Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet: New Essays

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Fans have been responding to literary works since the days of Homer's Odyssey and Euripedes' Medea. More recently, a number of science fiction, fantasy, media, and game works have found devoted fan followings. The advent of the Internet has brought these groups from relatively limited, face-to-face enterprises to easily accessible global communities, within which fan texts proliferate and are widely read and even more widely commented upon. New interactions between readers and writers of fan texts are possible in these new virtual communities.

From Star Trek to Harry Potter, the essays in this volume explore the world of fan fiction—its purposes, how it is created, how the fan experiences it. Grouped by subject matter, essays cover topics such as genre intersection, sexual relationships between characters, character construction through narrative, and the role of the beta reader in online communities. The work also discusses the terminology used by creators of fan artifacts and comments on the effects of technological advancements on fan communities.

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Editorial Reviews

SFRA Review
a useful and thought provoking addition
Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts
a worthwhile addition
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786426409
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/5/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 894,458
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Hellekson is a freelance copy editor and independent scholar. She writes book reviews for Publishers Weekly and lives in Jay, Maine. Kristina Busse teaches in the Department of Philosophy at the University of South Alabama and has published a variety of essays on fan fiction and fan culture. She is the founding coeditor of Transformative Works and Cultures.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : work in progress 5
Fan fiction : a bibliography of critical works 33
A brief history of media fandom 41
1 Archontic literature : a definition, a history, and several theories of fan fiction 61
2 One true pairing : the romance of pornography and the pornography of romance 79
3 Intimatopia : genre intersections between slash and the mainstream 97
4 The toy soldiers from Leeds : the slash palimpsest 115
5 Construction of fan fiction character through narrative 134
6 Keeping promises to queer children : making space (for Mary Sue) at Hogwarts 153
7 The audience as editor : the role of beta readers in online fan fiction communities 171
8 Cunning linguists : the bisexual erotics of words/silence/flesh 189
9 My life is a WIP on my LJ : slashing the slasher and the reality of celebrity and Internet performances 207
10 Writing bodies in space : media fan fiction as theatrical performance 225
11 "This dratted thing" : fannish storytelling through new media 245
12 From shooting monsters to shooting movies : machinima and the transformative play of video game fan culture 261
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