September 2nd, 2013

MFU  Fascinating

30 Days of Blogging - Day Thirteen - Fannish Activity

It feels like I've always been fannish to some extent. As children my sister and I "acted out" a lot of tv shows; The Champions, Prince Planet, even Gilligan's Island (she was always Ginger. I was always the professor. What does that say about us?)and I had a fling with Man From U.N.C.L.E but the one that took over my life was Star Trek. I devoured everything I could get my hands on in relation to that show.

In high school I wrote my first fanfic, although I didn't have a name for it back then. It wasn't Star Trek, though, rather it was for a second-rate local cop show called Matlock Police. I had a huge crush on one of the detectives in the program and just couldn't get enough of it so I wrote my own adventures. On the weekends though it was still Star Trek that we played, going into the city with our tricorders made from plaster of paris and our little transistor radios dummied-up to look like communicators. We thought we were so cool, stalking through the underground stations looking for Klingons.

In my early twenties I joined the local Star Trek fan club. It used to be a lot of fun, having zine-collating days where the house was pungent with the smell of Gestetner ink and orderly piles of pages covered the lounge room floor. You'd all sit in a circle around the room with a pile of your allotted page in front of you; the person to your left would pass you the pages prior to yours and you'd add one of your pages to the bottom of the pile then pass the whole thing to your right, for the next page to be added.

Back then whenever a zine was printed, free copies were sent out to every other club that you knew about, for reviewing. The best perk of membership was being given the zines from other clubs, in order to read and review for our next club newsletter. Free zines!! What a treat.

I dropped out of organised fandom for years when I moved away from the capital city but never stopped "fanning" my favourite shows and characters. I have Blakes 7 official novels, as well as those for Man From U.N.C.L.E, Beauty and the Beast and Miami Vice. (and more recently I've added some Pros novels to the pile). I bought nearly every single Star Trek novel as soon as it was released. I might not have participated, but I kept the spirit alive.

And then along came the internet. Woo-boy! No longer did you need to go searching for fandom, you could bring it right into your loungeroom. In a way it's sad, as to a certain extent it's become a solitary pursuit, but it's so much more accessible which outweighs the loss of club meetings etc.
Fandom? I love it.