I really, really love fanfiction.
Fanfic has been the dominant form of literature in my life since the late 1990s, and it's only grown to take over more of my literary adventures with the advent of the Archive of Our Own's option to download stories onto my phone. I love a good space opera, but no joke, I love a trope-filled fake boyfriends fic just as much. I love the blank spaces in original works and so I am interested in how fan artists build additional stories about characters I love or subvert canon to tell new, different stories.
I also happily read most texts from queer perspective, which impacts how I engage with fandom. You can call me a slasher (also see: femslash) because that's my primary mode of engagement with fanwork.
This is only one way to participate — there's myriads of other ways, including "het" and "gen". I know I have often seen slash used interchangeably with "porn", but frankly, that's a reductive view of the category, and the work some fans are doing inside their communities. It helps to think of fandom as a marketing category in which many, many genres exist, including, surprise surprise, fanwork which has no sexual or romantic content at all.
We can go deeper by expanding outwards from fanfiction into podfic, fan art, vidding, and academics. In the last few years, sections of fandom have shifted to Tumblr, a microblog service that has given rise to remixed or canonical gifsets, tag commentary (definitely a brilliant new fannish medium), and round-robin style fic writing and world building — the list goes on and on.
Although I identify as a slasher and feel most at home in fanfic circles, it's hard to be in fandom these days without getting sucked in to the amazing things other fans are creating. Fanwork does insightful, creative things with original source texts, and so I've chosen a collection of pieces that I think are excellent examples of the fantastic imagination of fans and the way we deconstruct, reconstruct, and think about our media.
Needless to say, there may be spoilers for all the properties below and definite spoilers if you read/watch/listen to any of the pieces. Also, please mind all warnings!