Feral Friday - Fandoms Gone Wild

It’s Feral Friday! And we here at Book Nerd Reviews thought we would discuss a topic that really sends us feral.

This week, we’re talking about fandoms and the crazy things fans do:

Kristy’s say:

Fandoms are great things - after all, they stem from passion about something (in this case books)… that is, until they cross a line.

Something that provokes that much passion in someone is a good thing, and to the most part, I think this something that should be cherished, but sometimes there are grey areas, and sometimes boundaries are crossed. Fandoms don’t have any set boundaries, but we are all obliged to stay within moral and legal guidelines. And sometimes, even those boundaries can be grey rather than thick black line.

I do understand being passionate about a book and author, to want to meet them, to want to know more about the world they created, and even want to get a tattoo that reflects how much a book has inspired me and touched me. But there is fandom, and then there is obsession. I think it is okay to fangirl over an author, but stalking them to the point where you find out where they live and hang around their house is going too far (this has happened to multiple authors). To be so involved in a series that you love everything about it is also acceptable, but I personally think that asking an actor of the movie adaptation to bite you crosses the line (this happened to more than one Twilight actor). And even though I love bookish tattoos, there are some that I personally think are a little too much (but tattoos are a very personal thing, so I won’t judge another person’s personal preference).

Like I said, I do understand the feelings these authors and books provoke, after all, I freely admit that I fangirl over Laini Taylor. I certainly would be a blubbering mess if I ever met her, however I would never go to her house hoping to “run into” her, and I certainly wouldn’t ask her for one her pets of her teeth (this will make sense if you have read Daughter of Smoke and Bone).

To me, stalking and having crazy requests (such as biting) are clear lines. But there are also grey areas when it comes to fandom. And those can be hard. Firstly there is how much do you tweet/email/Facebook your favourite author before you venture into the stalking category? And if your favourite author is one who does divulge personal information, you must also be careful in asking them questions about, or referencing, their non-writing life. These types of things can quickly turn from being a grey area to being in a no-go-zone. It is a fine line that you have to walk when it comes to communicating with your favourite author.

Another grey area relates to being so passionate about something, that you want all the information you can as soon as you can possibly get your hands on it. The most recent (and relevant) example is the recent leak of The Fault in Our Stars trailer. Trust me, I honestly do know why people were tempted to (or did) watch it. Sometimes the temptation is just too much - I understand that. I mean, knowing it’s out there just waiting of you? That is hard! I honestly don’t know where I stand on it (mainly due to the fact I understand how hard it was to not watch it). All I will say about this particular example is that I didn’t watch it as I really want to see this trailer in high quality. To me, the book is such great quality, that the movie should reflect that, and I want to see it in all its glory. But trust me, I am not judging any of those who did watch it, I don’t know if I could have resisted if it was my all-time favourite book to movie adaptation trailer.

All in all, I think it is great if you are a part of a fandom, or you are just a fangirl - that means that you are passionate about a book/series/author. I think it is great if you are so enthusiastic about a book that you buy the book (even multiple copies), tell everyone you know about it, go to author events, go to the midnight sessions (or premieres) of the movies, buy the special edition DVDs and pretty much everything else you can - but I urge all fans to be respectful to authors, their work, the publishers and the work of those involved in any movie adaptations. When it comes to knowing what crosses the line, I tend to go by this rule: If you would be embarrassed to tell your mother, if it could result in a restraining order or being arrested, then don’t do it.

Melissa’s say:

Fandoms can both be a blessing and a curse for authors I am sure. Obviously it’s something all authors love, since fans will buy your books and support your work and share the word to others about your books. So that’s the benefit right there. But do some fans maybe take things a little bit too far?

Firstly, I get being a fan. I am a fan of MANY authors and have fangirled when I’ve met authors before. But I am not the obsessive sort of fan girl.

I know Kristy has talked about this, but John Green is one of those authors that has a huge fandom. He has fans that watch every single one of his youtube videos with his brother Hank. They buy the merchanise, they support the same causes that John and Hank support. They tweet them obsessively, and last week - someone leaked the trailer to The Fault in Our Stars, and fans then continued to share this out.

Most of this is innocent enough, and for the most part pretty charming. But some of these fans (a percentage, not all), can be pretty intense about their love for an author, or book and I would think this is the negative side of fandoms. I know that a lot of these fans are maybe young and so they don’t realise how damaging their actions can be.

If we’re talking about things that have been leaked, this is not the first time this has happened. It happened to J.K. Rowling with the release of her final book being leaked online days before. I’m not a fan of Stephenie Meyer, but people will remember some years ago when the manuscript of Midnight Sun was leaked online. Both authors have huge dedicated fandoms.

In the instance of the Stephenie Meyer leak, it was the fandom spreading and sharing the manuscript online that ruined the experience for everyone else. She commented on her heartbreak about the leak in the following statement:

“I did not want my readers to experience Midnight Sun before it was completed, edited and published. I think it is important for everybody to understand that what happened was a huge violation of my rights as an author, not to mention me as a human being. …This has been a very upsetting experience for me, but I hope it will at least leave my fans with a better understanding of copyright and the importance of artistic control. So where does this leave Midnight Sun? My first feeling was that there was no way to continue. Writing isn’t like math; in math, two plus two always equals four no matter what your mood is like. With writing, the way you feel changes everything. If I tried to write Midnight Sun now, in my current frame of mind, James would probably win and all the Cullens would die, which wouldn’t dovetail too well with the original story. In any case, I feel too sad about what has happened to continue working on Midnight Sun, and so it is on hold indefinitely. I’d rather my fans not read this [leaked] version of Midnight Sun…It has taken me a while to decide how and if I could respond. But to end the confusion, I’ve decided to make the draft available here (at the end of this post). This way, my readers don’t have to feel they have to make a sacrifice to stay honest. I hope this fragment gives you further insight into Edward’s head and adds a new dimension to the Twilight story. That’s what inspired me to write it in the first place.”

Whether or not your a fan of Stephenie Meyer or not, it makes you think about things. Especially since this could potentially happen in the future when people get their hands on things they shouldn’t have access to.

There sometimes are repercussions when things are leaked online. This is why I won’t support the leak of TFIOS leak.. not that I think the movie won’t go ahead, but because it’s not the right thing to do.

What do you think of fandoms? Also, what are your thoughts on the leak of TFIOS trailer? Let us know in your comments below!

What do you think?

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