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The First Thing I Saw On The Internet - Elf M. Sternberg
The First Thing I Saw On The Internet
The challenge of the day is to write The First Thing You Saw On The Internet, in which Lauren Modery writes about falling deeply in love with X-Files Fanfic. To be fair to her readers, Lauren points out that X-Files fanfic wasn't really the first thing she saw; the first thing she saw was Alta Vista's home page, but things get awkward and sticky from there, in a very good way.

The first thing I saw on the Internet wasn't fanfic, and it wasn't X-Files. It was 1991, and I went specifically looking for erotica. The first thing I found was, Cthulhu consume me first, a Brady Bunch sex story. It wasn't even fanfic. It was a nasty piece of work, but what made it all the worse was that I'd been a literary erotica reader for years already when the Internet became available to me. I'd read The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, and The Happy Hooker, and just about everything else I could get my hands on; I'd even started to find the racier romance, like Bertrice Small and Catherine Coulter (at least, before she went mainstream). And this awful piece of trash, this A Very Brady Sex Story, was so horribly written, with so many grammatical and spelling errors, that I couldn't even enjoy it.

Part of that may have been because I wasn't at all familiar with The Brady Bunch as a series, and had no idea why it may have been funny that Marsha was being banged by the family dog.

I was actually so upset by the tragic quality of the story that I chose to write my own. The rest is pretty much history.

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Current Mood: amused amused

5 comments or Leave a comment
psi_star_psi From: psi_star_psi Date: September 23rd, 2015 05:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Huh. I had thought that I started reading your stuff on Usenet as soon as I got to grad school in '90, but it clearly must have been the next year.

This may explain why my first year always seems boring in retrospect.
solarbird From: solarbird Date: September 23rd, 2015 06:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was online before it was the Internet; I was there for the merging of Edunet and ARPAnet and BITNET that created the Internet, via BITNET. So my first BITNET thing would probably have been some sort of computer e-newsletter, because I was really into Commodore machines. After that I started publishing a Commodore rumours newsletter that I can't even remember the name of - oh wait, Frostbit South, I guess I can - and an online SF fanzine, The Rational Anarchist.

I have no copies of either of these, but I do remember that I'd written up rumours of the Amiga 5000 which never appeared - and that much later I found out that rumour was a completely accurate summary of an internal counter-proposal to the Amiga 3000. But the A3000 design was a lot faster to develop, so they went with that. My source, turned out, had been pretty good!

Before that I was on CompuServe and BBSes, and... the first BBS would've been an SF and tech BBS called... Ovanet, I think? I couldn't afford to be on CompuServe much (like, hardly ever) and so I think I would hang out in some gaming chat rooms. I know I read some sort of D&D game thing on there.

And before that, you're getting into the non-networked era of machines actually called Univac and such. So.

PS: I remember the infamous Brady Bunch fuckpile story. It was terrible. I think that was at least somewhat intentional, because it was also hilarious.

Edited at 2015-09-23 06:31 pm (UTC)
bunnybutt From: bunnybutt Date: September 24th, 2015 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for reminding me about the journals. I often forget you were writing erotica back in the day - to me, you're the dude from alt.sex.poly that I'm still reading....
acelightning From: acelightning Date: September 24th, 2015 05:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I, too, started back in the BBS days. I was on a few that were local to me, and one in particular was the hub of a "Fido-style" net called GODnet. For reasons I never did quite find out, a few of the other BBSs that participated in GODnet were in Australia. I made friends with several Australians that way, and eventually they dragged me kicking and screaming onto the budding Internet (it was capitalized at the time), so we could interact in IRC - mostly on the Australian Undernet's #gothic channel - and on Usenet. My dearest Australian friend (who still is my dearest online friend), nikolai kingsley, when I praised his online erotica, directed me to your Pendorwright stories, saying you were a much better writer than he was. (I will not comment on that. Besides, I've written some erotica myself.)
gipsieee From: gipsieee Date: September 24th, 2015 11:48 am (UTC) (Link)
The first thing I remember on a connected computer was a BBS connection to Eastern Canada sometime after midnight my time (California) in the early 90s, where one person said something to me that I was hesitating to answer and another said "under 18'll get you 30"... which I promptly asked for an explanation. Person #2 knew I was in high school. Person #1 did not. Everyone moved back towards the conversations we'd been having after some minor discussion of why I was up at 3 or 4 am and me defending that "it was only just after midnight where I was sitting and, huh, I'm talking to Canada, that's cool" (I hadn't known where that BBS was located, it just had lots of "good" (bad) poetry. And I'd been propositioned online for the first time, it was completely uneventful.

Your stories are the first erotica that I remember finding and becoming attached to, though I'd spent plenty of time online at that point. You're the only author from early college I still go back to and read. Thank you for still having the stories findable.
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