OTW Fannews: Fandom books

Banner by Lisa of a colorful row of covers with the post title across them

  • Various books and projects revolving around fandom are making the rounds of media sites. The Chicago Tribune interviewed the authors of Fangasm about their experiences in Supernatural fandom. When asked “What makes fandom worthy of academic study?” the authors responded that “Fandom is a way people express and work through a lot of their stuff. When I was a clinician, I used to practice narrative therapy, which helps people rewrite their life stories and make meaning out of them. People do the same thing through fandom, through writing fan fiction or making fan art or any of the creative pursuits that go into fandom.” Plus there are “a lot of commonalities between how ‘othered’ groups in the 18th century were being talked about and how fan communities in the present time were being talked about…on some level what people in that fan community were doing then was not being valued as art or as something worthy of study.”
  • The Pacific Standard would certainly agree, calling fanfic The Next Great Literature in its discussion of the book Fic. “In 1850, William Makepeace Thackeray …published Rebecca and Rowena, a satirical novel motivated by his dissatisfaction with the ending of another book: Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe…Thackeray didn’t know he was a shipper…because the term didn’t exist in the 19th century. It’s a relatively recent invention, coined not by literary scholars or critics but by members of the fan fiction community, a vast network of people—mostly amateurs, mostly women—who read and write stories using characters and settings created by professionals.”
  • Hypable also took a look at the book, discussing the various essays and the current environment into which the book has been released. “Readers should not be put off by the academic appearance of the collection. Although Jamison is a professor of literature, she utilises a more anecdotal style as she details the experiences within different fandoms, and chronicles various controversies within the fanfiction community.”
  • In the meantime, more people and entities are looking for ways to get fanfiction into bookstores and not just digital archives. The Geekiary wrote about one such effort, Big Bang Press, which is using Kickstarter to launch its company, with three planned novels. “Fan fiction is already a resistive act, but this is taking things to a whole new level. It’s an opportunity for stories featuring a diverse range of protagonists, including POC and queer characters. Stories that have been ignored because they is too much of a risk; stories that the mainstream media does not think are economically viable; the kind of stories that fandom has been demanding for decades.”

What fandom books have you been reading? Write about them 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.