Fan fiction may not be everyone’s geeky cup of tea, but not all of it is Harry Potter, Mary Sues or Kirk/Spock slash. Sometimes there are the quirky, the geeky, the brilliant, or the just plain bizarre jewels of stories – and once a year you can find a lot of them in the Yuletide rare fandoms exchange. Basically it’s a 2000+ person fan fiction extravaganza in which those who sign up request stories from any obscure fandom they like – from A Complete History of the Soviet Union As Told By A Humble Worker Arranged To The Melody Of Tetris (which is a song/video) to Zombieland – and everyone is matched up algorithmically to write stories for each other.
You may have unwittingly stumbled across Yuletide last year due to one story that went viral – “Wait Wait Don’t Eat Me”, which envisioned how NPR’s news quiz might go if taped during a zombie invasion. Zombies, by the way, can be added to pretty much anything.
After a few days open (and authors still anonymous), the star of the fest this year seems to be “Goodnight Room”, a post-apocalyptic retelling (or explanation) of the children’s book Goodnight Moon. After reading it, you will never look at the book the same way again – it’s brilliant, but seriously creepy.
And as an honorable mention, I’d suggest “The Roommate of +10 Confusion”, which is the tale of Jason from FoxTrot and Calvin from Calvin & Hobbes as college roommates.
As with any user-generated content there’s a lot of not-so-great (or really awful) to wade through to find the good stuff, and though I haven’t read all of these, here are some other things I bet you never thought you’d see (multiple) stories about:
This year Yuletide is hosted on Archive of Our Own, the gigantic fan fiction archive spearheaded by the Organization for Transformative Works, which means that some of the links above may have stories from outside Yuletide. If you want to just see the fandoms from this year’s fest, try here and here. Though before you start surfing, do keep in mind that Rule 34 definitely applies here. (Also, the servers are getting slammed at times, so if you get sad 502 errors, try the static pages.)