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.
Speaking of fan influence, it’s no secret that fanfic writing is no longer a skeleton in a published author’s closet; your blogger is always excited to see denizens of traditional publishing talking about their fandoms past and present. “I have something to admit: I’ve read more fanfiction than actual fiction,” writes Brianna Robinson in Six Authors Weigh in on Fanfiction, Tropes and the Books That Were Inspired by Them, which might be the most relatable thing a journalist has said about fandom this year.
Seriously though, journalists writing about fandom are going to have to step up to keep up with this multi-author interview talking about the tropes they love, how fandom has inspired them, and basically constant discussion of enemies-to-lovers. Everyone loves enemies-to lovers, it looks like – there are 28594 fanfics in the enemies to lovers tag on AO3 and 74 have been posted or updated today. Wow, guys, you’ve all worked hard!
Finally, League of Legends developed Riot Games announced this week that their new project is called Valorant; it’s a first person shooter, it looks like a cross between Overwatch and CS:GO, and Polygon has a detailed breakdown in Valorant: Everything We Know About Riot Games’ New Shooter. Riot Games have been diving deep this year into lore, backstory and character design, and some character designs and concepts have been released already. We’re excited for the game – and we’re also excited for the fanart. Do you play multiplayer games, or are you here for the fandom goodness? Let us know in the comments!