nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

A little history of convention fandom

Jacqueline Bryk pointed this out to me-- it's a strong statement about what's going on in fanfic fandom.

Of course, it referred to fanfic fandom as fandom, which led me to think about my preferred fandom, which is print sf fiction* convention fandom, or at least conventions which include print sf as a major element.

What was and is it about? It's not nearly as focused as fanfic fandom-- my view is that PSFFCF is gatherings of people who shared what was once a relatively rare and somewhat despised taste. A lot of the purpose of conventions is hanging out with like-minded people, and the community was small enough that it was easier for fans and professionals to socialize.

As time went on, gatherings for talking spread out into costuming, gaming, media sf, and filk music.

Unless I've missed something, writing by fans was mostly either original fiction with the hope of professional publication or personal essays, usually humorous and published in fanzines. There were also Amateur Press Associations, which were something like the internet, but slower-- the typical apa came out once a month, I think. APA-L was extraordinary because a new issue came out every week.

*This is sometimes referred to as literary fandom, which I think makes it sound more pretentious than I have in mind.

Related to the first link: The importance of having high self-regard.

The bit I like best from the first link is "But you have to be arrogant and egocentric to create something - you have to think that you’ve got something worth saying. And maybe that’s not nice..." My impression is that operationally, "nice" means pretending that you don't want anything very much.

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