Culture

FriendFiction: Taking a Look at the Psychology behind RPF

February 11, 2016 // 0 Comments

If you’re familiar with the cartoon Bob’s Burgers, you may be aware of the oldest child’s obsession with writing “FriendFiction” because she ran out of fanfiction topics to write on. Tina Belcher has binders filled with stories starring her friends and classmates in elaborate fictional stories in which she often plays a key role. This isn’t just a figment of the show writers’ imaginations, real-person fiction is a real thing (I touched on the implications of real-person shipping //

Does Shipping Ruin Fandom?

February 9, 2016 // 2 Comments

If you’ve ever been in a fandom of any kind, you’ve probably noticed that animosity can occur between the shippers and the non-shippers. Most fans who aren’t into shipping just learn to tolerate or avoid it, but some take it very personally, claiming that it is ruining the fandom for them. In extreme cases, it causes people to leave a fandom entirely or even stop watching or reading something they used to like. Nowhere are these reactions better seen than in Tumblr confession blogs. These //

StormPilot and the Race to the Future of Slash

February 4, 2016 // 2 Comments

“StormPilot” – the wildly popular new slash ship from the new Star Wars: Force Awakens film – has taken both fandom and the mainstream media by storm. Articles abound in mainstream press outlets about the pairing, discussing with all seriousness its genuine popularity and the possibility of its canonization. While pieces like this historically were often a not so subtle dig at the strange, exotic customs of those subcultural oddities – the fangirls and boys and people of the world – //

The Trouble With Genderswap

January 31, 2016 // 4 Comments

Genderswap stories proliferate in fandom: from Harriet Potter to Jeanne Picard to Shirley Holmes. The genre gained a foothold during the early 1990s, when queer fanfiction surged in popularity due to its transition from print-based zines to online. One of the most influential genderswap fics is My Fair Jeanne (Ruth Gifford, 1995), a Star Trek: The Next Generation fic in which Captain Picard is transformed into a woman by the alien trickster known as Q. By definition, genderswap fanfiction //

The Demise of Fandom on Tumblr

December 2, 2015 // 2 Comments

If you have an account on Tumblr—and if you’re involved with fandom, you probably do—you might have noticed a few unsettling changes: replies are gone, tracked tags are now tracked searches, and there’s more recommended content than curated content on your dash. Who is this person posting about this ship I don’t like? I don’t need to buy shoes. That is the ugliest looking video game I have ever seen in my life! That’s what browsing Tumblr feels like now. And //

Fanfiction: A Worldwide Phenomenon

November 25, 2015 // 1 Comment

Fanfiction recently hit mainstream media thanks in part to E. L. James and her erotica series, 50 Shades of Grey, which began as a BDSM Twilight spinoff. Among the many conversations held over the last several years, fanfiction legality and legitimacy are issues that have been raised repeatedly. The Wall Street Journal even did an article in 2012 about best-selling authors who began their career with the help of fanfiction. But beyond the USA, fanfiction can also be found in other parts of the //

What Does it Mean When my Kid Ships Something?

November 15, 2015 // 4 Comments

“I ship JohnLock.” If you’re hearing those words, or similar ones, in your house lately, you may be wondering what exactly it means. What is shipping anyway? It’s certainly nothing to panic about. The word, ship, is short for relationship, and when someone ‘ships someone, it just means that they would like to see them hook up. It’s generally intended for fictional characters; my example above relates to the BBC show Sherlock and my belief that John Watson is in love with //

The Public Domain and the Building of a Mythos

November 8, 2015 // 1 Comment

How many shows on the air right now feature a sleuthing modern day protagonist named Sherlock Holmes? How many times have you seen the story of Peter Pan retold in the last year alone? How many literary classics have been “updated” with passages that include anything from limb-rending zombies to bodice-ripping Byronic heroes? How is this possible? Why for the love of God do you have to put up with it? How can you get in on it? It’s the public domain, baby. It’s where //