12 Stories Anyone Who’s A Member Of A Fandom Should Read


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Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

“It is hardly a novel place however after I was a young person, I felt significantly uncool. Nerdy, geeky, awkward, no matter you wish to name it. It was unhealthy – we most likely haven’t even but found the unit of measurement that may sufficiently describe my state again then.

This isn’t a type of after which I grew to become a swan! essays, although – your narrator stays, for essentially the most half, as awkward as ever. Due to time and lots of mishaps, I’m managing to stumble my approach into that serenity prayer of accepting that which can’t be modified. Science says the common human being is about 60% water however here is how I think about I break down: 20% affinity for ’80s delicate rock; 30% devotion to ineffective info; and 50% everlasting thirst for studying, a stable proportion of which is dedicated to the glory that’s fan fiction.

Higher students than me have mounted strenuous defences of fan fiction. To me, the controversy (fan fiction versus “correct” books) has all the time appeared unusual – absolutely there’s area for every little thing. I’m a author, so sure, I learn lots of books, however I additionally assume you must take your pleasure (and your studying) the place yow will discover it. If that often/typically/often occurs to be on an internet site the place the collective fangirling is such that it may legitimately serve as a substitute supply of renewable power, then so be it – let’s go reside our greatest lives.”

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“I discovered the Harry Potter fandom in 2000. Giddy with the joys of web entry at house, I googled my approach from the official Warner Brothers web site – which was selling the approaching first film – to the unofficial world of fan-made web sites and Yahoo teams. In fact I joined HP4GU (Harry Potter for Grown-Ups), a busy hub of fan theories, however I additionally joined a Yahoo group devoted solely to the manners and motivations of Lucius Malfoy, as a result of the fandom was already giant sufficient to help area of interest pursuits. Nascent however already obsessive, the Harry Potter fandom was on the point of an unprecedented revolution. It was about to maneuver from mailing lists to LiveJournal and, from there, develop like one in every of Hagrid’s hatchlings into the beast we see right this moment.”

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Rebecca Hendin / BuzzFeed

“This can be a story about fact, magnificence, and freedom, however above all it’s a narrative about love. It’s additionally a narrative about rising up, immersive theatre, artwork as revolution, and the present Secret Cinema manufacturing of Moulin Rouge.

I first watched Moulin Rouge 15 years in the past; it was 2002 and I used to be 15. I used to be very tall, very ginger, and really awkward, and I grew up as a part of a small, fundamentalist Christian church whose views on gender and sexuality would politely be referred to as conventional – I spent all of my Sundays in companies the place ladies weren’t allowed to talk. All of this added an depth to the already thorny mixture of contradictory messages that every one teenage women grapple with. I used to be under no circumstances sad and was – and nonetheless am – a part of a detailed, loving household. However I used to be deeply uncomfortable in my very own pores and skin, petrified of my very own physique, and wrangling lots of internalised sexism within the years earlier than useful YouTube tutorials or certainly any on-line communities the place I’d discover one other approach of being.

And so after all I turned to tales – books particularly. I used to be not a lot of a discerning movie watcher; our household favourites had been George of the Jungle and The Sound of Music, however I learn and wrote avidly. However then, at some point whereas house sick from faculty, I watched a Blockbuster VHS of Moulin Rouge, purely as a result of it was there and I used to be bored, and I fell in love. I can bear in mind the expertise of watching it in intense and particular element, and I can nonetheless simply conjure up the sensation because it ended, watching each second of the credit, not wanting it to finish. I fell for it with the depth that comes solely with the belongings you first encounter as a young person.”

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Eleanor Shakespeare for BuzzFeed

“We had been sitting in the lounge, consuming yesterday’s leftover pizza, and grinning like idiots.

“Oh my god,” my housemates stored saying to at least one one other.

“I do know!” I’d reply, scrambling ahead to show the amount up.

For the subsequent few hours, we’d have that very same alternate time and again in numerous pitches and tones whereas refusing to tear our eyes away from the TV display screen. This present was like a magnet. Or perhaps a mirror. We seemed into the display screen and located Sana Bakkoush, of the cult sequence Skam, one teenage protagonist for Muslim women like us.”

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“Like so many ladies my age, I discovered myself in Hermione Granger. Even at 5 I used to be a bookworm, a tiny baby-nerd whose development into a completely fledged know-it-all was inevitable. I used to be, after all, removed from the primary particular person to latch on to the one feminine lead in the most well-liked guide sequence on the planet. I don’t declare to be particular among the many 1000’s of women who idolised her, who crimped their hair and waved plastic wands when Halloween rolled round in an try to emulate their hero. Perhaps you, pricey reader, had been a type of women. However I used to be 5, and I didn’t know you then (until I did, during which case – small world, huh?), and anyway, that’s the factor about books: As quickly as they’re opened, their world and their characters exist solely for his or her reader.

It took me years to provide you with the proper time period to outline my relationship with Hermione. It couldn’t be friendship, as a result of she was barely too far out of attain: She was older and smarter, and already had buddies whose adventures I may solely observe, in awe, from a distance. Position mannequin didn’t appear proper both. I felt a job mannequin needed to be somebody established of their knowledge and able to lead. Albus Dumbledore was a job mannequin (an extremely flawed one, perhaps – however that’s a unique essay). Hermione was only a lady attempting to navigate adolescence and save the world. And I may relate, at the very least, to the previous.”

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Video games of Thrones got here to me simply I used to be operating out of YA fantasy and had began to maneuver semi-reluctantly into the realm of grownup fantasy, the place I used to be struggling to seek out the identical attention-grabbing and badass ladies I had discovered to like in teen books. I’ve the Amazon “should you preferred X you may get pleasure from Y” suggestions to thank for bringing the epic saga into my life at an inappropriately younger age. Sport of Thrones might need seemed like some other fantasy, with a canopy displaying a dark-haired hero astride a horse within the snow, however as anybody who has seen the TV present will know, Sport of Thrones ain’t simply your common fantasy sequence. It’s big and sprawling and desperately intelligent and incites the kind of passion that justifies the etymological which means of “fan”. And it fully hooked me. I got here for Arya Stark, who jogged my memory of the gumption-filled, gender-role-defying, cross-dressing heroines I had liked in YA, and I stayed for, because it turned out, for the net theories.

A lot as with Harry Potter, the primary three books of the saga had been out by the point I got here to the sequence, and I tore via them. And I didn’t flip forward. Which is a rarity for me. I’m not a affected person reader. And abruptly I used to be carried out and I had an obsession and a multiple-year wait till A Feast for Crows was launched. And for the primary time I wandered on to the web in search of someplace to place that obsession.”

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Rebecca Hendin / BuzzFeed

“After I began secondary faculty aged 11, I used to be surrounded by women who preferred Take That and style magazines and lip gloss. I preferred Nirvana and Stephen King. And lip gloss, admittedly. The ladies I knew needed to speak about boys and garments. I needed to speak about boys and dying.

In fact I wasn’t the one one. In fact there have been others who did not fairly match into the traditional, common, pleasant mould. Even those who did weren’t regular, common, and pleasant 24/7 like some kind of robotic cheerleader group. They usually felt as misplaced and remoted as everybody else. Weirdly, although, they nonetheless did not like to speak about dying fairly as a lot as I did.

I preferred issues that pushed the boundaries of the recognized and the protected. I used to be wildly interested in topics deemed unacceptable to discover, particularly for a younger lady, so I explored them in books. I needed to see for myself the depths of human depravity, the lengths we go to for energy.”

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Chelsey Pippin / Thinkstock / BuzzFeed

“I have been writing my very own tales since I used to be 12. However for the final 4 years, I’ve been writing many extra phrases – in fan fiction.

My viewers has grown since my first forays into inventive writing; in 2013, I shared half 1,000,000 phrases of fiction throughout fandoms together with Merlin, Sherlock, and The Musketeers.

My best-known story might be Torchlight, for the Elementary fandom.

Listed below are some issues I’ve discovered about writing – and fandom – since coming into the huge and welcoming world of fan fiction.”

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Rebecca Hendin / BuzzFeed

“It’s been simply over 10 years since I watched on-demand TV for the primary time. I obtained again from faculty, went into my dad’s attic workplace, and logged on to his laptop. I tentatively navigated the 4OD web site and hit the refresh button till a purple touchdown web page with a photograph of seven youngsters draped throughout one another appeared. There was to be a teaser of Skinslaunched – the primary 10 minutes of a programme so extensively marketed it actually plagued my goals.

The advert had been flashing up for weeks. Gossip’s “Standing within the Manner of Management” was the soundtrack that kicked in to backdrop a home get together that seemed all too acquainted, as a result of it was precisely what my buddies and I had been doing for the previous two years.

I – like a lot of the nation’s under-18s – had had “virgin” written on my brow and an enormous dick drawn on my cheek with a Sharpie. I’d thrown up in lots of a sink after draining the alcohol cupboard of whoever’s dad and mom had been courageous sufficient to go on vacation and depart their 15-year-old in cost. I had, on quite a few events, worn nothing however a leotard and cat ears to a celebration.”

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“I used to be 14 in 1998: peak golden-age Mates. It was when Chandler obtained caught in a field to appease Joey, Phoebe was pregnant together with her brother’s triplets, and the entire gang (besides a real-life pregnant Lisa Kudrow) got here to frolic in London. We had been all obsessive about the present, besides again then it wasn’t obsession, it was simply regular. You had been bizarre should you didn’t watch it. I had a Mates calendar hanging up in my room. I might watch episodes with my dad and mom after they first aired, however would additionally file them in order that I may watch them time and again over the weekend. I needed my life to be like that present – dwelling in a New York loft, sipping espresso in quirky espresso outlets with my finest buddies.

On the identical time, my very own friendships had been crumbling. Studying again over my diary from this time, I am amazed at my very own perseverance with individuals who clearly did not need me round. However I used to be determined for the complete Mates expertise. I used to be positive that these had been my folks, and if I simply caught at it, I’d discover the sort of platonic love that I used to be craving.”

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Rebecca Hendin / BuzzFeed

“Image me: scrawny and vulnerable to chewing on my hair, sporting the model new glasses I used to be positive had been the direct results of having spent the previous couple of years studying after hours with solely the muted glow of the streetlight outdoors my bed room window to see by. I’m in a bookshop – totally lit, which feels luxurious – and there’s a show obnoxiously blocking my path to the fairy story retelling part, the only supply of of my adolescent mind’s eating regimen. The show is full of copies of a single guide, and past being irritated that it’s in my approach, I additionally assume it simply appears a bit silly, to be sincere. What’s so attention-grabbing a few skinny boy trying a bit dopey on a broomstick whereas reaching out for a ball anyway?”

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Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

“It’s autumn, and it’s darkish and damp. I’m glad. I’ve an enormous crush on one of many boys, Pete, who has ginger hair and smells like washing powder. After I go to the outlets with my mum, I attempt to discover out which washing powder it’s. Perhaps Persil?

We’re all mucking about, leaping over bollards. I faux to be Little Miss Muffet for some cause. We’re stoned already.

I’m a lot too shy to speak to Pete, not to mention flirt with him, however nonetheless: We’re strolling collectively as a part of the identical group on our method to the identical spliff. I really feel a step nearer to my huge teenage ambition: getting a boyfriend. Dawson’s Creek, Clueless, Judy Blume, they’ve all made a promise to me – that I’ll meet a boy, that there’ll be a love story, and it will likely be superb.”

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