Fanfiction has emerged over the last two decades as a space of cultural subversion, simultaneously accepting the symbolic vocabulary of dominant mythologies while frequently redressing them in issues of inclusion and voice. Predominantly a female space, fanfiction has consistently been delegitimized by the patriarchal structures of corporate entertainment, by which I mean an increasingly interwoven alliance of publishers and film producers, along with their proxies in other media. As with its analogues, this female-marked sphere is tolerated only so long as it makes no economic claims of its own. The limited claims it is allowed to make…are social: fanfiction has become, in a real sense, a space of nurturing and a space where social harms are redressed and reduced. This while the source texts of fanfiction are increasingly oppressive and abusive.
I suggest that this connotation of nurturance is significant, because we have seen this panorama of themes before. Very many fields of human endeavor have been partitioned in this way, with a male-dominated wing that is essentially sociopathic but economically legitimized, and another wing dominated by women that is prosocial—-nurturing-—but economically illegitimate, and relegated to a marginal status in terms of cultural capital.
In the case of fanfiction, this boundary has been and is being enforced by a series of actual and threatened litigation, as well as a culture of self-policing which necessarily internalizes the work of marginalization. Harmony Underhill, 2012 talk at Slancon
I am posting to officially advertise three games which I’ve recently semi-mass-produced, and which many of you are already familiar with. The holidays are coming up, and I’m hoping to sell enough of these games to finance the production of two more, and have a proper product line. And they make great presents.
- TRYPTIC ($25) is a fairly simple board game which nevertheless allows for deep play (bluffing, pattern recognition, and spatial strategy). People have been known to get a little obsessed with this one. And it is, ahem, pretty sexy looking. The boards are carved maple with glass pieces.
- TOXIC GNOME ($15) is an orthographic game (along the lines of Scrabble or Boggle) with a mechanic that makes it a little more intense than those games.
- PETRI DISH ($20) is a spatial game aimed at younger kids (I’ve played with 5-year olds, and they won). It’s all made of felt, it moves fast, and it’s very unpredictable.
All those prices are plus shipping if you can’t pick it up. Re shipping, Tryptic is a little heavier, but it’s worth it. The others are quite lightweight.
I’m also hoping to get a head count of folks who would be interested in buying Conspiracy and Vendetta (as a pair) for $25. Full disclosure: there’s a significant up-front cost to produce those, so I need to see about 70 nods before I push the button.
The website is Mad Sheep Games. And I would love it if you spread the word.
Thanks, Ethan Mitchell
Reason #5623 why I love my cousins
Jacob: [is washing pots and pans] Do you have any Brillo Pads™?
Me: No, sorry.
Me: I have some sulfuric acid.
Jacob: [does not blink] Oh, even better.
Me: [two minutes later, chagrined] Sorry, all the sulfuric acid has shit in it, but I’ve got muriatic acid.
Jacob: [cool like it ain’t no thang] Hey, muriatic acid is great. [Proceeds to wash my pie pans in muriatic acid.]
Question of the day: A strain of Flavobacterium (KI72) evolved the capacity to digest nylon, obviously in recent history. Fine and well. How long will it be until one of the cariogenic bacteria species evolves the ability to digest dental resin? After all, we are putting a lot of it on their dinner table.
I want to read some fanfic but really specific fanfic that I can’t find anywhere and which probably doesn’t actually exist
Tristega will be solving this problem in about two weeks…stay posted for details.
90 chapters up. Or down. Or whatever.
Whenever I’m in a plane, I have this false sense that I can see forever: that I should be able to recognize whole coastlines or the like. In fact, you can’t see that much from an airplane (or even from the lowest orbits!) because the world is so enormous.
To remind myself of that, I’ve got a ballpark comparison: from a plane at full cruising altitude, you can see about as much of the earth as a smallish ant can see while walking around on a largish elephant.
Wow. I just saw my writing dissed, twice, in an Amazon review of one my father’s books, by a dude who hasn’t read a word that I’ve written and didn’t even finish the book of my dad’s that he nevertheless felt competent to review.
Also, he said I’m “college-age”, which is off by 15 years.