Popular fanfiction idol Harry Styles

The fanfiction world is an easy target for ire, what with its One Direction-based erotica and considering that it birthed 50 Shades Of Grey. But, as a recent New York Magazine feature points out, the fan culture world is thriving, particularly as a way to reshape the relationship between art’s creators and consumers.

Over on NY Mag’s Vulture, interested parties can do a deep dive into the world of online fan culture, as the site and magazine explore everything from who’s popular in fanfiction (Harry Styles, other dudes in boy bands…) to how many minutes have been spent online reading about the fictional romance between John Watson and Sherlock Holmes (1,010,482). Other popular sources for fanfiction include Minecraft, Alex From Target, and Supernatural, which has seen its popularity rise about 171 percent on fanfiction clearinghouse Wattpad over the past year or so.

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For those who think fanfiction is fringe, consider this: There are 30 million individual stories on Wattpad right now, with an additional 63,000 uploaded every day. That’s a lot of lusty longing and delayed gratification. For those interested in delving into the world of 1D romance or a fake encyclopedia written about Stargate: Atlantis, Vulture also provides links to 10 good starting points for the fanfiction world, including Flesh Mechanic, a story about Justin Timberlake, serial killer, and The Sandwich Story, which makes Calvin And Hobbes’ Calvin all grown up.