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The Fandom Job: A Wank Report

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ageofthegeekbaby posted to epic_wanks


Phew, fandom, wank is in the air! A BNF hasn't fallen this hard or this far since the venerable days of the Harry Potter fandom, but nobody's collected all the information in one place yet. I've been doing the collecting with justparker (you may know her as the finest purveyor of fanart in the land and the one who drew detailed architectural plans for half the buildings in Lord of the Rings) and very_distinctive (fandom's scary uncle, he will cosplay you in the FACE and also punch you there if you leer at Slave Leia too much), and have we found some information for you.

Everyone knows the basic story, right? huntforthetruth, Hunter or Monica to her friends, has been a BNF on the rise since Harry Potter, and maybe a few people cried plagiarism sometimes, but they were just jealous, nobody could find a single plagiarized sentence in her fics. She was even, rumor has it, right on the edge of a traditional publishing deal, with the sci-fi trilogy she's been writing in her spare time for a while now (anyone's guess whose ideas she was taking there).

What follows when you dig, though, is a twisted tale, one of sockpuppets, betrayal, and a BNF falling like the Roman Empire.

Follow me under the cut and see how it all went down.

(Read more ...)

On Monday, justparker got a PM from her friend peggywithcats, twenty minutes after Monica posted her new fic, a 20k epic already getting recced all over LJ as a new work of genius. In these screencaps, you can see what goes down, but summarized: Peggy claims Monica stole her fic, but not the words, the concept and the plotline. She changed the fandom and rewrote the damn thing, but it's not every day that two people just happen to decide to write a space AU set in a world with this many worldbuilding and plot details in common. For the thorough, Monica's fic is in the Wayback Machine here and Peggy's is triumphantly posted on her LJ here, but very_distinctive did the short version of the similarities in plot and structure and setting here.

Thing is? Peggy claimed that no one except her beta, one LJ user itsadisgrace (journal now deleted, some entries available through the Wayback Machine, screencaps of her interactions with Peggy found here, here, and here), had seen even one word of that fic. No one even knew the concept she was working with, because Peggy isn't a BNF, but a relative newcomer who gets moderate amounts of reviews but nothing huge. itsadisgrace commented on a fic and said the concepts were great but she could use some help cleaning up grammar, and she sure took her to the cleaners.

Now, justparker got a little suspicious, so Monday night, she got in touch with me (you all know me, update soon—hey, maybe an illustrated update), and I did a little digging.


The IP evidence all led to one thing: itsadisgrace and huntforthetruth were the same person.

The question was, had it happened before?

So a team of sleuths went to work, since the stories were just different enough that stop_plagiarism probably wouldn't be able to do much about it. justparker, very_distinctive and myself looked up IP addresses, contacted everyone huntforthetruth had ever tried to blacklist, did IP tracking for every mentioned beta on the site, and started to find some interesting patterns, but no truth that fandom would listen to, not really.

And this is when alicewhite came on the scene. She's an eager, new-to-the-fandom journal, with a first fic just original enough to get attention and just ungrammatical enough to get the attention of huntforthetruth. alicewhite, though, she'd been a lurker for a long time, and she knew there were some rumblings in the wind (the relevant threads on the anon meme), and when she got a PM from a certain projectdestiny asking about being her beta, she got in contact with yours truly, and there, my friends, the trap was set.

By Tuesday night, projectdestiny was looking at alicewhite's new (and bravely-offered!) draft, and by Wednesday morning, this post was on huntforthetruth's journal, teasing her new fic, something short she claimed would be a palate cleanser after her last work, but with just as original an idea (alicewhite's new fic, betaed by yours truly, will appear next week sometime when it can be appreciated on its own merits).

And, sure enough, the IP addresses matched.


huntforthetruth obviously denied all claims and IP evidence, so the wank is not quite over, but fandom seems to be on Peggy's side, and Alice's, and on the sides of everyone else who had their ideas stolen and used by someone else over the years.

I think it's safe to say that, with the evidence presented (and maybe e-mailed to some publishing contacts, not that I'm pointing any fingers), huntforthetruth isn't getting her book deal any time soon, and new authors can accept offers to beta without fear that something like this will go down!



Hardison grins and presses post. “Yeah, I think we did good.”

Parker rests her elbow on his shoulder. “I still don't see why I had to be Alice. You wrote the fic for her, why was I the one talking to Monica?”

“Woman, it took some real effort to write that inexpertly and I had to take time off from the big bang, plus I was looking up IP addresses, do you think I'm superhuman? Someone had to talk to her, and Eliot was all for giving her a virus.”

Eliot looks up sharply from the sewing machine across the room, where he's putting together a really badass Mal Reynolds for Hardison, as he should. Hardison will talk him into being Jayne someday. “You gave her a virus, right?”

“No, man, I let her get away without one, of course I gave her a virus. What do you think I am, a saint?” Hardison leans back in his chair. “She'll never work in this town again, Peggy got her fic up, and we get to go back to our big bang and know we did a good day's work without Nate and Sophie backing us up. Seriously, who goes on vacation when fandom drama is going down? No, they're on their honeymoon, they won't answer their phone.”

“Well, we handled it on our own,” says Parker. “And you got to write the wank report instead of Nate this time!”

“I think we did a pretty kickass job.” Hardison grins over at Eliot, who's just rolling his eyes at them like he's so above this and wasn't the one to sweet-talk a bunch of traumatized fic-writers into giving them evidence. “And we have definitely earned an SGA marathon.”

Eliot sighs like he's so put-upon, even though he loves SGA. “Fine, Hardison, let me finish off this seam and we'll watch some TV.”

“We're like Batman,” Hardison says, content, and leans against Parker to wait for Eliot to finish.