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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

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This Week in Fandom, Volume 117

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things that are happening! It was San Diego Comic-Con last week, which brought us a lot of news about upcoming movies and TV – but before we get to that, did everybody watch the trailer for Tom Hooper’s Cats? Will you ever be the same again? Feel free to process your feelings in the comments.


Okay – on to Comic-Con. Marvel Studios took advantage of their Hall H panel on 20 July to announce more details about their upcoming Disney+ streaming series, cast details for some movies that we knew were coming, and some new titles which hadn’t been revealed before. Highlights included news that Natalie Portman will rejoin the MCU for the fourth Thor movie, Love and Thunder, written and directed by Thor: Ragnarok‘s Taika Waititi. In a storyline based on Jason Aaron’s Thor: God of Thunder comics, Portman’s character Jane Foster will be wielding Mjolnir as ‘female Thor’. Read More