OTW Fannews: Fannish Legacies

OTW Fannews banner by caitie~ with the text Fannish Legacies and art of Spock holding his hand in the Live Long and Prosper gesture

  • The Conversation featured a discussion of Leonard Nimoy’s impact on fandom. “[I]t’s no surprise that for many fans, the loss of Leonard Nimoy felt like the loss of a family member. Nimoy was happy to be known as the ‘geek grandpa,’ and embraced his key role in history and development of fandom. Those early fans – who, so many years ago, fell in love with Kirk and Spock – proved that their passion could make a difference, that fan communities could be a force for good. They took a page out of Star Trek and refused to apologize for being different. Just like Mr. Spock.”
  • A less positive overview at The Guardian did not see it as a good thing that Trekker culture now rules the world. “The subculture around Star Trek has been famously productive for a long time. There are fan-produced shows, lexicons of Klingon, detailed technical diagrams of the show’s fictional technologies, voluminous Wikipedia entries, and terabytes of fan fiction. Conventions have been running for 40 years; fan-musicians write ‘filk music’ based on themes and events in the show. This productivity made Trekker a centrepiece of an intellectual effort, starting in the 1990s, to redeem fan culture, one which fed directly into contemporary orthodoxies about the nature of social media and digital culture.”
  • One fan was influenced by other fandoms, but found in them equally important life lessons. “I grew up quite poor, and lived in shoddy (to put it politely) conditions until I was nine years old. I split my time between my father and stepmother, and my biological mother and stepfather. This was the way it was for four years. I used to get really jealous over the other students around me, and would cry when I saw happy families joking and laughing together…When I was in first grade, I discovered Batman. This made all the difference in my outlook on things. It didn’t matter that I stuttered, had crooked teeth, or came from a broken home. What mattered the most was what I did with the opportunities presented to me. I sought to excel academically, as well as help others do the same.”
  • Fan site The One Ring is looking at its future as the Tolkien films end. “It’s important to remember that while the movies brought many of us to the writing of JRR Tolkien, and we are glad they did, millions of fans supported and loved Tolkien’s writing and the lifestyles and ethics described in them, for decades before the films came around. It was the pre-existing love of Tolkien that brought the founders and early staff together in the first place, before the first movie was released back in 2001. This popular support of Tolkien will continue to exist going forward, we believe for decades to come.”

What fannish legacies do you want to see preserved? Write about them in 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 Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.