OTW Fannews: Doing Fandom

Banner by Bremo of wheel and spoke diagram with Fandom at the center and fanworks and sites in the spoke bubbles

  • Writing for the Gadsden Times, David Murdock shared a discovery most fans make at some point – that there are many ways of being a fan. “Just like there are many different kinds of speculative fictions, there are many different types of fanboys and fangirls. My fanboy experience consists solely of reading books and watching movies. However, one important part of modern fanboy- and fangirl-ism is entirely out of my experience. I don’t do costumes. I have never dressed in a science fiction or fantasy-based costume for any reason whatsoever, not even Halloween. Just like I had a moment when I realized I liked hard science fiction, I had a moment when I realized that my fanboy experience does not include costumes.”
  • Part of the reason for this difficulty is that fannish activities are always changing. The London Evening Standard noticed that Sherlock fans were “reviewing” the new season before it aired. “But there’s a new fanfic genre now, one that has emerged by accident…On Amazon, shoppers can already pre-order the complete third season on DVD…The site is also allowing customer reviews, so fans have piled in to give their fictitious accounts. So, er, fake spoiler alert!”
  • Australia’s News.com was instead alarmed by frequent character death in pop music RPF. “‘It’s a good outlet for their angst,’ says Kimberley O’Brien, adolescent psychologist at Sydney’s Quirky Kid Clinic. ‘At an age when emotions and hormones are fluctuating so much, it’s nice they can cry openly. It’s much better than being isolated and not expressing yourself.’…Fantasising about teen crushes meeting an early death is nothing new. In the 1960s, teen tragedy songs such as The Shangri-Las’ Leader of the Pack and Mark Dinning’s Teen Angel featured sweethearts perishing in motorcycle crashes or train wrecks. More recently, emo culture touched upon premature death, with My Chemical Romance theming a whole album around cancer (2006’s The Black Parade).”
  • Then there are the unexpected places where fanworks appears — such as craigslist. Various media outlets were in a tizzy over a Girls fanfic, with some strangely citing it as “the first entry into the canon”. Either the media might want to use their search engine just a few minutes longer, or fanfiction writers might want to start posting their work in the classifieds to get more reviews.

What ways of “doing fandom” do you know about? Share it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. 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.

News of Note
  1. Laura E. Jefferson commented:

    I can think of a bunch of things I ‘had’ to learn about as part of my fandom — not the ones you think of, canon and fanon; but things like: I decided Spock had an uncle who became a master of the Zen Tea Ceremony (Urasenke school); I knew far more about that than ever turned up in my fic. Like reading about PTSD for John Watson. And things I learned about because people wrote the fanfic from that point of view (I did not know much about asexuality before Impish Tubist). About learning to sew so I could have a costume I liked; nothing amazing, but it was right for Deryni Evaine and Rhys. Honestly, the early history of Wyoming, for Alias Smith and Jones, and then Eastern religion after Pete Duel’s memorial service was held at a Vedanta temple. Fandom can change your life as much or as little as you like. It’s a way to become bigger.

  2. Claudia Rebaza commented:

    That’s a great conclusion — I’m sure a lot of people would agree 🙂