I've been spending some time going through old (in internet time, very
old), fanfic archives, reading some of the first fics I ever read and loved. For example, The Shi'ar Coffee Story
, which is still as silly and funny as I remember it being.
It was the late 20th century. Nostalgia doesn't prevent me from remembering how shitty it was in many ways (including for me), and yet.
I loved the X-Men animated series, with its continuity and its time travel and its perky music and overdramatic characters. And Buffy, with its sarcastic bravery and oh-so-human heroes and villains. And Star Trek TNG, which showed both an universe so much bigger and interesting than anybody else's, and a way of facing it with curiosity and goodwill that I still, as much as I find it, in retrospect, conservative
, can feel energized by (pun not intended).
And then I found my first fics, stories that took this, and gave it new directions, adult relationships, complex characterization, infinite alternate universes, and more fun and more darkness than the source material was allowed to, and it was mind-blowing that it was even possible to do that. That we were allowed
, or rather, that we didn't need anybody's permission
The topologically impossible Summers Family Tree (multiple clones included).That epic where Gambit ended up being Professor X's son, and it completely made sense, really. Q's increasingly NC-17 infatuation with Jean-Luc Picard. The Borg, back when they were scary.
It changed my life in so many ways; half a lifetime later, I'm still ricocheting through the alternate timeline this set up for me, and I couldn't be more grateful for that.