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by Ellen Druda

Before you dip your big toe into the world of fan fiction, take a look at this brief glossary:

A/U: Alternate Universe. These stories feature the characters from the tv series, but place them in a different time zone, or different locale, or even give them alternative personal characteristics. Napoleon is a vampire or Illya is a unicorn are some of possibilities.

adult: Stories that might be rated "R" in the movies, they can feature violence or sex or strong language.

cross-over: These are U.NC.L.E. stories that involve other fandoms; Solo and Kuryakin meet Muldar and Scully or Mr. Waverly brings in the team from Hawaii Five-0.

fanzine: Usually a small press magazine with a very limited run, written by amatuer writers for the amusement of other fans. Quality and prices vary. Some are novellas, some are anthologies, some are series unto themselves.

gen: Stories suitable for all audiences, probably most reflective of the series itself.

h/c: Stands for hurt/comfort. These types of stories focus on one partner or the other (usually Kuryakin) suffering some sort of abuse and being helped by his friend and ally (usually Solo.) The reason behind the appeal of these stories is something even its most voracious readers can't quite fathom, but the popularity of the genre is enormous.

loc (or an eloc): Letter Of Comment or an emailed Letter of Comment. Writers and publishers love feedback.

multi-fandom or multi-universe: Anthology zines that include stories from lots of fandoms, not just The Man From U.N.C.L.E. You might might find one U.NC.L.E. story mixed in with stories about Starsky and Hutch, Wild Wild West, or The Professionals, for example.

PWP: "Plot What Plot" - stories that are concerned almost exclusively with the relationship between the two main characters, leaving little room for plot. Usually they are slash.

slash: Stories that assume a homosexual relationship between Solo and Kuryakin. An age statement is usually required when purchasing this type of fanzine. The term slash came about when the first Kirk and Spock stories appeared, they were shortened to K/S, with the "slash" in the middle of the two initials.

zine: Short for fanzine.

Here's another set of definitions by UNCLE fanfiction writer L.R.H. Balzer.