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Anachronism Stew: Fanfic

  • Harry Potter fanfic set in the Marauders era tends to ignore the fact that it's set in the 1970s. James, Sirius, and the others will merrily chat on their mobile phones and use computers (both of which did exist in the 1970s, but not in the form we're familiar with today and weren't common in any case, to say nothing of the anti-technology field of Hogwarts), send text messages (which actually weren't invented until the late 1980s or popularised until the late 1990s), listen to 1990s or 2000s music, and watch recent films.
    • Not that Fan Fiction set in the "modern" time period is any better. While granted it is easy to miss, a lot of writers forget that the series is set between 1991 and 1998, and a lot of the things they have the characters reference or possess shouldn't even exist yet.
    • And let's not even get started on My Immortal, much of which supposedly takes place in the 1990s. There is no noticeable difference between the "past" and "present" portions of the story, especially not where music history is concerned.
    • And then there's the Hogwarts Founders fanfic, where circa-1000 A.D. Scotland is often rendered as a mishmash of High Medieval, Renaissance, Victorian, and pure fantasy elements.
      • There was one in which Ravenclaw went into exile in America, which (unless she was a Viking, possibly) would have been impossible even if you discount that she apparently got there on the train.
      • There's another one where Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff are at a pre-Hogwarts British Boarding School — in different Houses — and Ravenclaw calls Hufflepuff up on the telephone to make plans. At least they didn't have cellular phones?
      • And one where the founder era has showers, paper, tea and coffee, meetings at 15:25, springy metal net beds invented in the 1940s. The usual stuff. What's more, Hufflepuff is supposed to have been born and raised in a Finnish manor house. Tasty, as the area was then still in Iron Age, and entered history in the 1300s.
  • This fanficrants post describes a Twilight fic in which the writer tries and fails badly to avert this, by having Carlisle listen to the radio rather than play video games. In the 17th century.
  • The Umineko no Naku Koro ni fan fic "Witches & Woodlands," which takes place during the year 1986, brings up so many anachronisms that the characters are unable to ignore it: for example, one character mentions reading forums on the Internet despite that not being common practice for another decade or so; another mentions how people will behave when playing MMORPGs once they're invented, and how games will be like in the future. They even mention anachronisms within the actual series itself through their Medium Awareness, particularly when one character dressed up as a character and played a song from Touhou, which was first released in 1996; said character claims to have made the costume and song herself and plans to sue the companies behind Touhou for plagiarism. In the end, everyone agrees that all the anachronisms can be explained with some kind of retarded logic.
  • Sometimes Axis Powers Hetalia fanfictions may have technology existing at a time it should not. However, it seems more common for authors to put groups and organisations of nations in the wrong time period; two examples that have happened at least once are the WW2 Allies having tactics meetings in the twenty-first century (although the rest of the story made it obvious that the writer at least knew the war was not still happening, so it's unclear what they thought the meetings were for), and G20 meetings occurring at the height of the British Empire.
  • In the Team Fortress 2 Troll Fic TEEN FORTRESS 2, naturally, this trope is taken Up to Eleven as Principal Business Man was writing stories while Abraham Lincoln was the president.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! fanfiction Decks Fall Everyone Dies, the characters write a propaganda play (to revive card games as a form of government) set in ancient Egypt. The play, according to the scenes depicting the rehearsals, involves Ho Yay, thrift shops at which the penniless duelist buys the Pharaoh's old clothes, Riverdance, Rap music, and holographic disco balls.
  • Calvin & Hobbes: The Series is supposed to take place in the present day, but has a few inconsistencies when it comes to the media that is referenced. The repeated references to Garfield and Friends are excusable due to reruns, but then an episode shows a Kids' Choice Award special (explicitly said to be a rerun, mind you) that has both Avatar: The Last Airbender and Sabrina the Teenage Witch nominated for the same award.
  • The Infinite Loops has Loopers pinching random items from other universes whenever they can. This can lead to some rather mishmashed tech levels.
  • Meta-subversion: All 1632 fanfic writers who want to have a chance of getting past the critics on the Baen Books Forum have to remember that "up-time" is 2000AD, not "today". Anyone making references to flatscreen monitors, the War On Terror or Windows XP will get slapped down hard. The series proper averts it though. In an Alternate History Time Travel story, deliberate anachronism is sort of the point.
  • The World of the Creatures takes place in the mind of the author/protagonist and as such, we see things like modern mammals grazing in a field alongside dinosaurs.

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