fanfiction.net (a.k.a. ff.net, ffnet, FFN) is an enormous online fan fiction archive
. Unlike many archives which only accept fiction in certain fandoms
, fiction from particular groups of writers, or fiction with specific themes, fanfiction.net allows anyone to upload their fanfic
for public consumption, and provides a single location for fanfic from a staggering (but by no means comprehensive) selection of different fandoms.
This egalitarian approach to fanfic archiving has made fanfiction.net immensely popular, and also immensely controversial in fandom circles. The content is purely dependent on what authors choose to upload, and many inexperienced, careless, or plain bad writers have taken advantage of this to post un-spellchecked, ungrammatical, plotless, or pointless texts. Many readers have become frustrated at the prevalance of these, and fanfiction.net is frequently a target of vitriol and ridicule. It is frequently referred to as The Pit of Voles.
fanfiction.net provides a reviewing system, which readers can use to praise, critique, or flame individual stories. A high number of reviews may indicate that a story is immensely popular, or that it is particularly controversial or hated. Certainly, large numbers of positive reviews are often a point of pride for fanfiction.net writers. Reviews may be left by registered users of fanfiction.net, or anonymously.
Originally, fanfiction.net accepted fanfiction of all ratings, and also original fiction. A campaign of harassment was launched by anti-erotica supporters until fanfiction.net decided to ban the posting of NC-17 fanfiction. All stories given an NC-17 rating were removed from fanfiction.net. This was hugely controversial, and led to many authors removing all their stories, whatever the rating, from fanfiction.net in protest. In response, alternative archives such as fandomination.net and adultfanfiction.net have been created for fiction of all ratings. None of these approaches the level of popularity that fanfiction.net still has, however.
Real Person Fiction about public figures such as actors, musicians, and atheletes was later also banned, although fiction about wrestling personae still seems to be accepted.
Later, fanfiction.net also chose no longer to carry original fiction, but created an associated site, fictionpress.net. All fiction labeled Original was moved from fanfiction.net onto fictionpress.net.
Running such an immense site is not inexpensive, and fanfiction.net has both banner advertising and a constant barrage of pop-up ads. Since these pop-ups have sometimes included virus infectors such as Xupiter, many readers are hesitant to use fanfiction.net for this reason. Registered users can use a service called Ad Blocker to stop both banners and pop-ups for three days at a time.
Registering on fanfiction.net allows anyone with an email address to post fanfic under any alphanumeric alias not yet taken. The process of posting fanfic on fanfiction.net involves uploading an html or text file, and labelling it with the following information: Category, Fandom, Genre, Secondary Genre, and Rating. Fandoms for which there are many stories may also have the option of specifying which characters the story focuses on. This information can be used for filtering purposes when readers are browsing stories.
The top-level division of fanfiction.net is into the following categories: anime, cartoon, game, movie, book, misc, comic, TV show. Each of these is further subdivided into distinct fandoms. When browsing the directory, note that the numbers given after each fandom name is the number of authors who have stories in that fandom, not the number of stories. In the book directory, some fandoms are listed by title or series, and some by author.
Examples of possibly unexpected fandoms represented on fanfiction.net include Bear in the Big Blue House (7 writers), Celebrity Deathmatch (10 writers), The Diary of Anne Frank (27 writers), and Minesweeper (39 writers).