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top ten BtVS fics on AO3

I got bored today and also curious, and I sorted the Buffy tag on AO3 by kudos and made a list of the top ten fics that weren't crossovers. It was the not-crossover part that took work; since Buffy is an old fandom and getting quieter all the time, straight Buffy fics don't get nearly the kudos that MCU or whatever crossovers do.

Anyway, here were my results. "In chapters" means the fic was posted to AO3 in chapters, which generally increases exposure and kudos count. "One-shot" means it was posted all at once (regardless of length). "Backdated" means it was manually given a date earlier than posting, ie, six years before the archive opened.

1. If I Knew Then… by daughtershade – Spike/Xander, 48k (in chapters)
2. Small and scaly by devo79 – Spike/Xander, 27k
3. Just a Counterfeit James Dean by impertinence – Faith/Buffy post-series, 57k (one-shot)
4. Loserville by shrift – Spike/Xander, 16k (backdated one-shot)
5. Piece of Cake by spuffy_luvr – Spke/Buffy all-human AU, 99k (in chapters)
6. Wish You Were Here (Instead of Me) by CristinaK – Buffy+Willow+ensemble gen, 4k (one-shot)
7. Vampire's Kiss by flitterfluttyfly – Spike/Xander urban fantasy AU, 7k (one-shot)
8. Twisting the Harvest by akasakasan – Angel/Xander canon divergence AU, 27k (in chapters)
9. Away from the Numbers by EntreNous – Spike/Xander PWP, 15k (in chapters)
10. Sweet William by LittleMouse – Angel/Spike canon divergence AU, 31k (in chapters)

One of the things about AO3 is that it's very slash-heavy, so it makes sense that Spike/Xander has such a good showing here. I don't know how its actual activity compares to activity for, say, Spike/Buffy, but I feel comfortable saying that Spike/Xander was not five times as popular as Spike/Buffy.

I also am just not interested in hardly any of this. I spent the longest time thinking slash just didn't appeal to me, until I moved on to a new fandom and realized that no, what hadn't appealed to me were Angel and Xander, and there wasn't much slash to be had that didn't include at least one of them! And all-human AUs have always had zero appeal for me.

I think I tried the Faith/Buffy fic a while back but got thrown off by the Faith internal narration; it turns out what I really want for Faith/Buffy fic is Buffy POV. I feel like I already know Faith inside and out, but Buffy has always been more opaque to me.

The gen ensemble fic looks interesting, though, and was posted in 2014. I am very curious to know how a gen one-shot in a dying fandom got that many kudos, so I have that one open in a tab.

Observations? Thoughts?

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 24th, 2015 12:00 am (UTC)
This was really interesting! it is a little odd to see the list weighted so heavily towards Spike/Xander, but it's true that the readership at AO3 tends to favor slash. Even so, it seems strange that the only Buffy/Spike story is an all human AU, since that 'ship seemed like such a huuuuuuuge part of the fandom at one time (or maybe it was just a huge part of my personal fandom experience).

The gen story was recced at Buffyverse Top 5 last year, and I read it then (and I just read it again). It's a great example of a fun idea well-executed. The author, ChristinaK, wrote some of the first Buffyfic I ever read, approximately a million years ago, back in the age of dial-up, pre-LJ or AO3 or even fanfiction.net, but it doesn't look like she's put most of her older fic up at AO3. The only one I remember now was a retelling of Prophecy Girl from Jenny Calendar's POV.
Nov. 2nd, 2015 11:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that Buffy/Spike to Spike/Xander ratio surprised me, too, even given the givens. But like you, I also have a hard time judging how big ships actually are/were relative to each other, since I spent so much of time in the one corner.

I do vaguely remember ChristinaK from before, ages ago, though I don't remember any specific fic.
Oct. 24th, 2015 01:47 am (UTC)

I too will be investigating that sole gen fic. As for the rest: Pass.

Cheers for sharing! ;P
Nov. 2nd, 2015 11:43 pm (UTC)
You are welcome!
Oct. 24th, 2015 09:05 am (UTC)
Just noticed EntreNous in the list. She's one of my favorite Xander/Spike writers. Glad to see one of her fics on the list.
Nov. 2nd, 2015 11:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I still remember her mpreg fic. :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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