Monday, September 1, 2014
Anonymous said: I'm a professional-type person in my mid-20s and would never confess to anyone I know that I read fanfiction, because of the inevitable stigma (it's like porn, but with emotions for teenage girls which is FUCKED up but not a hill I care to die on). I don't see you have trouble with any of that--your real name is attached to this blog, and you've made a career out of it with Big Bang Press. Do you just not encounter that, or do you have a specific way of brushing off the haters?
i’ve never really experienced any stigma attached to fandom. like, i was a relatively nerdy teen, but all of my friends knew about fanfic because Harry Potter and the LOTR movies came out while we were in high school. my parents were aware of my fandom hobbies and their only real objection was “why don’t you spend more time studying.” then as an adult, people either know about fanfic already, or they find the idea interesting when i tell them about Big Bang Press, or it just doesn’t come up in conversation. if it comes up, it comes up, you know? and it’s highly unlikely to come up in a conversation with your 40-year-old male boss, or whatever.
obviously this kind of thing is dependent on your surroundings, though. i’m lucky to have built a career around fan culture, and to have friends who don’t find that weird. but even when i was working in totally everyday jobs, there were still people there who read fanfic or used tumblr or whatever. it’s pretty mainstream now. for example, in my last call centre job i sat next to a guy who wrote pokemon fanfic (or maybe it was transformers, i can’t remember), and he just brought it up in conversation organically.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Monday, August 25, 2014
auslandischwasser said: Hello! After a long period of creative dormancy, I've found fandom to be enormously empowering and invigorating. Yours is one of my favorite fandom blogs, so thank you for what you give back to fan culture. I was wondering how you got into fandom, and where you envision yourself going with it in the future.
hi! :) i’m glad you’re enjoying my blog! <33 what a lovely message.
I got into fandom thru Harry Potter when I was about 11, but I was always kinda nerdy and so are my parents, so it was probably inevitable. As for the future… Well, I’m the managing editor of a small press that publishes original novels by fanfic writers, and our first book is coming out later this year!
Friday, August 15, 2014
“Worldcon is like a family reunion,” said longtime convention-goer and fanzine writer Curt Phillips, at a panel about the 72-year history of the World Science Fiction Convention.
After a few days at Worldcon, I could only agree. It was indeed like being at a family reunion, in that it felt like you were spending your time with elderly relatives. You might want to talk to them and listen to their stories, but you’ll have to tolerate some offensive and outdated opinions along the way.
The program organizers were obviously aware of the issues presented by Worldcon’s aging population. However, during discussions about how to attract a new generation the convention, I’d hear people talking about how the Internet is isolating and incomprehensible—or how it lacked the personal touch of fanzine mailing lists.
One audience member asked what had happened to slash fanfic. Why didn’t he see it in fanzines any more? What made it die out? Apparently he was unaware of the vast quantity of slashfic being posted online, including in older fandoms like Star Trek, which long ago made the jump from print to Internet.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Vote for our panel! And a few others, too!
Every year, South BY Southwest (SXSW) brings tech companies, content providers, nonprofits and thousands of others to Austin, TX to talk about tech, content, privacy, interaction and so much more.
This year, FYC’s heidi8, along with flourish and wordplaying, have submitted a panel proposal on How Not to Irk Your Fandom. If it’s selected, they’ll be talking about interactions between fandoms and The Powers That Be - or Those Who Want To Control Fandom - where things have gone terribly wrong and where things have been reasonably right. They’ll also share some Best Practices for how to keep glitches to a minimum and develop positive fan/creator interactions. As a sociologist, a transmedia producer and an attorney, they bring three diverse perspectives to the discussion.
You can also vote for flourish - along with Henry Jenkins and theorlandojones - who have a film panel proposal at http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/42402 - you do have to register to vote, but it’s easy and they don’t spam.
(And if you can reblog/share the link, we would really appreciate it!)
Other friends that have panels up for consideration:
1. Andrew Slack of thehpalliance has an SXSWEDU panel on Super Heroes for Social Justice
2. bookshop, Alexandra Edwards, Yashoda Sampath and Amber Gordan have a proposal on fan/creator interactions from the fan and platform perspectives.
3. jaybushman is part of a proposal on funding webserieses.
4. Megan Westerby, Cory Lubovitch of the-real-team-starkid, Sarah Weichel and Rae Votta hope to present on the state of YouTube.
Do a search on just the word “fan” to know why the panels on fan/producer relations are so, so important. Every other panel is on how to monetize fandom, seriously.
She’s not joking. As I said on Monday, if you search for the actual word “fandom” SXSW returns only 13 results, among which are some of the panels on this list. But if you look at the “fan engagement" tag, you get nine hundred results about how to tap into fandom culture in order to get a) money or b) free content from fans.
It’s a HEAVILY exploitative environment peopled mostly by the very social media and marketing people who will take away the wrong lessons about what fandom has to offer them unless they’re presented with fans representing themselves, and this is why it’s really important to stop and take a moment to vote for the people on this list.
Our panel is called “The No-Bullshit Guide to Interacting With Fandom,” and it’s very, very similar to Heidi and Flourish’s, in that it also addresses the pitfalls of marketing to and interacting with fandom, and yes, best practices for how not to make an ass of yourself. Our panel features an Emmy winning Jane Austen fan, a brilliant social media marketer, and the person who made all of Tumblr want to go to Dennys.
Please vote for all of us!
Friday, August 1, 2014
Singer-songwriter Vienna Teng may not seem like an obvious geek culture icon, but she’s found a new audience through an unlikely source: fanvidding.
Fanvids have been around for decades, usually taking the form of clips from TV shows and movies set to a carefully chosen song. The best ones take days or weeks to make and are highly skilled endeavours, using clever editing and song choices to make a point, whether it’s something as simple as “I love Star Trek and so should you” or “Jeff and Annie from Community are in love,” to more complex issues like pointing out the racist subtext in Firefly. There are whole conventions dedicated to vidding, but relatively few fanvids find an audience outside of online fandom. “Starships” is one that went viral, a brilliant and easily accessible celebration of sci-fi spaceships.
You can make a fanvid to any soundtrack, but Vienna Teng’s songs seem to pop up in every major fandom of the past 10 years. In a way her music has spread like a meme, passing from person to person.
When she released an album under a Creative Commons license last year, a group of fanvidders decided to take the whole thing and make it into a multifandom fanvid concept album: Aims. The resulting project includes political commentary, abstract concepts like a vid about “infrastructure,” and more traditionally emotional vids like this uplifting take on Pacific Rim…
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Steve and Bucky share an apartment. They are poor, so poor. The temperature is mentioned at least once (either too hot or too cold). The fact that they live in Queer Brooklyn and know queerness exists is mentioned. Some extra with an Irish or Italian name or veeeery occasionally a Jewish name is mentioned in passing. No other groups lived in New York in this time. It is a fact. If the person has an accent and just came over and only Steve in all of New York is ever kind to them, even better. If Steve gets beat up trying to defend them from Racists, even better than that. Steve gets beat up in an alley defending at least one marginalized person. Steve is also listed as defending women in bars. Bucky does not work in underpaid alley and bar defense. Bucky works by the docks. Underpaid. But always by the docks. Forever the docks. Brooklyn is 99% docks. Bucky works for Steve. Steve was and/or is sick. Steve is so incredibly good despite his sickness. Bucky cannot take his goodness. They say at least one movie catchphrase: ‘pal’, or ‘to the end of the line,’ but probably ‘punk.’ Punk. Punk. Punk. This is a queer phrase, did you know? Bucky maybe dates a girl or seven; who she is and whether they in fact know anyone else in the world is irrelevant. She is maybe a lesbian anyway which we all saw coming because this is Queer Brooklyn. Steve perhaps pines for Bucky but mostly Steve is Good. Bucky thinks about how he is going to afford the rent with all this Depression and also Steve’s sickness.
FFA writes a fanfic, part 2.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
I first wound up in a panel of women who do fan art and fan fiction surrounding the current TV incarnation of Teen Wolf. And you know what they were like? They were a lot like every other panel of geeky young writers I’ve ever seen. They spoke intelligently and thoughtfully about writing and creativity and what they like and don’t like to make art about. They talked about the responsibility they feel when they write about mental illness and thoughtfully chewed over the idea of creating transgender characters to add to what’s sort of a preexisting universe. They rolled their eyes at a video that was circulating in which Teen Wolf actors were placed on the spot and asked to read fan fiction aloud for yuks, shrugging it off as a cheap effort to make actors uncomfortable on camera and get them to dump on their own fans.
Linda Holmes, an NPR writer who apparently stumbled into our panel last Friday totally by accident and said the nicest words ever uttered about me and my six new best friends by a total stranger (via magneticwave)