This Week In Fandom

This Week In Fandom, Volume 138

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! First of all, did you see this grandma enthusing about how much she loves Jimin from BTS? Fandom is for everyone! And if any of your grandparents are in a fandom, share it with us in the comments!

Speaking of BTS, their new album Map of the Soul: 7 and latest single On are breaking records and topping charts all over the world. See Vox’s latest article BTS Just Landed an Unprecedented Spot on the Hot 100 — With Virtually No Radio Play if you want to nerd out about chart positions and find links to dance choreography videos and more behind the scenes content. Most notable, though, is how successful BTS have been in western markets like the US despite “the wall of industry gatekeeping” that denies promotion and airtime to overseas artists:

“An international band, singing mainly in a language other than English or Spanish, landing this high on the chart without the influence of mainstream radio suggests a powerful cultural change. More people are finding their way to the band independently, and traditional industry promotional methods are becoming less effective than ever.”

Writes Aja Romano. If you’re a fan of international music, this can only be good news. Read More

This Week In Fandom

This Week In Fandom, Volume 137

Hello and welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things that are happening! Before we get stuck in, did you see these very cute fandom-themed pregnancy announcements from Florida blogger Grace Navarro? She posted a different one each week throughout her pregnancy! Do you have a favourite? Let us know in the comments!

In an effortless segue from birth to death, the first news item that we have for you guys today is an article from the Atlantic. In ‘How to Murder Harry Potter’, journalist Kaitlyn Tiffany explores something that she calls “deathfic”: ‘the kind of fan fiction in which a beloved character dies, typically in a way that is as painful for the reader as possible.’

Some fan experts questioned the breadth of Tiffany’s working definition:

But however esoteric the categorisation, we did find the article respectful of the works and readers it explores; and in consequence, the conclusions at which Tiffany arrives feel valid. She finds that such stories serve a number of purposes. Some writers use them ‘to give a beloved character the mourning that the commercial narrative didn’t have time for’; others to ‘sort out experiences from their own life’. In the end, she concludes, it comes down to control: deathfic ‘stuns the system and then allows an easy exit’. Sometimes, that’s what we need. 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