This is my third post in what has become a series about non-traditional ways of participating in fandoms.
Do you have to read/watch all of a series to call yourself a fan?
Very few people who like the Avengers have actually read all the comic books. Not many Doctor Who fans have seen all 26 seasons of the classic series. Do you know any Skyrim fans who have played Elder Scrolls #1?
But fans get less of a break when the fandom has a smaller time investment.
I usually have to read/watch a story to completion, but here are some exceptions (besides Avengers and Doctor Who of course
-Naruto (Gave up when it refused to end)
-Dune (Does it count that that I read everything by the author, but not any of the later books?)
-Ender’s Game (I finished reading Bean’s series, but not Ender’s)
-Doctor Who (I started with the new series, but I actually recommend people with only a casual interest start at season 5. It’s a good introduction, and you’ll catch up sooner.)
-Blade (I started with the third one first and still haven’t seen them all yet.)
What about you? Did you start watching Star Wars with the prequel trilogy? Did you only play Mass Effect 3? Share your unconventional fandom experiences in the comments.
A few days ago I started watching Fullmetal Alchemist. (An anime about two crippled brothers who travel the world, trying to heal themselves after their attempt to ressurrect their mother went horribly wrong.)
It aired almost ten years ago.
Yesterday I was watching a hilarious YouTube video that combined “Trouble with Tribbles” with Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble”. A commenter lamented the spoiler because they were in the middle of watching the original Star Trek for the first time and hadn’t gotten to that episode yet.
Star Trek aired almost fifty years ago.
I still haven’t read Game of Thrones or played Mass Effect, but I expect to adore both of them.
And I’m sure that’s the case for a lot of people…more than we usually realize. Which fandoms have you arrived “late” to? Did you manage to enjoy the fandom and still finish the story relatively spoiler-free?
My biggest frustration about discovering “ancient” fandoms is that I usually have very few people to share it with. Plenty of people will acknowledge that it’s awesome, but they’ve already experienced it and moved on years ago.
I was on Netflix yesterday, and saw that Sherlock (BBC) was still on my instant queue…which of course gave me a strong pang of “Geez I miss this show–hurry up and film season 3 already!”
After thinking about it for a while, I thought of all the shows/books/games/etc. I’m currently most interested in (Doctor Who, Sherlock, The Hobbit, Dragon Age) and then I realized that what they all have in common is that I haven’t experienced the end of the story yet.
Stories I like just as much but have “finished” already (such as Firefly and Deep Space 9) just can’t seem to capture my imagination as vividly as they used to.
Is this because “ongoing” stories are more fresh in my mind? Or is it because a corner of my mind is just desperate to know what happens? Am I not really affected by either, but since the rest of the online community is, I’m more drawn to active fandoms?
What are your experiences watching/reading/playing the end of a favorite story? What happens when you become less interested in a favorite story?
Do those questions answer each other?
What are your thoughts and experiences with writing and reading fanfiction?
I write fanfiction (mostly short stories) whenever I’m inspired with an idea–either a parody or an interesting scenario. Most of my recent stories have been inspired by a jewelry piece. And I don’t plan most of those stories–they appear suddenly and demand that I wait to post the jewelry until I’ve finished writing the story.
The Loki staff necklace was a birthday present for my sister, so I was inspired to write a story where Loki steals the flying aircraft carrier as a birthday present for himself. For the evil snitch necklace, I wrote a few paragraphs about Draco Malfoy learning of a deadly change to the rules of Quidditch. The last one was mostly for myself. I was miffed at how the Star Wars Old Republic franchise took the storyline from the last game to the MMORPG. So I fixed it.
I occasionally read fanfiction if I have an idea it will be good–either from a recommendation or a well-written pitch from the author.
Two I’m enjoying right now:
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Aunt Petunia married a math professor instead of Uncle Vernon, and Harry Potter is raised as a scientist by a loving family. When he gets to Hogwarts, he brilliantly combines magic and science while lamenting the lack of rational thinking among wizards…and that’s not nearly half the reason this is one of the best stories I’ve ever read.
Ensign Sue Must Die
The origin of the term “Mary Sue” was a character in a Star Trek fanfiction. So this fancomic starts with Old Spock warning Reboot Spock about Reboot Mary Sue. Once she shows up, the exasperated crew tries to figure out how to get rid of her. (As an added bonus, the sequel features the Tenth Doctor and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock.)
Speaking of Mary Sues, what are your thoughts? (I can hardly blog about fanfiction without mentioning them, right?)
I think an overpowered character with an overdramatic past/origin can be redeemed if they’re given flaws, an interesting personality, and if they’re challenged properly. If the average superhero appeared in a novel, he/she would probably be classified as a Mary Sue if , but what makes comic books balance out is the addition of the supervillain.