Real Person Fan Fiction


Written by Hatti Whitman
Photos and illustrations by
21 Monday 21st November 2011

Roy Orbison in Cling Film

Yes, you read that correctly. Ulrich Haarbürste's imaginative, detailed and faintly disturbing tales of wrapping Roy Orbison in clingfilm have inspired copycat stories, poems, an online mystery novel and even a song. Haarbürste, a native of Düsseldorf, writes his stories in hypnotic, clipped prose that is difficult for even the most dedicated fan to replicate. His seven original 'Roy in Clingfilm' stories showcase a unique literary talent that has turned them into something of an internet cult.

"'Wrap that man in black in cling-film at once or it will go badly with you.'

'Very well.' Trembling, I take out the cling-film. 'I am sorry Roy, it looks like I have no choice.'

'Do what you have to.'

I start at the feet and work my way up. I wrap him as tenderly as a mother swaddling an infant. I marvel at the play of light on the miraculous translucence. Soon, Roy Orbison is entirely wrapped in cling-film. I thank God that I was born to live this minute."

Girls (Scream) Aloud

In fanfiction terms, 'Slash' usually refers to a homosexual pairing, but in 2008 former civil servant Darryn Walker found himself in hot water when his slasher-style fantasy blog about the five members of Girls Aloud saw him facing prosecution under the Obscene Publications Act. Sounds harmless, right? Here's the only excerpt we could find:

"All five girls were getting very frightened. They wriggled futilely in their restraints as the sound of footsteps sounded in the distance and the shape of a man loomed into view.

He was large muscular and naked with a huge erection. His face was obscured by a black leather executioner's hood and only his eyes and mouth were visible."

Ah, maybe not so harmless after all. Nonetheless, Walker was acquitted, but the trial did point up some of the finer questions about where RPF crosses the line. Read more about the trial here.

When the Night is New

'Nick felt the taste of tobacco and tea on his tongue, and he thought that nothing had tasted sweeter.'

This absolute gem is half political and half historical, setting members of the current cabinet against the backdrop of World War Two. No, we're not making it up. 'When the Night is New' stars traumatised Cambridge undergraduate Nick Clegg as a new recruit at Bletchley Park in 1940. There he meets the bewitching David Cameron…just one of a bunch of brilliant coalition-inspired RPFs, most of which fall into the slash genre. The best are to be found here.

"He felt himself going red when he had deciphered the whole message, and promptly read it again, wondering if he was wrong. Still he knew that the odds of making a mistake and still getting a coherent message were astronomical. After having read it three times, he was certain that the cipher really did hold the message: 'I want to fuck you on the pool-table. Midnight.'"


Lots of Star Trek fanfiction is based not on the characters, but the actors themselves. And because most of the principal actors are male, fanfics mostly fall into the slash genre. Because the easiest way to describe a slash is to compress the names of the principles together, a host of new sub-genres have been born from Star Trek fanfiction, principle among them Shatnoy (William Shatner/Leonard Nimoy) and Pinto (Chris Pine/Zachary Quinto).

"He’s shaking by the time Leonard gently breaks their kiss, pushes Bill away softly before things can spiral out of control (or perhaps, even more out of control – because if rutting against your best friend’s leg in the street outside your workplace isn’t out of control, then Bill doesn’t know what is)."

Another trend sees Spock, Kirk, McCoy etc meet up with Shatner/Pine, Nimoy/Quinto and DeForest Kelley/Karl Urban, among others. Which gets a little confusing, but that seems to be the norm with RPF.

Find more RPFs at Archive of our Own and Fanlore.

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