey, buddy, I wrote some ship-slash."
Bullship!
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