A friend and I were discussing some of the more “interesting” fannish speculation we’ve encountered while out and about on the interwebs for various reasons re: Once Upon A Time. We both agreed we have no plans to participate in general fandom again. It is a hairy quagmire of divergent points of view and divisive passions, and we have both been there, done that with the bruises to prove it. Best to stick to the discussions we can have with our immediate internet friends.
But that got me thinking about why fandom is the way it is. Anything that makes us equally passionate–hobbies, areas of expertise, particular people, things of beauty–can lead to divergent points of view and divisiveness. We form strong opinions about those things, then the realities of internet communication exaggerate them: a degree of anonymity makes us bolder, ruder, rasher. The visual and aural cues that come with face-to-face or telephone communication are not there, which leads to unintended ambiguity and misunderstanding.
But there’s an additional element to fannishness about fictional books, films, or television shows that also contributes to the potential turbulence of the fan experience: our human response to stories. Continue reading “The kinks: stories and our emotional response to them”
I got the first season of OUAT on DVD for Xmas and have been doing a rewatch. Simultaneously, I’ve been plotting the second draft of my novel using the hero’s journey as a rough template, so I had the concept of the Guide archetype in my head while watching.
Assuming Emma Swan is the Hero of OUAT, the first Guide she encounters, at least in season one, is her son, Henry. He has the “Once Upon A Time” book, and he is constantly interpreting events and people for Emma (also, for Mary-Margaret/Snow White, and Graham/the Huntsman) in terms of the book so that she can see herself in the larger picture of what she is supposed to accomplish as the “savior.”
Spoilers through the end of season 1, with some unspoiled speculation
The thing about Grimm is, even though it is a bit banal and repetitive (although getting less so as it develops its mythology), it hits a lot of my story kinks, like secret identities, hidden subcultures, and family legacies. I’m liking it more and more as the season progresses.
Good stuff. I was all ready for spoilers
gehayi reminds us that today is the 30th anniversary of the opening day of the movie “Star Wars” (now called “Episode IV: A New Hope”). I was one of the little dweebs standing in those lines that wrapped around the block, waiting to see a movie that had dazzling, ground-breaking special effects even in the TV commercials. But it wasn’t the special effects that made the movie. That was icing on the cake. It was the use of mythos, of the most ancient story-telling tropes mixed in with a futuristic, sci-fi setting that made it special. Combining religious mysticism, heroes and villians, good and evil, space battles and explosions, intelligent humor, humanistic, personal character struggles, amazing cinematography, musical themes that followed each character (the “Peter and the Wolf-esque theme in the initial scenes where the droids wander Tatatooine was inspired), and a butt-kicking babe who could rescue her own rescuers…what was there not to love?
Just wanted to mark the moment, because it had a big impact on me and still does.
ETA: Oh yeah, and Han shot first. Make a note of it.
Latest book: “Eye of the Daemon” by Camille Bacon-Smith
OK, this book was totally cheating, as I’ve not only read it before, it’s been sitting on my shelf for years now. But I was having interlibrary loan issues, and needed something to read in the interim. Plus, a lot of this “book-a-thon 2007” is about exploring themes in fantasy novels that interest me, and revisiting a book I’ve already read for its themes fits that bill.
Suffice it to say, this book really pushes my buttons.
I’ve been thinking a lot about “story kinks” as the term is understood in the fanfic community–why we are drawn to the particular stories we are, whether as writers or readers. “Kink” here is understood in a broader sense than merely sexual, any story element that draws you in with such an inexorable power that you find yourself writing or reading stories with that element over and over whether you realize it or not. Among my many “kinks”–(1) parent/child relationships, particularly when the two finally meet after the child is an (near) adult, (2) aliens-among-us, (3) the experience of being part-human, part-alien (where by “alien” I don’t necessarily mean extra-terrestrial, but anything not commonly associated with the natural inhabitants of Earth we see in our daily lives), (4) supernatural families, especially special gifts/experiences being passed down through the generations, (5) a young person only discovering belatedly that they are half-alien or of some sort of supernatural origin, which finally makes sense of the weird/bad experiences they’ve had in their lives, (6) strong women characters who are not merely bit-parts or recurring (may be less of a kink than a prerequisite), (7) characters of invitation, (8) stories of the supernatural that take place in the real world, (9) secret identities/secret sub-cultures, (10) ordinary people becoming champions/messiahs, which may or may not include destiny/prophecy/previous foreknowledge of this as an element.
how any of this is related to ‘Eye of the Daemon’-spoilers
Latest book: “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger
[gratuitous girly moment]
*sob* *sniff* *it’s so romantic!!1!*
[/gratuitous girly moment]
I actually got this book done faster than books half its size I’ve been reading because it was so engaging. Despite the title, this book is equally about both the time traveler and his wife and their relationship which starts, from her perspective, when she was six, and from his, when he was 28. I’m not sure what I expected when I ordered this on interlibrary loan; it was just a title on my list of book recs. I think I had images of a stiff, slightly eccentric scientific HG Wells-type and his patient, loyal Amy Catherine. But Henry and Clare are normal, contemporary people (Henry is in fact my age, punk rock tastes included), and Henry’s time-traveling isn’t by choice, it’s due to a genetic condition. He involuntarily jumps to other places and times significant to his life and the life of his close family and friends whenever he is under a lot of stress and has lots of touching moments and dangerous encounters in his travels (made worse by the fact that only his body shifts in time, not his clothes or any personal items).
Despite the time-traveling element, then, the book is not really a science fiction story so much as an exploration of the relationship and lives of two contemporary people.
Yeah, kinda like that…only not.
Latest book: “Shifter,” by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Some of you Trek types might recognize this pair as two of those folks who get paid for writing published fan fic. This is an original fiction piece by them, spoilers