Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Weird Things I Say, and Why I Say Them (#1 in a series)

"Everything is NORMAL. You will not SUSPECT me."
There was a period when I got reasonably into reading ReBoot fan fiction. I was much more interested, though, in the critiques presented by a fan named Hanako. This introduced me to the concepts like the Self-Insert, the God Mode Sue, and many other fanfiction tropes, both specific to the ReBoot mythos, and common to any fandom. I'm reasonably sure it gave me some early direction on how not to write. It also introduced me to the notion of MSTing.

I was unaware of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 at the time, but nonetheless I was thoroughly engaged by the mechanic of fictional entities commentating on and responding to the occasionally-coherent ramblings of amateur authors. There was an ongoing Mystery Reboot Theater 4000 series, which had Bob transplanted directly to the Satellite of Love and Megabyte joining the Mads, but the above quote comes from one published by Hanako and sidekick Claire, featuring themselves.

The original fic was a parody/swipe of Sleepy Hollow. ReBoot's "Games" make it easy to literally drop in references to other properties wholesale, but I'm pretty sure this was set in one of the real virtual worlds, a mysterious old system somewhere during Enzo and AndrAIa's game-hopping journeys. The travellers were welcomed into the town by an innkeeper who was very keen to stress that nothing was amiss. The line at the top of the page was the MSTers underscoring this. It is all I remember about the story, and it has stayed with me about 15 years so far.

Hanako's site is not around any more, which frustrates me as more than a few of the weird things I say came from there, but despite the total obscurity of the reference it still seems to work. Possibly people think I am being witty.