Hello and welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things that are happening. Before we get started, did you know that this week marks one year since the Game of Thrones season finale? Yes, it has been an extremely long year. In any case, fans marked the occasion on Twitter with exactly the enthusiasm that those of us who do remember those dusty days of 2019 might expect.
Disconcerting times for many of us this week as the New York Times published an article about the Omegaverse (or ‘wolf-kink erotica’, as the headline writer has it). The (paywalled) piece, which includes interviews with OTW staffers Rebecca Tushnet and Kristina Busse, addresses the topic in the context of a lawsuit brought by one romance novelist, Zoey Ellis, against another, Addison Cain. Cain issued DMCA takedown notices against Ellis’s work, costing her (Ellis says) money and readership, on the basis of plot similarities which will be very familiar to anybody who’s dipped a toe (or indeed, a whole joyful limb) into the waters of A/B/O:
In both books, Alpha men are overpowered by the scent of Omega heroines and take them hostage. In both books, the women try and fail to suppress their pheromones and give in to the urge to mate. In both books, the couples sniff, purr and growl; nest in den-like enclosures; neck-bite to leave “claim” marks; and experience something called “knotting,” involving a peculiar feature of the wolf phallus.