lizbee: (Star Trek: Sulu and Uhura > you)
[personal profile] lizbee
To test out that whole "buying books for Kobo with Linux" business, I spent AU$0.99 and bought a book called Boldly Writing: A Trekker Fan and Zine History, 1967-1987 by Joan Marie Verber. It's taken me a while to get into it, and to be honest, if I'd paid more than five bucks for it, I might have felt a bit cheated, but I'm really starting to enjoy it.

It's basically a rough catalogue of zines, with corresponding commentaries on fannish trends and significant fics, cons and discussions, in the first two decades of Star Trek fandom's existence. This makes it quite frustrating, in that we really only get glimpses of things before we're whisked on to the next year's products.

However, these glimpses are great. Like, the rise of slash (the first recorded slash fic was in an adult-content zine, and it wasn't until the author confirmed it that people were actually certain it involved two men, let alone which two men) and the ensuing debate. And the rising numbers of horrid newbies who were only in it for the relationships and characters, and who didn't care about the science fiction, and they weren't watching the show properly! And then the K/S shippers started insisting that their ship was canon, so there were arguments, and then Gene Roddenberry threw a line into the novelisation of The Motion Picture that said Kirk and Spock couldn't possibly be lovers, so then it wasn't canon and you weren't allowed to ship it, only some people INSISTED on persisting, and a few said the line actually meant the exact opposite, and still more said it didn't even matter what Roddenberry said.

(Meanwhile, there was a series of zines about Uhura, and though it was generally agreed that they were quite good and all, very few people bothered to buy them.)

In 1976, there was an argument about zines warning for adult content, character death and violence. Warnings: common courtesy, or the harbinger of fandom's destruction? A couple of years later, zines dedicated to reviewing other zines started to appear, and that was even worse! "We're just writing fic for fun! How dare you criticise Mary Sue Brings Kirk And Spock Together Part 13?" versus "I really do think I have the right to tell you that commas don't work like that." And what to do about the growing problem of people who were also interested in Star Wars? It's the growing number of women, suggested some male fans, that has led to this emphasis on feelings and emotions and characterisation over good, hard SF. Only the old hard SF zines had mostly been written and edited by women. NOOOOO, GET THESE GIIIIIIIIIIIIRLS OUT OF OUR MAAAANLY FAAAANDOMMMM! And it is possible to hate The Motion Picture and still be a good fan? Is it unreasonable to drown Paramount in a deluge of protest mail on the rumour that Spock is going to be killed?

Really, it's a good thing that fandom has matured and moved on since those days.

My favourite bit, so far, is a mention of a woman who complained that The Motion Picture was the most obscene film she'd ever seen. Questioned, she said that all this talk of "penetrating the cloud" and so forth was not on.

Anyway, if you, too, want to share the lulz (and facepalm at all the bits where the book basically turns into grudgewank about those damn K/S fans), you can get it from a variety of ebook sources, but I would recommend grabbing the Kobo app, then reading it on your desktop.

Date: 2010-07-12 09:14 am (UTC)
jaythenerdkid: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jaythenerdkid
I love how that is basically the history of every fandom ever, but with the word "zine" substituted for the word "internet".

Date: 2010-07-12 09:22 am (UTC)
elisi: (Bow ties are cool by brontide)
From: [personal profile] elisi
This made me laugh out loud. Thank you! :)

Date: 2010-07-12 09:30 am (UTC)
geekturnedvamp: (Default)
From: [personal profile] geekturnedvamp
Ahahahaha, I read this book a few years ago and had the same reaction! Fandom, it comforts me how much you haven't changed since before I was born.

Date: 2010-07-12 10:02 am (UTC)
amaresu: Sapphire and Steel from the opening (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaresu
Oh fandom. I don't have to worry about you changing because clearly you never do.

This is sheer awesome.

Date: 2010-07-12 10:14 am (UTC)
drakyndra: OH NOES SPOILERS AHEAD! (Spoilers!)
From: [personal profile] drakyndra
Oh fandom, you so predictable.

(Meanwhile, there was a series of zines about Uhura, and though it was generally agreed that they were quite good and all, very few people bothered to buy them.)

So... everyone declares that the female character who doesn't interfere with their ship is awesome, and then proceeds to ignore her? Sounds about right.

Date: 2010-07-12 10:25 am (UTC)
vjs2259: (Default)
From: [personal profile] vjs2259
This is why I get such an appalling feeling of deja vu all the time. Fandom's recurring travails are either 1) amusing or 2) depressing depending on my overall mood.

(Somewhere in a box I have one of those K/S zines from the tag end of it all. Fascinating. Although I don't really think Vulcans have two. And when Star Wars came along, there were all the same issues with Luke/Han, and George Lucas gnashing his teeth in fury.)

Date: 2010-07-12 10:41 am (UTC)
copracat: Janet and Brad from Rocky Horror in their underwear with text 'My fandom has its knickers in a twist' (knickers!)
From: [personal profile] copracat
Really, it's a good thing that fandom has matured and moved on since those days.

Oh, us.

Hey, is this like the theory of recapitulation? Does each embryonic fan pass through a personal fannish history analogous to the overall history of fandom until they ultimately emerge as a Bitter Old Fan?
Edited (edited to add cynicism) Date: 2010-07-12 01:01 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-07-12 10:50 am (UTC)
neadods: (Default)
From: [personal profile] neadods
This is one of the reasons why I keep swearing there's a fandom gene. Any fandom, any era, and it's all so familiar.

Date: 2010-07-12 01:58 pm (UTC)
kelly_chambliss: (Thumb)
From: [personal profile] kelly_chambliss
This is fascinating, that the same debates are still raging, across time, across fandoms. (And not just in fandoms; my one published profic [f/f] got a lot of "but this isn't real [read, "hard, manly"] SF" comments -- and this in the supposedly "post-feminist" 2000's.) Looks like Marx (or whoever) was right about history just being endless, repeated cycles.

Date: 2010-07-12 03:18 pm (UTC)
ase: Computer and internet icon (Digital chained wretch)
From: [personal profile] ase
Really, it's a good thing that fandom has matured and moved on since those days.

Moving to e-mail, Twitter and blogging from paper letters, telegrams and phone trees was the breakthrough moment, I'm thinking. *Innocent face*
Edited Date: 2010-07-12 03:18 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-07-12 04:41 pm (UTC)
lo_rez: Artist's conception of winged dinosaur, apparently laughing (Dinopterosaur)
From: [personal profile] lo_rez
Excellent.

Date: 2010-07-12 04:59 pm (UTC)
pearwaldorf: rey from tfa (Default)
From: [personal profile] pearwaldorf
Last year, my friend gave me the best birthday present ever. She had a friend who works at the pop culture library at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and she found a bunch of Star Trek fanzines the library was going to discard. It is utterly glorious. There's terrible Mary Sue fic everywhere, and in one memorable instance there's a picture of Spock and a giant cat. I really must scan it all for the posterity of the Internets when I move. Or at least the picture.

Date: 2010-07-17 12:33 am (UTC)
morgandawn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] morgandawn
If you ever need a home for aging zines, the University of Iowa has started a fanzine archive. The zines will be lovingly cared for.

http://transformativeworks.org/projects/fan-culture-preservation

Date: 2010-07-12 06:47 pm (UTC)
fallingtowers: (Fandom: General Fangirling)
From: [personal profile] fallingtowers
I don't know whether I should laugh or cry at history repeating itself. Opting for helpless guffaws is probably the wiser course of action...

via network

Date: 2010-07-12 08:16 pm (UTC)
jumpuphigh: Dreamsheep in front of bookshelf with text "Books make everything better" (Booksheep)
From: [personal profile] jumpuphigh
How do you like the Kobo app?

Date: 2010-07-12 09:35 pm (UTC)
lavinia: text: "see you on Platform 9 3/4, bitch" (HP - Platform 9 3/4 - bitch)
From: [personal profile] lavinia
*cracks up*

This was fabulous. I would retweet, if I were on Twitter (alas, I've barely had an account for a few weeks and it's already corrupted me). As it is, I might link.

Date: 2010-07-12 10:15 pm (UTC)
kerravonsen: animated sequence of geeks with the word "geek" around them (geek-anim)
From: [personal profile] kerravonsen
I find that kind of reassuring.

Date: 2010-07-13 08:20 pm (UTC)
ext_18106: (Default)
From: [identity profile] lyssie.livejournal.com
....that is hilarious and sad and hilarious, all at the same time. O.o

Via some link I can't remember right now...

Date: 2010-07-17 11:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] countess-baltar.livejournal.com
One can also download a pdf (free) of this book from:

http://www.ftlpublications.com/bw.htm

I really ought to catalogue in a similar way all my Battlestar Galactica zines before I die.

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lizbee

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