I was delighted to see a discussion of fan lit! I've only had access to
the Internet for a few weeks. To say I was disappointed with the level
of discussion on STREK-L is an understatement.
I'd like to comment on Henry and Andrea's remarks...
Henry, I haven't read your book yet, but a friend has it and I'm going
to pick it up this weekend. I have gotten some feedback from some fans
on it. The K.S. person you mentioned in your discussion of songtapes
lives here in Houston. She has done some excellent work also in Professionals.
She also writes and is interested in the social structure of fandom. If
you'd like to contact her, let me know and I'll send you her address. IO
also know the L.B. you mentioned. She was not happy to be included.
You are absolutely right about the difference between zine fans/cons and
pro cons and the fans who attend them. I have found the same difference
between zine fans and the people who interact on the nets.
Andrea -- you are seriously overestimating the importance of the stars
in the fan writing. I haven't read much QL, but I've seen the bleed over
in other fandoms. For example, Lewis Collins (Bodie in the Professionals)
said in an inteview that Animal was his favorite Muppet. Lo and behold,
Bodie is mentioned liking Animal in some BAD pros stories. This is just
bad writing, not an example of fixating on the stars. I've been in zine
fandom for 13 years. For the last 12 years I wouldn't have minded if
Shatner and Nimoy had been struck by a meteoroid. They are more an
embarrassment than idols. Doohan et.al. are pathetic, especially when
whining about being typecast -- a quick test -- what has the cast of
Land of the Giants done since the '60s? Nichols and the rest are LUCKY
to have done Star Trek instead of some long-forgotten series. Writers
that bring in characteristics of the actors either think it is cute
or they are unable to develop their own characters.
Academics and Fandom -- Okay, at first it was a rush, a little validation
from the outside world goes a long way, especially after your father
asks if you are still writing "those little star trek stories" as if
you were writing to Tiger Beat for David Cassidy's likes and dislikes.
Now, when I see a questionaire, I usually ignore it. Why? Because you
guys are still missing it.
When the local media covers a SF convention what ends up on the evening
news? A picture of a woman in a bizarre harem costume which is much too
small for her followed by an interview with a 19 year-old Trekkie with
a phaser and a comic book. I don't know who you people are talking to,
but I think your sample is suffering from the same skew. Camille-Bacon
Smith did a fairly good job with the Illinois crowd, but from reading
the Houston section I know exactly who she got most of her input from
and it wasn't from the zine producing crowd. She got as far as zine
readers, but she didn't get the writers.
The next complaint I have deals with the feminist version of fandom.
These authors found what they wanted to find. But that is what fandom
is all about. Yes, there are conservative fans. There are hetero fans.
There are homosexual fans. Zine writing was not started as a political
protest. I am very proud that the zine scene is by women and for women,
but to go back and pretend that slash stories were written for any other
reason that the premise was erotic as hell is just revisionist history.
As I said earlier, I've been in zine fandom for 13 years. I co-edited
Out of Bounds (a series of 5 K/S zines in the early 80's, written K/S
and am currently writing in the Professionals universe. Fandom for me
has been a way to meet people. I don't go to class reunions or keep in
contact with childhood friends. I have fan friends and I have real
friends I made through fandom. I have friends who have gaffiated to
other fandoms, so fandom itself rather than a particular show is our
A friend and I are trying to get a bulletin board up and running that
will act as a story archive and a focus of discussions. Not enough people
have access to the Internet to try and do it this way.
I was amused by "Sue's" comment on the field getting crowded. I think
you guys have just formed your own fandom. You'll use what fits what
you set out to find, ignore the rest, declare us "solved", then move
Henry, I'm looking forward to reading your book. I called a friend who
has read it and she said your wife was a fan, so maybe your perspecitive
will be less political. Now, if you aren't married, you'll have an
example of a fan network communication breakdown.
I hope this hasn't rambled on. I hate the e-mail editor I'm stuck with
Once I've begun a sentence, there's no turning back. I'm probably dumping
a lot of my academic trek frustration where it doesn't belong. I promise
to be more rational in the future. This isn't a hobby you people are
dissecting, fandom premeates my life, so I tend to be defensive.
Thanks for listening,
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