Dead Fic

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A fic whose chapters are spaced with wider updates each time. While this may be the result of a writer working for an overall better product, there is a higher chance of the writer getting derailed by work or personal life. Eventually the fic stops updating, and the reader is left wanting. The death knell comes when, rather than simply coming out with a new chapter, the author just assures the audience they haven't given up. Although the fic in question may update again - sometimes just so the author can state outright that it's a Dead Fic or on Permanent Hiatus. (Or in that matter leaving a note at the end of a chapter and telling what was supposed to happen.)

Granted, this happens all the time. After all, fanfiction is the province of amateurs, and when it's not a living, you have any reason to drop the fic—interests may change, life may take over, et cetera. But the pain implied in "Dead Fic" is a fanfiction that's superbly well-written, that enhances the canon it was based on, that was clearly the work of love and devotion, that is left to dwindle and die.

Some fans also regard these as Dead!WIPs (Works in Progress) or WIPs of Doom since readers are forever left hanging without closure.

Compare Orphaned Series, Cut Short, Left Hanging, Stillborn Serial. Not to be confused with a Death Fic. Or a Real Person Fic about the Grateful Dead.

Examples -- but be warned, your love is doomed to be unrequited...

(Examples are organized by fandom, not genre, to make it easier to find works that will break your heart.)

Original Works[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Randy Milholland (of the webcomic Something*Positive) says, "I promise, I will finish Midnight Macabre someday".
  • Even multi-author efforts aren't immune to this, as exemplified by the round-robin writing website ImproFanfic and its various Spin-Off sites (such as Indie Madnesse). The website remained fairly active for a few years before reader and writer interest dwindled down. The series that managed to gain endings are the exceptions rather than the rule.
    • Funnily enough, when Improfanfic and other sites were still popular, there was an Impro Archive specifically dedicated to Dead Fic.
  • Dark Heart High had 69 in late 2006/early 2007. As of mid-2010, there hadn't been any change. Worse, there are posts on the Improfanfic forums from 2008 wondering if the site is even still active.
  • Annelise, though not technically fanfiction per se (unless you count history as a fandom), but it's still a great read. Too bad it hasn't been updated since 2005.

Crossovers and MegaCrossovers[edit | hide]

  • The epic Massive Multiplayer Crossover Fighting Game votefic trilogy known as the Ultimate Video Rumble teetered on the edge of this several times, a few times going nearly a year without an update. Twice this forced another writer to take over the majority of the writing duties: the first time this happened (midway through UVR 2), it was actually a vast improvement; the second time (early UVR 3)... not so much, but it got the story ended.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!! Secret of Nimh, a crossover fanfiction by a user known as Isaac2 (or ErinIsaac2). At the end of a chapter, in the middle of the final duel, the last post by the author read: "Damn. In writer's block. I still don't know what to write!".
  • Gregg "Metroanime" Sharp's Featherbrite's Tale. The "winner" of the infamous Bet from the fic cycle of the same name from the late 1990s/early 2000s. Two incomplete versions exist of this fic, in which a tiny change in Ranma Saotome's childhood results in him accidentally gathering a team of ersatz sailor senshi with very real powers around himself to battle the forces of the Unseelie Court. Both show evidence of concepts being changed in mid-stream, and the longer of the two cuts off abruptly before the climax and resolution of the story. However, enough Chekhov's Guns are hung that a reasonably alert reader can figure out where things were headed. (Which still isn't anywhere near as satisfying as actually seeing it written would have been.)
  • The New Students, a Harry Potter and Yu-Gi-Oh! crossover fic in which Yugi, Ryou, and Marik are invited to Hogwarts. It's hosted on Kokorononaka.net, which hasn't been updated since 2007.

Axis Powers Hetalia[edit | hide]

  • The Kink Meme for Axis Powers Hetalia is sadly rife with these, with its fair share of promising, well-written stories simply left unfinished if not Lost Forever. The anonymity of the authors of said fics (unless they somehow managed to repost their works elsewhere online) doesn't help matters either.

Baldur's Gate[edit | hide]

  • One of the better written Baldur's Gate fanfics, At Soul's Edge went through a month-long gap before the author resumed, and its sequel, Malleus Animorum, has been on a long hiatus as well. Perhaps justified, however-both gaps occurred at around the same time in each year.

Batman[edit | hide]

  • It may not be the best written fic in the world, but the Batman story Pay Attention, was at 40 chapters and going strong at levels of pure awesome when the author pulled a Houdini in 2008.

Battle Royale[edit | hide]

  • 72 Hours Uprising: The follow-up to the most well-known Battle Royale fanfiction, 72 Hours, has stopped. It seems that the author could come up with an Even Better Sequel, so he gave up. However, he did actually get into publishing, so it's all good.

The Big O[edit | hide]

  • Styx and Stones, a haunting and brilliantly written fanfiction for The Big O that announces its enthusiastic update from October 10... 2005... Chapter Four. (Why do we even link to these fics? They'll only break our hearts...)

Daria[edit | hide]

  • In the Daria fandom, Greystar's The Longest Year is considered a legendary deadfic. It hasn't been updated in years, despite near constant begging from the author's fans.

Dawn of the Dead[edit | hide]

  • The Dawn of the Dead fanfic Through These fields of Destruction appears to have joined the category, having not received an update for over two years. It is possible this is an orphaned fic as the author was mentioned as joining a form of Armed Forces (believed to be the USA's). The characters appearing have presently unknown fates.

Death Note[edit | hide]

  • Morning Star is an excellent Death Note fanfic about Mello and Matt, set during the events of the series, which featured interesting characterisation and explored the relationship between the two characters. Unfortunately it started suffering from schedule slip about 11 chapters in, and hasn't been updated since 2008.

Digimon[edit | hide]

  • A Digimon fan fic Digimon Tribute is a AU Crossover fic of the first four seasons of Digimon in the Tamers storyline. It's a very well written fic but the last time it was updated was in 2006. The author also said that he lost the patience to continue it.
    • Another similar Digimon fanfic series The Fantasmic Saga, written by Twilight Arcangel, started out in 2006 and was announced to be discontinued early in 2009, due to the author's lack of time, to the distress of many readers. It got through the prologue and Book I, before posting a plot summary of the last two.

Dragonball Z[edit | hide]

  • Blinded, an extremely well-written Dragonball Z fanfic by dragonscales is about what would happen if Gohan went blind after his fight with Cell. Very well done and creative, but sadly it hadn't been updated since 8-20-03. Worse of all? She quit right in the middle of the World Tournament.
  • Hitman Miami, an Affectionate Parody of Hitman 2, ended abruptly after eight chapters. Three years later (2006), the author claimed that he actually had a "pretty deep plot and a twist ending" conceived for the fic, and hoped to finish it one day. A very belated death-knell assurance.

Dynasty Warriors[edit | hide]

EarthBound[edit | hide]

  • Earthbound 199X was a charmingly well-done EarthBound fanfic that didn't get an update for over a year. And, check, the last chapter includes an Author's Note intended to assure readers that he hadn't given up yet. That was written two years ago.

Fan Games[edit | hide]

  • Too many fangames to count have leave videos and demos but then just abruptly stop.
  • Then there's Memories of Mana, a very fun and almost complete fangame, which we'll almost certainly never see the end of.
  • Here's one for Crash Bandicoot.

Final Fantasy[edit | hide]

  • There was an excellent Final Fantasy VII fic written by author Solar Solethi called Children of Jenova set some 10 years after the events of the game. It did right by practically all the characters, and even their children (such as Tifa and Cloud's son, Zack) were well-written and compelling. Solethi stopped updating somewhere around Chapter 27, then, all her archives disappeared when RocketTownOnline went under, and now, the superb story is nowhere to be found at all.
  • Darth Howie's Creek was a Final Fantasy VII fic, thoroughgoing spoof of the concept of the Mary Sue, backhanded sendup of several posters at the hosting board and their board culture, and an intriguing look into the lives of the little people who made Shinra atrocities possible, all at once. Then board drama happened twice, one author lost interest in the fandom while the other took months between updates, then major drama happened between the two authors, and those who were still reading packed up their hope and hit the road, leaving the hosting forum a ghost town.
  • Before it was removed from fanfiction.net and thus the whole internet, a couple years back, Final Fantasy VII: The Cheesy American Soap Opera Version, loosely formated as a TV show, was a complete guilty pleasure, filled with over-the-top out-of-characterizations, ludicrous soap opera plots, and many delightful jabs at the source material. Lemme put it this way: one "season" ended with a tearful, honestly moving goodbye between Cloud and OC love interest (and non-Sue, funnily enough) Mary, in which she left in a cab and he went back into the coffee shop with the rest of the gang, only for the coffee shop to explode. It's that kind of fic.
  • Tease Me, Tease Me Not is a Final Fantasy X High School AU, written by spades7717. A few certain liberties are taken with characterization, Paine from X-2 exists inexplicably as a Cloudcuckoolander with a peculiar Catch Phrase, and a big Author Appeal in the form of Dance Dance Revolution provides the plot's forward progress in a few chapters. Given all of the above, it's actually quite enjoyable. Unfortunately, the fic ends on a cliffhanger with chapter 22, which was posted in October 2005, and Spades seems to have disappeared with her last update in late 2008.

Firefly/Serenity[edit | hide]

Gargoyles[edit | hide]

  • Gargoyles Fan Verse The Gargoyles Saga released its last update in 2006, with a three-year gap from the last one.

Gundam[edit | hide]

Harry Potter[edit | hide]

  • The devastatingly well-written Harry Potter prequel series, The Shoebox Project, is another example. The series had had repeatedly promised updates, but had not had an actual update in over a year (until very recently)... and then near the end of 2008, the community was hacked and all the entries were erased.
  • While talking about Harry Potter fanfics: The devastatingly horribly-written My Immortal has become—well, immortal, despite never being finished.
  • The highly intelligent and thoughtful Back Again, Harry?, though in 2012 a couple more chapters were added, leading to hope that it might eventually be finished.
  • The interesting Harry Potter sequel trilogy Paradigm of Uncertainty was feared to have fallen victim to this until the author released a Gainax Ending consisting of a summary of what was to happen subsequently. Mindful of this trope, the fandom appreciated it as more closure than they had expected.
  • The infamous Harry Potter fanfic The Girl Who Lived seemed to stop in 2006 during Half-Blood Prince. Perhaps the author realized that he/she'd screwed too much of the story up to make anything work, or that the protagonist was a condescending psychopath.
  • This Harry Potter fanfic Pig in a Wig: nine chapters with the best Dudley characterization ever seen, and abandoned just when the plot starts to pick up. Active 2002-2003.
  • A.L. de Sauveterre's Harry Potter and the Society of Orpheus and Bacchus accomplishes the impossible: playing all the cliches and fanon of Harry Potter fandom during the Three-Year Summer into a glorious, hilarious, compelling, and exceedingly well-written (if rather verbose) fanfiction. It never takes itself too seriously, yet is still dramatic and a wonderful continuation of the style of the earlier books. Then, at twenty-seven chapters it stops, still unfinished. Later chapters were even incorporating characters from The Order of the Phoenix.[1] It was last updated January 21, 2004.
  • Fans of the marvelously snarky Harry Potter Marcus Flint/Katie Bell shipper fanfic Detained got excited when it was uploaded to a new journal of the author in 2009, as it had been on hiatus for several years by then. Sadly, she still hasn't been able to update it. We live in hope!
  • Harry Potter and the Nightmares of Futures Past isn't entirely dead, but with literally years going by between updates, it might as well be.
  • Doghead Thirteen's delightfully entertaining The Book of Dobby Reboot: Per Arcana ad Astra stalls right when it starts getting good, with a house-elf version of the WWII RAF under the command of Harry Potter just getting starting to bring the war to Voldemort from the air, while Hermione's long-suppressed Spark awakens to help him.

His Dark Materials[edit | hide]

iCarly[edit | hide]

  • There are few fics in the iCarly fandom that are extremely good in comparison to the quality of the fandom itself. It's also rare to find fics with unique romance themes that have not died. Several of the stores on the fanfic rec page subsequently became dead after being put there: iGo To The Hospital, the longest Gen Fic, had 107 chapters updated in the space of roughly a year. Then the next chapter took ages to be uploaded, the one after that even longer, and right now it's been dead since 2010. iDiscover I Have Superpowers updated 13 chapters in about 6 months, then stopped right at a heartbreaking moment of angst between two of the main characters.

Kingdom Hearts[edit | hide]

  • Unfortunately Soaring On Broken Wings, the sequel to the excellent and recommended Kingdom Hearts fanfic You Don't Miss It Till It's Gone, appears to have become this, which is a shame.
  • Birthday_Massacre by Skitts is a great Kingdom Hearts horror fic, with interesting characterization and a plot that starts off disjointed, but weaves together subplots and the main plot into something great. It isn't even very gory, but it's unsettling in a good way, a way that compels you to read on. Unfortunately, it was last updated 3 years ago (in 2008) after its 16th chapter was uploaded. A few months after that last update, the author wrote "I really can't be bothered with this site anymore XD" on their profile. And, sadly, it was just when the story was all coming together too.

The Land Before Time[edit | hide]

The Legend of Zelda[edit | hide]

  • Likewise for what's probably the best novelization of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time around. The last update was November 2006, and the previous one was nearly a year before. The first four and a half years, he averaged once a month. And long, apologetic author's note? Check.
  • Also, the really good Eloze. It hasn't updated in a couple of years, which is quite sad.
  • And the Zelda-fic masterpiece that is Never After is also, unfortunately, quite dead. The author hasn't posted a new chapter in more than roughly three[when?] years. Also complete with an assurance that yes, "This story is not dead."

Lilo and Stitch[edit | hide]

  • The Lilo and Stitch community has Simon's Experiments II by Allius111, which left its 28th chapter on a cliffhanger, and hasn't been updated since January 2010. The worst part is the author noted in the previous chapter that he was buckling down on the story, planning to release a chapter once every two weeks.

The Lord of the Rings[edit | hide]

  • Legolas By Laura ends in mid-sentence, which is probably just as well. Possibly it doesn't quite qualify as a Dead Fic, though, because what there was of it was posted in one big chunk and there was no author's note promising to finish.
  • The brilliant Lord of the Rings fic Brothers in Arms by the Nightrunners (a group of Canadian girls). Part one of the fic, which featured the original Fellowship as reincarnated post-apocalyptic humans (mostly...), was a fantastically written 39 chapters. Part two got 28 chapters and then left us on a cliffhanger.

Lucky Star[edit | hide]

  • One of the only fics for the Lucky Star pairing Misao/Ayano, and possibly the only dark one for it, the fanfic Mascara Sonreindo hasn't been updated in 2 years as of now.

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha[edit | hide]

  • The Nanoha doujin Betrayers only released a single chapter. In it, we see Jail has finished the Combat Cyborg program, Hayate has evidently started a civil war, and Nanoha is obliterating anyone who gets in the way... including Fate Testarossa and Subaru. It's a dark and cynical look at the Nanoha universe, realistically drawn and very well written. The purpose behind the war, Hayate's actions, and Nanoha's disturbing change of character haven't been answered in 3 years... and there's still no word on chapter 2.

Mario of any variety[edit | hide]

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya[edit | hide]

Naruto[edit | hide]

Neon Genesis Evangelion[edit | hide]

  • Once More with Feeling by "Crazy-88". An especially heartbreaking case, as its implementation of the bog-standard "Shinji gets a Peggy Sue" plot was anything but bog-standard. See the page for the work for more information.

New Mutants[edit | hide]

  • Go West is an extremely good Marvel Universe fanfic by Jeremy Bottroff that resurrects Doug and Warlock and mixes in assorted members of The New Mutants and makes them into a family. It ends 26 chapters in. There's a canon story set later in continuity featuring a battle against Cable and his X-Force, but the main story halts on several cliffhangers. Also heartbreaking because it's one of the few stories that really fleshes out The Hellions.

Phantom of the Opera[edit | hide]

  • A Phantom of the Opera fanfiction called An Eternity of This by Mandy the O was, in its original form, an epic fic of approximately 61 chapters, whose romance was intertwined with a plot suspenseful enough to spawn fanfiction of its own. However, Mandy took the story down in 2005 to re-work it (before the original edition had even ended) and only re-posted 17 chapters. It's been dead since 2006, along with the other 2 fics on the author's profile.

Pokémon[edit | hide]

Ranma ½[edit | hide]

  • The Ranma ½ fic, Girl Days; one of the absolute funniest fanfics out there, starting back in 1999 or so, collected on Sofaspud's Couch... then stopped updating back in 2003 with a half-finished teaser for the latest chapter. Kenko's page hasn't had anything added since July 2004. and nothing on his livejournal since 2005.
  • The last extant installment of The Tales of Ranma and Ranko by Jack Staik and Lady Tesser, Our Wedding Day, which abruptly stopped well short of its conclusion when its authors vanished from the net in the early 2000s.

Runescape[edit | hide]

Sailor Moon[edit | hide]

  • Janelle J. AKA Miaka Shi's absurdly long-running (for a fanfic anyway. It ran from December 1995 to 2009) Sailormoon Millennia trilogy finally gave up the ghost after 14 years, leaving the remake of the first story (Sailormoon Zodiac) and the last story (Sailormoon Genesis) incomplete.
  • The Sailor Moon Expanded project, which during the late 1990s generated many stories of outstanding quality including the saga of The Dark Kingdom Renegades, dribbled to a halt by the early 2000s.

Sherlock Holmes[edit | hide]

Skies of Arcadia[edit | hide]

  • Eternal Arcadia is an unbelievably good novelization of the video game Skies of Arcadia that partially suffers from this. The author has such a busy life that the fic ended up falling silent after chapter 22 and an obligatory "I haven't given up" message. A year later, she came back to it and steamrolled through 14 more chapters, but after that point she hasn't updated since May 2009. It's especially a shame because, in terms of game chronology, she has all of three or four more chapters to go, though her tendency to expand on interesting sideplots would probably add another chapter or two to that count.

Star Wars[edit | hide]

  • Force of Destiny is a brilliant Star Wars AU written before the prequel trilogy had been released detailing what might have happened if Darth Vader mutinied against the Emperor after learning that the Emperor had tricked him into believing he'd been permanently damaged.
  • A Jedi's Destiny: Episode I: Rise of the Sith, a Land Before Time meets Star Wars cross has not been updated since December 2008. The author says he is revamping the story but there has been no visible progress. Which is quite sad because the story is quite good.
  • Hitchhiker. It's excruciatingly hard to find a well-written Thrawn story, let alone one where he's in a relationship. This is one of them. It started being posted in June of 02, updated regularly on the Jedi Council Forums, slowly started slipping, chapterlets shortening and more time elapsing between each. By June of 03 it quit entirely. The writer, shezan, does respond to PMs on LiveJournal, and if you're polite will tell you what her vague plan for the rest was before she stopped writing.
  • The excellent Star Wars spoof Bad Boys: JEDI Style, which was written by a woman with bipolar disorder who announced her permanent retirement from fanfic writing in 2007. Luckily, she had already plotted out the entire story and posted an outline of the rest.

Street Sharks[edit | hide]

  • Street Sharks Redux by Dark Light Shades was a retelling of the TV series Street Sharks in a much... less goofy manner. Unfortunately it has not been updated for about two years, since the author has lost interest in the fandom. Her writing partner is still around though, so it's vaguely possible it could be finished through her.

Super Sentai[edit | hide]

"Tales of..." Series[edit | hide]

Tamora Pierce[edit | hide]

  • Wild_Magelet's Spirits Cry, a simply marvellous Tamora Pierce fanfic, has not been updated in over two years... and counting.
  • Tamora Pierce fandom in general contains these in good quantity, maybe because the novels are generally aimed at young adults, and so fans are prone to growing out of them before they finish their magnum opus. Or maybe they just go to college and then suddenly don't have time for anything.

Temeraire[edit | hide]

  • There is a hilariously funny Temeraire band AU out on the internet. The writing is fairly solid and everyone is in character. Sadly the last update was in 2009 and it looks like an update will not be coming. But the 3 extant parts are visible below.

X-Men[edit | hide]

  • X-Men: Eternity, an AU House of M series by "rjb" was constantly on the brink of this. When the first storyline finally wrapped up, it seemed we were safe. Nope. The second storyline started, the updates petered out, and finally, over a year later, the author admitted the stories would not complete and started a new story, which seems to have almost immediately suffered the same fate. Sigh.
  • Touhou-Project, being a site dedicated to open-ended votefics, is littered with these by nature.

Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito[edit | hide]

  • The obscure Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito has very little fanfiction. By far the longest is a semi-dead fic called "Unabridged" that follows the anime continuity rather closely and focuses on the consequences of Eve's meddling with spacetime. Notable for very possibly not having an Eve/Hazuki ending (author hasn't decided yet), giving Lilith considerable character development (and snark), pointing out exactly who Arya is, and a reference to Dr. Strangelove involving Kogechibi and a very large bottle rocket. Also intended to cross over into Kannazuki no Miko of all things.

Yu-Gi-Oh![edit | hide]

  • The fantastic Yu-Gi-Oh! fanfic Continue? Gold Edition finished its 27th chapter on a mild cliffhanger: the beginning of Noah's Arc. The story had been updated sluggishly for a while, and now hasn't been updated in 3 years. Not only that, but the author has moved on to various other projects, and has himself stated that it most likely won't be finished.
  • Little Kuriboh's FANTASTIC fic Spirit on fanfiction.net. There have been hundreds of reviews clamouring for it to continue, having left off at an awesome moment, but it was last updated years ago, and LK's probably too busy by now...he says he's not a good writer. HE LIES. It's fantastic.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! fanfic What Doesn't Kill You is far and away not only one of the best-written Azureshipping (Seto Kaiba / Anzu Mazaki) fics out there, but one of the best Yu-Gi-Oh! fics, period. Beginning in October 2003, the author prefaces the first chapter by saying that the story is slated to be 36 chapters long. However, five and a half years since the first post, only 26 have been posted, the last being in April 2009. Regardless, it is an absolute Doorstopper of 515 thousand words, but you probably won't complain, as every last one is very compelling. The author, Azurite, says in her most recent profile update, in May 2011, that a trip abroad might rekindle her muse. Nearly a year later, it seems we may never know.


  1. which actually may have contributed to its diminishing...