Links roundup for 14 September 2012

Here’s a roundup of stories about documenting your sources that might be of interest to fans:

  • An article about fanfic history published in The Guardian raised a lot of commentary from readers and writers across the blogosphere. Making Light took issue with the “section on fanfic in early SF fandom” calling it “full of nonsense, so much so as to call the rest of the article into question.” Oddly, nowhere in Morrison’s lengthy piece covering hundreds of years of history, as well as obscure terminology and ad-hoc psychological assertions about the writers’ motives, were any sources for the article cited. Also omitted was any discussion of who was doing much of the writing — something rectified by Foz Meadow’s article at the Huffington Post. “Not long ago, I wrote a piece on why YA sex scenes matter — in a nutshell, because they’re pretty much the only form of sex-positive, female-centric sexiness on the market. In that context, then, the fact that the vast majority of fan fic writers are understood not only to be women, but young women — something Morrison utterly fails to mention — cannot help but be intensely relevant to any discussion of sex in fan fic. Culturally, we’ve spent thousands of years either denying, curbing or vilifying the female sex drive, to the point that even now, the idea of pornography geared towards a female audience is still fundamentally radical.” Such gender erasure also explains why female centered fan gatherings remain vitally important for fandom as a whole.
  • Certainly writer Jonah Lehre probably wishes fans weren’t so concerned about documentation. As discussed by The Learned Fangirl, “Michael Moynihan, a huge Bob Dylan fan, asked the questions that we should all ask about where information comes from, and thereby caused the end (or at least the extreme shaming) of the career of a well-regarded writer.” Yet the media hasn’t learned much of a lesson from the incident. “But for all of the talk about how bloggers and tweeters aren’t ‘real journalists’, traditional journalists are on the hook for not appropriately citing to their sources. In a random sample, taken from Google news of highly cited and ‘top news’ stories on this situation, less than a quarter included a link to the Tablet story that broke this. Shameful!”
  • The Tor Publishing website recently gave a boost to a vid celebrating decades of fandom, though its fannishness was perhaps most clear in the meticulous tracking of its content. “Questions were crowd-sourced, moments were captured, and a lot of love ended up on the screen. They even have an incredible spreadsheet breakdown of exactly what went into the where, and why.” Though the vid centered only on western visual media fandom, one would have to concur with “[w]hat better way to chronicle decades of geeky dedication than through a song chronicling decades of history?”

If you want to contribute to the fannish culture of documentation, don’t forget about Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent Links Roundup. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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