The Spam and the Fury
The Spam and the Fury


Marissa Carey opened the package delightedly, intoxicated at the first sight of its contents, her very own published novel, the first in a series she was writing called The War of Humanity. Brushing off the styrofoam packaging, she hugged the book, then placed it on her coffee table. From there, she flew to her computer, logged onto the Internet, and typed in the URL of her favorite web page.


Message posted at FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 06-12-03 @ 4:29PM PST
Subject: Triumph at Last!
Author: Mhairi Ana (signed post)
Text:

Hi everyone! I just wanted to let you know that I've finally accomplished what so many of us strive for: to see our work in print. I just got my author's copy of The War of Humanity: Allegiance Under Fire. Look for it in bookstores soon!

I'd also like to thank those who have reviewed my stories over the past two years. Your encouragement and constructive criticism have helped me tremendously.

If you're wondering, no, I haven't entirely moved on to greener pastures. I'll continue to post my fanfiction here. (Unless I get an official novel contract from one of my fandoms. :-)

Oh, and my novel is published under my real name, Marissa Carey.


Once she had typed her forum message, Marissa opened the file for a Star Wars fanfic she had recently finished, made a final check for errors, and uploaded it onto her author account.


eighteen months later . . .


Marcus Whiting made it a point to not read much out of his fandom, due to the fact that there were already well over three hundred Star Trek novels in print, and he had only read about a third of them. He wanted to catch up sometime before he died. But the recent craze over the War of Humanity novels piqued his curiosity, and before he knew it, he had read the first book in the series, and he wanted more. Since the books only came out once every four months, he decided to bide the time the same as he did between seasons of Star Trek, by writing a fanfic or two.

He posted at a website called FanFiction.Net, a huge archive containing approximately 200,000 stories from 500 different categories. Scrolling down through the categories, he noticed that there was no category for his new fics, so he sent a quick e-mail to Xing's new category administrator, hoping to hear back in a few days. In the meantime, he set to reading this month's Star Trek novels, plus a couple from the days before he was born.

Several days later, he received the confirmatory e-mail he needed, and posted the stories under his pseudonym, Bret Riker.


Review of Death First by Bret Riker:
I suppose if it were written with any other characters, this story would be touching. However, everyone, especially Tobin Reqhart, was out of character. Tobin would never kill a shipmate! I'm sorry; you're a good writer, but you need a firmer grasp of my characters. ~~Mhairi Ana (signed review) 1-03-05 @ 12:34AM PST


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-03-05 @ 10:25AM PST
Subject: Who does she think she is?
Author: Hippo Critic hypercritiquer@aol.com>
Text:

In the four months that I've been at FanFiction.Net, I have been amazed by the talent of the incredible Bret Riker, who never fails to crank out a great story every month. Never is he out of character, never. I was ticked off when I read the review that Mhairi Ana (Who does she think she is?) gave to his newest (and most excellent) story, Death First, in the new War of Humanity section.

First, she insulted Bret by saying he was out of character. (Like he's ever out of character.) That didn't bother me so much; she had the right to say that, no matter how wrong she is.

What she said next, though, is what bugs me. She had the gall to call the characters hers. Who is she, Marissa Carey? I think not. I've read a couple of her stories, and they're, shall we say, not fit for consumption.

Who do you think you are, Mhairi??!! Please, in the future, refrain from stooping so low.


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-03-05 @ 2:12PM PST
Subject: Who I am.
Author: Mhairi Ana (signed post)
Text:

I am Marissa Carey. Please check the message board archives from a year and a half ago and you will find my post announcing the release of my first novel. For clarification, I did not mean to insult your friend. I merely know my characters by heart and he does not.


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-03-05 @ 4:55PM PST
Subject: Isn't that a bit harsh, though?
Author: AniMe pikarachel@hotmail.com>
Text:

I'm new hre, so I don't thik I have much say, but don't you think you're being a liltle harsh, Mahri?


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-03-05 @ 5:02PM PST
Subject: Re: Anime?
Author: Hippo Critic hypercritiquer@aol.com>
Text:

Anime? What kind of alias is that? Pick a name that isn't the name of a category, and learn to use a spell checker.


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-03-05 @ 5:16PM PST
Subject: ANI-ME
Author: AniMe pikarachel@hotmail.com>
Text:

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. My name isnt Anime, its AniMe. Ani- is suposed to represent that I'm an Animorphs writer. -Me is becaue I'm me. Alltogether it's because I wrtie Anime too. My name is not teh name of a categorie!!!!!!


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-03-05 @ 5:48PM PST
Subject: Harshness vs. Honesty.
Author: Mhairi Ana (signed post)
Text:

I don't think I'm being harsh. Harsh would be saying that Bret Riker couldn't write, and if you recall, I said quite the opposite, thank you very much.


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-03-05 @ 5:50PM PST
Subject: To Ani-ME
Author: Hippo Critic hypercritiquer@aol.com>
Text:

Oh, excuse me, Ani-ME. You still need that spell checker, though.


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-03-05 @ 6:01PM PST
Subject: Re: Mhairi Ana
Author: Hippo Critic hypercritiquer@aol.com>
Text:

I checked the database, and what you say is true. However, how do we know you're telling the truth? It's possible to get information on books before they are released. Your father could work at a publishing company, for all we know, and have mentioned it. You, in a vain attempt to receive attention, claimed Carey's (magnificent) works for your own. You are being unfair to claim these characters when you cannot prove that you are their creator.


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-03-05 @ 6:31PM PST
Subject: A few words from the fan in question . . .
Author: Bret Riker (signed post)
Text:

I really don't know what to believe. For one, Mhairi could be who she says she is. Why should she impersonate an author before they are published? But then, I'm probably too trusting. I say ignore the review; why make an issue over this?


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-03-05 @ 7:25PM PST
Subject: Here's the reason.
Author: Hippo Critic hypercritiquer@aol.com>
Text:

Mhairi Ana is one of those pathetic people with no self-esteem. Normally these people turn into flamers or spammers, but she has gone even further. She doesn't even impersonate a fanfiction author, but a real life author with ten times more talent than she could ever hope to have. She uses her pseudo-authority to cut down an established fanfiction author's work, mock their characterization, as if she had created those characters in the first place. She mocks the excellent Marissa Carey by even daring to think that their writing skills can compare. I, for one, am deeply insulted, and you should be, too.


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-03-05 @ 7:39PM PST
Subject: How do you now?
Author: AniMe pikarachel@hotmail.com>
Text:

How do you now she isnt who she says? Now your the one bieng harsh!


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-03-05 @ 7:58PM PST
Subject: How I "now"
Author: Hippo Critic hypercritiquer@aol.com>
Text:

I *K*now because any established author with as much of a following as Marissa Carey would not waste her time at FanFiction.Net.


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-03-05 @ 8:42PM PST
Subject: Why I post at FanFiction.Net.
Author: Mhairi Ana (signed post)
Text:

There are several reasons why I still post at FanFiction.Net, even though I am now a best-selling author. First, I still enjoy fanfiction and the relaxed atmosphere (at least, it used to be) of writing just for fans. Second, I like watching the progress of those authors not yet established. Third, it's the best site on the internet, and, excluding people like you, a rewarding community to be a part of. I do not consider it a waste of time. You are the one wasting your time insulting me. I will not respond any more to this thread.


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-03-05 @ 9:00PM PST
Subject: I knew it!
Author: Hippo Critic hypercritiquer@aol.com>
Text:

She can't prove she's Marissa Carey (because she isn't Ms. Carey), so she's giving up! Ha! This just shows how much of a coward she is.


Marissa glared at her computer screen, fuming. I will not reply, I will not reply, she reminded herself. "Who does he think he is?" she said aloud. "Stupid flamer." She decided to check the Just In section. Maybe she could find a nice romance to calm herself down. Instead, a new War of Humanity story caught her eye. The author was Hippo Critic. "So, he wants to play rough . . ."

Against her better judgment, she clicked on the link, bringing her into the R-rated story. She didn't normally read R-rated stories, but for this one she'd make an exception.

She read as her beloved children suffered bloody deaths at the hands of . . . each other. I can't believe he did this, she thought again and again, suffering through the sociopathic characterizations Hippo Critic had dreamed up. When she reached the end, she stared at the review box for several minutes before typing.


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-04-05 @ 3:14PM PST
Subject: Too far.
Author: Hippo Critic (signed post)
Text:

After posting a normal, loving fic in the War of Humanity section, I was appalled at the review I received from Mhairi Ana. Xing, I do not think this author should be posting. Could you please remove her account? If anyone agrees with me, please reply to this message.


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-04-05 @ 3:20PM PST
Subject: you're sick
Author: boba fettish (signed post)
Text:

you're the one who needs to have your author account removed . . . sure, maybe people shouldn't go around impersonating authors, but you have no right to request she not post here . . . your story was sick; i read it . . . you need to have your head examined . . . mhairi ana was perfectly right in saying what she did


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-04-05 @ 3:21PM PST
Subject: I do not agree.
Author: Bret Riker (signed post)
Text:

Like I said before, you don't know if Mhairi really is Marissa Carey. It is just plain mean to request her author account removed.


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-04-05 @ 3:36PM PST
Subject: none
Author: none none@none.com>
Text:

i agree maria shuld be bannd from fanfiction.net


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-04-05 @ 7:26PM PST
Subject: note from the webmaster
Author: Xing (signed post)
Text:

No one is going to be banned, but this argument needs to stop right here.


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-04-05 @ 3:20PM PST
Subject: Thank you, Xing.
Author: Mhairi Ana (signed post)
Text:

Your intervention is appreciated. :-)


Message posted at the FanFiction.Net discussion forum:
Date: 1-04-05 @ 3:25PM PST
Subject: announcement
Author: Mhairi Ana (signed post)
Text:

This post is to let you know that, for obvious reasons, I can no longer post at FanFiction.Net. You are free to write more adventures for my characters, but, unfortunately, I cannot read these without causing problems. I hope you understand.

Please read my next book, Time's Kill. It will be in bookstores in two months. Don't be surprised, though, if somewhere down the road, say a year or so, you see something in one of my dedications that will prove to you that I am who I say I am. I really do enjoy this site, and it will be a shame to leave it.

~~Marissa Carey


Marissa penned a small paragraph, sticking it in the folder with the almost-finished manuscript of what would be the eighth installment in the War of Humanity. Months later, quite a stir was caused by these few words:

This book is dedicated to the thousands of fanfiction writers and reviewers at FanFiction.Net. You have meant so much to me over the years, and I hope that you will someday reach a higher star than I.