If you are reading this page, the odds are that you followed a link from one of my Usenet postings - and that you haven't the faintest idea what all this 'Hoedown' business is about. (Though any curious Hoedowners can keep reading if they like...)
This (The Time the Stories went Dark) is a story. Nominally at least, it's a Doctor Who story — though you really don't need to be a fan or know much (or any) Doctor Who mythology to read it. After all, I managed to help write it without knowing any to speak of!
In origin this was a multi-author fiction, created by various regulars and lurkers posting to a thread in the newsgroup rec.arts.drwho from May to October of 2001. It started off as something of a newsgroup in-joke — many of the characters are their authors' fictional alter-egos — and there are deliberately silly notes all the way to the end, in contrast to some of the very dark parts.
The HTML-ised version to be found on these web pages is a compilation of all those newsgroup postings — all thousand-odd of them! — edited together, interwoven and generally tidied up by myself.
Are you still with me? <grin>
Seriously, this is quite a good story in its own right. It's a pity, in a way, that the characters and subject matter used (not to speak of the crossovers with the Discworld, anime, This Time Round and the First Hoedown...) mean that it never will have the chance to stand as a story in its own right, even as fan-fiction.
If you are prepared to launch into a continuity all its own... featuring a large and confusing cast, some decided non-canonical cameo capers from Doctor Who and companions from all his eight incarnations, a good deal of Pro-Fun silliness and the making of some very serious choices indeed... then read on.
(Disclaimer: I personally had absolutely nothing whatever to do with any part of the story until Chapter Five — but I can't escape responsibility for the undoubtedly grimmer tone that subsequently crept into the rest of it :-( )
© 2001 Igenlode Wordsmith