Shipwreck Takes Fanfiction to the Next Level

Competitive erotic fanfiction. Probably either sounds like the best idea ever, or the worst, right? If you live in San Francisco you’re in luck, because this is a real thing, and it’s ridiculously fun.

This competition/show/silly-sexy-social gathering is called Shipwreck and it’s hosted monthly at the Booksmith. At each Shipwreck, six writers “wreck” a work of well-loved literature, one character at a time. Each author gets a character, chooses their pairing, and writes the best – often meaning the most wonderfully heinous – work of erotic fanfiction they can for the show.

Before I was hit by the tidal wave of finals, followed by a trip home for the holidays, I was lucky enough to make it out to Shipwreck: The Hunger Games edition. Expertly times, this event coincided with the release of the Catching Fire film, so I wouldn’t be surprised if some attendees laughed their asses off at Booksmith, and then scampered off to the theaters to cry their eyes out at the midnight showing.

Voting ballot for Shipwreck: The Hunger Games.

Voting ballot for Shipwreck: The Hunger Games.

To keep voting for the winning fic as unbiased as possible, all works are read by Shakespearian thespian in residence, Steven Westdahl. Among selections I had the pleasure of hearing were a story involving a faux-phallus affixed to an arrow, an oddly touching story of Haymitch and one of his tributes, and Hunger Games/Back to the Future crossover. Yes, I’ll say that again: Hunger Games. Back to the Future. Crossover. Prep team meets Marty McFly. I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t been there myself.

The incomparable Steven Westdahl, Shakespearean thespian, reader of smut.

The incomparable Steven Westdahl, Shakespearean thespian, reader of smut.

Alas, Tara Marsden’s epic crossover came in third, with Megan Cohen’s Haymitch fic coming in second, and Ivan Hernandez taking gold for his Katniss fic, which ended up actually being about two nerds and an arrow that would’ve done Katniss no good in the arena. Sometimes, the winner gets to pick the next book to wreck, but in the spirit of the holidays, December’s pick was A Christmas Carol. I don’t know what the writers did with that, and I’m not entirely sure I want to know.

November winner Ivan Hernandez.

November winner Ivan Hernandez.

This month (today in fact, Thursday Jan. 9), December’s winner Alan Leggitt and five other writers take on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Again, don’t know what they’ll do with that (but I do know that any characters who are minors in the original text are only written in erotic situations if they have been written as adults, so fret not).

Getting to this article after January’s Shipwreck has already passed? Fear not! On Feb. 6, another set of authors will tackle Pride and Prejudice! While you wait between shows, check out the first two installments of the Shipwreck podcast, from the wrecks of The Great Gatsby and The Hobbit. Remember, these recordings and shows are NSFW!

Tickets for Shipwreck events can be bought at the door or on Brown Paper Tickets. $10 gets you six racy and ridiculous stories, a drink or two at the bar, and this month in honor of Willy Wonka, candy of course!

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