Kath over at Fanatics has written a great essay talking about the history of Roswell Fanfic. Follow the link here to see it - A History of Roswell Fanfic.
It covers a huge amount of Roswell Fanfic history. I just wanted to add a rebuttal to one part, and bit of a note about the evolution of couples in fanfic.
Exceprt from Kath's article
Kath wrote - "There has been a very small number of post-Graduation fics, when you really think about it. Considering where the show left off, this is surprising. The ones that do exist, tend to either be future fics (quite considerably in the future), or just "happily ever after fics," or UC fics that change almost everything. There does seem to be a shortage of "the gang on the road" fics. I've often wondered why this is. Perhaps because people were mostly happy where the show ended? I'm not sure if that's true. Who knows? It's just slightly curious. Someone asked me the other day why I haven't written a post-Grad fic, which I haven't, although I do sort of have one in the pipeline. When I thought about it, I guess I just decided I was mostly happy with where things ended, and, as Lolita mentioned above, happily ever afters (which is all I would write for Max and Liz, because, hey! It's me!) are kind of boring."
Kath may have been happy with where season 3 ended, and that is why she never wrote any post-season 3 fics, but I think it was the opposite for most other fans.
For me, season three was a train wreck that I perfer to believe never happened, so I would never write a fanfic that even kind of acknowledged that season three existed. It would be validating the whole mess.
There was so much wrong with season three it would be a Herculean task to even consider fixing it, and I hated the season so much I have no desire to even think about much less put in all the research and hard work that it would require to fix it.
Yeah, season two can be a bear to work with considering the End of the World, Alex's death, and Tess the traitor with Max's bastard son. But think of all of that as just the base of the mountian of additional crap piled on in season 3. Think of all the plot holes and nonsense you'd have to do something with to even make your story readable: Tess, EOTW, Tess' son, the Special Unit, Jesse, Khivar, EOTW (Yes, I've mentioned it twice, but think how overreaching it is!) It would just be one stupid thing after another.
I believe most other authors felt the same way, and instead just pretend season 3 never happened and write fics that start earlier in the series.
The Evolution of Couples in Fanfic
When Rosfic first started, by far the majority of fics were Candy (Michael/Maria). It probably accounted for two-thrids or more of the stories written. Dreamer (Max/Liz) was the second largest ship in fanfic, with Gazer (Isabel/Alex) coming a distant third.
Later there were a few Rebounder (Kyle/Tess) fics, or Lamptrimmer as the ship came to be known. And while there was a strong, vocal group of Rebels (Max/Tess) on the fan boards, strangely there were never many fics.
There were few unconventional fics for a long time, despite the fact that several UC couples were explored on the show. It took a while for the UC fics to really get going, but to this day they still only account for approx a quarter or less of fics written.
Different UC couples have been popular at different times, Polar (Michael/Liz) was the first to get going really, then Loyalists (Liz/Kyle) and Cliffhanger (Michael/Isabel). And as other new characters were introduced the couples in UC fics expanded, Stimulators (Michael/Courtney), Fantastics (Liz/Nasedo - in various forms), etc.
It was also about this time that slash (same sex) fics, especially male slash, and threesome fics started taking off. There had been a few here and there, but they became much more common. And we started seeing UC fics that paired characters with people from other shows, Liz/Angel (from Buffy), Michael/Phoebe (from Charmed), Liz/Daniel (from Stargate).
Also we started seeing UC fics featuring characters that were never together on the show, True Blue (Alex/Liz), Fifth Wheels (Alex/Tess), Remedialists (Maria/Kyle), Ground Zero or GZ (Max/Maria), Groupie (Maria/Alex), Jumper (Rath/Liz), Mental Vibrators (Michael/Tess). But there were only a few scattered stories, and the ships never really had huge followings.
The fan boards went crazy naming couples that I don't believe ever had stories written about them. If anyone knows where to find a Sugar Daddy (Liz/River Dog) fic, or Fugitive (Alex/Laurie Dupree) fic I'd really be surprised.
The number of Candy stories gradually lessened, and as the series came to an end, Dreamer stories were the majority of fics being written. For years now Dreamer fics have been at least sixty percent or more of all Rosfic written.
After Roswell was cancelled in 2002, there was a rise in male and female slash fics. Many Roswell same sex couples were explored, like Lipstick Abduction (Serena/Isabel), Catfighters (Liz/Tess), Buddha Healer (Kyle/Zan), Explosive Souls (Michael/Zan), to mention a few.
Also there were more UC and slash pairings of Roswell characters with charcters from other shows and books, such as Dark Angel, Stargate, Smallville, Harry Potter, One Tree Hill, Lost, Supernatural, Twilight, among others. Curiourly enough, most of these crossovers featured either Max or Liz in the main pairing.
From 2005-2008 UC and slash fics became even more common. There were several couples that rose in popularity at various times, and many stories were written about them; Deviant (Sean/Isabel), Fifth Wheel (Alex/Tess), In Crowder (Kyle/Isabel), Viper (Isabel/Khivar), Traitor (Liz/Khivar), Awakened Dreamer (Zan/Liz), Streetwalker (Rath/Maria), and Double Dipper (Max/Liz/Zan) fics were the most common.
- Update for 2009
Dreamer fics continued to be the most popular ship, with the majority of fics written about them. Awakened Dreamer was the most written UC couple, and there was also a new interest in Polar fics.
- Update for 2010
2010 has really seen the re-emergence of the Polar fics, with the majority of UC fics being written about the couple. Awakened Dreamer fics have greatly declined, and slash fics have almost disappeared. There seems to be a bit of renewed interest in Crossover fics, mainly featuring Smallville, Dark Angel or Supernatural, and some are branching out into new areas including other TV shows, cartoons and movies.
- Update for 2011-2013
Roswell fanfics have taken a big decline in the last couple of years, probably because it has been 10+ years since the show ended. But there are still some great things being written.
Dreamer and CC with dreamer focus fanfics continue to account for the vast majority of fics written. Probably somewhere around 80 - 90%. You would really be pressed to find a CC fic that focused on any other couple these days.
On the UC front, most of the fics are either Polar or Awakened Dreamer, and slash fics have pretty much disappeared.
You still see the occasional Xover, but there is really not one area of focus, and it is a mix of old and new. You get anything from Stargate, Smallville, Supernatural, Twilight, Vampire Diaries, to Harry Potter.
- Update for 2014
There are fewer fics than ever being written. Most are by hard-core authors who are still hanging in there, but we are also seeing a few new authors and even some authors who are returning to the fandom.
Dreamer is still the most written, but you can still find gen CC fics and the occasional Candy or other CC couple fics.
For UC fics Awakened Dreamer and Polar are still the two most written. Occasionally other UC couples make an appearance, but it has been over a year since I've seen any new slash fics.
There are very few Xovers and they are from all kinds of random fandoms as people get interested in and experiment in other things.
- Update for 2015-2017
There are still fics being written by old and new authors, and even a few returning authors.
Dreamer and gen CC still the two most popular, but there has been an uptake in the amount of Candy fics. I think it might have had something to do with the fact that the main Candy fanfic site got locked up and tons of fans were denied access. So maybe the fans started writing to get their Candy fix. :)
UC is almost all Awakened Dreamer, with the occasional Double Dipper, Polar, and misc ship thrown in. I can't even remember the last time I saw a new slash fic. 4 or 5 years ago, probably.
Xovers have almost disappeared as well. I am kind of surprised. You would think with the popularity of superhero and sci-fi right now, that someone would get inspired.
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