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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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something's lost in translation
children of dune - leto 1
Until now, I didn't realize there was such a sharp demarcation between fandom pre-livejournal and now.

I'm having a moment, and it's very weird, and I'm not sure I can explain it without sounding like I'm having a close and personal experience with some sort of hallucinogen. It's not fanon or tone or even style, except it's all of those things, and it's the underlying set of base assumptions that feel like I'm reading in a foreign language.

One hundred fifty something stories and it's--okay, five million years ago in SV, I was talking to this chick who had been writing since the beginning of time and there was this fic and a flamewar going on, which normally I'd go into but not relevant except for the fact I might not have ever gotten on the subject except flamewar, so we were talking about anything else, and I asked about this fic.

I have no idea how to explain how off-balance I am. But trying.

It was a Smallville fic, and it felt wrong to me, and by that I do not mean bad. I mean, I walked out of a perfectly good fic feeling like this: we were watching the same show. Exactly. And we were in the same fandom! Except in completely parallel universes that were exactly the same except her color blue was my azure, does that make sense? I could not connect with it at all, and that was the year 2002 where I met this fic so you see I remember very vividly that strange sense of disorientation, because at that point I had read everything that was posted to SSA so it's not like I didn't know my fandom. Yes, I even read the really bad stuff. I was a glutton for punishment. I'd read things that I still try too block from my memory, and for that matter, have, but I'd never read a fic in my fandom, in my pairing, that was good, that had nothing wrong with it, that I did not understand.

So far in Due South, proportionally speaking, I'm hitting ten percent where I'm not disoriented, and this is after I reduced my sampling size to authors I've read in at least two fandoms and at least once wanted to marry. It is not helping.

To return to my charming anecdote (the SV fic of strangeness, you don't have to scroll back up now), the person I spoke to gave me this long explanation that I don't even remember all that well (would that I did), but I came out of it with the vague idea it was Some Kind of Convention of Slash That I Did Not Know, Not Being a Slasher of the Old School You Poor First Slash Fandom Person or something, which is in retrospect kind of patronizing, but I could be misremembering that, since you know, 2002.

However, recent experience suggests she was kind of right, at least in the fact that the disassociated feeling is actually not a fluke and not the result of reading in a different fandom after SGA monogamy.

It's very, very disconcerting.

ETA: People, if I knew what this feeling was called, I would be explaining without analogies. I'd reduce it to a sentence.

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(Here via cathexys!) Oh, this is totally interesting to me, and now I'm wondering what it would be like to go back and do that first-flush-of-fandom thing in DS after I've been out of it for more than a year. I've been in bandom, too, which is a very very new fandom, in the way that Due South is a very old fandom - not just in how long it's been around, but in what kinds of people are in it and what kinds of meta issues the canon produces. Due South has a mailing-list and zine history, and it's made up of older, more experienced slash fans, and it has very little het, and it's essentially a buddy cop TV show closed-canon fandom. That's, like, twelve different ways of being old.

Bandom has no history, and the teenagers for whom this is their first fandom vastly outnumber the people who even know what a mailing list was. Not to mention the live canon and the RPS thing and the four hundred meta issues that I've never seen mentioned in any fandom before. (What do you do when an RPS subject replies to fic (directly, on LJ, logged into their own account) with "dialogue rings true"? WHAT?!) And all of these things, these young-fandom-characteristics, influence the fic in tiny imperceptible ways that you get used to without knowing what you're getting used to. If that makes any sense.

Anyway, I should really go reread some Due South, and see if it pings me weirdly the way that Star Trek pinged me weirdly back when I was in Due South. I think this is one of those things that makes fanfic so bizarrely different from other genres - published fiction doesn't become dated as fast. Although I suppose science-fiction and romance kind of do, don't they. HMMMM.

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