Francine - harvest
I Blame the Dutch mpoetess
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Leaving the Fandom

Er, no, I'm not! -- I'm just thinking about the phrase. I've heard it said about several people, under different circumstances -- even different fandoms. And I wonder -- is there a central bulletin board where one posts this?

"Attention, everyone -- I'm leaving the ______ Fandom. Inquiries about my stories may be directed to such and such. Pleas forward all mail to my new address in _____ Fandom."

Or is it more subtle than that? You just stop writing stories in one fandom, slowly. You get drawn into another, and you're still talking to your friends from your old fandom, but your speech is laced with new characters, new fandom-specific jargon.

Is there a time-limit? "X hasn't posted a Buffy story in three months; she's left the fandom." Or just a quiet, unspoken concensus?

This isn't Buffy specific -- not a rehash of the "don't abandon me" wail. It's just me thinking about fandom. I haven't been "in" fandom in any active way, until I started writing Buffy slash, and I'm still hanging in because there's nothing else that's as good, for me.

But I've quietly let go of my fanaticism for Dr. Who, for instance. Did I leave the fandom, or was I never really in it, since all I ever did was hang out on rec.arts.drwho and mostly lurk, and no one knew I was there to begin with? I loved Blake's 7 with a passion once, and my first exposure to slash was B7 zines. I'm still fond of it, but seldom rewatch it, or reread those zines. Did I leave B7 fandom, or was I never really in it, since I've never written slash for it? Never produced anything in it, and in a way, I suspect that the fiction for it may be mined out, after all these years, unless one gets into crossovers, and no, leave me alone, Spike/Avon bunny. You have no plot -- you just want to snark at each other.

These things I think about.


2002-03-30 06:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

I don't ever consider myself having left a fandom. I just take sabbitcals. Always have this optimistic hope that I'll come back some day.


2002-03-30 10:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yeah -- I've realized I no longer care, as I said, about Dr. Who, in a "And what happens next, then?" way -- I'm not keeping up with the actors, or the novels, or the radio plays/net broadcasts, etc. -- but I'm realizing that my old fandoms are still there in my head when it comes to looking for places to grab slashy things from. I wasn't a slasher when I was an X-phile, or a whovian. I'm not about to revisit X-files for slash purposes, but some of my other non-current worlds....yeah.


2002-03-30 06:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

As I recall there used to be a term for it... 'GAFIATE' ? I think that was it, but now I have to try and recall exactly what that stood for.

From Kita


2002-03-30 06:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

Personally, I find it annoying when people make a major deal out of "leaving the fandom". What are you, the Queen of England? Go in peace, but don't flood my email about it. But what's worse? When people TAKE THEIR FUCKING SITES DOWN or close them when they go. Uhm...why? Is this like a divorce? Burn the wedding pics so there is no proof? I'm LINKED to your site, mutherf- uhm. Sorry. I may have some bitterness. Please pardon. *G*



Re: From Kita


2002-03-30 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

So you feel strongly about this, then? ;-)

I wasn't thinking so much about people who make big announcements, as the opposite. About how you know when someone has quietly left the fandom. Should one feel like an idiot when asking, for instance "Hey, whatever happened to that story..." and being told that the writer left the fandom a year ago? And you're looking around going, "Really? When did that happen? I missed it?"


2002-03-30 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Some, tho' not a mad lot, of the fic I read comes from Multi-fandom authors.

They generally write in one or two fandoms, and do a few odd fics in other fandoms too. Some of them are equally divided between about 5 or six fandoms.

There is never a question of *them* leaving a fandom. Things ebb and flow, and sometimes things just don't inspire anymore. If they don't write in a fandom anymore, well, they have still contributed, and left a lovely bunch of smut for the rest of us to enjoy. Oh, sorry, and excellent writing, skilled plotting etc... (Oh, what's the point, you all know why I'm here!)

Anyway. I think the reason that some of the Buffy and Angel fic writers are kinda shocked-enough-to-announce-it when they realise that they ain't writing that stuff anymore is because they started out writing in the buffydom, thought they were there forever, and probably didn't even realise there were other fandoms for ages. The buffydom has introduced a whole swathe of new writers, who are now moving on and spreading their wings.

As someone who reads in more than one fandom, although with dedication in only one other, I appreciate that people may be having fun in another puddle. It only feels sad/bad to me when it is an author who has meant much to me in the Buffy Fic world. Sabre posted an annoucement on her updates list about 3 months ago saying she wouldn't be doing this stuff much any more. I appreciated the annoucement. Her site is still there, I still go for a womble and re-read the first fic that ever got me hot. Nice.

People taking their sites down - pure melodrama.


2002-03-30 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)


Yeah -- I was actually thinking of what happens when people *don't* make an announcement. Just a mention from someone else of "Oh, she's left the fandom, hasn't she?" And you're left going , "She has? When did that happen? I haven't seen anything from her in a while, but..." And you never know, unless you actually contact the writer and say "Hey, have you given up on Story X, or pairing Y, or are you just not feeling like writing them right now?"

Of course, blogging puts some of it in a different light -- you can tell, when you're reading an author's blog, and she asys straight out, "Okay, I'm sick of this shit" or more subtly, spends all her time raving about whatever her new joy is, and just slowly stops mentioning whichever fandom made her well-known to you in the first place. It's a weird phenomenon.


2002-03-30 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

[Tangent] Avon? please, dear god please, remove the image of an Avon Cosmetics manequin from my head. Please?


2002-03-30 09:46 pm (UTC) (Link)




2002-03-31 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)

*much* better mental picture - thank you! - still don't recognise where he's from though - educate the pop-culture illiterate?

Avon - not just cosmetic...


2002-03-31 11:55 am (UTC) (Link)

A character in 'Blakes 7'. Brit SF series.

Havva look - He cool! Avon Site


2002-03-30 08:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

This is just me, but I consider myself to have left a fandom when I realize it's just a big waste of my time to keep deleting all the list mail in a certain fandom because I know I'm never gonna read it, and I just end up unsubbing from all the lists for that fandom I belonged to. Like Xena-Herc fandom. Was way into that, but I just started to drift and lose interest until I looked up one day and it had been about two years since I'd read anything having anything at all to do with the Herc/Xena-verse.

So that's what leaving a fandom is to me: Distancing oneself from a fandom until one really has no substantial ties to that fandom any longer.


2002-03-30 10:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yeah, I can see that. I can figure out when *I've* left a fandom, for instance -- when I as a non-writing fan of a show gave up and wasn't reading fic anymore. Like X-files. I was all about the MSR for a year or so. Then the show went bleh, and so did I.

On leaving a fandom


2002-03-30 09:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes, I read Sabre's announcement, and it made me sad, but peoople's interests go where they go. It's similar for readers of fanfic too, I think. I began reading fanfic with Homicide:Life on the Streets and flowed into X-files for awhile, but I haven't been on any of those fanfic sites in ages. One of my favorite X-files fanfic authors posted an announcement too; she was moving on to writing original character fic. Is leaving a fandom inevitable for writers, maybe? Hm.
Just my two cents.

Re: On leaving a fandom


2002-03-30 09:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

I t didn't occur to me, but I did that with X-Files as well. Once again, since I only *read* in that fandom, and didn't communicate with it, nobody noticed me leaving!

(Deleted comment)

Re: On leaving a fandom


2002-03-31 02:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

If you don't communicate with it in any way, are you in it?
I tend to think not.

Well, that's what I'm trying to figure out. Or part of it. Say for instance hypothetical you read voraciously in X-Files fandom. You grow tired of the show, though, and eventually tired of the fiction. You never really communicated with the fandom at large -- perhaps you sent LOCS to authors you admired, but nothing that would stick in their minds. You particularly didn't *produce* anything in the fandom. You're not a writer or artist, just a reader and viewer. You were too shy to really get into any major discussion on posting boards, but you read them with interest, and knew who the big names were -- they just didn't know who you were.

So when you leave, no one notices you going -- but does that mean you weren't a part of the fandom? Isn't that a bit like saying the TV viewers aren't a part of Show X's phenomenon? Even if they're not actual Nielsen families, they're there, watching, and those Nielsen households represent a percentage of them, theoretically. If they change the channel and stop watching X-Files, no one at 1013 productions will know, but it doesn't mean they weren't part of the system.

Re: On leaving a fandom


2002-03-31 02:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Erm. It may be too late, on the Spike/Avon. They presented me with plot, dammit.



2002-04-01 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)

Spike and Avon, plot and snark! I'm there...