This Week in Fandom

This Week in Fandom, Volume 133

Hello and welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things that are happening. Before we get started, did you see io9‘s interview with The Witcher creator Andrzej Sapkowski? It’s chock-full of entertaining content, perhaps the most relatable of which is Sapkowski’s acknowledgment that he wasn’t very involved in the development of the Netflix show because ‘I do not like working too hard or too long’. We feel you, buddy. Did you enjoy the interview? Let us know in the comments!


And now: those based in the UK, as is your friendly OTW comms blogger, may feel that they’ve heard quite enough about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s decision to leave the royal family. On the other hand, there’s a fandom perspective on everything. That’s the tack which journalist Eleanor Peake took this week in an article for the New Statesman, which explores the ways that Meghan and Harry’s departure from the British royal family has impacted “royal-watchers” online. Peake interviews Reese, who runs a royal family podcast, explores fan communities on Tumblr and Facebook, and begins to ask some interesting questions about the relationship between celebrity fandom and what’s essentially RPF. The article also notes that responses to Meghan (both before and after the announcement of the split) are often underpinned by ‘racist’ commentary that takes a toll on black and mixed-race fans. ‘We’ve just been telling each other to take breaks and protect our mental health,’ Reese says. Read More

This Week in Fandom

This Week In Fandom, Volume 132

Hello and welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things that are happening. It’s Copyright Week and appropriately enough, we have several stories for you that all operate at the intersection between fanfiction and traditional publishing. Buckle up!


First off, an article by Sian Cain for the Guardian on how Fifty Shades of Grey “changed our sex lives”. Focusing on EL James’s native country, the UK, Cain explores the ongoing legacy of James’s trilogy, ‘the runaway bestselling books’ of the 2010s. Cain’s account traces ripple effects across the publishing industry, the BDSM scene, and even the law. She gives space to the criticisms leveled at James’s work by ‘BDSM practitioners and domestic abuse campaigners’ and acknowledges its problematic effects, but she also finds some positive consequences from the international obsession with Grey’s story and sexual behaviors. In any case, it’s a thoroughly-researched insight into what is still online fanfiction’s most famous mainstream success. Read More

This Week In Fandom

This Week In Fandom, Volume 131

Hello and welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things that are happening. Before we start, the Oscar nominations were released yesterday. What do you make of them? Let us know in the comments!


Our ‘OTW in the news’ radar was set off this week by Kaitlyn Tiffany’s charming piece in The Atlantic, ‘The Early Internet, Explained by One Weird Celine Dion Fan Site’. Tiffany interviews Yury Toroptsov, the creator of Celine Dreams, a website which ran from 2001 to 2011 and on which Toroptsov encouraged fellow fans to submit their dreams about Dion for his (public) interpretation. At Celine Dreams’ peak, Toroptsov was a BNF in online Celine Dion fandom; but the piece is more than a portrait of his particular experience. Instead, it takes the website as the jumping-off point for an exploration of online fandom culture’s transient quality. Tiffany mentions the Yahoo Groups closure, points out that Celine Dreams is only available via the Wayback Machine’s limited record, and gives a shoutout to the OTW’s efforts to preserve fan culture. She reminds us that Tumblr, a key fan platform through the 2000s and 2010s, ‘did not start collecting and collating data about fandom’ until 2013. This is important, Tiffany argues, despite the apparent triviality of the subject matter: ‘By itself, a website devoted to (possibly fake) dreams about Celine Dion is perhaps not our most urgent archival task. But in aggregate, fan sites like Toroptsov’s provide a valuable history of the ways web 1.0 users exercised fandom to provide their daily lives with context and color.’ The history of fandom and the history of the internet are closely entwined; we should do what we can to preserve them both. Read More