This Week in Fandom, Volume 13

HBO’s Game of Thrones is a cultural phenomenon, and Caroline Siede believes that the show ‘has ushered in the golden age of internet fandom’. In a piece for Quartz, Siede explains how shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead have encouraged fans to create and share fan theories. These shows, as well as myriad others, have both official and unofficial podcasts where theories are discussed in detail, and fans take to the internet to debate and theorise. Some of the major fan theories about Game of Thrones have already proven true, and a few have been proven thoroughly false, but fans are waiting on some major reveals, like what happened at the Tower of Joy and whether we’ll ever get the sports event of the century (whatever century it is in Westeros and Essos, that is).

Of course, not all fans are focused on works with uncertain futures. Novelist Kristy Cambron wrote about ‘vintage fandom’ for Hypable, explaining why fans of works dating around the turn of the 20th century aren’t as visible as the rest of us:

You’re not likely to find us live-tweeting during a trapeze act in a modern circus arena.

You’ll miss us at social gatherings from time to time because we’re caught up in our living rooms with a glass of wine and a classic film noir on the TV. And you just might think that we’re extinct because vintage fandom has never been a hashtag you’ve seen #trending on social media.

But we’re here. Alive and well. Reading books like Water for Elephants and The Night Circus. Quietly making vintage-inspired dramas like Downton Abbey a worldwide sensation. And remembering our own childhood dreams through the wide-eyed gazes of our children and grandchildren.”

Are you a fan of vintage work? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment telling us how your favourite work hold up to today’s standards.

It may not qualify as ‘vintage,’ but Tales From The Crypt is certainly a blast from the past. The horror anthology show is being brought back to television by M. Night Shyamalan and will ‘incorporate data from the Wattpad community to pinpoint emerging horror subjects and sub-genres,’ according to Rolling Stone‘s Ryan Reed. Wattpad writers who contribute to the show’s material will ‘take part financially’ in the series, said Aron Levitz, head of Wattpad, but he hasn’t offered details. Any monitisation of fanwork tends to be considered controversial, and fanwork creators have a long history of exploitation by producers of commercial works, but Levitz is a fan himself and is well aware of the struggles our community faces. Do you think that Wattpad’s partnership with Tales From The Crypt will be good or bad for fanwork creators? Let us know in the comments.

We want your suggestions! If you have a story you think we should include, please contact us! Suggestions are welcome in all languages. Submitting a story doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a TWIF post, and inclusion of a story doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

This Week in Fandom
  1. Pg commented:

    These people were clearly not around for the between-books Harry Potter speculation.

  2. Major commented:

    Wow, no.

  3. You say vintage; I say hipster commented:

    Oh please. Modern, popular costume dramas can trend on social media like anything else can. Classic films are, by definition, classic: nobody thinks they’re obscure or unloved. There’s no such thing as “vintage” fandom. There are many, many, many people who like costume dramas or historical fiction and many, many, many people who like 40s films, 19thC novels, etc. The only organizing principle in that article seems to be that the writer wants to feel special.

  4. Tins commented:

    I agree that these are clearly opinion pieces but given otw seems to be promoting them without caveats, then are these also otw’s opinions? Fanlore is such a big part of otw, so I would really expect more fact checking when presenting views on “fandom history”.

    Why is Caroline Seide’s piece at all relevant enough to be plugged when it so clearly and obviously BS? Fans have been “taking to the internet” to “create and share fan theories” for as long as internet has existed. Star Trek, X-Files, BtVS, Harry Potter are all fandoms much MUCH larger proportionally at the time than GoT is today when it comes to fandomming and theorizing.

    Kristy Cambron is reading books published post-2000 (neither of the books mentioned are from the “20th century”) in her drawing room but its fandom because she’s drinking wine, what? I don’t get how that’s fandom – isn’t the community aspect what makes “being in fandom” different from “being a fan”?