Just In Case You Were Wondering

The secret to generating a huge number of comments on your blog: Write about Robert Heinlein and fanfic in the same week; each entry is at about 450 comments. By concatenation, this means writing an entry concerning fanfic about Heinlein books would come close to 1000 comments, and that writing erotic fanfic featuring Heinlein and Ayn Rand would generate so many comments that the entire power grid east of the Mississippi would collapse under the load. Given the severity of the weather at the moment, I am loath to do that. We’ll save it for summer.

I also ended up banning someone from commenting, which is something I have to do rarely (I think I’ve done it three times in the five years I’ve had comments enabled), but which, clearly, I don’t have a problem doing when necessary. I think some folks are under the impression that I’m going to tolerate their jackassery because I’m afraid of being labeled by them as a censoring jerk. Surprise! These people clearly have not read the comment policy. And in any event, it’s amazing how civil a wide-ranging and contentious discussion can be, once you’ve tossed one particular bomb-throwing asshole out the door. The point is, it’s good to have standards.

57 thoughts on “Just In Case You Were Wondering

  1. “…writing erotic fanfic featuring Heinlein and Ayn Rand would generate so many comments that the entire power grid east of the Mississippi would collapse under the load. Given the severity of the weather at the moment, I am loathe to do that. We’ll save it for summer.”

    …promise? Promise? Because you seriously need to. Someone needs to. This must be done!!!

  2. The minute I find out you’ve banned someone, I feel like I missed something and I have the uncontrollable urge to see WTF the asshat posted to get you that pissed off. I know it would defeat the whole purpose of the banning, but I really wish you had a sort of “dustbin of ignominy” so we could see what he said and the early attempts to rein him in. (Note: I didn’t say “he/she” because I’m willing to bet that 99% of offenders are male. We’re just wired that way).

  3. writing erotic fanfic featuring Heinlein and Ayn Rand…

    A cardinal rule in fandom: one you have said it, it does exist. I would take a bet that I could now find this online….but I will *not* link if I do!

  4. erotic fanfic featuring Heinlein and Ayn Rand

    Oh, God, you just went too far even for me. And a friend of mine, to make a point, once wrote Kissinger/Nixon slash.

  5. Although I’d place a sizable bet that they’d be too busy talking ever to do the deed. Certainly they’d be so busy talking that I’d have to skip forward at least a chapter. (When I shelved books in the town library, all the copies of The Fountainhead fell open to the well-thumbed relevant pages.)

  6. Nitpickery, but:

    You might loathe jackassery but you are loath to post about erotic Heinlein fanfic.

    With an e means to hate something, without to be unwilling to do something.

    / nitpick

  7. John, methinks you’ve stumbled across some kind of memetic tripwire that compels people to lunge for their keyboards when those words flash across their screens.

    Though, I shudder to think what kind of Lovecraftian forces (ancient when dirt was still in beta) could be unleashed by staring in a mirror and repeating “Heinlein, Rand, fanfic” three times…

    :-D

  8. Nathan, and I searched all through the comments of that thread for the offender. There was one in the beginning who I thought was the candidate and then I got further down and found the real culprit. Great way to spend a Sunday morning hungover.

    Bannination, thy name is Bromf- {BANNINATED!!!}

  9. My internal brain-filters are preventing me from reading parts of this post and comment thread–probably because overloading my acceptable-pr0n circuits in some fashion would short-circuit too many synapses.

  10. you’ve stumbled across some kind of memetic tripwire that compels people to lunge for their keyboards when those words flash across their screens.

    I’d say you’re correct with that observation, Bob. Frankly I just lose interest after the first 200 hundred comments or so. Obviously I’m in the minority here.

  11. > A new genre–HeinRand slash fiction. We’re gonna be rich!

    Provoke not the wrath of the capital-L Libertarians, for they are crankier even than the fic-writers. And use longer sentences.

  12. *IS* there such a thing as Heinlein fanfic? I’ve never seen such, but never even thought of the possibility…

  13. Tumbleweed @18: One could argue that Heinlein himself wrote and published fanfic. The Number of the Beast was arguably Edgar Rice Burroughs/L. Frank Baum fanfic, with references to the canons of others as well.

  14. Jonquil is right. HeinRandfic? Too talky. To be at all entertaining it would have to be done, say, exclusively in LOLcat format.

    {puzzle and puz til my puzzler is sore}

    Excuse me. I have some work to do.

  15. Fortunately, both are out of copyright. I’m told (haven’t looked up the cites) that one of Laurie King’s lovely Holmes pastiches included a character who was obviously Peter Wimsey (although not explicitly named as such) and the Sayers estate was on her like Bertie Wooster on foie gras.

  16. Actually, John, I think you’re missing or mistaken about a step: it’s not writing HeinRand slash that triggers the deluge–the key step is someone asking whether HeinRand slash is ethical, legal, smart or necessary. Then it’s watch out national power grid! In fact, I’m not even sure you have to actually write the HeinRand slash at all. It may be enough to simply write something like, “Why don’t people who write HeinRand slash invent their own characters to have sex?” and stand back.

    Oops. Sorry about that. I think I just chose the form of the Destroyer.

  17. There’s a line in there somewhere about a Quintus Teal/Howard Roark beatdown match, but I’m not going there. Nope, not me. Uh uh.

  18. Eww. I definitely had another piece of my soul flash-burned to nothingness. And, having read nearly all of both authors, neither could write a plot to save their lives. Putting both of them together would generate anti-plot. And don’t get me started on the wimmen characters. They’d be interesting archetypes of the Praying Mantis femme.

    Dear God, the idea, it’s eating my brain. Ze goggles, zey do nossing…

  19. J. Hentosz: “HeinRandfic? ”

    Nay. I must respectfully disagree Unless I missed it above, it must be “AynLein”: The Heinlein/Rand love that dare not speak its name . . . in anything under about 30,000 words anyway . . . .

    Ize in ur potboiler messin with ur metaphysics . . . .

  20. Just…ew. Now that you’ve *said* it, it will be written. If it hasn’t been written already. Where’s that brain bleach…

  21. TexasPatrick: I yield to your superior neologism-fu. But 30,000 words? Ye, gods, man! I did the deed with less than a couple dozen. Perhaps you missed my feeble little “Done” link, above?

  22. Hi, long time lurker here(since about the first baconcat:).May I make the observation that apparently someone on the fanfic comment thread invoked Heinlin and Rand since it seems to be shooting for the 1k limit rather well?Also Heinlin/Rand won’t work, they’d just talk politics and then one of them will shoot the other over some arcane disagreement.

  23. Also Heinlin/Rand won’t work, they’d just talk politics and then one of them will shoot the other over some arcane disagreement.

    Which they would take 30,000 words each, minimum, to define sufficiently in reaching the arcane point of contention before deciding violence was required.

    You or I could do that deed in a couple/three paragraphs, JeffH, but we’re talking AynLein HeinRand!

  24. SWEEEEEET!!!!!

    J. Hentosz: re: 30,000 words. Yes, I was alluding to the the proper starting length of any Aynlein Heinrand short story.

    And I so want to see the book of teh Scalzi where the Aynlein shows up. Can he/she/it die horribly? Or just be horribly?

  25. Actually, I think that 30,000 words would barely suffice for an author’s introduction explaining how and why the two got together and decided to mesh their ideas. The actual idea mesh would be running into “Wheel of Time” territory, sizewise.

    Jonquil@7 Nixon/Kissinger? Talk about a need for brain bleach!
    My nomination for political slash would be Hillary/Oprah, in which the candidate uses her fabled sexual prowess to lure the TV star away from her support for Obama.

  26. I started to Photoshop™ an Aynlein Heinrand head, but my mouse hand rebelled and leapt up to strangle me until my oxygen-deprived brain lost the will to continue.

    I blame L. Ron Hubbard.

  27. Jim @ #16
    Frankly I just lose interest after the first 200 hundred comments or so. Obviously I’m in the minority here.
    I’m with you. The only reason I came into this post is ’cause, like Nathan @ #4, I feel like I missed something with the banning.

  28. Anne,

    And thankfully, we’ve got Chang (who is clearly out of his fucking mind, but in a good way) who spent his morning trolling through the entire thread to point us in the right direction.

    Ahhh! The fun of a good bannination from the banninator.

  29. Johnny Carruthers @26:

    “How could Heinlein/Rand fanfic be considered slash?”

    Since I’m sure you really, REALLY want to know: as Jonquil suggested, it would belong to a subgenre called RPS (real person slash). It’s deeply not to my taste either, but as I understand it, practitioners generally do approach it as the act of creating erotic stories about fictionalized personas based on real people.

    If what you’re asking is, “how can it be slash, slash is about two guys?”, the answer is that there’s a sizable chunk of fandom now that uses the term “slash” to refer to heterosexual pairings as well. It’s difficult to tell (as with many things regarding fannish cultural terms), but amongst such people, the key to the slash definition is its lack of canonicity (or in RPS, I suppose, its lack of veracity). Writing about Nick and Nora from “The Thin Man” wouldn’t be slash, because they’re a canon couple. (I’m not saying that I subscribe to this practice, just that I’ve noticed the usage pattern in the last 5 years or so.)

    Tumbleweed @18:

    “*IS* there such a thing as Heinlein fanfic? I’ve never seen such, but never even thought of the possibility…”

    Well, I was in a group that wrote a lot of Heinlein fanfic in college, but that stuff didn’t make it onto the internet.

  30. > if what you’re asking is, “how can it be slash, slash is about two guys?”, the answer is that there’s a sizable chunk of fandom now that uses the term “slash” to refer to heterosexual pairings as well. It’s difficult to tell (as with many things regarding fannish cultural terms), but amongst such people, the key to the slash definition is its lack of canonicity (or in RPS, I suppose, its lack of veracity).

    There it is. I think the term “slash” has come to mean any sort of sexual pairings between fictitious characters. It’s all about equal rights or… something. HeinRand is the the utterly new and different pairing of two larger-than-life meatspace characters–hence my declaration that “we’re gonna be rich!” It’s all about the niche, baby.

    And Aynlein Heinrand is a rocking name. Rocking.

  31. For the last hoax issue of “The Drink Tank”, I started working on a piece claiming to prove that Ayn Rand did not, in fact, exist, but was Heinlein writing under a pseudonym. Maybe I’ll finish it before Chris does another hoax issue.

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