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Ten fanfiction reads for spring break

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Fanfiction is fiction written by a fan, featuring elements (usually characters or settings) from another story. Since the advent of copyright law, fanfiction has been considered slightly less broad. It is free to write, publish and read; nobody gains any profit from other authors’ ideas.

However, fanfiction is an increasingly popular medium for storytelling, thriving despite the restrictions in place. Fanfiction allows amateurs to practice writing or fans disgruntled at subpar conclusions or a lack of representation to fix certain aspects of the stories they love.

Fanfiction can be best described as someone asking: what if? What if Sirius Black raised Harry Potter? What if Portgas D. Ace survived Marineford? What if Percy Jackson was not Poseidon’s son?

Archive of Our Own, often called AO3, hosts millions of stories. All of the stories on AO3 are free and have tags that tell you what you are getting into before reading a specific work. Fanfiction can also be listened to in audiobook form, called podfics.

Here is a selection of 10 beginner-friendly fanfictions I recommend reading over spring break:

1: “whatever you can still betray” by midnightluck (One Piece)

When you think about it, Portgas D. Ace’s childhood was wild. Taken out of context, it makes no sense. When the Whitebeard Pirates receive one too many conflicting answers to their questions, they decide that Ace must be a marine spy. Hilarity ensues.

The best part of this fic is that the crew’s misunderstanding is entirely understandable. With the information they had, believing Ace was a marine spy was entirely reasonable, but their reactions to that conclusion very much weren’t. It made for great comedy, though.

About 6,500 words long. Podfic by Opalsong.

2: “No” by Fialleril (Star Wars)

This is a character study of Anakin Skywalker. It takes the fact that he was born and raised in slavery and expands on how that influenced his becoming Darth Vader.

A clever take on Anakin’s descent into darkness that perfectly encapsulates his character and motivations.

About 450 words. Podfic by Windona.

3: “The Stillness Remaining” by flamethrower (Doctor Who)

After Simm’s Master’s death, the Doctor, Jack Harkness, and the Jones family gather in a bar.

Showcases the aftermath that was lacking in the show. The Doctor has time to grieve and talk through his feelings, and the Jones family starts their path to recovery.

About 3,600 words. Podfic by Deadra.

4: “Etiquette Lessons (Type A, Type B)” by ghostwriterofthemachine (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

While preparing for a military party, Obi-Wan and Anakin give Cody and Rex conflicting advice, highlighting their differences in upbringing and mindsets.

This story really drives home how different the upbringings of Obi-Wan and Anakin were and how that impacts their behavior.

About 3,100 words. Podfic by GoLBPodfics.

5: “dear forgiveness” by opensummer (Supergirl)

This is a series of short stories totaling less than 10,000 words in which Kara Zor-El is only 9 years late to Earth (not 25), and it makes all the difference in the world.

This story explores how Kara would react and adapt to an Earth without an established Kryptonian presence in Superman.

6: “Professor Tommy” by Ourliazo (Harry Potter)

After James Potter and Sirius Black chase off their eighth DADA professor, Dumbledore is desperate enough to hire a Tom Riddle who has yet to go full terrorist dark lord.

Infamous pranksters versus proto dark lord. Fight! Absolutely hilarious.

About 8,500 words long.

7: “Baby Birds and Bat Caves” by IzzyMRDB (Batman)

A curious, civilian Tim Drake discovers and explores the extensive cave network beneath Gotham. A lot of crazy stuff is down there. He becomes one of Gotham’s cryptids. He has a “Welcome to Night Vale” style radio show.

I like all of the crazy stuff that Tim finds down under Gotham, and I can tell at least some of it is a reference to the comics (which I haven’t read).

About 30,000 words long.

8: “The Way Of Conquest” by pagination (Star Wars)

Din Djarin accidentally time-travels back to the beginning of the Clone War. In the process, he kills Palpatine and becomes Chancellor of the Republic. Cue multiple misunderstandings. Hilarity ensues. The entire story makes me crack up.

Din is not used to politics and politicians. The politicians are even more unused to Din. I almost feel bad for the Senate until I remember how many war crimes they perpetrated, legalized, covered up and cheered about.

My favorite parts are the notes at the end of each chapter, where the author paraphrases and summarizes themselves in the most funny way possible, how the galaxy reacts to a Mandalorian Chancellor, and the interactions between Din and Kobol.

About 56,000 words long.

9: “we said hello and your eyes look like coming home” by rosanna_writer (A Court of Thorns and Roses)

When Feyre meets Rhysand at Calanmai, their mating bond snaps into place. Feyre goes under the Mountain for Rhysand, not Tamlin. She stays human. As the war with Hybern approaches, they help each other with their trauma.

Rosanna_writer put effort into writing in Maas’ style, and you can tell. I love Feyre’s strength and her relationship with Rhysand. This story lacks canonical issues with consent (other than the mate bond). Feyre finds friends in the rest of Rhys’ inner circle. The author also wrote Rhys’ point of view in some chapters.

About 77,000 words long.

10: “Stars on the Water” by liketolaugh (Percy Jackson)

After defeating Kronos, Percy Jackson receives the therapy he desperately needs.

Warning: This story contains references to suicide.

It’s about the length of a standard novel, with a sequel focusing on the aftermath of Percy’s defeat of Gaea and the giants.

I like the realistic approach to therapy and the acknowledgment of Percy’s many issues. I like how Percy heals. I like that there are at least some resources for Greek demigods (in-the-know therapists).

All the stories on this list can be accessed on AO3 without creating an account.


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