Sixteen years ago, give or take a day or so, I posted my first fanfic.
Fandom’s really always been a part of the Internet, but in 2000 it wasn’t as organized
online as it is now. Fanfiction.net existed, but it wasn’t yet the go-to source for fic; stories were mainly hosted on individual fan-run sites, and bulletin boards were the order of the day.
I’d been a fan long before I knew what fandom was, but my venture into Prey
was only my second attempt at online fandom as a social thing. I’d read stories for Space: Above and Beyond
and sought out factoids about the show, but I didn’t participate in the community, as such. In the Prey
fandom I found a small but welcoming community willing to speculate endlessly about the universe of the show and how the plotline might be resolved (second-worst cliffhanger ending ever, I swear
And there were writers. Not many, because even in its heyday Prey
never had a huge following, but there was fic.
I’d been writing fanfic for years for my own pleasure, but for the first time I really wrote a story
, or the beginning of one, rather than isolated scenes. And I took my heart in my hands, and gave it over to be posted (thank you, Joxer!).
I don’t remember, any more, exactly what I expected. I don’t think I hoped for anything more than a lukewarm response–it was my first attempt in the fandom, after all.
Sixteen years ago exactly, I got my first review. And then another, and another. And I was stunned
They loved it.
It was alchemy. It was magic
. It quite literally changed my life.
Because of the Prey
fandom, I had the courage to write for U.C. Undercover,
and then Firefly
and Law and Order: Criminal Intent.
And then I hit CSI
and GSR, and never looked back.
fandom presence online faded away, as so many do, and the message board has gone the way of most such outmoded sites. But I remember. J.K., I have no idea where you are now, but yours was the first e-mail I got, and I have it still. Every so often I re-read it, to remember the thrill and the joy of knowing I got it right
In honor of this, and to remember, I’m reposting that story. It was online for a while, but then I took it down when it was turned into a hard-copy ‘zine. Apparently the press that published is no longer active (the site’s still up, but nobody’s home?) so I doubt anyone will object. Skein
is now up at AO3
will be posted at FF.net as soon as I can get the latter to behave
is finally up at FF.net
If you choose to read it, and I don’t suggest you do so unless you saw the show, please be kind. I do like to think my writing’s improved over the years, and I had to seriously resist the impulse to spruce it up in places.
Thank you, Prey
fandom. You showed me that my work had value; more, you proved to me that I did actually have a gift. 1.5 million words later, I am a writer.(Also, I have a thing for emotionally damaged half-aliens and the women who save them, but we knew that already.)