This Week in Fandom, Volume 91

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, have you liked the OTW’s Facebook page? If you enjoy the stories in TWIF, you’ll enjoy and sometimes recognize the stories we share on Facebook, too!

Two such stories are a recent article from The Guardian and an article from The Straits Times, both of which include interviews with Naomi Novik, a novelist and one of the OTW’s founders. Novik, who just published Spinning Silver, her latest novel, spoke at length in the interviews about her love for fanfiction.

The Guardian article includes this observation:

“I believe that all art, if it’s any good, is in dialogue with other art,” Novik says. “Fanfiction feels to me like a more intimate conversation. It’s a conversation where you need the reader to really have a lot of detail at their fingertips.”

And The Strait Times article mentions the community aspect of fanfiction:

“What I love about fanfiction is that it is a peer community where all of you are telling stories about characters that none of you owns,” she says over the phone from New York, where she lives. “Nobody has the right to authority, and because of that, everybody has a right to tell whatever story they want, and they are all equally probable.”

What’s your favourite thing about fanfiction? Let us know in the comments!

In other news, an executive producer of Voltron: Legendary Defender, Joaquim Dos Santos, has been talking to the fandom about the show. Warning for spoilers at the links ahead!

According to an article on the subject by Polygon, after the reveal at SDCC that Shiro is gay and previously had a boyfriend, the way the seventh season played out that element has some fans claiming that the storyline was an example of queerbaiting and the “bury your gays” trope, with Shiro’s ex-boyfriend, Adam, being killed after their relationship was only discussed, not demonstrated.

In response, Joaquim Dos Santos published an open letter to the fandom on Twitter. In it, he apologized for the queerbaiting element, claiming that it was unintentional. He also explained that with regards to the “bury your gays” trope, Adam’s death served a narrative purpose, and thus they “hoped against hope” that the story would not be read as using the problematic trope.

Fan reaction has been largely unmoved. Some fans have been making bitter jokes about the situation, while others have been creating AU fanworks of what they wish had happened. Jigabachi, a commenter on the Polygon article had this to say: “Every team thinks that they’ll be the exception to the “bury your gays” trope because they have super good reasons, guys.”

What do you think? Are you knee-deep in AU fix-it fic? Will you be watching the eighth and final season? Do you not care and just want some fancy robots? Let us know in the comments!

Lastly, a bit of present-day nostalgia. According to an article by the Fansided site Wizards and Whatnot, in the Harry Potter fandom, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin are still two of the most popular characters to write fanfic about. While it’s unclear where the site got this data, the source of inspiration for the fanfic is fairly obvious:

It might just be that most of us ship Sirius Black with happiness and a lot of time that happiness comes with Remus but still, we also ship it because the two have a mutual love of one another that almost doesn’t exist in the series otherwise.

If we had a Marauders series, we could explore their dynamic more and maybe even come up with answers about how they interact. But since J.K Rowling is dragging her feet, the amount of Sirius Black and Remus Lupin fanfiction and fan art isn’t a shock.

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

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