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Tonight I heard some rather sad news: the Henneth-Annun Story Archive is shutting down. You can read the full notice here; the highlights:

* The shut-down seems to be driven by some rather extensive technical problems, traced back to hacker attempts and security vulnerabilities, that would take entirely too long to address. (I wouldn't have tried to fix a volunteer site I run with this level of problems.)

* To be clear: while there are security issues, the site is currently secure, and info you've entered on the site isn't at risk.

* The site manager, Anglachel, said she's working with some sites to try to see if certain parts of the site can be archived. Specifically, she's working with Orchard CMS to see if their Resources section can be saved.

HASA was my first home in not only the Tolkien fandom but fandom generally. My connection these days is mainly nostalgic, but that's a real thing. It gave me my first toehold in adminning and helped me develop the confdence I needed to take on Challenges. Most of my friends were HASA members (and quite often HASA admins) at one time or another, and I have nothing but respect for what Ang, Gwynnyd, Cel, Dwim, and all the other volunteers did there. That's just a list off the top of my head, btw - not meant to be exclusive or even all that thorough! More objectively speaking, HASA is also a really nice collection of fanfic and research on Tolkien canon, and I'll be very sad to see it go, though I do want to emphasize: looking at the work it would take to address the technical issues, I completely stand by this decision and would have done the same. Not that my approval matters all that much. As I said, it's been a while since I've been heavily involved.

I hope people who were hosted exclusively on HASA will upload their fic elsewhere. I've had good experiences with Many Paths to Tread and the Silmarillion Writers Guild in terms of finding community, and while I had to leave Stories of Arda years ago due to ideological differences with that site's admin, SOA is another great collection of Tolkien fanfic with some simply lovely reviewers. (SOA's site admin is an excellent woman, btw; I couldn't keep posting there in good conscience myself, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't recommend it to others.) And of course AO3 is open to all fandoms. I've got all my stories posted there and have invite codes if anyone needs them.

Again, that's just the first sites that jump to mind, ones I've used myself and had positive experiences with. Not exclusive or even all that thorough.

But all of that's a bit secondary. We'll get more details as they're available, I'm sure, and things will work them out. For now, I'd just like to say it once more, to everyone who wrote, reviewed, donated or especially volunteered with HASA over the years: Thank you.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 15th, 2014 03:11 pm (UTC)
I wondered about that. Do you know what's involved, both from a technical perspective and in terms of getting the authors' permissions? It seems like that would mean posting people's stories to a site they hadn't agreed to use. I'm on AO3, I wouldn't mind in the slightest, but if I wasn't and there was a reason for this, I'm not sure I'd be on board with that.

You could ask, if you feel comfortable. (HASA has an admin contact form here.) Or anyone else reading this should feel free. I sent in an email last night so would rather not bother her again but I may mention the idea once a bit of time has past and hopefully things have calmed down a bit.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 15th, 2014 03:36 pm (UTC)
Sorry about the admin thing. I was up late last night and am still on my first cup of coffee. :-)

As for Open Doors, i hadn't connected that with what you said about an AO3 story. For some reason I thought you were suggesting setting up a collection in the main AO3 website and posting everyone's story to it directly, like where authors participating in certain exchanges have been encouraged to post their story to AO3 and add it to some story collection.

But if we're talking about preserving the archive as-is on a different site, that seems perfectly reasonable to me, and I'm glad to know that's already in the works.
Sep. 15th, 2014 12:49 pm (UTC)
That is very sad news. :( HASA has been a beautiful archive.
Sep. 15th, 2014 03:04 pm (UTC)
It has been, hasn't it? Nice layout, nice stories, wonderful resources section - it feels a bit like a black armband day, somehow.
Sep. 15th, 2014 02:39 pm (UTC)
Very sad about this. I really hope the stories hosted there from authors who don't post anymore aren't lost.
Sep. 15th, 2014 03:03 pm (UTC)
I hope so, too. I know I'm going to sit down when I get back home tonight and see what I need to save copies of. Thankfully most people these days post to more than one archive, but older ones may not. And of course HASA was a beautiful site with some truly astounding site features. (Their Resources section is one of the best guides to Tolkien canon I've ever come across, and I'm so glad they're working to save that, too. And as a former member of their challenges team, I'll be rally sad to see the Nuzgul hutch fade into the mists of time.) So even though it's not as bad as it could be and seems to be being handled as well as possible - yeah. Very sad indeed.
Sep. 15th, 2014 02:49 pm (UTC)
Very sad news indeed, especially since HASA is one of the oldest archives in Tolkien fandom. A lot of important works by authors who are no longer active are going to be lost.
Sep. 15th, 2014 03:00 pm (UTC)
I know from the announcement Ang is looking into archiving the old stories somewhere, though I'm not sure what will come of it. As I hear more news I'll definitely keep people up to date, but I think the smartest thing to do is to save a copy of your favorite stories to your own computer so you can access them at later points. The simplest way (if you have a reasonable number of stories) is probably to open up the webpage showing the story and save a version of the webpage to your computer. The web page isn't down yet, and when I get home tonight I'm going to sit down and see what I need to do that for.

Also, if you or anyone does know those people who have dropped out of fandom, it's probably not a bad idea to drop them a line. I only saw this because someone mentioned it over at Tumblr, and would hate to lose all that work or even not have it online anywhere, if I'd only ever posted at HASA.

A sad occasion, in any case. I'm glad the HASA team seems committed to salvaging as much of the site as possible, and I'm glad we have the time to save our favorite stories, but it's still more than a bit of a downer. :-S
Sep. 15th, 2014 09:27 pm (UTC)
Well said, and thanks for all of your hard work and time as a HASA volunteer. I haven't been very active on the site in a while, but still, the thought of it just not being around anymore is making me very emotional.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )



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