Fictionmania is a non-commercial website dedicated to publishing and archiving transgender fiction, much of which is erotica. It is open to submissions from any writer, provided the submitted literature "explores gender." In 1999, Fictionmania was awarded the Annual Excellence in Transgender Award by readers of the International Transgendered Online Magazine. Fictionmania was also recognized with a "TSATIE" Award in 1999 from e-zine TSAT. As of March 2008, Fictionmania was host to more than 15,000 stories according to the site's count, although that number may be a little misleading, since multi-part stories are counted more than once.
The majority of Fictionmania's archives consists of short story fantasies depicting characters being transformed from one sex to the other. Other stories, however, explore cross-dressing or feminization through malice or blackmail.
Fictionmania also publishes poetry, lyrics, plays, essays, autobiographical pieces, romance, humor, satire, parody, science fiction, horror, etc. A great many stories are also part of shared universes: both fan fiction based on pop culture (TV shows, movies, comic books, etc.) and unique fictional universes invented by Fictionmania authors.
Stories are rated for content according to a system similar to the MPAA film rating system. Content on Fictionmania ranges from G-rated to R-rated to X-rated, with some intermediary ratings as well.
Topics are not limited to fantasy sex change, but can also explore: cross-dressing, real-life sex reassignment surgery, transitioning, androgyny, effeminancy, gender identity, role reversal and atypical gender roles, as well as societal attitudes towards gender roles. Authors may be professional or amateur, but their works must "explore the meaning of gender."
The website found its roots in the early 1990s as a free online bulletin board known as the "Sierra Bulletin Board," owned and operated by Fictionmania founder Mindy Rich. By the mid 1990s, the bulletin board had largely been usurped by the newsgroup alt.sex.stories.tg (see alt.sex.stories). By this point, the archive had grown from dozens to a few hundred pieces of fiction.
With the advent of spam in newsgroups, writers of transgender fiction began founding electronic mailing lists and websites to share material while avoiding unwelcome spammers. In 1996, Mindy Rich created the "Maniapages" listserve and expanded the concept from gender transformation stories to any fiction exploring gender. In late 1997, Rich laid the groundwork to transform Maniapages from a listserve into a website, officially launching Fictionmania in February 1998. The number of archived stories quickly exploded from hundreds to thousands.
In December 1999, Rich temporarily shut down Fictionmania due to illness and a frustration with flaming on the website's hyperboard. A number of writers volunteered to take up webmaster duties for her and resurrected Fictionmania, after assuring Rich that the site's operations, policy, and focus would remain largely unchanged. The volunteers (calling themselves the Fictionmania Task Force) have since continued to operate the website free of charge. The Task Force also edits and uploads new submissions.
Fictionmania does not charge anything to access its archives or to donate a submission. No membership or registration is required for most of the site's functions, although only registered users are permitted to post un-edited comments to the community hyperboard. Comments from anonymous posters are pre-screened and approved by Task Force members before being posted to the hyperboard.
Anyone may submit a story, poem, essay, etc. provided the submitter is the author and the submission concerns an exploration of gender. Photos and illustrations may also be submitted to accompany a story. In fact, a few stories on Fictionmania are told entirely through sequential art. Authors maintain full copyright and ownership of submissions. Fictionmania makes no claim of any rights on stories published and has honored the occasional requests of writers to remove their material from the archives.
Most authors use pseudonyms. Because transgender interests are often seen as taboo, the anonymity and privacy of both readers and writers has long been a vital concern to the Fictionmania community.
From time to time, Fictionmania (or prominent writers and visitors) will sponsor story contests to inspire new creative heights among authors and recognize outstanding writers within a particular sub-genre.
Although there are many other transgender story archives online, Fictionmania has acquired de facto status as an unofficial library or clearinghouse of stories, in part due to its wide array of search methods and the large library of stories archived since the site's early days. Literature is sorted by categories, keywords, dates published, author names, character names, etc. Most of Fictionmania's submissions are simultaneously published on other websites as well.
- Electronic literature
- Erotic literature
- Fan art
- Fan fiction
- Gender bender
- List of transgender-related topics
- TG (fanart)