I learnt about fanfiction – and to me even more important – slash through meta, so to say. It’s now 15 years ago, I was 27 and I’d been to a rally in Berlin where my boyfriend and I met a friend of ours. On the way back home said friend gave me a book he was reading at the time, a study about counterculture and how it uses mainstream culture. Sadly I don’t remember the name oft he book but it cited Mark Dery, Culture Jamming: Hacking, Slashing, and Sniping in the Empire of Signs, 1993 which is a similar study.
I read through this book on our train ride home, and there it was.
Using Kirk/Spock (who I had already been slashing) and Starsky & Hutch (who i didn’t know then) as an example. It’s hard to describe what I was feeling. In a way it felt like I imagine it has to feel if you’re queer and discover you’re not the only one. (I know you can’t really compare this but to me it really felt as important.) I had been dreaming up fanfiction all my life and especially slash since my early teens but I never even asked myself if there could be anyone doing the same. To know that I was not alone was incredible. To have words to say what I was doing was incredible.
Luckily, the internet was already around when I had my great revelation (2000), and finally knowing what terms I had to look for I searched and I found. And man, did I read a lot of fanfiction … I started with Star Trek TOS, reading stuff from kira-nerys and greywolf the wanderer. Many old places to find fanfiction are meanwhile gone (anyone remember geocities?) but many storys are still online. I don’t remember THE first story but one of the first stories I read (which I printed out so I still have it) was „Illogic“ by Anne-Sigrid, a Spock/McCoy story I still like.
I can say I’ve never looked back since ;) I’ve been reading in many fandoms and started writing myself some years ago.