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Reclaiming Norse Mythology from the Nazis by Ian Stuart Sharpe

It is one of the most iconic scenes in modern cinematic history:  Indiana Jones is in a desperate race against the Nazis, a lone hero battling against the entire German war machine to prevent an ancient artefact of immense power from falling into the wrong hands. Of...

Interview with Ian Stuart Sharpe, Author of The All Father Paradox!

Q: What made you write The All Father Paradox? Ian Stuart Sharpe: I think it was preordained. Not in a crazy way, you understand. You just learn to spot the signs, to realize that something is off-kilter. For example, in the year 793AD, according to the Anglo-Saxon...

Join the Outlanders!

ANNOUNCEMENTS Join Outland's Street Team, The Outlanders! Get sneak peeks at new releases, including fiction, games, and comics! Receive exclusive content, and be eligible to receive advance review copies of upcoming releases! If you like to help spread the word about...

THE ALL FATHER PARADOX Releases in October!

THE ALL FATHER PARADOX by Ian Stuart Sharpe Coming in October! What if an ancient god escaped his fate…and history was thrown to the wolves? Churchwarden Michaels thought it was just a run-of-the-mill crazy old man who stood in the graveyard, hellbent on studying the...

HATH NO FURY Has Hit the Shelves and E-Readers!

Mother. Warrior. Caregiver. Wife. Lover. Survivor. Trickster. Heroine. Leader.   This anthology features 21 stories and six essays about women who defy genre stereotypes. Here, it’s not the hero who acts while the heroine waits to be rescued; Hath No Fury’s women are...

Announcement: VIKINGVERSE COVER ILLUSTRATION RELEASED!

ANNOUNCEMENT Official summary of ALL FATHER PARADOX along with color cover illustration! What if an ancient god escaped his fate…and history was thrown to the wolves? Churchwarden Michaels thought it was just a run-of-the-mill crazy old man who stood in the graveyard,...

Announcement: New Comic Coming from Outland Entertainment!

ANNOUNCEMENT: Announcing Riddle of the Loremaster, an all new original comic series written by Melanie R. Meadors, with art by Nicolás Giacondino! Here is a sneak peek at some of the promo art: Riddle of the Loremaster is a comic for mature readers set in a fantasy...

Women in Dark Fantasy Have Changed by Linda Robertson

In doing a bit of research looking for a dark-fantasy-related topic for this article, I sought something that I knew at least a bit about, something I felt strongly about, and something where I could add meaningfully to the conversation. Many things were considered,...

Alethea Kontis on Imposter Syndrome

Earlier this year, I met the only student Katy Kellgren ever had. He told me he just about had to bully her into being his teacher. This amazing, multiple award-winning voice actress with hundreds of audiobooks under her belt truly didn’t believe she knew anything...

Announcements: HATH NO FURY Has Arrived in the US!

Backers of the paperback and hardcover editions of Hath No Fury will be happy to learn that the books have arrived at the printer's headquarters in Chicago! Now, they just need to be sent to our head honcho Jeremy Mohler, and then they will be sent out to backers...

Fandom and genre don’t always coincide. You might be addicted to a lot of stories, characters or even just the aesthetics of countless disparate works.

The genre isn’t a barrier. It might be what makes us take the first step – the so called point of entry – but at a certain moment our passion for a fandom transcends any label and even leads us to experiment different types of content (genres) and format (video games, TV series, cinema, novels, comics…).

Fan engagement is built on psychological mechanisms that concern the realm of imagination on the one hand, and the emotional processes on the other.1 Being part of a fan community means that you’ve passed the threshold. You already feel connected enough to the material in a way that gives you sense of nearly ownership over that work. You might pluck your favorite character from its Dramatic Novel surroundings and drop into a Steampunk universe.

And that’s when it happens: when you start interacting directly with the content you will most probably tweak the genre. Using that flexibility gives you the total freedom you creatively need to develop and maintain your relationship with the characters, certain narrative moments or a whole universe.

As Henry Jenkins has so clearly contrasted, the fan culture has gone from a stage where it was deeply marginalized to an age where fan participation is not only accepted and encouraged, as it is “increasingly central to the production decisions shaping the current media landscape”2.

However, being part of a fandom doesn’t always just mean that you have a whole new world to explore, a parallel universe to escape to. You can become addicted to writing or reading fanfiction, to creating or watching fanvids or even listening or playing some very specific music genres (Wrock, anyone?).

If you allow yourself to get involved, to engage with the different components on a systematic basis, it can become an integral part of your life, sometimes with strange consequences.

Have you thought about the emotional baggage you suddenly attach to you?

We’ll talk about that on the next installment of these series.

S.G.

 

1) JENKINS, Henry and SHRESHTOVA, Sangita: “Up, Up and Away! The Power and Potential of Fan Activism”, http://henryjenkins.org/2012/07/fandom_is_built_on_psychologic.html

2) JENKINS, Henry “When Fandom Goes Mainstream…” http://henryjenkins.org/2006/11/when_fandom_goes_mainstream.html