The November / December 2009 issue of Horn Book Magazine has an article about fanfiction:
In Defense of Fanfiction by Becca Schaffner
As you may remember, Carlie Webber and I wrote an article about Fanfic called When Harry Met Bella for School Library Journal in August. Schaffner references that article: "On the other hand, more well-intentioned efforts like School Library Journal’s August 1, 2009, article on fanfiction cover the mechanical basics of fanfic writing and culture and try to relate them to something more traditional and tangible — that is, the print world whose value we take as a given." Schaffner's piece is more of a personal essay than the SLJ article. Whatever your level of participation in fandom (not at all, "hey so that's what I was writing in High School," or you're a BNF), it's a great article to read.
On a kinda related point: Schaffner makes the point that fandom is about the community.
And I've had a few real life conversations with people about the similarities between fandom and book bloggers. And I've seen others online who see this also. At YA Fabulous, Renay wrote: A big part of the book community is that it’s still a very new fandom, and the fandom I am a part of is definitely not young anymore, so half the time I see the drama llamas flying through the tubes and I’m like, “Oh! How sweet! ALL GROWN UP AND HAVING ITS FIRST WANK!” Or I’ll watch BNFs throw hissy fits or bribe readers with giveaways because they’re not The Center of Attention and Worshiped By The Masses and I think, “Boy, this reminds me of something! Oh right, wait, I’ve seen this before….10,000 times.” It's part of a footnote at a post at YA Fabulous.
Thoughts? Is it like a fandom? Or is it just like any other community, especially a community with no real rules?
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