A brief word on not being those crazy fans

I don’t know if I’ve made this clear or not, but I find people who take their fandom too seriously to be absolutely hilarious. As a Star Wars fan, I find it perplexing when other fans take up arms at any hint of irreverent criticism concerning the franchise. Are we not fans of the same fun, cheesy, flawed films? Because I don’t really have a problem admitting that the Star Wars movies (all six of them) are far from perfect. (And yes, the same goes – perhaps even more so – for the Expanded Universe. Embrace the pain! And chill out.)

So, naturally, I take great joy in Jezebel’s takedown of over-serious Twilight fans. Please, don’t let this happen to you. Do you see how ridiculous it looks? And while I’m not saying you have to lay down and take everything, it doesn’t hurt to laugh a little at the expense of what you love. Because, let’s face it – sometimes it just deserves it.

‘Fan fiction’ makes it to the dictionary!

The term ‘fan fiction’ is one of the new additions to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary. Here’s their definition, according to the Associated Press:

Fan fiction (1944): stories involving popular fictional characters that are written by fans and often posted on the Internet.

Other new words and phrases making the cut this year are ‘flash mob,’ ‘frenemy,’ ‘sock puppet,’ ‘vlog,’ and ‘webisode.’

Fanzine Archive acquired by University of Iowa

The University of Iowa Libraries, with the help of the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW,) has acquired The Fanzine Archive, a collection of 3,000 classic fanzines long managed by Mariellen (Ming) Wathne. The bulk of Ming’s collection are Star Wars titles originally collected by Lucasfilm themselves, a valuable cache of fandom and fanfic history. (You can read more about the collection’s history at Fanlore.)

OTW and UI are intent on securing even more ‘zines and documents as part of their Fan Culture Preservation Project.

Whatever happened to FanfiX?

For years, FanfiX.com was the fanfic archive for Star Wars fandom. The archive started in the late 90’s and was officially dubbed FanfiX.com with the domain purchase in 1997. And then, in 2003, it vanished, and people have been intermittently asking about it ever since. Wombat, one of the site archivists, gives her account.

While FanfiX could never completely archive all Star Wars fic online, particularly after the fandom explosion with TPM in 1999 and the growing popularity of self-upload archives like FanFiction.net during that same period, the loss was a striking blow to the SW fanfic community. Yes, you can still access it via the WayBack Machine, but the possibility was there for a central touchstone for the SW fanfic community.

Are all-encompassing archives like FanFiX or The Gossamer Project practical anymore? Are they even possible? Do we need them? Sometimes I wonder…