Fandom: Not Just Funny Business

by on Dec 2, 2014 in Nonfiction | 1 comment

3850 WORDS As I supervised the towering pile of tentacle hentai, my boss started cursing behind me. “Dammit, dammit! Sell it all, sell it all! They’re going out of business.” While I had always known a company somewhere made the products I helped sell, that was the moment I realized that conventions were more than costumes and fun. An entire industry runs on the backs of the fans. For me, the revelation hit late for sure, but it has stuck with me as I’ve continued to go to conventions and been on various sides of the table. Over the years I’ve been just an attendee there to enjoy the panels and items for sale. I came to meet some of the celebrities, show off my...

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Statistics vs. Story

by on Nov 4, 2014 in Nonfiction | 0 comments

1734 WORDS As an author of historical fiction, there are several debates about what to do and what not to do as an author that I don’t hear as much in regard to other genres. “Realism” has more rigid boundaries for many people, sensitive topics like racism, sexism, religion, and politics cause even more friction through the author’s treatment of them, and everyone has their own ideas about how much research serves a story versus how much it gets in the way. In discussion forums and at conventions, variations on these same topics rear their heads afresh anytime new people get involved in the dialogue. Of course, as an author, the job is to tell a good story, not to make...

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Fandom Activism for Change in Visual Entertainment Media: We Have the Power

by on Oct 7, 2014 in Nonfiction | 0 comments

‘Why bother?’ It may seem innocuous, but this question is one of the most prevalent — and sometimes most damaging — when it comes to social activism. In fandom activism specifically, it can be a death knell to any campaign that seeks better and more diverse representation in its entertainment media. ‘Why bother?’ This question keeps television and movies stagnant by steamrolling over legitimate, holistic critiques of visual representation. It is derived from a ‘majority rules’ mindset: a perception that if most fandomers in any one fangroup isn’t talking about representation, then representation must be irrelevant. This is a question that maintains the status quo of...

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Resolute: Notes from the Editor-in-Chief

by on Oct 7, 2014 in Nonfiction | 1 comment

My heroes have aged as I have. When I was younger, I wanted heroes who were teenagers, young adults. I wanted heroes who were embarking on life for the first time. I loved protagonists in the midst of their first encounters with evil, with love, with hard choices. I had yet to struggle with those things myself, and I wanted a map. A guide. I wanted a friend to show me the way forward through dark places. I’m older now. I have kids; I have two careers; I have a house. More importantly, I have mistakes. I have done things I am not proud of. I have done things I regret. I have failed to do things, and those failures keep me up at night. These days, I like a hero who...

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Clavis Aurea: A Review of Short Fiction

by on Sep 2, 2014 in Nonfiction | 0 comments

The best thing about flash fiction is that it is exactly the right length to read on the subway; underground with no WiFi. When Daily Science Fiction recently announced that they would stop running their longer stories on Fridays, I had to admit I was relieved. Dangling from a crossbar with my fellow commuters packed around me, I always thumbed past the longer stories, knowing I wouldn’t make it before my stop. Flash hits that sweet spot. Really good flash will make my whole day (or ruin it, such as when I was almost hit by a car reading Jess Hyslop’s great “How to Love a Necromancer”). Sylvia Spruck Wrigley’s “Space Travel Loses its Allure When You’ve Lost Your Moon...

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How to Live Safely in an Online Universe

by on Sep 2, 2014 in Nonfiction | 1 comment

If this was a movie, there would be a flashback to my freshman year in high school when Alanis Morisette’s “Ironic” was playing on the radio, Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness was the craze, and the 33.6k modem had just been released. I was this scrawny kid who read Marvel comics and Shannara novels, watched Yu Yu Hakusho and Sailormoon on local TV, kept my SuperFamicom at a time when the first Playstation was surging in popularity, and used my savings to purchase Magic: The Gathering booster packs. All seemed well, except for the fact that I had no friends at school; it was a series of micro–aggressions ranging from being the 7th pick in a six–man group, the constant...

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