Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic
howeird

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A Word About Fannishness, Mine in Particular

Thanks to johnnyeponymous for sparking this thought. I his latest issue of Drink Tank, he mentioned me as an SF/SF fanzine contributor, among a group he hoped would continue but might not.

I'll definitely contribute more. Eventually.When I have something to contribute. And the reason for this waffling is based on what kind of fan I am. And some of my shortcomings.

What kind of fan am I? Not much of one, actually. Some of this comes from being a slow reader, some comes from not having an encyclopedic memory and some comes from being a mind self-control freak which, on the one hand, has kept me from drug addiction, but on the other hand limits how deeply I can immerse myself into speculative worlds. And my background as a photojournalist and editor has trained me to be an impartial observer. I'm the guy who took pictures of anti-war protests, marching with the protesters, but staying back far enough to not get tear gassed. My sister, the one who can't be roused from a book until she reaches the end of a chapter, was in the front lines with a wet rag over her face. But note I was in the protest, not on the overpass with the cops and corporate news bozoids.

I go to cons, but I don't go out of my way to go. And if I miss one, I'm not heartbroken unless I'd already bought a membership. And I've never been on a panel, though many of my friends are. I know I could hold my own on several routine con panel subjects, but I would rather take photos and be amused as an observer.

What else? Oh yeah, there's my one "religion". In the computer world, there are people who refuse to touch a Microsoft program or OS, and others who feel the same about Apple or Sun or Linux. We call that having a religion. In the world of fandom, my religion believes with a very strong faith that science fiction is about science, and about "what if xxx scientific truth was changed/negated/warped in some way?". It is not about magic or dragons or elves or witchcraft. That's another genre, and I am deeply offended that the booksellers have chosen to lump these two disparate subjects into one.

Yes, I read and enjoy some fantasy. But not much, because, as I said, I'm not one to immerse myself in a book, I read as if I'm standing outside the action. Fantasy rarely survives impartial scrutiny. However,  as I am with all religions, I have no problem being good friends with those who do not share mine.

Back to the journalist thing. One of the down sides of having been a newspaper editor is I'm used to assignments being handed to me, and I'm lazy about finding my own. That's one reason I'll be a less than regular contributor to the fanzines. Another is I don't have very deep knowledge of SF, or movies or anything else for that matter. JOATMON, for the most part.
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