Thursday, January 17, 2008

Vas is das Uberfic?

It took a lot of surfing through fandom glossaries for me to discover there was such a thing as an uberfic, and it took a lot more investigation to really understand what it was. (I was being a bit thick.) Uberfics (or "ubers") are most commonly seen in fanfiction for the TV show, Xena: Warrior Princess, wherein certain episodes were shot depicting Xena and company in completely different settings, wearing clothing appropriate to those settings, but still acting much as they normally did. The characters are kept as close to canon as possible, but they play out their lives in different time periods or genre settings (the modern world, the Old West, a fantasy kingdom, the far future, the Ice Ages, etc.). The characters might be the ancestors or descendants of the canon ones, or they might be reincarnations, computerized entities, dream figures, or "just simply there" with no explanation given.

Daria fandom has its own uberfics, if I understand the definition correctly, but there are not many of them. Before now I believe they were called retro fics. One of the most remarkable of them was Greystar's "Daria 3059," a crossover with the BattleTech universe but with Lawndale being a city on the planet Trent, somewhere out in the galaxy. Battles between giant robots are fought with our favorite characters in the pilots' seats, reaching a very satisfying conclusion.

Decelaraptor is a master of the form, producing numerous uberfics placing Daria and Jane in various settings with humorous effect. His relevant works include "Le Morte d'Angela," "Tales of the Missouri Cheyenne," and a host of short fics for an Iron Chef called "Retro Dariana" ("Daria: 1830," "Blimps Over Brittany!" and the bittersweet World War II tale, "Home is the Sailor").

The Retro Dariana thread also includes Gregor Samsa's excellent story, "Ms. Morgendorffer's Profession," about a Daria born during Victorian times. Dervish created a startling and wicked uberfic placing the gang in a Dungeons & Dragons underground setting, "Daria of the Drow."

Not all uberfics are crossovers, and not all crossovers are uberfics. The characters in an uberfic never catch on that they are not in their original homeland, as they were born and raised in whatever new worlds they are in. Their world is natural to them.

It will be interesting to see what new uberfics are attempted this year. It is a tricky form, but an entertaining one, too.

4 comments:

legendeld said...

Ok now I feel nervious about trying my robotech crossover.

The Angst Guy said...

Nervous? Why should you be nervous? Just sit down at your computer and WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE!!!!!!

Nothing to it!

MMan said...

Let me see if I understand. Is the following statement true or not:

All uberfics are AUs, but not all AUs are uberfics.

The Angst Guy said...

All uberfics are AUs, but not all AUs are uberfics.

(frowns, thinks) Mmmm . . . uh, yes, I think that's right.