39 Comments

Not a real fan

I started loving science fiction when I was all of three or four, watching the Apollo/Soyuz link-up with my parents on TV. It’s one of my earliest memories. I remember playing in the semi-finished basement of our home in Colby, Kansas, listening to Walter Cronkite as little lights showed the orbits converging.

I was hooked.

For forty years I’ve read or watched every scrap of SFF I could get my hands on.

But, according to the Anti Sad Puppy crowd, I’m not a real fan.

I read the Hobbit for the first time in Kindergarten.

So I’m not a Real Fan.

I chased the Delikon off Earth in fourth grade and followed Alice down the rabbit hole.

But I’m not a real fan.

I devoured the Chronicles of Prydain and watched the Dark rise in 5th grade.

So I’m not a Real Fan.

By sixth grade I was on my fifth run through of the Lord of the Rings.

So I’m not a Real Fan.

I discovered Col. Falkenberg and met the Moties in 7th grade.

So I’m not a Real Fan.

In the last 40 years I have read hundreds of SFF books, watched hundreds of movies, dreamed of flying on Serenity and riding Sue with Harry Dresden.

So I’m not a Real Fan.

You see, according to the Anti crowd I can’t be a real fan because I don’t go to cons. I’ve only been to one you see, not out of lack of desire, but lack of funds.

So I’m not a Real Fan.

See, to be a Real Fan, you have to agree with the liberal orthodoxy. You have to believe that SF is all about teaching us lessons, not about having fun. You also, apparently, have to go to cons and beat your breast about “privilege” and “diversity” and apparently apologize for having testicles.

The problem I see with this point of view is simple.

It’s bullshit.

Real fans love SFF. We devour it, in all it’s forms. We love the smell of a new book, we love to go to the latest Transformers flick, knowing it’s really lousy story telling but great fun.

We know that comic books are as much SFF as Heinlein (oop, he’s not real SF anymore either, because reasons) and so are movies.

The literary cons, like the increasingly misnamed Worldcon, are dying like the mainline Christian denominations and for much the same reason — age.

Now, I’m no expert, but judging from the pictures and the one con I’ve been to, as well as from talking to authors, many of whom are friends, the average age at these things is a couple years older than me — and I’m middle aged.

The strictly literary cons are increasingly circle jerks where the “in” crowd sits around and masturbatorially congratulate themselves on how with it they are and how smart they are and how stupid those Not Real Fans are for liking guys like Larry Corriea, and getting grey-er by the minute.

Meanwhile at places like Dragon*Con and Comic Con, a young, energetic crowd celebrates all things geek and all things SFF and while there are literary tracks it’s not the entire focus.

Which the Real Fans cannot stand. So they harrumph and grunt and scratch, and congratulate themselves about how pure they are, while Dragon*Con has many, many times the attendees as Worldcon.

So I have a simple message for the Real Fans.

Go screw.

I’d rather spend my time with Not Real Fans than you idiots. I’d rather celebrate the genre and geekdom in general than sit around staring at my navel lint and voting awards to drivel like “If You Were a Lizard, My Love.”

So keep doing what you’re doing. Maybe genre sales will turn around, maybe Worldcon and the Hugos will be relevant again.

But probably not.

Not that I know anything.

I’m not a Real Fan.

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39 comments on “Not a real fan

  1. Go Screw? Pat your were waay too gentle there. You should have gone with my favorite variation on go f yourself. if nothing else the descriptive will either make people sneer with false superiority or make heads explode.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well I might have, but my wife might read it and she’s sensitive about bad language.

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  3. Yes, this. My qualifications are less, but similar. I took a break from SF reading for years because it was often not satisfying. In the last 2 years, that has changed. Sarah A Hoyt, Brad Torgerson, Larry C, and MZW and Ringo and Cedar. And from them, more. So I too am apparently a Browncoat, but not in the club because I spend the money on books instead of the voting membership. Although if I did, and voted for what I read, then it would be stuffing the ballot box, as though that would be something new. New in that a different group may be those applying leverage, perhaps. I would consider it if I felt strongly enough that the award should be saved. As it is, I am more content to put more money in their pockets and ignore the more and more irrelevant award which seems to have no bearing on the success of an author, nor their prestige among others than the seemingly heavily insulated voters of the Hugo. It is now a popularity award which (I feel) does little to promote the field to those outside of their own self congratulatory playground. Sad is how I see it. Such is life.

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  4. I dunno. LibertyCon is a literary con, and seems to have to trouble maintaining their numbers.Of course, the SJWs probably don’t count it as such…

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    • LibertyCon is more or less the exception that proves the rule. Note that it is a Baen-heavy con with lots of Human Wave writers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, but Libertycon has panelists and guests that are actual physicists and neurologists and military, and delights in setting them upon the suspecting and unsuspecting authors. (Especially seeing as most of ’em are authors.) This indicates a basic willingness to place competence and “It doesn’t work that way” over message.

        It’s also willing to be truly diverse and inclusive: it has children’s programming. The con com cares enough about making it family friendly, and able for parents to come, that they’ve got a lot of things for the kids to do. This makes it truly open to an entire age range and class of folks who love science fiction that aren’t welcome at other cons. (Though it does lead to speculation on who is the cutest author’s podling. James Young’s? Dave Pascoe’s? Jessica Schlenker’s? That way lies cute overload and madness.)

        I’m sure if you asked the Worldcon attendees who are proud of their SJW status, the halls filled with kids having swordfights and very polite armed adults couldn’t possibly be Real Fans, but the future belongs to those who show up for it… like Mad Mike’s kids, Cedar Sanderson’s sproglets, and the Hoyt Clan.

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    • Yeah, but LibertyCon also had a panel on homebrewing. What other literary cons have that kind of panel? Do you think WorldCon would have such a panel? How about WisCon?

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  5. “The literary cons, like the increasingly misnamed Worldcon, are dying like the mainline Christian denominations and for much the same reason — age.”

    Rather than age, they both deviate from their origins. Both have become mush. And neither have a compelling story to tell.

    My first trip to the school library in second grade got me my first SF, Zip-Zip and his Flying Saucer. A lot of parents in 1958 were scared about Sputnik, so they bought us books on science and astronomy. But Heinlein and Asimov made it real. Correia makes it unreal, which can be cool. Mush and pabulum make it boring.

    So now I read Flynn and Thor, though wish it were less violent, and geek gold The Martian. Now must look for a Patrick Richardson to enjoy.

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  6. I made a serious mistake. I clicked on the dinosaur link. There are no words. Love what you said. But wow.

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  7. Followed the link to the so called short story, If You Were a Dinosaur my Love. Not even science fiction (or fantasy either) and was also not a story. Now I can see what some of the talk is about. Glad I didn’t buy that magazine.

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  8. Yea – I am not a REAL fan either even though I have read the Lord of the Rings (all four books) seven times at last count. I’ve read all of Heinlein’s, E.E Doc Smiths, Andre Norton, and others several times and am enjoying the new SF&F writers who are writing the new adventures and NOT that drivel.

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  9. Not a real fan? You’re in good company. Larry Correia was accused of that because he “doesn’t got to cons”. Never mind that he went to 13 cons in 2014.

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  10. You are SO a real fan! Thanks for the great descriptions and enthusiasm!

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  11. Is there an actual post/article that says this? I’m trying to figure out what inspired this post,

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    • Bob, there are multiple posts and personal conversations, including at least one case of Larry Correia being labeled “not part of fandom” because he doesn’t go to cons, despite having hit 13 of them last year.

      But I’m not going to do your work for you, google a bit, you’ll find them.

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      • Someone said Larry was not part of fandom? To quote Malcolm Reynolds, “Huh.”

        I don’t know whether anyone’s ever died from being laughed at, but it sounds like someone is trying real hard to find out.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can find plenty of examples of Larry *claiming* people called him not a real writer or not a real fan. What seems thin on the ground is actual pages where people *did* so. Larry’s (and other Sad Puppies’) whining has reduced the signal to noise ratio to the point I can’t find those.

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  12. I started loving science fiction when I was all of three or four, watching the Apollo/Soyuz link-up with my parents on TV.

    modifier is dangling

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  13. We need more unreal-fans such as yourself. Great post.

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  14. Reblogged this on The Worlds of Tarien Cole and commented:
    And you know, there was a time I thought Con were the coolest thing in the world. Then I watched one after another turn into SJW party orgs. And like all things SJW, the fun went out of them. Sure as the sun rises. Because the Glittering Ones combine the moral prudity of the Puritans with the goals of Trotsky. Then they wonder why the market is drying up around their feet.

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  15. Read LOTR in 4th grade….I feel so inadequate. Chronicles of Thomas Covenant in 5th.

    Heard Ringo give …get younger fans advice to some litconners. Their con is gone now. I suspect many more will join them.

    And..heh…last book I read was Shadows of the Multiverse by Doug Dandridge.

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  16. You are as good a fan as anyone. I’ve been to conventions. I’d say those convocations of hyper-geeks, forever alone virgins, crazy cat ladies, shut-ins and the socially retarded are highly over rated.
    They might be fun of you could capture and drain away the pure dork essence that permeates the entire affair.
    I soon discovered that I couldn’t get laid no matter how hard I tried for at least a month after attending dork-fest so I quit going.

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  17. […] Richardson’s post “Not a real fan” at the Otherwhere Gazette is getting a lot of eyeballs today because fans love the thrill of terror […]

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  18. “If you were a Real Fan, My Love”
    If you were a RF, my love, then you would be a SJW. You’d be a small one, only five feet, ten inches, the same height as human-you. You’d be fragile-in-psyche and you’d shuffle along with as delicate and unoffending a gait as you could manage on cis-male Birkenstocks. Your eyes would gaze gently from beneath your sweaty brow-ridge, as you gazed for victims who need you to speak truth to power for them (but not in the safe spaces, since you understand the need to not trigger the fragile flowers who rest therein).
    And…..that’s about enough of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. […] little background. Yesterday at The New Otherwhere Gazette, Patrick Richardson penned a post entitled “Not a real fan”. The basic gist of the post boils down to this. Someone had posited that you can’t be a real […]

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  20. […] over at the Otherwhere Gazette, Pat Richardson penned a very insightful piece called “Not a Real Fan“. In the piece he details that though he has read more science fiction books than I even […]

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  21. You all are so nice to worry about my feelings but it isn’t like I haven’t heard it before or from him. LOL

    Liked by 2 people

  22. I was once accused of not being a true fan for 1) Preferring the 1951 version of The Thing and 2) Not liking Stargate SG-1.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Right with you on The Thing, 1951 version is the best. (I would only have been 2 years old at the time of its original release, so forgive me if I must admit to having seen it initially on a Friday night Creature Feature type show sometime in the late 50s or thereabouts.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. […] The esteemed Patrick Richardson expresses an opinion to the contrary, which is to say, the truth of the matter (https://otherwheregazette.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/not-a-real-fan/): […]

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  24. […] There are some arguments that you and your friends aren’t really part of “fandom” and are intruding where you’re not […]

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  25. […] I don’t know who that one person was, but I do know that they made it in the comments thread of some post or another. Somebody apparently accused a blogger named Patrick Richardson of not being a true fan, and he defended himself in the blog post “Not a Real Fan.” […]

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