Vulture examines past and present trends in the world of fanfiction and searches for the answer to a mystery that has plagued fandom for years: Who is responsible for the best worst fanfiction of them all, "My Immortal"? [more inside]
My Immortal is an infamous piece of fanfiction by Tara Gilesbie that has the distinction of being the top Google result for "worst fanfic ever". It's a fascinating read, both for its unique turns-of-word (like when Draco and the author begin to "make out keenly"), and for how effectively it reveals the author's culture and insecurities — the way it alternates between denunciations of superficial "prep" culture and elaborate descriptions of its protagonist's wardrobe, its constant obsession with sex mixed with a squeamish aversion of any eroticism, and its desire, chapter by chapter, to both denounce its critics and to prove them somehow wrong. TVtropes, Urban Dictionary, and Encyclopedia Dramatica each debate whether the piece is sincere or satirical. "If it's fake," says UD, "it's complete genius; and if it's real it's total desecration of a perfectly good book/movie series."