You know what we’ve been thinking about?
We’ve been thinking about fandom. About the way it’s perceived, and the way it’s talked about. About its internal politics and its pitfalls; its criticisms and its compliments.
We’ve been thinking, too, about the things that fandom has to say.
It’s easy to forget that the notion of an “original story” is a twentieth-century construction. That before the age of “new ideas” was the age of “old ideas told new”, when stories spent hundreds of years talking to each other. Crawling around the muck and forest paths, picking up each other’s stains and fallen thorns; chattering like crickets in the weeds. Romeo and Juliet were just newer, hipper, (teenage angstier) versions of Tristan and Isolde. Paradise Lost was the AU that made Christianity’s most infamous villain into an anti-hero. And even Geoffrey Chaucer was guilty of a little self-insertion now and then.
Fanfiction and interactive culture are talked about as if they have no precedent. But in fact, the only thing unprecedented about today’s fans and their works is the scale. The utter ease with which fan-media and revisionings are exchanged.
Fans don’t need silver spoons or rooms of their own anymore. Just a keyboard and an internet connection.
We’ve been thinking hard, my cohort and I, about how all of today’s stories are just as talkative as yesterday’s. And we’ve been thinking about how fandom is not only listening; it’s talking back. We’ve been thinking about all the conversations going on, right now, that we can’t hear, and how great would it be to sit down at those conversations. Or to make some of our own? To go somewhere clean and quiet, with high walls, where we can actually hear each other talk and speak with other fans. We’ve been thinking: wouldn’t it be great if the conversation actually was a conversation? And not a war, or ten-sided conflict?
We’ve been thinking about stories, because stories are what we love. And we’ve been thinking about fandom, because fandom is where those stories speak.
And you know what else we’ve been thinking?
That maybe you’ve been thinking about it too.
So let’s talk.
**FIC is a new project that aims to be an online zine of professional caliber for meta fan-writings. A meta-zine if you will (no, sorry—forgive us). The first issue will cover the topic of Castiel as a divisive character in the CW show Supernatural, exploring his positive or negative effects on the mythos and the theatrical narrative of the story. Put simply: “Winchester Bros vs Team Free Will.”
The open call for submissions begins December 21st and ends January 18th. A submissions post with more details, word count, and guidelines will be published on December 20th.