As a follow-up to my hearty defense of fan fiction, I've compiled a short list of quality fan fiction that I can recommend as a good jumping-off point for anyone interesting in the genre. Recommendations are a way to start filtering out the writing you don't want to read and locating the stories you like—they might prevent you from being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work on websites like Archive of our Own and Fan Fiction dot net.
When you hear the term "fan fiction," your mind probably jumps to works the likes of My Immortal and Fifty Shades of Grey—graphic, controversial, and poorly written. Fan fiction is notorious for its grammar flops, its chapters upon chapters of sappy, angsty romance, and its comedically bad sex scenes. But fan fiction is so much more than its smutty, grammatically disastrous surface.
I’m halfway through my route when I pass a powder blue automobile with its tire blown out. It’s got a polish on the hood like it's made of sunlight, and the engine growls like a bear. I wonder who’d be out on the highway this early besides me and my bike—I’ve got my Sunday route, after all—when John Wilder gets out of the car and opens the passenger side door for his daughter.
The hard-boiled private detective props her feet up on a disheveled desk, smokes a cigar beneath the light of a dim floor lamp and the shade of a wide-brimmed fedora. Her eyes are dark; her face is lined; her office smells of Scotch, coffee, and tobacco.