Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth


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“I was a geek in high school. I was part of the science fiction club. It was all guys. I wrote stories for ‘zines. They were only available at the cons, or by mail. It was all very underground.” This is a typical story; the old timers nod their heads in proud recognition. The girls and the boys mixed uneasily, the fanfiction often separating their fannish inclinations. Many fans say that the creative output of the women has always far outpaced that of the men. The nature of the production was different too: much of fanfic was and is overtly sexual, often in ways that subvert the dominant culture.

Take, for example, slash fiction—the fanfic that puts two male characters in a sexual relationship, denoted by a slash mark (for example: Spock/Kirk). Slash is a large part of the fanfiction phenomenon, and one that has been studied intensely by a variety of university researchers. “It makes for a lively conference presentation,” one sociologist tells me dryly. Researcher Kristina Busse writes regularly and cogently on the often uneasy state of relations between male/female and professional/amateur in fandoms, citing the uniquely collaborative nature of fanfiction creation and consumption as creating a nurturing female space (although she does say that this analysis only tells ‘part of the story’).

Move Over Alpha Geeks, Here Come the Fangrrls. Via MeFi.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 20, 2008 at 4:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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