This Week in Fandom, Volume 78

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Apologies for our mini hiatus. We’re back now, and
we’re ready to rock and roll. But before we start, happy 87th birthday to William Shatner! To celebrate, fans on Twitter had some fun with the #AddShatnerToAnything hashtag. Which is your favourite?

A bit of sad news recently. Author and life-long fan Karen Anderson has passed away. As Locus Magazine reports, she was 85 years old, and she published numerous science fiction works both on her own and co-authored with her husband, Poul Anderson. She helped coin the term filk, and she was inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame in 2003.

Why not take a minute and add something to Karen’s Fanlore page to honour her memory?

There was an interesting development in the Pacific Rim fandom the other day. According to The Daily Dot, actor Charlie Day confirmed that a popular ship involving his character, Newton Geiszler, influenced his performance in the sequel, Pacific Rim: Uprising. The ship in question, frequently referred to as Newmann, pairs Newton with Hermann Gottlieb, a by-the-book (heh) foil to Newton’s more freestyle character.

At the Pacific Rim: Uprising premiere, Charlie Day explained how Newton Geiszler fared in the years between movies. “He’s been separated from Hermann, so he’s kind of not himself, he has no one keeping him real. And he misses the man that he’s in love with.”

“It sounds like you ship it, like half the internet,” said the interviewer.

“People have been shipping it, but I think they’re totally right,” Day said. “It completely informs the character. I honestly was thinking about it that way when I was acting through those scenes, and it’s so much more interesting. So thank you to the fans for writing along with the writers.”

The Daily Dot‘s article praises Charlie Day for his acknowledgement and appreciation of the ship without falling into the trap of queer baiting, saying that “he treated fans with respect. He thanked them for creating something that made his character more interesting and agreed the pairing made sense in context.”

Fans have been similarly happy with Charlie Day’s comments, going by Tumblr posts such as this one and this one:

Speaking of shipping, SyFy Wire published an article about how fanfiction for The Shape of Water is about more than just sex. The article includes an interview with AO3 user Lafaiette, author of the popular The Asset/Elisa Esposito piece Aqua. Lafaiette talks about “The respect the couple has for one another is their greatest strength. The sex, she says, is just a natural, positive starting element.”

“There are many fics focused on their sex scene, the one that was just hinted at in the movie,” Bardellini told SYFY WIRE in an email interview. “I believe it is an important element of what prompted so many fics to be written, but not the only one. The sex between Elisa and the creature is simply a way to explore something more complex: the great blessing of finding someone who truly understands and loves you and wants to spend every moment with you, even if they have to do so while slowly dying, cramped in a small bathtub.”

What do you think? Are you most focused the romance in this movie? Or on another element? Let us know in the comments!

Lastly, something a little different. Have you ever set up a Google Alert for Archive of Our Own? I have, and it can get some weird results. This week’s winner is an article from the website Construction Equipment about Volvo CE 3D printing replacement parts for their equipment. Just… Ok, then.

This Week in Fandom
  1. Aless commented:

    As a Pacific Rim fan, I was pleased to read Charlie Day’s comments. They are so unlike the comments I’ve heard from other actors. I hope they can explore the relationship further.