Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, did you hear that the Doctor Who Christmas Special is becoming a New Year’s Special this year? What do you think? (I suspect my brother is unhappy, but maybe this means he’ll actually be mentally present while we’re opening gifts this year.)
This past week saw the release of the trailer for the upcoming film After, which is based on a novel adapted from a reader-insert One Direction fanfic. Reaction to the trailer has been mixed. While BuzzFeed News reports that fans are mostly excited, they also mention that some fans are cautioning about elements of the film that could be triggering for people sensitive to depictions of abusive relationships.
The Mary Sue echoes this caution, saying “The summary details the way he [Hardin, the male lead] emotionally abuses her [Tessa, the female lead] throughout the book, but highlights how Tessa can’t help but feel drawn to him anyway, because nothing says romance like toxic men being toxic.” The article also discusses the new trend of fanfiction becoming mainstream novels and films, asking “when can we start picking good fanfic to adapt to the big screen?”
NewStatesman has similar questions. That article interviews several fans about their takes on the fanfic-based stories that have gained mainstream success, with a focus on how queer stories are being left out.
They say that fanfiction has evolved as an outlet for predominantly gay romantic plots, but this is not reflected in the storylines picked up by conventional publishers and TV studios.
Elsewhere, the 2018 Tumblr Purge is still ongoing. Several elements of the situation remain unclear, such as who removed the Tumblr app from the Apple App Store, and the reach of the account deletions. There has been discussion of the creation of a new social network specifically for fandom, but not much in the way of concrete action has been taken at this point. Basically, the situation is still too up in the air to be able to say anything about it here that wasn’t said last week.
Lastly, Fred Patton, “the man who is now known as the father of anime fandom in the United States,” recently passed away, according to SyFy Wire. In his honour, they asked Craig Miller, “the father of Star Wars fandom,” about him, since the two were childhood friends. The audio interview is an interesting look at pre-internet fandom. (No transcript available.)
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