Episode 10: Deep in the heart of fandom

Detail from the cover of Delilah Dawson's  Phasma .

Detail from the cover of Delilah Dawson's Phasma.

We've all witnessed the awesome power of fandom: saving beloved TV shows from cancellation, creating beautiful fan art and fan-fiction, and creating brilliant communities. But the dark side of fandom is also powerful, and can lead to actors and creators being harassed and driven off the internet. How is fandom changing as science fiction and fantasy go mainstream, and how can we keep interactions between creators and fans constructive? We talked to authors Delilah Dawson and Naomi Novik about their experiences with fandom, and what it's like to go from geeking out about stories to creating their own canon.

Topics, people, and texts discussed:

Leslie Jones, who was harassed by right-wing fans online for her role in Ghostbusters.

Kelly Marie Tran, who was subjected to so much racist abuse from Star Wars fans on Instagram that she had to delete her account.

Director Rian Johnson, and stars John Boyega and Mark Hamill responded to the MRA "de-feminized" fan edit of The Last Jedi

Delilah Dawson talked to us about her work as a writer and fan.

Phasma is the terrific (and bestselling!) novel by Delilah Dawson.

Naomi Novik talked to us about fandom, too. She's the author of the Temeraire series, as well as the Nebula-winning novel Uprooted.

An Archive of Our Own is the fanfic repository and community that Novik created.

Annalee Newitz