Where does Fictionmania come from?
It all started with the Sierra Bulletin Board, which was a free online bulletin board operated by Mindy Rich in the early 1990s. It hosted some TG stories before the internet was as accessible as it is today. As more people started coming online in the mid-1990s, newsgroups and listservs started to emerge. One such listserv was The Transformation Stories Archive (TSA), which accepted any kind of transformation story, not just those with a gender-related theme. In 1996, Rich founded a listserv called Maniapages, which expanded the gender transformation genre to include all types of TG stories. TSA members who were interested in gender transformation migrated to Maniapages, which caused the number of new gender related submissions to TSA to decline.
After the success of the listserv, Rich launched Fictionmania in 1998, where thousands of stories were available. As of 2017, over 20,000 stories have been hosted on the site. The site’s splash page details the etymology of the name Fictionmania: “Fiction: Something Invented By The Imagination / Mania: Excessive Enthusiasm.” The name aptly represents the feelings of the writers who upload their work to the site.
Fictionmania features an expansive submission-based archive of stories about transformation from one sex to another, crossdressing, forced feminization, and more. The criteria for submission is that the story must deal with the exploration of gender. Each story receives a rating similar to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) ratings based on their content. Some stories are based in an alternative universe. For example, there’s one fantasy universe on the site called “Spells R Us,” which has over 500 submissions.
The word transgender, as it’s used on Fictionmania, is different from the meaning of “a person whose gender identity doesn’t correspond to their sex assigned at birth.” On the site, the initialism TG stands for transgender but also, as the site puts it, “beyond gender, the catch-all word that includes every type of gender exploration.”
Who uses Fictionmania?
When the term Fictionmania is used, it’s always in reference to the website. Often, it appears in threads where posters discuss their favorite stories on the site.
“For Fictionmania , ' The Witches of Fairmount High ' is still one of my faves.”
Pigs Brains Thechangingmirror (September 12, 2013)
“Hey Guys and Gals / Just thought i'd give you the heads up on what seriously could be the best Fictionmania story i've ever read.”
guest (Blaise) Metamorphose (July 24, 2008)
“I had, several months earlier, 'discovered' Fictionmania, and I decided that I would like to try 'my' hand at creating a story that others might enjoy reading.”
Crystal, “A Brief History of StorySite,” Crystal’s StorySite (2010)