This Week in Fandom

This Week in Fandom, Volume 126

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! With NaNoWriMo in full swing, how are your projects going? Feel free to groan, commiserate and celebrate in the comments!

First up today, the long-anticipated His Dark Materials TV series debuted on 3rd November, and the internet is in uproar over everything from Mrs Coulter’s outfits – worn by an exquisitely villainous Ruth Wilson –

to the surprise drop of a particular actor’s image in the most recent episode, indicating a future appearance (minor spoilers at the link!). Some commenters found the hustle to get this actor on board relatable; it seems like the “hot priest from Fleabag” label is going to be following Andrew Scott around at least until he makes a longer appearance in the HDM series.

Other fans were less happy about this character being introduced so early because it suggests there may be changes in the order of plot events from the book, but it looks like these differences were green-lit by Philip Pullman and the show will stay largely faithful to its source.

Meanwhile, Phillip Pullman tweeted about the 2007 film The Golden Compass and hinted that the new series won’t shy away from the book’s more challenging themes:

And lastly on this topic, despite the controversies around the Game of Thrones series and co-creators, it seems that its success may have cleared the way for more television with an epic scale and budget. In a press conference launching the show, His Dark Materials’ Executive Producer Jane Tanner discussed how the success of Game of Thrones allowed her to finally get her ‘passion project’ off the ground:

“I am a great believer that the timing often is right when it’s right…And I really had to wait for television to go epic, and for Game of Thrones to happen, and for myself to be working in Los Angeles for eight years, and to really see how you could build a large-scale television show.”

While we’re on the subject of book adaptations, Samantha Edmonds wrote for SyFy Wire about Good Omens, queer subtext and how adaptations can improve on the original in ‘How Fandom Made The Good Omens Miniseries Better (And Gayer) Than The Book’. Regardless of whether the book or the series is your personal favorite, it’s certainly noticeable that fandom spaces have been full of new Good Omens content since the series’ broadcast, as fans have responded to the showrunners’ decision to canonise the books’ queer subtext.

For those seeking even more of the internet’s favourite Ineffable Husbands, it’s worth noting that Neil Gaiman has published his original script, including many scenes featuring Aziraphale and Crowley that didn’t make the final cut.

And finally, GeekGirlCon was held this weekend in Seattle. Social media is full of cosplay photos:

The fandom podcast Fansplaining also recorded their first ever live episode at the convention (keep your ears pricked for it soon!), and we really hope someone does a writeup of the Research & Data Science in Fandom panel:

You can find more recaps on GeekGirlCon’s blog in the coming week.

Did you go to GeekGirlCon? Tell us all about it in the comments!

This Week in Fandom banner

This Week in Fandom, Volume 124

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, are you participating in Inktober this year? Or are you more focused on getting ready for NaNoWriMo? Maybe both? Let us know in the comments!

One of the big stories this week is the upcoming near-closure of Yahoo Groups. According to an article from The Daily Dot, “After [October 28], users won’t be able to upload any new content. Then on Dec. 14, virtually everything stored on Yahoo Groups (files, photos, links, polls, conversations, etc.) will be erased, although you’ll still be able to join and email groups—all of which will now be private. Basically you have two months to trawl through your old Yahoo Groups posts and save the important stuff.”

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OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Naomi Jacobs

From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

Naomi Jacobs is an interdisciplinary Research Fellow, whose work looks at how technology and society interact. In addition to her purely academic writing, she has also co-written two books in the Black Archive series, which takes critical looks at individual episodes of Doctor Who. The second of these (on Kerblam!) is due to be released in November 2019. Today, Naomi talks about her article in Transformative Works and Cultures on fan conventions.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

My first experience of fandom was in 1995, when I was about 14, and came about because I noticed a sign in a local gift shop. It was advertising a painting demonstration by Clarecraft, a company that made figurines of the characters from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. I’d had been reading these books avidly for a number of years, so of course went along.

The lovely lady I met that day was Isobel Pearson, who alongside her husband Bernard (known to Discworld fans as The Cunning Artificer) founded Clarecraft. She told me they were hosting a fan gathering in the summer at their headquarters in rural Suffolk, and encouraged me to come along. Attending that event was my introduction to Discworld fandom, and led to me attending (and eventually helping run) many conventions and events.

Around the same time, we got our first modem at home and I discovered the internet. I was also a big fan of The X-Files at the time, and found a forum where I made many friends, one of whom introduced me to the concept of fanfiction, and got me interested in the (at that time niche) fandom for Doctor Who. We’re still friends! Read More