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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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January 14 2009

Jane talks about BSG and its debt to Buffy fandom. In an interview with Newsarama, Jane Espenson talks about fandom from Buffy to BSG. (And a nice description of Star Trek fandom later on.)

I've never figured out how the Trekkers were able to do it with their sticks-and-bones interwebs. Heck, they didn't even have home computers. Talk about grassroots fandom...
Fandoms do owe a lot to Star Trek. *snuggles to her communities and fics* And every new fandom takes from the one before it... it's a giving world :)
Ms. Jane's just-concluded webiseries awed me well because .
Fandoms have always existed, but the web has expanded them in terms of space & time:
- Space: fans can talk world-wide now vs. only locally
- Time: fans can track events in real-time vs. delayed by mail, etc.
Before the internet we wrote fanzines and got organised by sending each other letters and packages. I'm not sure why that would seem difficult in hindsight, it was easy and incredibly exciting to get mail from far away places. I spent most of my time either at the post office, or running down to my mailbox to see if the postman had come yet.
Yeah, I don't think that people often stop to realize that this is just the extension of what came before. Fandom uses the tools available to it. Before the internet it was mail/zines and conventions. Someone actually asked us about this at the Paley Panel, an old fan of radio serials and such. Not to get too precious, I think that everyone should pause for a moment and remember that people you are responding to on Whedonesque are from all over the world; even the moderation/administration staff are separated by hundreds or thousands of miles.
As far as Doctor Who went, we also had local chapter meetings where people would gather once a month to talk about the show and watch care packages from England.

Though we still have monthly Buffy and Firefly meetings, and still talk about shows. And Doctor Who Tavern too.
Back during the Beauty and the Beast fandom, the wonderful Nan Dibble used to run a hotline that you could call and get all the latest fandom news.

It was surreal to run across her again decades later in the Spike fandom. May she rest in peace.
Indeed. Her Angel reviews were a joy to read.
Great read. Always love hearing from Jane. :)

I'm so excited for Friday!
I remember the Farscape fandom as being one of the most tight-knit group of people I've ever had the pleasure of speaking to, and being counted among their numbers. There was a lot of commonality, regardless of where you lived, and because Farscape was very much a U.S. show as much as it was an Australian show (Aussie actors, shooting in Australia) there was more international flavor to it. And since then, Firefly has been the most tight-knit group. I've been to a few of the CSTS screenings, and it's just been so fun. And Firefly affected my life in a way that other fandoms haven't, and I was able to use some of the music (from both Firefly and Serenity) in my wedding. And all of our friends were like "That's from Firefly!!" It was a lot of fun, sort of a wink at our fellow fans.
Pointy, that description of the webisodes is frakking perfect.
It's not so much what that fans did back then that I'm confused at as how they ever got in touch in the first place. How did they hear about the fanzines? Who established that first chapter meeting? It all seems based on a chance reading of an extremely small ad in the back of a published magazine that may have 20 local readers. I just wish I had been open to such things back then. :)
I found out about Doctor Who fandom from a blub about The Doctor Who Information Network in the back of a DW hardcover. That lead to chapter meetings, editing the newzine, going to Star Trek conventions (and of course Doctor Who cons)... Beauty and the Beast I found out about through a little blurb in the newspaper because they were putting together a living chess game.

Fans will find fans.
My first fandom was DIY punk and in those days it was all by (worldwide) snail mail. That anticipation of the postie dropping a fat jiffy bag through the letterbox was fun.
cabri, in the case of music fandom, yes there were ads in music magazines which were read a lot more than they are now, and they were read world wide. Also, bands would put out official 'zines that would have lists of fanzines and people looking for penpals. Again, world wide. Fanclubs would advertise their conventions in magazines, on the radio, flyers, etc.
Wow. It seems too unreal that fandoms existed before I became aware. It's fascinating to hear about all of this. I wish I was there... I love mail. Or I did, when I didn't have bills.

So... BSG is THIS Friday? I thought it started on February 13th, along with Dollhouse. I'm glad to know, so I can record. I'm still catching up on the series.
I seem to recall subrscribing to a newsletter. That's how I found the fanzines and hotline. However, I have no idea how I found the newsletter.

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