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.
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.
I was reading up on Oceans 8 (the all-female reboot of Oceans 11) this afternoon, and I couldn't help but notice how many people were complaining in the comment section that it would destroy the integrity of the original—right up there with "it ruined my childhood" as far as non-specific melodramatic criticisms you hear every time a reboot of anything is released.
I mean it. I will sit in front of the television and analyze the shit out of every piece of dialogue...