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marthawells

Martha Wells

My Flying Lizard Circus


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marthawells

Fanfiction and Me

This is a link to an article I wrote for Black Gate on how I found fanfic and early Star Wars fanzines: Fanfiction and Me: http://www.blackgate.com/2014/10/22/fanfiction-and-me/

The editor's young daughter is very much into fanfiction and he was getting tired of seeing negative articles about it.

Excerpt: I was introduced to fanfiction after The Empire Strikes Back came out in 1980, when I was around fifteen. This was long before the internet, and fanfic was printed in fanzines, fan-produced magazines that were mimeographed or xeroxed, or if the editor could afford it, offset printed. But finding them, if you didn’t already know someone who knew about them, was nearly impossible.

As a lonely, feral, anxiety-ridden, teenage fan, my only connection to the fandom world at all was Starlog magazine. Back then, Starlog was a lifeline for me, and it not only featured articles and news about TV shows, movies, and books, but also fan groups and conventions. (I chose the university I went to because Starlog had an article that mentioned its student SF/F club and convention, but that’s another story.)

The magazine also had a section of small cheap personal ads in the back for fan-related merchandise. One issue a fanzine called Facets, dedicated to fanfic about Harrison Ford’s various characters (mostly Han Solo and Indiana Jones) bought an ad, and I sent my money in (I don’t remember how much, probably less than $10) and bought a couple of small fanzines.

I was hooked. The back of each fanzine was filled with ads and flyers for other Star Wars fanzines, and I dived in and ordered more.

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I remember those days! Except my fandom was Blake's 7. I'd seen zines before then (mostly Star Trek), but didn't get into them until college.

I know some other people who were very into Blake's 7 back then, and wrote/edited some zines.

One of my fave writers at the time is from your area - one who also does pro writing, so you probably know her. (I never met her in person.)

Probably, though I probably met her much later. I didn't know anybody at the time.

I love fanfiction. I can spend an entire afternoon just browsing fanfiction.net or archiveofourown.org (which has some stories based on your books too!). I don't remember being aware of fanfiction before the internet. I don't even remember how I discovered it while online. I remember buying movie magazines as a teenager, but I must have just skipped over the stories. What a shame, I'm thinking now.

I'm glad I found it when I did. It was just pure luck I stumbled onto it.

God, I loved Star Log. I will be eternally grateful to my dad for indulging me in something so frivolous as a subscription to it when I was a kid. I still have some tattered copies. :))

Unfortunately, I didn't discover fanfiction until my late 30s. :D But I definitely think the adjunct Star Trek novels such as Spock Must Die! and The Price of the Phoenix counted.

I can't remember the exact story about them, but I think they were actually fanfiction first. I know there was at least one pro ST anthology where the stories were all from fanzines. I got it when it came out, and there were some really good stories in it.

That's a great article. I had access to the internet by the time I started joining fandoms, but that "omg there are other girls/women out there who like sf/f too!!!" experience was still kind of a revelation. I'd had absolutely no one to share that with before.

I wrote ST:TNG fanfiction on my own as a kid, without knowing there was such a thing as fanfiction; I actually discovered that fanfiction was a ~thing~ when I was in college in the 90s, with the online archives. (And also discovered that my tweenage adoration of Wesley Crusher would have gotten me laughed off the internet. Alas.) I did get involved in a fandom in the later 90s that was populated by a lot of, I guess, 'old school' fannish people, so there were 'zines with stories and art, which I thought was incredibly cool. I loved getting some of my favorite stories in a book-style format.

Yeah, I miss the zines, and going to MediaWest. I wish we could have both online fanfic and zines.

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Thanks -- I've asked the person to remove the entry.

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