FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: What Are Your Late-Night “Bad” Habits and/or Fan Fic Preferences?

Hi, and welcome to the first FOT I’ve hosted in…over two years! Wow, is that true? I just checked, and yes, it’s true. But I’m back! And I’m…going through something! It’s Cancer season, so maybe we’re all going through something. Given the general state of The World, we’re definitely all going through something.

It’s fine! I’m fine! Maybe one day I’ll be able to write about it. For now, I just made a goat cheese and fig tart about it. Salted with my tears. Just kidding ha ha!

This unraveled quickly.

I really came here not to talk about the emotional hurricane that is my life right now but instead to share with you all that I have not been able to stop reading Incredibles 2 fanfiction!!!!!!!! Which is, of course, probably a symptom of the emotional hurricane or, at least, a way to pretend it isn’t happening. But it turns out that fanfiction can be a very satisfying distraction during tumultuous times.

Have you SEEN Incredibles 2 yet?! It might surpass Thor: Ragnarok as the superhero movie with the most gay subtext released in recent years?! I am certain that Elastigirl is queer, and I would die for her…a fictional, animated character. And one of the new characters introduced in the sequel, Evelyn, is in love with her, too. GO SEE THIS MOVIE RIGHT NOW! And then look up Elastigirl/Evelyn fanfiction and dive into this rabbit hole with me. This one is extremely slow-burn and actually quite sad but the queer angst had me HOOKED. This one is sexy but also angsty. This fandom is…incredibly angsty.

Look, I know that fanfiction is one of those things where like you’re super into it or you’re super not. I hope I haven’t lost anyone who doesn’t really buy into the obsessive fandom life in the way I have since…age 5 when I first saw Grease? If you do use fanfiction as a way to escape or just as a genuine source of entertainment, I want to hear about some of your favorite things you’ve read! Or the weirdest things you’ve read! Show me your fav problematic ships, and I’ll show you mine 😉

But if this isn’t your thang, I wanna hear about your late-night “bad” habits that aren’t actually that bad. Maybe they’re a little unhealthy—but not toxic. See, sometimes I drink a cappuccino at 10 p.m. and then go on a Riverdale fanfic bender. Probably not the best choice, but it’s also not necessarily self-destructive! Do you secretly read a bunch of celebrity gossip? Do you look at apartments you know you can’t afford? Do you not have late-night habits because you have a perfect sleep schedule that you never deviate from and treat your body like a temple? If you answered yes to the last one, I DON’T WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!!!! Just kidding, teach me your ways?

I’ll leave you with a photo of my baby cat Paulson (yes, named after Sarah Paulson). Her late-night habits include chasing ghosts around the apartment, head-butting me until I let her under the covers, and knocking things over when the head-butting doesn’t work.


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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is a Brooklyn-based writer, television critic, and comedian who spends most of her time over-analyzing queer subtext on television, singing "Take Me Or Leave Me" in public places, and assembling cheese platters. She has a cat named after Piper Halliwell from Charmed, and her go-to karaoke song is "Everywhere" by Michelle Branch. Her writing can also be found at The A.V. Club and The Hollywood Reporter, and she wrote the webseries Sidetrack. You can catch her screaming in all-caps about Kalinda Sharma, Jennifer Lopez, and oysters on Twitter and Instagram.

Kayla has written 119 articles for us.

105 Comments

  1. kayla kayla KAYLA I LOVE FANFICTION AND IM SO GLAD YOU GAVE LINKS one of the most frustrating things is hearing people love fic and then not linking to it, so thank you for your service

    WHERE TO BEGIN ON FIC RECS this is my ao3 and I save them all : https://archiveofourown.org/users/Dangerlove12 and a tag here: http://doyouwanttobesaved.tumblr.com/tagged/fic-rec

    Rizzles/SwanQueen/Emaya/Trini-Kimberly/Propunk/Brittana/Faberry/whatever quinn and mercedes are called Quinncedes!/Joaniarty/Villaneve/Bechloe/Supercorp/Teleanor/Jetra and this is just the tip of the iceberg i love fic sO FUCKING MUCH

    theyre still talking im typing like these are the last few things ill get to say bUT please read marry me a little its a jetra fic and its like highkey perfect (written before petramos got together) AHHHHHHH please i want everyone’s fic recs always

    we’re getting ready to leave and people have been talking to me while i’ve been trying to concentrate so i’ll be back!

  2. My habit is looking at fancy apartments on Streeteasy. I live in NYC with amazing roommates and have no intention of moving anytime soon, but I love looking at Central Park West penthouses and things like that. I also like looking at houses in the suburbs that are on sale, in case I want to eventually be a suburban lesbian mom with a white picket fence and 2.2 kids. Or, I’ll live in the CPW penthouse with my imaginary wife and 2.2 kids (and my dog, obviously), and we’ll somehow be able to afford the 20-million dollar apartment. Or I’ll buy a brownstone, and we’ll have the whole house! Is this just a NYC thing (where we have the most ridiculous real estate) or do folx in other cities/towns do this?

  3. Fanfic isn’t my thing, BUT my girlfriend used to be real into it and she spent some highschool years writing some, and once we had been dating a little she shared them, and oh boy they were good! She’s a great writer, and they were just well written. I still didn’t really get into it, BUT one summer when she was home and I was here and we were apart and trying to keep sparks going and not be all sad and angsty she recorded one of the fanfics chapter by chapter, and I got to listen to her read Hunger Game themed sex scenes and that made me like fanfics a tad more 😉
    My bad habit that’s not actually bad is going on Petfinder and looking at dogs. I narrow it down by what i’d actually want, good with cats (cause I have those of course) and dogs (cause I might want more one day and also I want to take this imaginary dog to the park) and kids (cause well dogs live a while and maybe I’ll have a kid one day) and then I search. My gf wants a dog with fur she can bury her face in (her words not mine), so i make sure that’s part of the search, and I scroll and scroll and scroll. I can’t have a dog right now, but my gf and I have dreams, ya’ll. Forget the fact that we don’t have much money right now or we’re moving into a no dogs apartment building or things just aren’t super stable right now, it’s just really fun to look! I also love to look at potential cities we could move to. I look at LGBT happiness stats (and crime rates and queer book stores and Autostraddle city guides) and average rent and library jobs available and I get real into it. I guess I like to plan my future as a habit??

    Anyways, happy Friday, sweet and sour pickles and crisp bits of lettuce! My girlfriend came back from a 10 day long vacation and we’ve been soaking each other up all week, and it’s been glorious 🙂 We move in a a week or so and have barely packed and I’m panicking, but I got my lady back, so whatever! Have a lovely weekend!!

  4. I write slash fanfic. Have done for a very long time – well not as long as some people I know, but over 15 years. My current fandom is NCIS:LA. A lot of what I write is kinky. And I don’t consider it a guilty pleasure at all – I have no guilt about this, I embrace it fully as my “thing”.

    I don’t have late night bad habits, I go to bed around 8-8.30pm, because I get up at 4.30am as I start work at 7am.

  5. This fanfic discussion just reminded me of how before my partner and I even started dating, they sent me a fucking Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert slash fic in hopes of demonstrating to me what the rest of our relationship and future marriage would look like. Ah, young love.

    I used to read fanfiction until the late hours of the morning and cry about how my life was deprived of the kind of gay love that I wanted. Now I read gay fanfiction into the late hours of the morning and cry about how my life is deprived of the kind of gay representation I need, ha.

    Happy Friday! Thanks for sharing the recs!

  6. First off, I know we’re talking fanfiction here, and I promise I have something to say about that. But good people, sometimes you get tired of fanfiction. Sometimes you want to read an original work. And sometimes you want that original work to be an anti-authoritarian grimdark fantasy series where character drama meets old-school adventuring. If the foregoing is of any interest to you, please check out my first published work of fiction ever. I won’t post direct links here because I’m not trying to spam AS, but Inferno: Cassandra’s Call by A. Kat (yes really) is available from Amazon, iBooks, and Kobo. Fans of fantasy, I encourage you to take a look! It does have queer characters/themes, although that is not immediately obvious from the first installment (it is pretty damn obvious in the second one, though).

    Now, as to fanfiction, I owe a lot to it both as a reader and a writer. I cut my teeth on Xena fanfiction, and that’s what really got me going as a writer in middle and high school. I know that Xena and Gabrielle are considered Super Mega Gay at this point, but for me as a kid I never saw them that way, so my stories did not explicitly pair them. I read a lot of stories that did, though, and that was kinda my introduction to a lot of ideas about what two women could do together… I didn’t consider myself bi at that point, but my reaction was not “ew” – much closer to “isn’t that interesting, I was not aware that was a thing people could do”.

    When I was overseas with spotty internet, FanFiction.net became a go-to for me because it wasn’t blocked by the Great Firewall and it was almost purely text, an important consideration for my shitty and metered 3G connection. I ended up reading a ton of Benson/Cabot fic, especially anything marked hurt/comfort. Other pairings I’ve enjoyed include Bubbline (although that’s not even subtext at this point, it’s pretty much canon) and Yoruichi/Soifon from Bleach (one of the “big three” shonen anime along with One Piece and Naruto). Actually, come to think of it, my avatar on this site is Yoruichi in her cat form. I think I looked into some Firefly fanfic but couldn’t find much that grabbed me – couldn’t decide whether I preferred Kaylee/River or Kaylee/Inara. Maybe the problem is that I’m just stuck on Kaylee/me… More recently, I tried to find some Kitty Pryde/Rachel Grey or Kitty/Illyana, but again, nothing really caught my interest. Am quite open to recommendations on that score! Again, am a huge sucker for hurt/comfort stories, and since superheroes and adventurers get hurt a lot, those shouldn’t be too hard to find!

    If anyone’s interested, here’s a Xena fanfiction I’m pretty proud of. Not sexually explicit, but very sweet. Inspired by the song “Nearly Lost You” by the Screaming Trees.
    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5923292/1/Nearly-Lost-You

    Here’s a Bleach fanfiction with VERY explicit Yoruichi/Soifon action and suggestions of D/s. Even if you’ve never watched or read Bleach, look up some Yoruichi/Soifon AMVs on Youtube and you’ll see why this pairing kicks ass (literally).
    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6066940/1/Hush

  7. My late night bad habit is part normal and part why are you doing this to yourself. The normal part is watching late night tv, like the Daily Show and Colbert, but the other bit is on tumblr, which we all know can be a huge clusterfuck with a change of running into conservatives some of of whom are in our own communities. If it talks like one, and spews hate like one they are one if they don’t want to admit it. I also sometimes go on ebay and amazon looking at cars(classics, rare, odd-balls, and the fun), lenses, and anything else interesting that might catch my wallets attention. There is a lot I’d like to buy but thankfully had some good restraint there.

    How is everyone’s week going? Mines has been actually fairly good despite having a nervous breakdown on Wednesday and being a dry 100 right now at work. Over the weekend had one of the best times in a long time. It was with the person I’ve mentioned before(also felt good not worrying about labels and just being in the moment). It was like a typical night time story in LA; met in Hollywood at midnight, and ended at the beach in the morning kind of cuddling. Seriously just great time. On Monday went to Stinking Rose, a garlic based Italian restaurant(there is also a SF locale). I liked it, & even had Chateau De Garlic white wine. It was smooth wine and the garlic flavor wasn’t overpowering. Worth a try once.

    A part of me wants to go the beach Sunday, but it’s also QCD and Cuties so I probably doing that as I’d like to support my local LBTQ owned stores whenever I can. I still may go to the beach in the later afternoon as it will still be hot+dry af.

    Weather was calm, complaint, and nice at 6am in Malibu.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post! Have a positive and hydrated weekend!

  8. The only fandom I was ever part of was the Lionking fandom, back in 1996–1998. I played a Cape hunting dog on the Lionking Muck (online, text-based role-playing) and I was obsessed with Swahili. I never could get into the fanfiction, though, because one second you were reading some cool story about lions and hyenas and the next moment Scar was mounting Nala with incredible detail about the texture of a lion penis and the supposedly erotic pain of neck biting with massive incisors. I was super sexually repressed as a response to shame about early bondage domination doll play and bisexual attractions, so I stayed the hell away from fan fiction to avoid accidentally stumbling onto any “yiff”.

    My bad late-night habit is that I absolutely refuse to go to bed. I hate going to bed. I had lots of nightmares as a child, after I nearly lost my father, and I’ve had lots of strange and unpleasant encounters in dreams, and then during my depressive period the silence and darkness of a mind with no pictures, sounds or anything at all felt like a literal kind of hell-dimension torture… so, even though I’m now beyond all of that, and doing great, I kind of want to stay awake for ever. Or at least just fill my mind with stimuli until I just pass out on my own. My partner wants to go to sleep at 10 PM, in total silence and total darkness, so I don’t actually get to practice my vice much, except to throw a mini-tantrum whenever it’s suggested we go to sleep at 11 PM on a weekend.

  9. My late-night “bad” habit that society in general and “# ways to get better sleep” listicles in particular like to shame me about is only ever falling asleep to some kind of media. It was YouTube videos of old “48 Hours” and “Dateline” episodes for a long time, and now it’s podcasts. The abject horror of falling asleep to silence is just – nope.

    Kayla (and anyone else!), rec me your latest favorite “Riverdale” fics? I’ve been yearning for some good Choni and half-heartedly searching for decent trans!Jughead but I juuuust don’t want to wade through anything that’s not exactly what I’m looking for, which is… well, unrealistic.

    Let’s also acknowledge that I briefly went into a PANIC when I read this post because I’ve been working on a fanfiction-related submission for the “Bad Behavior” AS quarterly theme issue and for some reason, I was like “Oh no, now I can’t do it”?! That doesn’t even make sense, self!

  10. Logged in to say I, too, have a bad habit of going on fanfiction benders in the night. It’s my easiest distraction when I’m having trouble sleeping, or to keep me up even if I’m sleepy af. I think I read most of Cartinelli fanfic on AO3 when Agent Carter was still a thing. More recently, I read a Bechloe fic (I’m not even into Pitch Perfect), that was recommended as a really, really slow-burn. I stayed up pretty late a few months ago reading it (Experimentation by Redlance). Each chapter is SO LONG. Their feelings develop at a glacial pace. I LOVE IT.

    The first fandom I was ever in was Harry Potter (duh). I remember the summer after OOTP came out, I got really into fandom and discovered fanfiction. I spent countless nights on forums and would read HP fanfic w/ my cousin until 4AM. Fandom has fueled my sleep issues for sooo long. D:

    Some of the things I try to do now to healthily cope when I can’t fall asleep or feel too wired are (instead of fanfiction):
    – watch videos of ppl painting with water colors (w/out music, generally)
    – put on one of those 10hrs of delta waves sleep music on youtube
    – watch some bbc earth oceanscapes
    – melatonin gummies (which, tbf, doesn’t work for everyone)

  11. Fanfiction was my best friend for years, and then I learned that that wasn’t really healthy, so now i have “real” friends but also sometimes avoid them to read fics…. and stay up way too late…

    I have a bad habit of getting into ships that will have 10 fics on ao3 or are just really unpopular. Some of those in that category are ships from the British show Bletchley Park (no actual gays), Alex/Lucy (supergirl), Fleur/Hermione and Luna/Hermione (https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3973687/1/Crazy-Little-Things) and others that I can’t remember right now…

    But I’m not a fanfiction hipster, I actually love most queer ships. Some of my faves: Root/Shaw, Peggy Carter/Angie, Faberry, any combination of Riverdale w|w, any combination of Dragon Age w|w (My fave is https://archiveofourown.org/works/5013256/chapters/11521657 , a Cassandra/Josie… if you’re even a little bit into DA, you should read that one), Jetra, Korra/Asami, Myka/HG, Tahani/Elenor, Delia/Patsy (I already posted this one earlier this week and the author is actually another reader 🙂 but this is a GBBOxCall the midwife crossover I’ve been re-reading cause everything is trash and the fic makes me so happy https://archiveofourown.org/works/8139194/chapters/18655892) and lastly any combination of Ocean’s 8 w|w … Specially Rose/Daphne…

    I’m trying to remember what my trashiest ship was but my memory is failing me (probably to protect me from shame)

    Also, I feel like I should avoid the Incredibles 2 because I will probably get into it too much… I’ll just have to watch Ocean’s 8 for the third time…

    Happy Friday everyone!

  12. 1. this is the first time i’ve ever left a comment on as & it is mostly to say HEY me & my girlfriend were in the newsletter today !! this morning we bought tickets for her to come visit me next month and then i saw that photo and DIED and anyways thank you laneia, I Love You Very Much
    2. my current late-night bad habit (that i don’t feel bad about at all) (except for the fact that i could/should use that time to do literally anything productive) has been watching documentaries about high school theater awards shows. who knew that was a niche with multiple movies ! not me until last week !

  13. Did anyone else write friend fiction when they were young?

    My friends and I wrote (top secret, immediately destroyed) letters as one classmate to another, with replies, just for fun. Evil fun.

  14. Yknow, I get it that we’re all being asked for money all the time and everyone’s broke because the patriarchy and capitalism, but it’s really grating at me that the PERSONALS app kickstarter is dragging. It needs a whole buck fifty, literally, from every follower to be more than funded. I feel like it shouldn’t be that hard 😕

    • I KNOW!!! This is something I keep talking to people about but nobody seems as panicked about this thing that ultimately has nothing to do with me as I am. Give your money, guys!!! However, Kristin, who has done a LOT of kickstarters, told me it would be fine because most of the time the money comes in the last few days. But still. It scares me because it looks like we’ll have to do an A+ drive or maybe even crowdfunding campaign soon and I’m like, I hope people support us when that happens??? on that note thank u for being an A+ member, silvercake

      • I will be yelling at everyone I know if y’all do a drive. I’ve really been on a put your money where your mouth is kick lately. Even though it literally means five dollars here and there, I’m trying to give a little to every thing I find that matters to me. And if you listen to the various public radio campaigns, it really would just be a dollar or two once a year from everyone to support most of the media and causes out there. That’s so easy! I know we can do that!

  15. Hi Kayla! My late-night bad habit is window-shopping on Amazon.com. I have SO. MANY. WISHLISTS for that day when I become a backyard landscaper, or a backpacker, or a parent, or a person who can afford an expensive sofa. It can get a little ridiculous.

  16. ok, I have no fan fiction to share and no unhealthy late night habits (I meditate, moisturize, occasionally masturbate, and am in bed by 9.30pm. Sorry, everyone.)

    BUT I DID WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU ALL THAT I DID REALLY WELL ON MY EXAMS LAST SEMESTER AND I AM VERY PROUD!! results came out yesterday and I had been getting kind of low marks for my entire first year of grad school – partially because it’s a very different field to my undergrad degree, partially because I developed chronic pain and fatigue that no doctor told me might be due to an underlying condition for an entire year, meaning I went untreated and wasn’t able to get special arrangements from uni (thanks endometriosis! thanks patriarchy!). And also I was in a city where I knew no one, and most of the fellow students are very elite and competitive so I wasn’t making friends with them, and one of them kind of attempted to sexually assault me just a few days before our first day of class ever!!! wow!! what a wild ride!!

    anyway, I took a bunch of measures this semester to boost my mental and physical health and now my marks are really good! My average grade this semester is more than 10 points higher than my average grade over all of last year, and I’m now in the top 10% of our (very competitive) year (we are marked on a bell curve, because the fun just never stops!!)

    ANYWAY I am happy and relieved because I have always been good at school and then suddenly last year I was no longer good at school and I was like, huh, wow, maybe I am not smart after all. AND NOW I AM DOING WELL AGAIN and I am so happy, oh my gosh, grades do not reflect your value as a person or your intelligence but they mean a lot to me, studying was there for me when I didn’t not have friends or lovers or hobbies and will always be my first love, and I. AM. RELIEVED., ok thank you for reading, goodbye!!!

  17. I first got into fanfiction reading Carol Danvers/Jessica Drew (from Marvel) fanfic on AO3 around 2 years ago because the comics weren’t giving me the sapphic stories I wanted. Since then (from looking in my bookmarks on AO3), I’ve read the most fics for Pharmercy (which is weird because I don’t even play Overwatch!) and SuperCorp (which will sadly probably never happen). The favorite fic I’ve read so far is probably “Till the End of the World” by someryn (https://archiveofourown.org/works/397288), a Buffy season 6 fix-it fic. It centers on Spike (a problematic fav), but it ends so much happier than the canon season (with a live Tara, for instance). I’ve been reading less fanfiction over the past 6 months, but I have been reading some of the Incredibles 2 fics that have come out over the past couple weeks.

    When it comes to bad late-night habits, it’s probably just that I have late nights. I know I should go to bed at 11, but I never seem to be in bed until 1 or 2. Some of that is productive with chores or homework, but other times it’s just reading fanfiction or reading through the Autostraddle archive.

  18. Willow and Tara were my first experience with fan fiction. There was a fan site devoted to them. I used to stay up super late for hours devouring the sexiest of stories. Good times!

    For anyone wondering, the fan site is called CN’s Cauldron. I highly recommend the story called Coming Out Of The Bedroom.

    I haven’t visited the site in a long time but having just looked at it again, it seems they have expanded to include other couples.

    • Holy shit, it’s CN Winters. I remember her from the old Xena Netforum (we called it the Nutforum) that I joined when I was literally thirteen. I’ll be damned, she’s still going. I’ve got a lot of affection for that place. It’s where I got started with my own Xena fanfics!

  19. my late night vices are: instagram forever, true crime k-holes (earlier this week i read the bios of every woman to ever sit on death row? what’s wrong with me), and ummmm youtube videos of a-camp performances or kate mckinnon clip compilations, idk i don’t even have a crush on kate mckinnon i just really think she’s funny???

  20. ooh my bad habit is definitely browsing aspirational real estate. i went on a zillow bender a few weeks ago looking at homes in laurel canyon (because it’s near ucla, a potential graduate school, and everywhere else in los angeles seems like actual hell) that go for no less than 850K. for context, i am a 20-year-old undergraduate who makes 200 dollars a week and a mortgage is not in my future for AT LEAST another decade. i also spent extensive time looking at apartments in san francisco and i’m not even close to sure i’ll be moving back there after school. i think i watch too much hgtv.
    aspirational shit is generally my guilty habit — i also spend a lot of time browsing cars even though my current car runs fine and i don’t foresee getting a new one until this one is irreparably dead. (see: 20-year-old undergrad, 200 bucks a week). but it’s fun! i love aspirational dreaming.

  21. Okay, so. If you want Emma and Regina from Once Upon A Time and some cheeky meta banter about desperately connecting over looking for the queerness in a popular series, try: https://archiveofourown.org/works/3250445/chapters/7083893.
    Then there’s my gal Serena Van der Woodsen of Gossip Girl fame growing into her queerness and getting to actually be the free, fierce person that she always wanted and deserved to be, plus finding love with a charming AF original character (and allow me to rave about how OCs deserve all the love in the world, especially when they get to interact with canonical characters!): https://archiveofourown.org/works/2228229.
    And a seriously genius fic about your self-insert player character breaking free from within that Kim Kardashian app from a few years ago, PLUS finding love with Willow Pape in an updated take on The Matrix (y’know, the Wachowski sisters’ ode to dismantling the heteronormative status quo?) if you, like me, relish the thought of getting something out of the hours of gameplay you sunk into that game besides enough points to buy a dog for your mansion. Obscure? Sure. But dang if it’s not a great read: https://archiveofourown.org/works/5529497.
    And finally, digging all the way back to my pretentious high school reading lists, here’s a little something about Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker from the Great Gatsby being tragic and beautiful: https://archiveofourown.org/works/610075.

  22. Night baking is possibly a bad late night habit but I have zero regrets about it.
    My current bad fan-fic habit is devouring an author’s entire body of work and then their favourites list in the same manner creating a vicious cycle. I have so many pages open on my phone right now it’s kind of horrifying.

    I just found the femslash and Faith friendly parts of the Buffyverse fandom and my computer also has an unhealthy amount of tabs open.

    Ao3 writers many of them have blogs and one writer myth_taken has a google doc of femslash fic recs

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hQXRKPI2kE_geD-mcXwSg4ZiHc0TNlRMQZ7G0sKmSJI/edit#gid=0

    I found this side of the fandom all because of this video

    It’s Faith’s arc paired with a Halsey song “Control” from the album Badlands
    Addicted to it I might be.

    Also speaking of pop stars with names beginning in H my mom keeps saying Hayley Kiyoko every time she means to say Kaley Cuoco which is hysterically funny to me for what reason I don’t know.

  23. This is relevant to my interests, because my late-night bad habits are pretty much fanfiction and video games. I’ve plugged some of these before, but they’re good so I’ll plug them again, and some new favorites.

    * https://archiveofourown.org/works/11715078/chapters/26385285, Korrasami: Mermaid AU, I love the clever melding of mermaids with the Avatar setting and the plot twists (which I will not spoil). Features Korra being hot and complicated feelings.

    * https://archiveofourown.org/works/10375578/chapters/22917603, Clexa AU: Lexa is a law student, Clarke is a succubus. The main plot driver here is figuring out Clarke’s story. I enjoyed this fic’s emphasis on consent in a scenario that could easily have gone dub-con or non-con in creepy ways.

    * https://archiveofourown.org/works/5493998, Carmilla/Laura: It’s a Carmilla/Pacific Rim fusion. You’re probably wondering how that can be any good, but it’s really really good! Believe the slow burn tags, we’re 230k words in and the leads haven’t kissed, but their friendship is developed beautifully, there are interesting spins on many other Carmilla characters, and there’s also dark hints of a plot.

    * https://archiveofourown.org/works/12473736, Carmilla/Laura: I don’t like zombie apocalypses, but this one won me over with the characterization and the development of their relationship. I’m really interested to see where it ends up.

    * https://archiveofourown.org/works/6445774, Scully/OFC: Scully is very bisexual in this one, which the teenaged girl inside of me likes a lot. Set after the X-Files ends, Scully is falling in love with the daughter of Reyes and Doggett while trying very hard to deny it. Has some dead-on dialog for Mulder and fun cliffhangers.

    * https://archiveofourown.org/works/11445675, Max/Victoria: Vampire AU, with an interesting take on vampires and Victoria herself. Victoria tries to be aloof and fails utterly when it comes to Max. Has a strong arc and characterization, only a pity it isn’t longer. It is, however, finished.

    * https://archiveofourown.org/works/5853712, Carmilla/Laura: The premise of this fic is pretty dark, but it also manages to be very true to the series. Honestly, if I had never seen anything past season 1 and someone had told me this was a novelization of the rest of the series, I would have believed them. The push-pull of Laura’s and Carmilla’s relationship gets a lot of time, all of it merited.

    * https://archiveofourown.org/works/2703230, Caroline/Elena: A beautifully-done meet-cute superhero AU.

    * https://archiveofourown.org/works/1557668, Buffy/Faith: Honestly, I’ve always been more invested in Buffy/Faith than Willow/Tara. Maybe someday Hollywood will remake BtVS with a canon queer protagonist, but until then there’s fanfic, and this is a great take on the concept. Also has one of my favorite titles in fanfic.

    * https://archiveofourown.org/works/617498, Lightning/Fang: this is a crackfic with sparkling, hilarious prose.

    * https://archiveofourown.org/works/270104, Hanna/Sophie: Aged-up AU with some plot and a lot of exploration of what Hanna and Sophie might be like when they’re a little more grown up, featuring Sophie coming out to herself: “[Y]ou don’t know what’s up or what’s down any more, and the only thing that makes sense is the one thing that’s making you confused.”

    * https://archiveofourown.org/works/690853, Laura/Erica: A cute character study where they end up telepathically bonded.

    * https://archiveofourown.org/works/13172010, Yang/Weiss: A very smutty fic that also does some serious exploration of feelings in a relationship between a cis girl and trans girl.

  24. Oh man yes looking up real estate is the only thing that keeps me sane these days. Turns out the tech industry and even my lovely left-leaning little Canadian city aren’t places I can exist without being filled with Trans Lady Terror (and then once I’m home and safe Trans Lady Rage) at least once a day. So I look at remote plots of undeveloped land. Did you know you can get 40 acres in the Shetlands for £50 000?! SEAFRONT?! Depending on how bad the rage and ensuing insomnia are I usually keep on going down that rabbit hole and read about raising bees and goats and making little packed earth houses and then watch soothing videos of someone silently building clay-tiled huts with nothing but their hands

    Anyways who wants to come to Canada and help me grow vegetables and take care of unwanted animals and people? Also what do I do with all this anger I’m so tired?

  25. one of my weird-but-harmless secrets is that I’ve never watched the show Merlin but really enjoy modern AU fanfiction of it? Fanfiction of things I haven’t actually watched/played/read is honestly my preference because without the context of the original work it’s just like- here are a bunch of fun queer short stories! for free! Anyway for some reason the Merlin fandom seems to have a particularly high concentration of good writers and “There Are No Gays In Football” (a novella-length fic where Arthur Pendragon is a closeted soccer star and Merlin is the out team medic he falls for) kind of changed my life? Life is a rich tapestry!

    • There Are No Gays in Football is actually my third favorite novel (after To Kill a Mockingbird and Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos, which everyone should read). I’m counting it as a novel because it’s better written than 99% of published fiction out there.

  26. I read more fanfic than original work at this point, and I write more fanfic than general stuff these days, too. My sleep schedule may never recover, but I have no regrets. I’ll be femslash trash until the day I die probs!

    Some of my favorite works on AO3 are by Thrace, Poetzproblem, Nightshifted, Orangeyouglad8, and centuriesofexistence. You literally can’t go wrong with any of their work, most of which is novel-length and slow-burning goodness.

    Check out my other faves on AO3 if you want to never have free time again:
    https://archiveofourown.org/users/MaloryArcher/bookmarks

  27. nobody will probably ever see this because it’s posted late, but OH MY GOD I’m watching the L-Word for the first time (I was 4 when it came out so,) and I just!!! I need someone to scream with over it!? Like,,,, I feel personally offended by the fact that I had to listen to Jenny Schecter’s horrible writing. What the hell is with how Bette is treating Tina (I’m on s2e3) why can’t Alice and Dana just be together? Why must I know a bunch of spoilers already? Why do I have to suffer this show alone…

  28. I have a question that I feel a lot of people on Autostraddle might know the answer too. Are people that a re Trans accepting called TERFS (which would be autostraddles culture) or is it lesbians who are not trans-accepting that are TERFS? And why do I keep hearing about violence against TERFS? I wasn’t sure where else to ask this”

    • TERF stands for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminism(ist), it is neither radical or feminist. TERFS aren’t just lesbians, but certainly some are. TERFS spread violent hate speech and contribute to the culture of violence towards trans people, especially trans women of color

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