Eileen Gunn was kind enough to put me in my place on Google+ last night. And let’s face it, after a lot of what I said about categories I know nothing about, nor, obviously, have any connection to, I really should have taken my shoe out of my mouth and found a better place for it (or found a better use for my mouth?). Ms. Gunn noted that I could bypass those categories rather than (and I’m paraphrasing and adding extra words here) malign them because of my lack of interest.
And that’s what I’m going to do, because it’s really not all that fair to the folks who are nominated in those categories. In fact, I have nothing against fan artists or anything of the sort. I don’t really have anything against fanzines in the old PDF format either. I just don’t “get” them, which seems to me to be a problem I should try to understand.
Why don’t I “get” fanzines and why do I feel like I’m so out of touch with whatever is going on in these various categories? Is it because I can’t attend many of the major conventions in my field (though I’ve been to small ones and anime conventions in the past; I simply can’t afford to attend Worldcon, and it would be a stretch to afford Dragoncon and maintain my academic “career”)?
I don’t know who reads this blog in terms of fan engagement. Maybe most of you are of the more “academic” side of things, for lack of a better word. But I would like to know how people come to love fanzines or fan artists (or discover them before they show up on a Hugo nominee list). Are there forums I don’t hang out in? Are these things discovered at conventions or through secret club meetings in a dungeon? And why do you love them? What about The Drink Tank or File 770 or what have you compels you to read?
I’ll shut up now, foot covered in drool…