I decided to watch an often-forgotten 90’s police procedural because at one time, it had a massive, offbeat legion of slash fans. Here are my thoughts on the first five episodes.
In an interesting development: I’ll be lecturing about the history of fanfiction at Leakycon Dallas! You can see the schedule for the whole convention here. I’ll be presenting at 10:15 AM on Saturday, August 10th. It’ll be fun, I promise–we’ll cover arguments people had in 1978 that changed how we organized fanfiction for decades, how the VHS tape helped fandom explode and anime reach America, and we will talk All. About. Zines.
I hope I see you there! And if you’re not already, follow me on Twitter so you can keep up with my con prep and what I get up to at the convention!
Warning: This article is NSFW.
How we have kept “mature” sexual material out of the hands of others has evolved over time, along with our morals and culture around sex. Erotic images that were once common in Pompeii were later locked in the Secret Museum in Naples for nearly 200 years, only accessible to “people of mature age and respected morals.” In Ancient Greece, women weren’t allowed to view the Olympics, because all of the sports were done in the nude.
If there’s one recurring theme I’ve found when I’ve looked into the history of fandom, it’s that what we do now and what fans did back then can be similar in some surprising ways, and that new technology has always played a big role in facilitating the spread of fandom. While Netflix and other home streaming services have been touted as creating a “binge culture,” the reality is that watching entire seasons of a show in a day wasn’t the invention of the internet age.
In the annals of Star Trek fan history, few novels have been as infamous as Della van Hise’s Killing Time. Published in 1985, Killing Time was the 24th book in the Star Trek book series being released by Pocket Books at the time. And, due to a publisher mix-up, the infamous first edition is incredibly, painfully gay.
(I’m going to go on a tangent about Star Trek. Bear with me.)
There’s been a complaint, recently, about the new Star Trek series, Star Trek: Discovery. Actually, there have been a lot of complaints, but one of the real head-scratchers has been that The Orville, the parody TV show created by Seth McFarlane, feels more “Star Trek” than Discovery. While Discovery is certainly a departure from the usual Trek formula, it seems…a bit much, to decide that the parody is the more “real” creation.
There’s a unique art form that blossomed on a unique social platform, spurred by the unique way fandom democratizes art. Photosets, edits, or photomanips–they go by all those names, and yet many other things do, too–rose as a way for fandom to express itself beyond the bounds of fanart or fanfiction, and the aesthetic sensibilities that have risen from them have had wide-ranging implications on fandom on Tumblr.