There's no love like the non-canonical love between two characters in a media science-fiction franchise. And there's no love like the love of writers for these pairings. A surprising number of established authors have dabbled in romantic or steamy fanfic.
Here's our list of established SF authors who've written romantic fanfic or slash fiction. Feel free to suggest others that we may have missed in the comments. At the same time, we've tried not to "out" anybody who wasn't open about their pursuit of fanfic or slash, and we'd ask you not to "out" anybody in comments either.
Marjorie M. Liu got her start writing X-Men fan-fiction, and she launched the Wolverine And Jubilee fansite. She became the author of the Dirk & Steele novels and the Hunter Kiss series, but she also wrote one official X-Men novel, Dark Mirror, and several X-Men comics, including NYX and Dark Wolverine (which she co-writes with Daniel Way.) She told the Internet Writing Journal,
I had been writing original fiction and poetry since I was tiny, but with fan-fiction, I could post it on the internet and no one knew who I was. It was purely anonymous. I wasn't being judged, or graded, or hemmed in — and wow, what a freeing experience. So in that sense, it helped my skills as a storyteller because I was able to experiment with different styles and ways of writing, without fear of retribution.
Eileen Gunn, "No Place To Raise Kids." A total classic Kirk-and-Spock-have-a-baby story.
They'd managed to conceal their affair from prying eyes, even on the mercilessly public stage that was the Enterprise. If, as he expected, Uhura knew, she had kept their secret. But, with the twins' gestation so near, there was nothing to do but jump ship, taking with them only the few props they could grab from the science officer's kip and, at the last minute, McCoy's black bag.
We asked Eileen how this story came to be, and she says,
I wrote "No place to Raise Kids" as a birthday present for my friend Victoria Garcia, who had recently discovered K/S slash, and was fascinated by what she said was "the most forbidden and awful" subset of slash: in which Kirk and Spock have a baby together. She wanted to read an entire anthology of this forbidden fiction for her birthday.
Della Van Hise, Killing Time. This one's sort of an odd case... according to many websites, Van Hise was a prolific writer of Kirk/Spock slash fiction, who managed to get Pocket Books to publish her novel. When one of Gene Roddenberry's people realized the novel was full of Kirk/Spock homoeroticism — plus, in an alternate universe created by the Romulans, McCoy is the slave of the Romulan praetor, with a collar — the novel was recalled. But not before 150,000 copies were shipped out.
Gayle Feyrer, "Desert Heat." Feyrer was one of the contributors to the Naked Times fanzine, and her Kirk/Spock tale is "One of the very first pon farr stories told in realistic detail, with an attention to fact and fantasy as well." She did her own illustrations, and according to Eileen Gunn, she created a Kirk/Spock paperdoll set which "included strange little alien strap-ons with paperdoll-clothing tabs on each side." She's published historical romances under her own name, and also as Taylor Chase.
Joanna Russ, various Kirk/Spock stories. According to Gunn, the author of The Female Man wrote at least two Kirk/Spock stories twenty years ago, one of which involved having a baby and one of which had to do with tribbles. She read them in public at a Seattle bookstore, but they don't seem to have seen print. Russ also lauded K/S fiction in her essay "Another Addict Raves About K/S" and in her book Magic Mommas, Trembling Sisters, Puritans & Perverts: Feminist Essays.
Sarah Rees Brennan and Cassandra Claire are two authors of Harry Potter fanfic (including some slash, I believe) who made the leap to becoming successful authors in their own right, and pulled their fanfic from the internet afterwards.
Naomi Novik, author of the amazing Temeraire series of novels, has been very public about writing slash fiction and is one of the main supporters of the Organization For Transformative Works, which supports fanfic authors.
Larry Niven, "Man Of Steel, Woman Of Kleenex" Perhaps the most famous work of speculative sex-writing about a media-owned character, Niven's dissection of the sex life between Superman and a certain woman, whom we'll call L.L., is also the scariest examination of superheroic sex ever. Niven explains exactly how many ways Superman's romantic ardor could kill someone, from orgasmic tremors to deadly super-sperm.
Cecilia Tan, founder of Circlet Press and author of acclaimed erotic science-fiction books including the Velderet, has also written some beloved Harry Potter slash stories, and frequently reads them at Boston-area conventions like Arisia. (Her stories include strange potions, weird animal transformations and the sexier side of Snape.) She's also written a very hot Batgirl story, if I remember correctly.
Lyda Morehouse, author of The Archangel Protocol and other LINK Angel novels, says she's written a lot of slash fiction — but most of it's about her own universe, written under a pseudonym.
Meljean Brook, "In Darkest Light." The author of the bestselling Guardians series wrote this story about Batman and Wonder Woman, including some fairly steamy passages where Bruce and Diana hook up:
Her warmth grabbed at him, clutched at him; he closed himself off from it. "The. Batman. Diana. Cold. Hard. Fucks. Unfeeling. No. Love." He punctuated each word with a powerful thrust into her. "Is this what you want from him?"
Brook wrote about her love of writing fanfic, and this attracted the ire of writer and anti-fanfic crusader Lee Goldberg.
Slashy images from Thyla.com, Adam Gorightly, and The Worst. Thanks to Debbie Notkin, Eileen Gunn, Lyda Morehouse and Cecilia Tan for help with this article!