Posts Tagged ‘science fiction’

FanHistory is off to Dragon*Con!

September 3rd, 2009

Well, at least one of its representatives is :)

I’m leaving today for Dragon*Con, where I’ll be all weekend working the Spacial Anomaly Gallery table in the Dealer’s Hall (location F13, if all goes according to plan.) You can also check out some of my artwork in the Art Show and Print Shop.

I’ll try to post some updates throughout the weekend, though my perspective will be fairly limited during the day to a vendor’s point-of-view. Please feel free to stop by my table during the weekend if you are there, I’d love to say hi, sell you some goodies – and of course, talk about FanHistory!

Help:Fanzines

June 23rd, 2009

We’ve created a Help page for fanzines.  It really needs some additional work in terms of categories, titles, etc.  We wanted something up officially to address concerns have have appeared regarding preservation movements around media fanzines.  The following is our current version.


Purpose

The purpose of Fan History’s fanzine articles is to preserve the history of fanzines in the community. Fanzines have long been an important part of all areas of fandom: music, media, science fiction, sports, and punk, just to name a few. Fanzines provide a window into a specific time in fandom history; trends in writing, art and discussion; as well as many other aspects of fandom life and creativity which can be important in understanding the history of fandom.

That said, Fan History recognizes the issues that can exist in providing documentation of materials that may have been meant to be transient in nature, or may include information considered sensitive that creators and contributors may not wish to be publicly accessible today. Our policies regarding fanzine articles, artwork and content have been designed to provide both freedom of contributors to add information they consider valuable to fannish history, as well as avenues for creators to request removal of material they do not wish to have listed or archived electronically in any fashion.

Our promise

Fan History promises to never digitally provide the majority or entire contents of a fanzine on Fan History without consent of the fanzine publisher. If a publisher and individual contributors specifically wish for their materials to be archived for posterity, we can work with those individuals to provide hosting of such content. In general, however, our fanzine entries include a brief description of contents (including a table of contents when available), cover art (when available), publication history, a description of its relevance to fandom, and fan reactions.

Fanzine article deletion

See Help:Article deletion#Fanzine article deletion request.

Fanzine cover art deletion

See Help:Article deletion#Fan art and fanzine covers.

Template

A template for fanzine can be found at Template:Fanzine. To use this template, search for the fanzine title. If it does not exist, click on “Create this page.” In a different window/tab, click edit on Template:Fanzine. Copy and paste the contents of Template:Fanzine to your new blank article. Fill out as much information as possible.

PRESS RELEASE: Fan History is Breaking Wiki Size Barriers

June 6th, 2009

In May 2009, Fan History became the biggest MediaWiki-based wiki that is not affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation.

Sleepy Hollow, Illinois – If you are looking for information about fans and all the activities they engage in, you need to check out Fan History Wiki located at http://www.fanhistory.com/ . In May 2009, in trying to become the best resource of its kind, Fan History became the biggest MediaWiki-based wiki that is not part of the Wikimedia Foundation with over 750,000 articles.

Fan History’s accomplishment has been several years in the making.  Since May 2006, the project has been working on documenting the history of fan communities.  Fan History started with some basic history information that had originally been found on FanFiction.Net.  The focus had been on media fandom and fan fiction.  In 2007, the focus changed and became broader and less focused on fan fiction.  In 2008, Fan History created a directory of members of the fan community and added over half a million articles in the process of doing that.  Fan History also added statistical information that updates daily; the wiki tracks the growth of fan fiction and LiveJournal communities representing over 4,000 television shows, anime shows, musical groups, actors and video games.  In 2009, Fan History continued its expansion and breadth of topics covered.  This was done by adding articles about fanzines, musical groups, movies and episodes of television. At every step, the fandom community responded, helped improve many of our stubs and added new content.

Fan History’s place as the biggest wiki of its kind is good news for those seeking to document the history of fandom.  The size of the wiki has led to an increase in traffic and number of contributors.  It has meant that important or interesting things in fandom have been documented for others to learn from.  This includes covering events such as the kerfuffle over Russet Noon in the Twilight fan community, how Dreamwidth Studios was viewed within the LiveJournal fan community, on going issues related to racism in fandom, how Police fans responded to the concert tour, and the current and past role of fanzines in fandom.   Many of these events are not covered elsewhere.  The current size and scope of the project makes this possible where other wikis and projects not in wiki format cannot.

For a list of the largest MediaWikis, see http://s23.org/wikistats/largest_html.php .

About Fan History LLC:

Fan History is a collaborative project like none other currently serving the fandom community. Its core function is as a wiki which allows members of fandom – men and women, young and old – to actively participate in documenting the history of their various fandoms, share current news which may impact their experiences, as well as creating an easily searchable web index of related communities, projects, and activities. It gives members of fandom a chance to share current fandom news that may impact people’s experiences in fandom. Fan History users can also promote their own creative projects, and share opinions with fellow fans and alert them to scams and questionable practices encountered within fandom. By providing these resources, Fan History allows users to celebrate their activities, whichever corner of fandom they come from: anime, cartoons, comics, movies, politics, radio, science fiction, sports, television, theater, and video games.

WisCon panel on self promotion for science fiction authors

May 24th, 2009

At WisCon panel on self promotion for science fiction author. The presenters include Madge Miller, Marrianne Kirby, Catherine Lundoff and Nayad M. They are either professionals in marketing or are published authors.

Advice they have given includes:

Do not rely on a publicist to do it. They work best when you help them with their job.

Self promote with a buddy. It makes you feel less self conscious.

Readings are not necessarily time wise. It might be better to try to do readings with other authors. It can help draw a bigger crowd.

Doing conventions can help make you a more recognizable name.

No one thing is the magic bullet. You need more solutions.

Don’t try to do so much self promotion at once. It can burn you out, especially if you don’t see results. Try to focus on one project at once. That is what professionals do.

Check out who has expertise in promoting. Get advice from them. Use your community to find good ways to promote.

Realistically, most science fiction authors are not going to get a publicist. Think about how you would present yourself at a job interview. Treat things like readings and panels as if they were that. This includes not showing up drunk to your panels. (People do it.) Don’t hog conversations.

Make an effort to fake an interest in other people’s work. Otherwise, you come across as being me me me and can be a turn off. You don’t get the personal connections that way. Personal connections really can help sell the book as those people may go out and tell people how fantastic you are.

If you can pair a book reading with a non-profit event, it can help generate additional interest and help sell the book. It generates good will.

You should almost put on a writer professional cap at conventions. You need to portray almost a different version, almost like acting but more like projecting yourself. This way you can get attention.

Women in American culture get told that self promotion is tacky and icky and they should not do. Women need to get over that. If you put on a professional hat, it becomes easier to self promote.

If you are going to do a reading for the first time, practice with people you like and respect. They can give you good feedback. Start out with something structured to help overcome your own fears. Ask your friends to tell you when you commit your own weakness like stumbling over words, rambling, etc. Non-professionals can give you feedback if you are being boring. Also think about timing of your reading. More than 35 minutes makes keeping your audience hard. Think about breaking up longer readings into parts. Practice your timing. Know when you can stop, look up at the audience and where to pace yourself.

Consider wearing makeup so that you look brighter than life and larger, to enhance your stage presence.

What are bad ideas?

People who do book forts at panels at conventions can be a problem. It is better to be graceful and just flash the book. It is a bit selfish to promote the book the whole time. (Though this may be depend on the panel and why you are on the panel. If you are on a panel because of that book, it can be different. A book fort may be overkill but a single book might not be that bad.)

Many people who feel insecure put others down. They try to stand on the bodies of other authors by putting them down in order to self promote. This can hurt you. It is better to be nice.

Don’t give a speech if you’re on a panel. Moderators should direct traffic and have questions to help steer questions. They should not read four pages of notes.

Advice for people starting out to increase chances of success?

At conventions, sign up for panels you are interested in. The more practice that you get, the more comfortable you will be when you become published.

Online presence is importance. You need a website. Determine where you want your name out. Have a blog. Look at what other writers are blogging about to get ideas for what to write about.

Realize that it takes a long time to build an audience. A year out is a good idea is when to start building. You have a chance to build conversations, to let people know you have a book coming out. Ask people questions. Always be authentic online and in person. Be authentic to who you really are.

Talk about things that you are interested means like minded people as they will likely like your fiction.

Working on a blog, creating a community, talking to reporters as a form of self promotional activity can help you get a book deal. Why? Because you get to make good connections who can help you accomplish your goals. It isn’t necessarily fair that we respond to the people we know but it does help getting published in the first place.

It is never to early to get online. You should get yourself associated with things that involve your audience.

Twitter, FaceBook, LiveJournal, GoodReads are all ways to interact online.

Twitter. Authors can tweet. Read up on the etiquette of tweeting before you start. If you do the wrong thing, people will snicker. Twitter is very real time. If you are going to be on it, you need to really commit to it. Follow people and respond to him. Personal details can really help connect you to your audience.

Twitter can go horribly wrong. Updating shop listings every time you do that can be a pain. Don’t over do the URL plugging. Twitter is an online service that allows you to send 140 characters. Twitter started off as phone but now is on the web. You should ReTweet interesting comments by people you follow. Be good to others who might be able to be good to you. ReTweets asking can get info out to a large audience that say your book is coming out.

You can actually talk to people on Twitter and make connections with people you might not otherwise make. Doing this may result in getting a follow back. Be authentic. Don’t become an annoying fan.

Anti-Twitter panelist prefers to blog. She finds it annoying. The information is not useful to her. Who cares that you walked your dog? Not enough info there to want to follow up on. It is a stylistic personal preference. Digest of Tweets on LiveJournal is annoying. If they didn’t follow you on Twitter, why would they want it in another medium?

Cross posting to Twitter and FaceBook can be annoying. There are different rules and etiquette. FaceBook tends to be less cluttered.

FaceBook is kind of nice as a networking tool. It isn’t necessarily great for blogging on because audience attention isn’t high. If blogging, post it elsewhere.

On a self promotional level, finding these services annoying is irrelevant. It is about trying to reach people in the most beneficial and effective towards meeting your goals. If your audience on FaceBook is helpful, then you might want to update there even if you are not comfortable. Find where you can compromise to self promote. This is what is comes down to. The tool is about getting results, not your personal feelings.

Consensus is that you really, really need to have a blog. Try to develop a readership. Mix up the content to help develop a broader readership: Personal life, professional life, writing life. Good to have blog attached to your website. Why? It helps with Google ranking. It means you can keep adding fresh content to your website. Twitter feed can help keep your content fresh.

If you are not going to engage authentically, then don’t.

One of the highest read blogs was that of a chinese erotic model who updated regularly. Try to update once a day to maintain the audience if you want to develop a huge audience. If you don’t want to blog, consider doing message from the author. Dead blogs are a turn off to the audience. People will drop you from their feeds.

Blogging is a big time commitment. When you’re doing fiction, you may not have the same correlation with blog success. You need to find balance. You need to find what works for your life. Penelope Trunk gives good advice on how to blog effectively. Though Penelope is extremely controversial so take it with a grain of salt.

From Peter Beagle to his fans

May 6th, 2009

A PERSONAL REQUEST TO ALL MY FANS
by Peter S. Beagle
If you’ve ever read and enjoyed one of my books or stories, or seen and enjoyed one of the films that I scripted, I’d like to ask a favor of you. It’s simple, really — if at all possible, within the next month please do one of the following things.
1) Go to www.conlanpress.com and buy a subscription to my year-long 52/50 Project (more about which, below).
2) Go to www.conlanpress.com and buy any single book or DVD of my work, either for you or as a gift for a friend.
3) If you can’t make a purchase yourself, try and get someone else interested enough to take the leap.
As for why I’m asking, that’s even simpler: you will change my life.
If you make just one purchase, or convince someone else to do so the same…and if enough of the other readers who get THE RAVEN do likewise…if that happens, then the financial crisis I’ve been in since my mother died in 2006 will finally be over. If that happens, I’ll be able to pay back all the money I’ve had to borrow to survive. If that happens, the Last Unicorn audiobook and the special hardcover Two Hearts will come zooming out at last from Conlan Press, along with Writing Sarek and the hardcover editions of my two new novels, Summerlong and I’m Afraid You’ve Got Dragons, and more. Better still, if that happens I’ll be able to buy the thinking and writing time I need to tell the rest of Sooz’s story — i.e., the full-novel Last Unicorn/Two Hearts sequel that I’m eager to bring to all of you (but which no publisher anywhere has so far been willing to pay me enough to live on while I’m doing the work).
Okay, Beagle. Deep breath. That wasn’t so hard, was it? Except, of course, being fairly shy about these things, it was.
There are lots of authors who are good at self-promotion. I am definitely not one of them. All I can do is work up my courage and ask, which I have now done: the rest is up to you.
To that end, I want to publicly thank the 53 people who have so far purchased subscriptions (58, total) to my 52/50 Project, in which I’m writing 52 original poems or song lyrics, one per week, for a whole year. The money from these subscriptions paid most of my rent last month, for which I am amazingly grateful.

copied from his newsletter, The Raven.

Fanzines galore: 1,600+ fanzines added to Fan History

April 29th, 2009

ROFLCOPTER (purpose) flew on in an created roughly 1,600 articles about fanzines on Fan History. These fanzines represent a number of different communities including soccer, rugby, Rat Patrol, Star Wars, science fiction, Bon Jovi and punk.

This brings the total number of articles we have about fanzines on Fan History to over 2,000. This makes Fan History one of the largest sources of information about Fanzines on the Internet. We’re very excited about that because we love fanzines. Heck, a lot of our early information on the wiki was about fanzines. Why do we love fanzines? Because fanzines give us a peek into fandom’s past, before the Internet was around. They were part of a subculture, an underground culture which helped people connect to part of a larger community that might otherwise not be as accessible. Fanzines provide a record of our history that we can touch. And they are a tradition that continues even now…

When we created these articles, we tried to have some basic information. This included title, fandom, the year the fanzine was published, who the publisher was and the source for this information. As a result, our articles aren’t very comprehensive. That’s really where we need your help. If you know these fandoms and fanzines, please help edit to improve that information to improve on our fanzine stubs. What awards did these zines win? What was their impact on the fan community? Was the zine the first one that appeared in that fan community? Where was it published? What was the size and what was the content? What happened to the fans who produced the zine? Do you have a copy of the zine? Any information you can add would be appreciated.

And if you know of a fanzine that isn’t represented but want to put it on the wiki, copy and paste our fanzine template to your new article, add your information and save the page. If you need any help formatting or creating a new article, let me or another admin know as we’ll happily help you with that.

Race!Fail: Search terms generating visits

March 15th, 2009

Over at Fan History, we’ve mostly been reading about Race!Fail. Our reading has been helped along because another admin and a contributor have been developing a list of links related to Race!Fail.  I first noticed a few search visits a few days ago as a result of the articles and so I was kind of curious as to what people were interested in Race!Fail as it pertained to Fan History’s content and how they interacted with it.  So we took a poke through Google Analytics and the following table should give you a good idea.  We thought it was interesting.  (Coffeeandink?  Not so interesting.  Patrick Hayden? Much more interested.  Will Shetterly? Not as fascinating as Elizabeth Bear.)

Fan History's Race!Fail related keywords as of March 15 2009: bear eliazbeth novel race bear poc elizabeth blood and iron   racefail coffeeandink coffeeandink outed elizabeth bear   writing the other   elizabeth bear + racism elizabeth bear cultural appropriation elizabeth bear debate elizabeth bear literary elizabeth bear open apology elizabeth bear other elizabeth bear race elizabeth bear race fail elizabeth bear racism elizabeth bear racist elizabeth bear racist character elizabeth bear wank elizabeth bear writing the other elizabeth bear   blood iron racist elizabeth bear   racism elizabeth bear   racist elizabeth bear   wank elizabeth bear, racism elizabeth bear's racist comments fandom wank elizabeth bear fandom wank race fail fandom wank race fail 09 higher races doctor who wiki kerfuffle doom cultural bear livejournal race wank livejournal racewank neilsen hayden race wank nielsen hayden race fail patrick nielsen hayden bear elizabeth patrick nielsen hayden deleted journal patrick nielsen hayden race fail patrick nielsenhayden wank patrick nielson hayden bear racism race and fandom race fail race fail 09 wank race fail nielsen haydens race fail wiki race fail   + nielsen hayden race in fandom race wank race wank meta livejournal racefail 09 racefail 90 bear racefail fandom wank racefail fandomwank racefail patrick nielsen hayden racefail wank racefail, patrick nielsen hayden racefail/wank09 racewank race-wank racewank 09 racewank 2009 racewank hayden stargate race fail teresa nielsen hayden  teresa nielsen hayden racist teresa patrick race nielsen hayden the doom race wank theresa nielsen hayden race science fiction theresa nielsen-hayden   wiki coffeeandink wiki race fail will grace list wiki will shetterly race fail writing the other elizabeth bear writing the other   elizabeth bear writing the other, elizabeth bear

The most commonly searched for phrase getting here was Elizabeth Bear Racism.  The most pages per visit?  Race-Wank.  Interesting stuff.

How many fandoms are represented on Fan History?

January 18th, 2009

About a week ago, I was asked by some one how many fandoms were represented on Fan History and I had problems coming up with a number. Why? Because Fan History is a work in progress. For some fandoms, we have articles but they aren’t found in a category that makes them easily countable. Some articles don’t have categories because we just have one article in that subcategory so we don’t bother. Some of our articles were created by bots. While we’ve been hard at work trying to make categories, subcategories and build the framework for them, we’re talking over 5,000 categories and that takes a lot of work.

So that aside, let’s try to get a picture of how many fandoms are represented on Fan History by seeing how big some of our important categories are.

Misc

  • Fan fiction community size – 2,111 fandoms
  • LiveJournal community size by fandom – 999 fandoms
  • Actors

  • Actor fandoms – 322 fandoms
  • Actor fans – 41 fandoms
    A lot of these articles were created because LiveJournal communities were based on them or in an effort to create articles for people who visit our site through FanPop and Chickipedia. A lot of these fandoms are smaller so high possibility that there are another 100 actor fandoms on Fan History that aren’t picked up because of LiveJournal related bots.Anime
  • Anime fandoms -304 fandoms
  • Anime fandom categories – 374 fandoms
  • Anime fans – 299 fans
  • Anime LiveJournal communities – 20 fandoms
    A lot of anime fandoms are really, really small. FanFiction.Net related bots picked them up. We just haven’t built categories for them because we haven’t always spotted them. And when we do spot them, we’re not always creating articles for them. We found an anime fandom recently where there were over 2000 articles in subcategories but no actual article about the show itself. I’d guess that’s the high number? Add another 200 and you’ll get a feel for the number of anime fandoms.Books
  • Book fandoms – 220 fandoms
  • Book fandom categories – 287 fandoms
  • Book fans – 181 fans
  • Book LiveJournal communities – 13 fandoms
    We’re planning on adding a number of new book fandoms to Fan Fiction Stat Bot, to the tune over over 100 fandoms. That should ratchet up the number of fandoms represented by another 100. There are probably another 100 not showing up because of FanFiction.Net connected bots.Cartoons
  • Cartoon fandoms – 63 fandoms
  • Cartoons fandom categories – 120 fandoms
  • Cartoons fans – 125 fandoms
    I’d hazard a guess of another 25 fandoms floating around the site. This category just doesn’t feel like it has the sheer number of fandoms to draw from to begin with to have a lot of hidden categories and articles.Comics
  • Comics fandoms – 48 fandoms
  • Comics fandoms categories – 59 fandoms
  • Comics fans – 41 fandoms
    Like cartoons, this is a pretty small type of fandom that is compounded in its difficulty to count and create articles for because of all the crossovers canon-wise, with new comics spun off based on characters, etc. There are probably another 25 fandoms not yet categorized in those groups yet.Movies
  • Movie fandoms – 221 fandoms
  • Movie fandom categories – 338 fandoms
  • Movie fans – 265 fandoms
    Movie fandoms might have some additional fan categories to the tune of another 100 or so. Like actor fandoms, unless there is more than 1 article in a category, categories generally aren’t created for it. FanFiction.Net related articles weren’t picked up by Fan Fiction Stat Bot because we wanted to get the bot done faster and generally assumed those fandoms weren’t as active. There are probably 100 to 250 wanted articles for movies on actor-related articles where we’ve listed what fandoms actors appeared in.Music
  • Music fandoms – 377 fandoms
  • Music fandom categories – 383 fandoms
  • Music fans – 67 fandoms
  • Music LiveJournal communities – 33 fandoms
  • Music images – 44 fandoms
    This broad subcategory has had a few stewards and hasn’t had the articles added by bots that the other ones have had. Where it did, most of the categories already existed. I’d guess at most that another 50 fandoms are represented.Politics
  • Politics fandom categories – 1 fandom
  • Politics fandoms – 6 fandoms
    This is one of those main categories that is a mess. There probably aren’t more than 4 additional fandoms. No one has really put the time and effort into organizing and fixing this category so it just isn’t represented. (That should really change.)Radio
  • Radio fans – 2 fandoms
  • Radio fandoms – 33 fandoms
  • Radio fandom categories – 31 fandoms
    This is another neglected category like politicians. It should have more but doesn’t. It might have another 10 fandoms, mostly ones that are part of other mediums.Science fiction
  • Science fiction fandoms – 38 fandoms
  • Science fiction fans – 2 fandoms
    These categories mostly are pulled from other categories like books, television and movies. There are probably another 300 categories but they overlap everything else ,so take that with a grain of salt. We really need someone to sort through and better categorize those shows. Our emphasis on this category so far has been conventions, culture and terminology when building here.Sports
  • Baseball – 10 fandoms
  • Basketball – 4 fandoms
  • Figure skating – 2 fandoms
  • Football – 8 fandoms
  • Football fans – 3 fandoms
  • Hockey teams – 5 fandoms
  • Soccer fans – 3 fandoms
  • Sports fandom categories – 17 fandoms
    Sports fandom is a total mess because you’re not dealing with a major broad category but a category per sport. No one has spent much time improving the organization or working on articles in this area. We have a number of fandoms based on my and Sidewinder’s sports team interests. A few were picked up by LiveJournal bot. It looks like 50 total but better counting and sorting things out from uncategorized categories and uncategorized articles, I think we’d have another 50 fandoms.Television
  • Television fandoms – 457
  • Television fandom categories – 545 fandoms
  • Television fans – 414 fandoms
    As Fan history came out of media fandom with some music and television fans, I’m not surprised this is really large. I’d hazard a guess we have another 150 categories and articles from various television fandoms floating around the site.
    Theater
  • Theater fandoms – 7 fandoms
  • Theater fandom categories – 14 fandoms
  • Theater fans – 13 fandoms
    This is just one of those other neglected fandom categories. Not much there and no one has spent a lot of time updating those articles. I’d estimate another 10 fandoms just because there hasn’t been a goal of adding categories and articles.
    Video games
  • Video game fandoms – 84 fandoms
  • Video game fandom categories – 187 fandoms
  • Video game fans – 159 fandoms
    This category is one of those that has a lot of categories because people helped complete wanted categories based on articles the bots created. Lots of articles missing but categories created. The category was better maintained a year ago when one of major contributors was more active. I’d guess another 50 fandoms here because not the biggest category ever.
    Based on the biggest number of fandoms (besides sports where we just added them up and misc which duplicated a lot of things in our existing categories) for each subheading, we have a total of 2,761 fandoms represented on Fan History. If you add up our total estimates for fandoms that aren’t counted where they are supposed to be, we probably have 3,635 fandoms represented on Fan History.

    That’s a lot of fandoms. And we haven’t even begun to really document many of those are touch all the fan communities that are out there.

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