While it may not be obvious from the get-go that author Cassandra Clare’s soon-to-be-six-books “The Mortal Instruments” series originally found life as Harry Potter fan fiction, by the time audiences reach “The Institute” in Harald Zwart’s movie adaptation, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, it’s pretty damn clear that something Potter-esque is up. Something about those neatly arranged infirmary beds, something about that random bird, something about all those British accents… Lo and behold, yes, Clare did get her start by penning popular online fan fiction about Potter and company, but not the kind you’d necessarily expect (and, personally speaking, not the kind that I’d want). Do Jace Wayland’s white-blond hair and snappy retorts feel familiar? That’s because “The Mortal Instruments” was originally Draco Malfoy-centric fan fiction and what are you even saying, I think my brain just exploded. Step back, it will only get worse. “The Mortal Instruments” was originally Draco Malfoy-centric fan fiction that imagined that Draco turned good and got it on with Hermione. Sorry, Ron. Sorry, goodness. Sorry, happiness.
Of course, once Clare locked up a publishing deal, she had to both alter her series to not so obviously look like a Potter rip-off and delete her original work from the web. But it’s still all there (literally, as you can still find the original fanfic if you look hard enough, and figuratively, because obviously this series is ripped from the pages of J.K. Rowling’s work), and it’s far from the only one. At turns delicious, devious, and derivative, the rise of fan fiction in popular culture is undeniable (hell, Amazon even opened a Kindle platform just to publish the stuff) and getting increasingly more unavoidable. If you’re in need of a supplement to your movie-watching, we’ve got your ticket (and your perverted S&M romp) to get you through the next couple of months (with some oldies just for laughs).
The Twilight Saga series
Yes, “Fifty Shades of Grey” may be the most well-known and famous fanfic of the bunch, but why shouldn’t it be? Oh, wait, because the reimagining of Twilight’s Bella and Edward as a virginal college student who doesn’t own a computer and a sexy captain of industry into whips, chains, and handcuffs is both really bad and really embarrassing? Fair point, but tell that to the bestseller lists and the in-the-works movie adaptation. Stephenie Meyer’s series only got sexy once Bella and Edward tied the knot and, even then, torn up feather pillows and wrecked bedstands still don’t come across as that sexy (they just sound scary), so the kernel of the idea that drives E.L. James to pen her own three-book series isn’t totally insane. It may not be “good,” but it’s undeniably cultural relevant (at least for now).
Still hankering for some kinky Twi-sex? God, of course you are, you little minx. Try the Christina Lauren-penned (yes, that’s the pen name of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings) “Beautiful Bastard” series (a multi-book affair, all including “beautiful” in the title), which got its start as “Twilight” fanfic in the “Fifty Shades” realm. Oh, and the series is also getting its own film adaptation, ensuring that we’re due for a whole new round of books and films that are fan fiction for fan fiction. You can buy the books HERE.
The Harry Potter series
Finally, here’s a fanfic pairing that sounds, dare we say it, actually good? The most popular Harry Potter fan fiction of all isn’t “The Mortal Instruments” series, it’s G. Norman Lippert’s “James Potter” series. The four-ebook series focuses on the adventures of Harry’s eldest son, James (duh), and his pack of next-generation friends and relatives at Hogwarts. That sounds cute and charming and appropriate – what a nice change, right?
The Hunger Games series
Suzanne Collins’ three-book series is packed with so many interesting supporting characters that it all but begs for world-expanding fan fiction, and it looks like the more writing-inclined fans of “The Hunger Games” haven’t slacked on this order. How about a new perspective on the first book, like Alex M. Stache’s “A Rue Blooming on the Battlefield,” which is told from little Rue’s side?
Not satisfied by the Katniss/Peeta love story? Fans love the heartbreaking tale of Finnick Odair and Annie Cresta, former Hunger Games victors who fell in love. There are a lot of Annie/Finnick fanfics, but “Where Soul Meets Body” is one of the very best.
Yes, if The Twilight Saga can get some very steamy fanfic, so can The Hunger Games. Try the long-form “The Mating Games,” which is surprisingly well-written and incredibly NSFW.
One Direction: This Is Us
What, you thought that no one wrote fan fiction about real people? Then you were never a boy band-obsessed thirteen-year-old girl in the Internet age (and, honestly, good for you). Author Emily Baker got her start penning One Direction fan fiction on the web, stuff that proved so popular that Penguin took notice and gave her a book deal. The names in Baker’s “Loving the Band” have been changed and the sexy stuff has been toned down a bit, but for anyone who read her original works, it’s incredibly obvious what’s going on here. It’s pure wish fulfillment writing, starring a regular gal named Jess who meets-cute (there’s falling down!) with the world’s biggest pop group (who she, like totally ohmygod doesn’t even like or whatever), two of which fall for her almost instantly. Read it before watching next week’s documentary on the band, because why not.
As someone whose understanding of Vin Diesel’s other big action star role is incredibly limited (where’s my Dom Toretto fanfic?), I can’t make heads or tails of any of this Riddick fan fiction, but hey, it exists. Take a look.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
Yes, there is Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs fan fiction. Yes, I am at a loss here. In attempting to find the best one, I ran across a synopsis that reads “darker version of movie. Flint is a cripple, Sam has a brother, and it all changes from there” and had to stop. I just like crazy big food and cute food-imals, I don’t need a darkest timeline Cloudy.