The Communication of Fan Culture: The Impact of New Media on Science Fiction and Fantasy Fandom
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Historically, fan culture has played an enormous role in the creation and development of science fiction and fantasy, and the genres have left a significant impact on the lives of their fans. I have determined that fandom relies on and can be described purely by its method of communication. This essay traces the historical relevance of the fan community as it relates to the evolution of science fiction and fantasy and the contributions fans have made to the genre s literary and stylistic conventions. This paper will also be showcasing the genres influence on its fans lives, such as through the establishment of fan culture, as well as the reasons this highly interconnected relationship is necessary to the continued existence of the science fiction and fantasy genres. Particularly, this paper highlights the key activities and productions of fan culture: the languages (fanspeak), dress codes (costuming), literature (fan fiction), art (fan art), and music (filking), and the organized outlets for fan activities (conventions and fanzines). Each of these activities and productions is a mode of communication, and it is this communication between fans that creates fan community and culture. These activities and productions will be explained in an anthropological manner that will explore the cultural reasoning for and issues that occur due to these fan activities.