You Might Be A Fan If… – Foxfier

You May Be A Fan If… -Foxfier

There’s been a bit of a to-do about who is a “real” fan, and someone pointed out an amusing contrast with the “real geek girl” to-do of a year or three ago– roughly, the sides are reversed. This got me to thinking (quake in fear!), and late last night I realized– this one is backwards. Fan isn’t something you disqualify from, it’s something you qualify for. The things that were put forward as necessary to be a fan were just sufficient, not mandatory. It’s qualifications for a sub-group of fandom.

The word means something, but it was like a very odd conversation I once saw where someone tried to disqualify a Star Wars fan from being a scifi fan, because ‘Wars is an example of a science fiction setting for fantasy. Swords, sorcery, lost prince… it actually works rather nicely. But being fantasy doesn’t mean it’s not also scifi, it just means it’s not that it is unlikely to be either hard or hyper-realistic scifi, which is another argument where a sub-group is being over applied. Look at comic books: you run a good chance of having scifi, fantasy and technothriller themes on the same team, much less the same time-space continuum. Heck, I’m enough of an X-Men fan that I was one of those upset when a mutant who negates mutation-based powers negated a magic helmet. Yes, I’ll give fans of the Star-Wars-Movies-Which-Did-NOT-HAPPEN!1!11!1 trouble, but it’s usually in fun. About the only time I’d be serious would be the same as with the archetype of the Twilight Invasion– great, you like one thing in a category; would you call yourself a fan of classical music because Flight of the Valkyries is awesome? Much less take that as standing to opine about who else is a fan? It’s not a thing to be proud of, although it should not be a shame- fan, geek, fill-in-the-blank nerd are all descriptions.

The “real geek” thing I personally saw more often used on hipsters or as pushback; shockingly, didn’t see a lot of guys complaining about pretty girls dressing like comic characters, but did see folks pushing back when folks tried to mainstream the geekdom they’d chosen, to the point that it didn’t have anything to do with what it originally was– rather than wanting to share part of it, some folks wanted to control it. People being people, I’m sure at least some folks mistook someone with a different fandom focus for not being a fan at all, especially in the aftermath of the infamous Twilight ComiCon Invasion(s) of six or seven years ago, and pushed ‘back’ when there was no initial push. I’ve run into that a few times myself when checking out new game shops, being closer to the archetype of a romance novel reader than of a gamer. Never really rudely, and usually it just amuses me– if I’m dressed in my “take me seriously, I’m a mom” outfits, how are they supposed to know I’m not a well-meaning ‘dane looking for a gift for a geek relative? It’s not like I have “former raid tank” written across my forehead, and approaching my sister like she’s a geek would probably scare her off, which is really bad for a game shop.

I know I’ve touched on this before with the somewhat related “hipster or real geek” question, but I still think it’s accurate– to be a fan is to love. To geek on a thing is to show your love so openly that it becomes an obvious vulnerability.

So, in the grand tradition of the Redneck jokes, here’s a start- can you add some?

You may be a fan if:

You have ever spent more time on plausibility fixes for a plot hole than the original author did.

You get annoyed by plotholes that make the the people who did an adaptation of one of your fandom targets get huffy about your over-thinking, and can explain a half-dozen different and very easy fixes.

You love the adaptation anyways.

You know more about the relationships of your favorite characters than the relationships of your co-workers and/or family members.

You carry a grudge for a change to a character that was made a decade ago.

You love an entire franchise because of a single Crowning Moment of Awesome that was a decade ago.

Your car, computer or router is named for a character or item in a book, or make a joke about it. Bonus points if you have customized your car to make the joke on its own.

Your ring-tone is from a game, movie or show.

You are asked by co-workers to set up their ring-tone for one from a game, movie or show.

Family and friends call you for “the name of that guy in the show you liked, you know, the one with the science-y thingie?”

….and you are able to give it to them.

You have ever had a “Who would win, Batman or” conversation.

You are now prepared to defend whichever side you take in those, to the pain.

You smiled even a little because of the Princess Bride allusion.

You have ever had to explain you were quoting the Princess Bride, and proceeded to bully the person asking into watching the movie.

You have ever been shocked that someone hasn’t tried a fandom you consider basic, and proceed to try to correct this with great enthusiasm.

622 responses to “You Might Be A Fan If… – Foxfier

  1. Shucks. I guess even after forty+ years of reading SF/F and comics I ain’t a fan. Dang!

    • Wait-a-min! Does spending forty-five minutes trying to explain the Kree-Skrull war to somebody who didn’t read comics qualify me as fan?

      • *adds to the list*

      • That and/or spending an evening debating continuity (and solving the holes or trying to) in a series that was infamous for gleefully ignoring the entire concept of continuity. Because an infidel (Trekkie) complained about not liking the series because it didn’t follow the known past.

        • With some series, it’s best to just say alternate universe from this point on, at least for me. I tend to get attached to continuity.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Nod. Star Trek’s that way now. The Eugenics Wars started in the 1990’s in the Star Trek universe.

            Oh, Doctor Who is that way as well. Early Who episodes had Earth invaded sometime in the 1990s-2000.

            • Dr. Who and Continuity just don’t belong in the same paragraph, let alone the same sentence. -laugh-

            • How can anyone but Steve Rogers be Captain America?

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                I’ve been known to complain loudly that they ruined Captain America when they did that frozen in ice retcon to start the Avengers in the sixties, well before I was born. I recently wrote several hundred words about how Rogers would’ve been understood when he was written, then deleted it because I’d mangled my log on at Sci Fi Wright.

                The only comics I can really be said to have followed are Jim Zub’s Wayward.

            • There was a two-part novel published a decade or so back in which the author managed to justify the Eugenics Wars in our own history as an X-Files-like secret war that only occasionally bubbled into public knowledge. He even managed to bring in other Trek stories that took place in the 20th century that appeared after ‘Space Seed’. It was great.

              . . . I might be a fan, yes.

            • They got Khan the Warlord.
              We got Dolly the sheep.

  2. Probably. I now consider you qualified.

  3. … You know the full name of characters that no one else does. (IE Leonard McCoy, Hikaru Sulu, etc.)

    …You can place a series of 10+ books on your bookshelf in order without needing a list.

    …You don’t get upset if your dog eats your $100.00 sneakers but he’d better leave your $7.99 novel alone if he knows what’s good for him.

    …You can have an entire conversation based on book/movie quotes that no Mundane could ever hope to understand.

    …You know the name of your favorite author’s spouse but can’t remember what your colleague’s spouse answers to.

    …You can swear in Fen-ese, using terms like drek, gorram, frack, etc. and only another fan will have any clue what you’re talking about.

    …You rage about the way a fictional character was killed and can’t remember what one of your relatives died of.

    and last, but certainly not least…

    …You are convinced, UTTERLY convinced, that that gorram author who wrote that absolute piece of drek bestseller would have written a much better story if the motherfracker would just have written the way you would have.

  4. sabrinachase

    I’m a fan because I call my mom the Mother-Thing and she approves 😀 (and she totally is a Mother-Thing!)

  5. You’re smegging right.

  6. Jeff Duntemann

    You’re probably younger than I am, so you may not have been around for MidAmericon 1 in 1976, and The Great Fringefan Deprecation. As Boomers came of age in great howling hordes, Worldcons were getting bigger, and at some point began outgrowing their traditional venues. The concom, led by the young Ken Keller, had this notion that if they excluded Movie / TV / D&D / Fantasy / Horror fans, the crowds might become more manageable. So much time was spent gently telling “fringefans” that the con would have nothing to interest them. All-night movie rooms were canceled, as was programming catering to non-print media and gaming.

    There was a great deal of bitching and moaning, and Keller took a lot of hits for alienating people who had nominally been in fandom for many years. I consider that year the true beginning of independent media fandom, which led directly to DragonCon and ComiCon, both of which ventually dwarfed even the largest worldcons.

    I wrote a silly filk of “Gee Officer Krupke” from West Side Story to razz Keller about it, which began:

    Gee…..kindly Chairman Keller, ya gotta understand:
    I’m really not a dweller in Never-Never Land.
    I do like scence fiction; it’s *reading* I can’t stand.
    H. P. Lovecraft, why ain’t I a fan?

    Dear Mr. Fringefan, we say it for you:
    At MidAmericon you will find nothing to do.
    This con is for truefen, who’ve waited for years,
    And not a lot of pointed ears.

    Pointed ears! Pointed ears! Pointed ears, ears, ears
    And a lot of orcses dragging spears!


    Moral: Don’t alienate huge chunks of your fanbase. Bad Things Can Happen, hint…hint.

    • Feather Blade

      The concom, led by the young Ken Keller, had this notion that if they excluded Movie / TV / D&D / Fantasy / Horror fans, the crowds might become more manageable. So much time was spent gently telling “fringefans” that the con would have nothing to interest them.

      That’s… um… wow. Certainly not a solution that most con-runners today would consider.

      There was no option to find a larger venue or refine their crowd management?

      • Jeff Duntemann

        The venue was, I think a ruse. The real reason was archetypal fannish snobbishness, a tradition that goes back to the prewar era. Keller was very young, and I’ve sometimes wondered if he was just looking for attention / publicity. He certainly got it.

    • My parents hadn’t even met yet. 😀

      • Eyes are extra watery today, so I initially misread that verb tense as “haven’t” and thought: now, that’s a fan.

      • The Other Sean

        Mine had been like a month. 🙂

        • The Other Sean

          Mine had been married like a month when Midamericon took place. No, they didn’t attend. 🙂

          My comments would be so much better if they included the words and sentences I meant them to included, and excluded ones I didn’t wish to include.

        • 1966? I was 4. Parents had been married for 14 years.

          • 1976– I was 14. Just started high school. Parents had been married for 24 years. I’m a tail end boomer. If I had kids they’d’ve been Gen X I think. Born in the ’80’s.

          • But Heinlein went to MidAmericon. And Heinlein had a movie. Me no get Keller’s bad idea.

    • You may be a fan if…

      you know what a filk is.

      You are definitely a fan if you have engaged in filking or even been in a room when it happened 🙂

      • I can quit any time.

      • Jeff Duntemann

        It may be a family thing. My sister, Gretchen Roper, is a tolerably famous filker, as is her husband Bill. They own I wrote “Our Space Opera Goes Rolling Along,” “The Outer Space Marines,” “The Zero-G Polka,” and “I’m a Trekkie,” along with a few others nobody remembers anymore. I guess I’m a fan, though I think I may be a wrongfan these days. It’s been a weird few months.

        • Wow you’re Bill Roper’s BIL! If you’re a wrongfan come to wrongcity–Dallas.

        • Ooooooh! So that’s why I knew your name! I knew it probably wasn’t anything recent, because it felt like it was from way back, but I didn’t recognize your face….

          (I’m Maureen O’Brien and not the Doctor Who actress one. I used to filk a lot, know Bill and Gretchen somewhat, have tons of old filkbooks, and love your work! Nice to finally “meet” you!)

          • Jeff Duntemann

            You’re absolutely right: The problem is that I’ve been mostly out of fandom for almost thirty years, and mostly stopped writing SF once I learned how much money there was in writing computer magazine articles and books.

            I’m retired from tech publishing now and am trying to restart my career as an SF writer. Maybe I should write more filk songs too.

            • If you can record your own and put it on Youtube it would potentially reestablish your presence in the fanbase. Name recognition unquestionably sells books.

            • For years I’ve gotten a smile every time I thought of your mom keeping your assembly language book on her coffee table so she could brag about it.

              Not to mention it was a great book in its own right aside from that story 🙂

              • Jeff Duntemann

                Thanks! That book has been in print now for 26 years and four editions, and single-handedly paid for my house in Colorado Springs. People ask me why I stopped writing SF. That’s pretty much the answer.

                Now–to do it again, this time on the SFF side…

          • The Other Sean

            Are you the same Maureen who was often at Ohio cons, and sometimes hanging with the Bertke sisters?

        • snelson134

          As someone who actually had a song in Xenofilkia (the Bastard Grandchildren of Argo issue), I stand convicted.

      • Hubby and I are multi genre fans. He: filk, gaming, movies and books. Me: books, fanfic, tv shows, slash. He proposed in a filk. actually it was very small con and his proposal was the friday night filk (I remember it well!) We are both rabid B5 fans.

        • Joe Wooten

          Interesting. I met my wife at a shuttle launch (STS-7 June 18 1983). Proposed the next month and married Oct 1. Been married for 32 years now…..

      • if your mother played filk songs on acoustic guitar when you had trouble sleeping (not just filk, but you get the idea)

  7. You might be a fan if your family teases you for calling William Shatner “Bill” in a casual conversation.
    You might be a fan if all of your WoW Hunters and their pets are named after characters in some of your favorite series.

    • Never called Shatner “Bill”, but I often refer to a certain deceased fantasy author as “Two-Gun Bob”. Does that count?

    • My Dad refers to Boston Legal as: that new show with Captain Kirk. I have my house and router named ‘Logrus’ (Zelazny) and a former beagle named Golanth (McCaffery). We refer to my Dad’s Suburban as ‘the Battle Moon’ as we consider it not large enough to be the Death Star, but one step down.

      • …I may or may not have started watching Disney’s Gargoyles after being told it was “the cartoon done by the enterprise crew for the kids on board.”

        • Professor Badness

          I got a younger co-worker to start watching TNG after I told him how many of the voices from Gargoyles were on the same cast. He had been a huge fan as a kid.

          • lonejanitor

            I watched that on a tv with such bad reception I couldn’t see 90% of the scenes. The voices, I remember.

        • There is a big auction of Rick Baker stuff soon that includes character sketches and a sculpture for the live-action Gargoyles that never happened.

      • Well, it wasn’t Sci-Fi, but when I started at the company where I work now, they had servers named after most of the cast of MASH.

        • my hard drive partitions (way back when partition limits were 2 GB) were named after TRON characters.

    • You might be a fan if you’re jealous of someone else having the name “Tiberius” as a middle name.

      I do, in fact, know both parties in question.

    • Guilty, even though my hunter is an alt.

    • I actually switched to a new server to get rid of all of my toons that were named after someone else’s characters. Now they’re all named after pasta.

      • You know you can delete just them, right?

        BTW, Do you know how to kill Jin Dol in Zul”Gurub? I have killed every other big monster in the dubgeon, but he gets me every time after he turns into the chained monster.

        • Randy Wilde

          gasp… DELETE CHARACTERS? That’s murder!

          • Some of the MMORPGs are pretty blatant about this, too. Attempting to delete a character gets you a message informing you that the character is being “recycled”, or something similarly euphemistic.

        • Crap. I’ve done this fight but it’s been awhile. I’m thinking you have to kill the spots where the chains connect first, then fight the boss. I think. It’s been awhile though.. Also, watch the adds but you already knew that.

          • What are adds? That’s a new term for me.

            • Randy Wilde

              Add-ons… like wandering critters that get too close and decide to join in the fight.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                Doesn’t it also include summons?

                • Randy Wilde

                  Probably depends on the culture of the game. When I’ve played, I didn’t consider summons to be “adds” because they’re part of the capabilities of the target. I was a casual gamer at best, though.

    • Not in WoW, since I don’t play that, but Lineage II pets… and a male wizard alt… who I totally miss playing.

    • I could probably call William Shatner “Bill”, but I could never call Mr. Rogers “Fred”. 😉

    • Patrick Chester

      Some of my SWTOR characters are named after characters from various series I like.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        I’ve named some accounts after Pat Buckman.

        -Friends of Pat Buckman for President 2016

    • snelson134

      Not to mention Torchlight 1 / II, etc.

  8. F-4

  9. There are no Mundanes. None. Every time I think I’ve met one and had the time to get to know them a little, I find they are fannish about something.

    I discovered this by accident some years ago at a Balticon. That was the era when the con was experimenting with inner Baltimore venues, and was spread across more than one hotel. The hotel I was in was also hosting a convention of professional bowlers. And by midnight, you couldn’t tell which party was whose.

    “Mundandes” are a myth intended to make fen feel like insiders. But tgreater truth is that we all belong to subcultures that are, structurally, similar to fandom.

    • Eeeee… depends on how you’re using the term “fan.” I’ve horrified folks by pointing out that the prior pope is a total religion geek, for example. Watch some of his interviews and it comes across very wonderfully.

      My dad, on the other hand, is zero fan score if you don’t expand it into normal fiction and beyond. He didn’t even read fairy tales as a kid.
      It’s not like he dislikes it, he’ll WATCH the Lord of the Rings and such with enjoyment, but the stuff he enjoys is the same part he enjoys in, oh, Braveheart. So what if the archer has pointed ears and the Irish guy is extra short? (Don’t get him started on farming and ranching, though; that is his geekdom.)

      If we expand our version of “fan” to all things that are similar to fandom, what the heck do we call being a fan? Not everybody has a passion that they geek out on– something they love that way.

      • I once got into a mild argument about fandom with a friend of mine. He was complaining about how some people he’d once met had been obsessive about stats in a pencil and paper RPG, and as a result took the view that RPGs were bad. I noted that what he was describing wasn’t much different than a couple of guys obsessing over basketball stats.

        The only difference was that one of the obsessions was based off a wide-spread, and thus more socially acceptable, behavior.

        • I think the “social acceptability” part is actually quite important– as with geeking out over something, the passion is detectable because it comes out in spite of the cost.

          • …the passion is detectable because it comes out in spite of the cost.

            I’m sorry to say that I first read that as comes out in the spit of the host.

            • If Seahawk Fever gets any stronger, then not having a Token of the Twelfth might end up being a fandom for that very reason, and that’s just a sports fandom…….

              • The Ford fan vs Chevy fan rivalry has been burning white-hot for decades.

                No fanbase outdoes these people in arcane minutiae and the sheer amount of trivial knowledge contained in their respective fandoms.

                • um… if it doesn’t surpass it, “9mm vs. .45” sure comes close. (I’m a heretic; .22WMG for me)

                • “No fanbase outdoes these people in arcane minutiae and the sheer amount of trivial knowledge contained in their respective fandoms.”

                  Oh, I dunno: the gun nuts come close, as in S&W vs. Ruger. Or Glock vs. everybody, if self-loaders are your thing.

                  Myself, my preferred answer to the “Ford vs. Chevy” debate is Mopar, ’68-69 Charger, by preference, with either the 440 or the Hemi.

                  Although I sure wouldn’t turn down a nice first-gen, big-block Chevy Monte Carlo; I really loved the 402-powered ’71 Monte I had in high school, and have regretted selling it ever since. (Especially since the subsequent owner totally *destroyed* it. Sob.)

              • What about Dallas Cowboys fever. Worse, in AL it’s Auburn vs U of A. Everyone has to declare themselves. Montgomery, AL has the worst pro team name ever: The Montgomery Biscuits. They get beaten often.

                • You can declare yourself a football atheist, and you probably won’t get lynched…twenty-two years and counting.

                  • You don’t believe in football?

                    • I worship neither at the cathedrals of Jordan-Hare or Bryant-Denny.

                    • “Most witches don’t believe in gods. They know that the gods exist, of course. They even deal with them occasionally. But they don’t believe in them. They know them too well. It would be like believing in the postman.”
                      –Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett

                    • “I don’t hold with paddlin’ with the occult,” said Granny firmly. “Once you start paddlin’ with the occult you start believing in spirits, and when you start believing in spirits you start believing in demons, and then before you know where you are you’re believing in gods. And then you’re in trouble.”
                      “But all them things exist,” said Nanny Ogg.
                      “That’s no call to go around believing in them. It only encourages ’em.”

                      –Lords and Ladies, by Terry Pratchett

                  • I declared for Auburn. It was the school I was attending at the time.

                  • Joe Wooten

                    Growing up in West Texas, all my family on both sides were Cowboy fanatics, which given my contrary nature turned me into a NFL fan with one favorite team – whoever was playing the Cowboys…….

        • I wanted to have fun in my signal unit pointing out that jocks pouring over fantasy football stats was the same behavior as nerds pouring over WoW stats, just more socially acceptible, but I might as well have been speaking Ancient Klingon to them…

          • Jeff Gauch

            I’m just waiting for one of the leagues to start offering upgrade items for sale. +3 gloves of catching, vorpal cleats, etc.

      • Birthday girl

        “the Irish guy is extra short”

        I thought he was Welsh?

  10. You might be a fan if you try new series based on the fact that Bear McCreary wrote the score for them.

  11. comic books are the superhero genre — there are also books in it — and the superhero genre is defined by the use of the superhero tropes, much like the genre of sonnets is defined by the use of the sonnet structure.

    Logical coherence is not its strong suit. Indeed, once a work using superhero tropes moves too far in the logical coherence direction, it tends to stop being superhero.

    (It’s a topic I’ve been pondering a lot lately as I read superhero books.0

    • Sara the Red

      Have you read Wearing the Cape by Marion G. Harmon? *Excellent* superhero novel(s)!

    • If you look too closely at the boundaries of Science Fiction, they will disappear. By no logical progression I can think of are Scottish Games Days fannish, but I am here to tell you that there are areas where the two communities are essentially the same.

      Superheroes can be SF (The Gladiator by Wylie strikes me as qualifying). They can be fantasy. Or they can be simply kids stuff, which (Comic Fandom’s shrieks of horror aside) a lot of they surely were until a couple of decades into their history.

      • Superheroes can use SF tropes and fantasy tropes, some of which are indeed superhero tropes, defining in the genre.

        However, if you ever use enough SF or fantasy tropes, you are not writing superheroes. Iron Man is a superhero. Warhammer 40K Space Marines are SF. Artemis in Wearing the Cape is a superheroine. The vampire in Sunshine is fantasy.

        Witness that most urban fantasy uses tropes that have been current in superheroes for decades It’s not superheroes, however, because it limits the tropes and organizes them, so that it’s fantasy.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          One of the things I like about “Wearing The Cape” is that internally in the story, Science can’t explain “how they do that” especially not being able to explain “how the limits to the powers” work.

          Oh, it was fun when Artemis was “stuck” on a liquid diet that she could still enjoy ice cream (ie even frozen liquid was a liquid). [Smile]

          • Oh, yes, you can have a fair amount of internal consistency to a superhero story. You would have to, for aesthetic reasons. It’s too much that changes the genre.

        • I’m sorry if this annoys, but to my mind the effort to make clear lines between SF, Fantasy, Supers, and a dozen other subgeneras, is strikingly like the old joke about analysis of humor being like dissecting a frog; nobody’s that interested, and the frog dies.

          Is the Liaden universe SF, or Fantasy, or something called Space Opera?

          Does anyone actually care?

          • Of course. How else can fans divvy up works quickly, so as to plunge into the exciting business of arguing about minutiae?

            And then we can argue about the borderline cases, too.

            And it helps when recommending works.

      • I am ashamed to say that I read comics. Because they are grey goo, PC and overpriced.

        • One reason I look for the books is to escape the comics’ tyranny. We’ve already had two recommended that do. 0:)

        • I think there’s a reason that manga sections in bookstores tend to be larger than the graphic novel section, based solely on content and pricing.

        • and they wonder why their sales have slid down a slippery slope…

          • $4.99 for 25 pages? You get one scene if you’re lucky! The writing is bad. The comics that I enjoyed and was following have been discontinued. The worse the comics get, the easier it gets to stop buying them. Can anyone explain what Convergence was, aside from fan fleecing?

            • It isn’t the $4.99 for 25 pages that kills — it is when you figure out that (for example) a 12-issue “maxi-series” has just cost you more than a novel … and you had to wait a month between installments … and then there was that three month gap between issue 9 and 10 while the writer tried to figure a way out of the corner he’d written himself into.

              So you decide in future to wait until the whole thing is in hand before reading the first issue and around issue four you realize this is not the work of “the new Frank Miller” so much as “the new Wayne Boring.”

              • I have dropped all Marvel and DC comics from my pull list a couple of months ago after just one too many “Crossovers that takes over all our titles, and you’ll be lost if you don’t buy every single one”.

                There are still plenty of $2.99 titles out there. But then, I remember when Indy comics were $1.50 and mainstreams were under a buck.

                • And i remember when Marvel was making a big deal about that, too. And then went to $1.25 six months later.

                • When I started buying them comics were only a dime, although they shortly rose to twelve cents — meaning, where I lived, they were two for a quarter, including tax.

                  That meant I could buy all of a month’s Marvels for a dollar, as they were only slotted eight issues a month by their distribution deal.

                  Of course, that same dollar bought five gallons of gas (not that I was buying gas then.)

                  • Oh yeah, forgot to mention: to get to the store I had to ride my bike (only ONE gear! No helmet! Nor knee/elbow pads!) uphill both ways to buy them at the neighborhood drug store. In the snow.

                  • I’m just a piker who started really seriously reading when they were 65 cents.

      • You should try to get a hold of McCrumb’s Highland Laddie Gone: it might amuse you greatly. IIRC that’s the one with a brief scene in which two police officers, off-duty at a Civil War re-enactment, in full kit and on horseback, are headed over to deal with a murder at the nearby Highland Games. Something causes the ( also taking place, and yes, I used to live in that part of Virginia: totally plausible!) local SCA event to come up. Quoth, the one officer, “what a bunch of weirdos.” The other disgustedly agrees.

        We’re all muggles about something 🙂

        • That’s fiction. Here’s a real life anecdote:

          Some con goers and a pair of airline pilots were waiting for the elevator when they concluded that it was broken. So the con-goers went off to look for the stairs . Said one pilot to the other, “Follow the weirdos — they always know where the stairs are.”

    • Rob Crawford

      “Playing for Keeps” by Murr Laferty. I’m not fan of the supers genre, but not only listened to the author’s podcast read-through, but bought the book and enjoyed it just as much the second time.

    • I grabbed a Spiderman book simply because Jim Butcher wrote it.

      • Bought a Thor comic because it was written by JMS. Female Thor is a slap in the face of every man who reads comics. Didn’t need to feminize Thor. Sif is totally kickass. They didn’t want a kickass woman, they wanted a male impersonator.

          • snelson134

            J Michael Straczinski, the creator of Babylon 5. He actually had a cameo in the first movie as the guy who found Mjolnir.

            He may be an atheist, but he handles religion so well that I know several of my more strictly Christian friends who would watch Babylon 5 for no other reason that it didn’t come across as insulting their faith.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            JMS may refer to the creator of Babylon 5. While I wasn’t aware that he was writing for Thor, he has written for other comics.

        • What was the title? Does it have female Thor or no? (the whole thing of genderswapping is fun for fanart, not so much for canon) YES about Sif; they didn’t explore her instead of putting boobs on Thor.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            What happened is that for some reason (unknown) Thor lost his confidence that he was “worthy” of his hammer so he was unable to use it. Note, currently Thor doesn’t become Dr. Blake if he puts the hammer down for a certain period.

            Jane Foster (Blake’s former nurse) was able to pick it up and became a female version of Thor. For a time, we didn’t know who the woman was as her helmet masked her. Thor (the original) learns who the woman is and decides she can have the name Thor. Currently the original Thor is calling himself Odinson. Oh, he lost an arm so has an artificial arm and uses a “magic” sword.

            Note, I have only got this from what I read about the “female Thor”. I lost interest in Marvel comics a few years ago.

            • @ _ @

              Thor has “lost his confidence” and is no longer able to “wield his hammer”?

              Jane Foster can “raise the hammer” but has to wear a helmet?

              Thor “lost an arm” but manages with “artificial assistance”, with an “appliance” and a “magic” sword?

              Ohhhhhh, Sigmund!!!!!!

  12. You might be a fan if you track down a book series because you really like the filk album about it. (_Fever Season_ by Fish/Lackey/Alexander).

    • Ender’s Game and The Dark is Rising both from Filk Songs sung by Julia Ecklar. Although with Ender’s Game there were two songs: Tin Soldier by Julia and Ender’s Game by Larry Warner.

    • If you watch a series after reading fanfic.

      • The Other Sean

        Been there, done that. Several times. With cross-over fanfic causing me to watch the series (or read the book), as the case may be.

      • …guilty… Not only anime, but I started reading the Wheel of Time and Nine Princes in Amber because of a certain writer’s anime crossovers.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          John Biles?

          Though, I only recall logs from his Amber games, not an actual fanfic.

      • If you read/watch/get into any kind of series or game or author after reading TVTropes.

        • The Other Sean

          Been there, done that. With all I’m seeing here, I’m starting to fear I may be a fan.

          Although, come to think of it, helping to run a SF convention might have been a good indicator. 🙂

        • TV Tropes is a dangerous time suck. You keep clicking on one link after another and the next thing you know, it’s one A.M.

          •, .org, or .com? can use a good timesuck.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Abandon All Hope! Ye Who Enter Here!

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              Are you a fan if you give up TV Tropes because you are ticked at them over Kratman?

              • With great trepidation, I’m going to ask: What are you referring to?

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  Years back, a Barfly mentioned on Kratskeller that he had long been a contributor to TV Tropes, and had recently had some of his stuff on Kratman edited by folks who probably hadn’t read Kratman, and were not fans. This was apparently to the point of being a rules violation. Management backed the edits. In more recent terms, SJWs had taken over TV tropes.

                  I also heard later, from a different source, similar reports about a cabal of folks running TV Tropes. One was the guy who does the Drunkard’s Walk fanfic, and who had put up stuff about historical fanfic on TV tropes. He left TV tropes in protest. (He did not use the term SJW. I despise his politics, but trust his reporting on this.) One of the guys he knows set up that fork of TV tropes, I think called all in the tropes.

                  • They also don’t really get Starship Troopers, either.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      Severe analytical failure on a wiki isn’t necessarily a deal breaker. There were a couple of earlier incidents that I found tolerable.

                  • I went over and checked, and the works pages aren’t that bad, except for Caliphate. The entry on the Designated Hero page, OTOH–it’s like they never read the book, but read a Tumblr review of it.

      • *raises hand*

      • With television, I sometimes end up prefering the the fanfiction to the show. At least after a certain point*.
        *Yes, the actors can and will leave and the writers have to deal with it but dang it, that was not a good exit for that character.

      • That’s how I got into SGA.

      • I’ve downloaded an Anime series after seeing some Fanart.

        Um, read that in the NON-filthy-minded way….

        • Bah, you know that would just be teasing, here– we know that fan art is a horrible guild to an series’ “fan service.”

          I’ve seen Kakashi fan-art that was blush-worthy even when he was fully dressed!

  13. To be a fan or not to be, that is the question.
    Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to obsess
    The Orcs and Elven of outrageous Fandom,
    Or to take Arms against a Sea of Tribbles,
    And by opposing, end them?

    The argument over “Who a fan?” reminds me of the debate between Baseball fans and Stat-heads, a debate which has especially affected Rotisserie Baseball aficionados.

    Baseball fans insisted there were only two true stats: Batting Average and Earned Run Average … followed by a collection of “counting stats” such as hits, total bases, home runs, strikeouts and wins. The Stat-heads insisted the “true” stats were flawed and failed to represent the true nature of what events actually represent ability to win the game. This debate finally worked its way to the top echelons of the sport, an achievement described in the film Moneyball.

    Who were the real Baseball fans? All of them, none of them, who cares, sit back, have a beer and enjoy the @#!% game! As Bill James, the fount of Sabremetrics (statistical analysts), wrote: Sportswriters take a position (Babe Ruth was the greatest hitter ever) and marshal arguments i support; Sabremetricians ask “What would be the definition of a great hitter” and sift the data to determine the result (which, by most metrics, puts babe Ruth atop the list.)

    Until we define the qualities determining fandom any debate is useless (except as entertainment.) It seems to me there are at least a few questions essential to the definition, and I don’t know the answers.

    Does Fandom require more than normal emotional investment in the genre? How much more?

    Is Fandom bounded, and if so, by what? Are the distinctions between SF Fandom – Readers and SF Fandom – Filmgoers determinative? How much of the Venn circles overlap is required? Is a person who adored Star Trek, memorized every Original Series episode (and can recite the dialogue on cue) and read every Trek book and comic and coloring book ever published a SF fan — even if they read NO OTHER SF? More simply, is a Trek fan also an SF fan?

    Are you only a fan if you identify as one, so that a person who reads nothing but SF, has read (or sampled) every major work in the field since Gernsback but demurs being termed a fan is not, in fact, a fan?

    Is fandom a status battle for those lacking in actual status in the larger social structure? (See: Simon Pegg, recent statements by.)

  14. You may be a fan if you lurk on sites like ATH or Chaos Manor, and are all excited when you find out for a mere $40.00 you can vote on the Hugo’s and help to stop the SJW’s takeover of your favorite genre?
    I consider the blurry line between Hard SF/Soft SF/Fantasy and even some mystery and romance themes to be totally acceptable. More novels=more fun! Some of Hard SF’s novels are riveting because the great extrapolation of scientific theory and the practical application of story line (warning: may have cardboard characters). Technically, I suppose extrapolation of social science is Hard SF, but I expect it to have real characters, and the science is more ‘messy’. Fantasy is what currently comes out in each and every White House press release, and it is very poor quality. But better Fantasy authors likewise run from magic as a rule set much like science to here there be Dragons.
    The ones that I read, and probably do not give the Author as much credit as they deserve are the historical time travel or fantasy novels. They spend a lot of effort researching everything to be accurate, and in the sense that good ones come off believable, hard work is its own reward.
    My brother doesn’t like Fantasy novels and I don’t like Techno-thrillers (Tom Clancy et allia), but that still leaves a lot of the SF arena that we both enjoy and can talk about to each other. I don’t believe either of us would call the other one a non-fan.

  15. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    You are a Fan if you consider all shows/books/movies of a certain genre “inferior” copies of your favorite example of that genre.

    Example: Star Trek fans looking down on Babylon 5 because the makers of it didn’t make it like Star Trek. Of course, they would likely had gripped even if B5 did something the same way that Star Trek did. [Evil Grin]

    • reddragonhawk

      Oh, I think I fail here. I liked ST: ToS and Bab5. They are/were different than each other, but both had cool elements and flaws. Bab5 definitely had the better uniforms.

      On the Kirk vs Picard issue: Kirk 4 lyfe!

      • I think Jeff Sinclair would tromp Kirk. -eg- Hello, Valen?

        • elmdorprime

          Madness! Kirk would have beaten the Shadows with only one ship, Valen needed a battlestation from the future-past.

          • Randy Wilde

            Kirk would have seduced the Shadow queen, thereby gaining access to their central computer which he would then blow up.

            • If you’ve ever wondered why Kirk didn’t simply seduce the Horta, you might be a fan.

              • She was already enamored of Spock’s ears. Jim Kirk didn’t stand a chance with her.

                You might be a fan if you know who Ensign Rock is, and what his name actually is.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  Does knowing he was one of the Horta’s children count?

                • Professor Badness

                  I remember the book, but not his real name.

                  • Randy Wilde

                    He was in a few of the books, I think.

                    IIRC, one of his favorite snacks is burnt out isolinear chips… but I can’t remember what he dips them in.

                • His name is Ensign Naraht and he’s one of the Horta’s children.

                • You might be a fan if you meet Newbery Award winning author Laurence Yep at an ALA convention, and hauled out your battered much-loved copy of Shadow Lord (#22) for him to sign (yes, I now have an autographed copy. Eat yor hearts out fellow Trekkies).

                  He was actually quite pleased: apparently he’s proud of the story, and no-one else had ever gushed over it as thoroughly before 🙂

                • Patrick Chester


          • Ah, but Valen established something that lasted a thousand years.

            Besides, we (sentient life) needed the Shadows as much as we need the Vorlons. So, wiping out the Shadows too soon could have set progress back by at least a millennium. 😀

          • Given the look of the mining ship from the rebooted movie, hasn’t Kirk already fought a Shadow ship?

        • Nah Sheridan! Excellent tactician, strategist and politician. He almost died and came back to life. Was elected President of the Alliance and had the hottest wife. I like Sinclair he just wasn’t as good as Sheridan.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Oh dear, I’m having flashbacks to the great Babylon-Trek Wars of the 1990s.

      • The mecha equivalent is (or was… haven’t been around any mecha forums in a while, so I don’t know if they’re still arguing these two sides) EVA vs Gundam fight.

        Of course, these fights typically had the EVA fans insisting that certain “sufficiently advanced” Gundam technologies (Moonlight Butterfly, anyone?) couldn’t be used, while simultaneously bragging about how powerful a fully kitted out EVA with all the bells, whistles, doo-dads, and S2 engines, was.


        • The Other Sean

          Did they also insist the Gundams can’t be piloted by New Type or Coordinator pilots, only normal humans?

        • Gundam VS Macross VS EVA.

          I knew a fan of Macross who was so die-hard about it he could quote back the specifications of each season’s mechs, and was also so into Mecha anime in general he could launch into hours-long rants about them.

          For reasons I never quite understood, I was also referred to by him as “Lt. Commander Modena.”

      • Rob Crawford

        Don’t you mean the Babylon Wars Trek?

      • snelson134

    • *SNERK* Star Wars VS Star Trek. Then you get both diehard fen mad at you because you like both just fine.

      • Professor Badness

        I always wanted a t-shirt that said either “Starfleet’s First Jedi.” or “Starfleet Academy Jedi Squad”.

        • …*evil little cackle*
          Vulcan Mind Meld: “These are not the androids you are looking for.”

          Interestingly enough, for Star Trek Online, you CAN get a melee weapon; and other than the bat’leth and the lirpa, you get this sword… not a lightsaber, alas, but it works nicely against the Borg.

          • Chrismouse

            Season 5 Andromeda has an episode where the Andromeda Ascendant gets boarded by hostile forces, and the two (female-avatar) androids meet up with a bunch of them in the P-way. One of them makes the hand gesture “We are not the droids you’re looking for.”

            Makes me howl every time, even if the rest of that season was drek.

        • I think I’ve actually seen something like that recently, though I don’t remember where.

        • lonejanitor

          I want an Imperial-issue tricorder.

      • The Other Sean

        I swear the Enterprise-D vs. Imperial Star Destroyer thread had to be one of the longest-running most-rancorous threads on USENET. Before the dark times. Before web forums.

        • I… actually can’t remember if Star Destroyers had shields.

          I heard of a cross-game PVP instance though; don’t know if it’s true. Star Destroyers lost.

          • I played in one world where we had observed that the Imperial warships were wonderfully shielded against energy weapons, and very poorly shielded against physical attacks. So we used missiles, amd wreaked havok.

            So, Imperial Destroyer vs. Starfleet? Depemds on how clevr a captain you are dealing with. Also, do Imperial shields interdict transporters? If not, the Imperials are in fathoms deep kimchee.

          • They had shields.

            The bridge shields on the Executor famously go down in ‘Return of the Jedi’ when a Rebel A-Wing fighter crashes into one of the geodesic domes at the top of the ship.

            • OK, that’s what I thought, but then I remembered the start of _ESB_ and how close Han could get to the Super Star Destroyer, and how they were shooting their way through the asteroid field rather than trusting their shields, and . . .

              • Yes, well, the “asteroid field” in question appeared to be more a floating gravel pit full of large planetoid fragments. Based on size comparisons, the asteroid with the space slug was bigger than the superstructure area of a star destroyer. Anything *that* big hitting your ship is going to cause some serious damage regardless of whether you have shields or not.

                Also, it’s never entirely clear (based on the movies) how shields work in Star Wars. We know that they exist, but we never actually see them when they’re functioning – unlike in Star Trek. And I suspect Lucas never really cared about them except as an excuse to add some additional dialogue. As a result, it’s entirely possible that “Deflector Shields” work somewhat similar to sloped armor on a tank – i.e. “deflecting” the energy of incoming fire away from the ship. Sure, that’s not what people typically think when they hear “Deflector Shields”. But Lucas never bothered to suggest anything different. And something like that would still allow the Falcon to directly grapple itself to the star destroyer.

                • there are references here and there to ‘angling the deflectors’ so i’ve always believes them to be planar in nature.

              • snelson134

                One feature of most I’ve seen is they moved away from Doc Smith’s “wall shield” as part of the actual physical armor and more towards shields being generated by focusing energy at set distances from the ship. Thus a small ship could in fact fly “inside the shield” if it was escaping the larger ship itself, or the shields weren’t up for whatever reason.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          It’s obvious.

          In the Star Trek universe, the Imperial Star Destroyer would lose.

          In the Star Wars universe, the Enterprise D is toast (unless Luke comes by in his X-Wing). [Very Big Grin]

          • The Other Sean

            That was one of the most popular answers, along with the ever-popular “Whatever the story requirements are.” Both of those answers would, of course, be ignored by the pedants, who would soon return to arguing minutiae, bringing up a host of non-canon information regarding cannon and shields, making poorly-constructed arguments-by-analogy, and of course, resorting to name calling.

            But at least there were no SJW’s. 🙂

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          I remember an argument about the size of Trek starships that ended in a locked thread and banned members.

        • William O. B'Livion

          Oh hell no.

 and rec.bicycles on wearing helmets and helmet laws.

          rec.guns on 9mm v.s. 45


          • rules! I still have my Denizens of Doom MC number in one of my old .sig files…

            Somewhere in a dusty subdirectory I still have the thread about the Denizens’ invasion of NASA-Dryden in the early 1990s…

        • Patrick Chester

          Agh, I remember that. “The SSD has lasers and the Enterprise-D’s shields can block lasers!” and so on.

          Eventually someone came up with a massive crossover battle with those two ships, Battlestar Galactica, the Yamato, the Gunstar and a whole bunch of other things. Twas very silly.

      • I was digging through old posts on Facebook, and found one by my sister. It had a picture of Patrick Stewart, and the following quote –

        “May the Force be with you.”
        — Dumbledore


    • Carrington Dixon

      About twenty minutes into my first viewing of The Phantom Menace, I came to the conclusion that Kimball Kinnison would have cleaned out all the baddies (including unfrocking Senator Whatshisface) in the first reel. Of course, after that what could they do for an encore? Doc Smith had the problem, too….

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Humm, I watched some shows where if I controlled the bad guys, the heroes would be toast. [Very Big Evil Grin]

  16. reddragonhawk

    You might be a fan if…

    you followed an author about whom you are ever so slightly nutty to several book signings within the same week in your state (“oh, uh, hi Sir Terry. No, no, that wasn’t me, I just have one of those faces )

    at least 50 percent of why you started reading and collecting some author’s work because she made references to aforementioned silghtly-nutty-about author in her blog. (the other half was the free chapters, it’s like a crack den around her, I tell you.)

    and I assume not just fiction fandom can play so…

    you’ve shared a one bed motel room with four other unrelated adults because you’d rather spend your con money on games and con-dice (shiny, shiny, sparkly dice!) then on a room, and besides, who needs sleep anyways, there are games to play.

    you’ve volunteered at a con so you could have EVEN MORE money for games and shiny, sparkly con-dice, plus free con-voluntree t-shirt!

    you wear said con-volunteer t-shirt in public.

    you use the names of game designers instead of “G-d” in phrases like “Gygax willing,” or “MaRo forbid!”

  17. you’ve ever complained that the metaphysics of a certain world are incoherent.

  18. You might be a fan if you think it matters who is and who isn’t a fan.

  19. Professor Badness

    “You have ever had to explain you were quoting the Princess Bride, and proceeded to bully the person asking into watching the movie.”

    • Watch the movie, skip the book. The one work on Earth for which I will say that.

      • The book is a different construction than the film. It does things that the film couldn’t, and it’s very odd. It shows how the narrator’s grandfather edited what objectively is a godawful Late Victorian Gothic Romance into a childhood memory, something that the film doesn’t really touch. going from the book to the film is great. Going from the film to the book must be jarring as hell.

        THE GREAT ESCAPE is s little like this. The book goes into a lot of “How To” details that the film simply hasn’t time for. The film gets into personalities and emotions that the book never touches, and which must have come largely from the scriptwriter’s imagination. Watching the film once you’ve read the book works fine. Reading the book after watching the film would be jarring unless (like me) you are already programmed to absorb somewhat dry factual writing.

        • The book never lets you take the story with the story seriously.

          • Well, I suppose it might not have been meant to, but I did anyway. I vaguely remember the author depicting himself as an idiot at some point in the frame story. I think. Maybe in a swimming pool.

            My friends were quoting something and told me it was The Princess Bride. I thought, ah, yes, I remember seeing that in the library, so I went and got it and read it. After which I found out they meant the movie. I’m not sure whether they had noticed there was a book.

            • Oh, I read the book ages before the movie, and it was far from the first edition. Fun, fun book. A totally different take on the story, does include a lot of frame story whiplash, but heck, the Arabian Nights have frame story whiplash. ‘S all good. 🙂

        • You, too, read The Great Escape?

          I thought i was the last surviving one.

          • In the winter of ’74-75 one of the networks broadcasted the thing … on two days. I got to watch the first half, but there was some problem with seeing the second half. So I looked it up, and read the book. And then read THE WOODEN HORSE, and THE COLDITZ STORY, and FREE AS A RUNNING FOX. After that I branched out from WWII escape stories into other aspects of the War; THE WAR MAGICIAN, YOU’RE STEPPING ON MY CLOAK AND DAGGER, ONCE THERE WAS A WAR.

            • YOU’RE STEPPING ON MY CLOAK AND DAGGER was a wonderful book. I don’t remember a lot of it, but I do remember Bucephalas, and I remember the two colonels (IIRC) trying to determine who had seniority.

              If you haven’t read Adm. Dan Gallery’s books yet, you might try to find some of those.

          • RealityObserver

            And another. I think we’ve lost our ES rating…

            David Weber did not invent the infodump. If we ever get a movie out of the Honorverse, that will be a major point of debate… whole swaths of narrative will have to be disappeared.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              There are people seriously working with David Weber on an Honorverse series. IIRC they are planning to start with _Honor Of The Queen_.

              • Hang it! On Basilisk Station is a much better opener, IMO.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  I can’t remember hearing the exact reasons that they’re starting with _Honor Of The Queen_ but I suspect that it’s because there are more space battles in Queen than there are in _On Basilisk Station_.

                  In Queen, we have the battle that destroys the Grayson fleet.

                  In Queen, we have the battle of Blackbird.

                  In Queen, we have the battle between Fearless and Thunder Of God.

                  Basilisk Station only has the one battle. [Smile]

                  • Blargh. I’ll have to put up with the lefties praising it for excoriating religious conservatives, and my religious conservative friends excoriating it.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      And I find it one of the better treatments of religion and religious people I’ve read in SF.

                      Of course, Honor Of The Queen shows a “leftie” getting what he deserves.

                      So I wonder how the lefties will think of that particular character.

                    • B5 has a good treatment of religious people. The only problem was that JMS seemed to be a union guy.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      By the way, I am a religious conservative.

                    • Oh, it is. The problem is that A. Unless Weber is keeping tight control over it, the scriptwriters will remove all of the nuances; B. if the nuances are maintained, they will not be noticed by reviewers, who will almost certainly focus on the Masadans rather than the Graysons.
                      And I’m also worried that they’d take out Reginald Houseman.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Everything I’ve heard about it is that David Weber is working closely with the people involved and the people involved are Weber Fans.

                    • @Paul: Excellent
                      @Emily: Yeah, the strike episode was a bit obnoxious, but who wouldn’t strike in the conditions described?
                      Honestly, private sector unions are a useful counterbalance, it’s public sector unions that need to cease to be.

              • snelson134

                Are they doing it animated, or live actors?

            • Counts heads … looks like the Napoleon Brandy stays in the bottle a mite longer.

              Hmmm – was any of you guys at Fort Zinderneuf?

          • Back in high school in the late 60s.

            • Seems to me I read it in junior high in the mid-sixties; it must have been a Scholastic Books offering. Man, I loved those; parents were usually suckers for those purchases with the sky the limit (admittedly a very low sky, and downright overcast if my grades were slacking.)

      • Joe Vasicek



      • I would say the same for “Harrison Bergeron”.

    • And for bonus points can tell which character in which Ringo book did exactly that to another character. Describing the setting and what they were wearing would just be showing off.

    • Randy Wilde

      I assume comments about quoting the Princess Bride also apply to Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail? I was quoting that movie before I ever saw it.

      • I made the mistake of telling a class that “No one under age 14 gets to quote or recite the Spanish Inquisition sketch.” Care to guess how many femtoseconds it took for me to discover that they were all 14 or older? *SIGH* Lesson learned.

        • The Other Sean

          Nobody ever expects that.

        • Speaking of classes, my daughter came home after her first day of high school calculus some years ago and told me her teacher had said that this semester they would be learning “How to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen sparrow.”

          She said that by the look on his face when she raised her hand and asked “African or European?” she knew she wouldn’t have a bit of worry about flunking the class.

          • Professor Badness

            I impressed a math teacher in college simply by saying, “What? The curtains?”

            • William O. B'Livion

              A couple weeks ago I drove down to Mississippi to see my daughter graduate college.

              On the way down at a rest area in OK I grabbed a bottle of gatorade and a bottle of water out of the cooler and walked up to the counter.

              I threw the bottle of Gatorade up there and said “Brawndo, it’s got Electrolytes”.

              The clerk came to a complete stop as he struggled to retain his bearing.

              I then tossed the bottle of water up and said “Water. Like in the toilet” and he and his cow-orker almost lost it.

              • (Hang head) I… have no idea what that is from.

                • Oh. I looked it up. I’ve only ever seen the intro, and the last third of that movie.

                • You’re not missing much. Idiocracy.

                  Someone made a movie of the idea that only stupid people are reproducing, had a normal guy go into the future with a woman and observe how incredibly dumb everyone is, and end up saving the world from humanity by not being quite a total idiot.

                  Probably funnier if you’re drunk, but then I have a really low tolerance for various “people are all stupid and suck” setups, and spent most of the movie trying not to point out, ah, extreme implausibilities.

                  It’s in the style I associate with flanderized 18th-19th century rhetorical stories, but without as much of a point. Might tie into H. G. Well’s Time Machine, too, but supposedly funny. I’ve been told it’s something like “The Marching Morons,” but I haven’t read that, either.

                  I don’t find stupidity to be amusing, though.

          • At my best-friend-in-10th grade’s annual Twilight Zone marathon D&D event at which our PCs got dumped into some bizarro crossover world like Star Trek, our DM chose Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Which I had never seen. I had only been playing AD&D for about a month at that point. So when our party got to the bridge, of course, with much snickering , they shoved the Paladin forward in time for the “what is the flight velocity question.” to which I replied, “what species of sparrow?” (The DM “she’s in AP bio you dopes, what did you expect?”)

            You might be a fan if this is one of your proudest moments from 10th grade.

          • Why didn’t the teacher throw himself out the window?

        • NO ONE expects the Spanish Inquisition Sketch… of course if you’d suggest The Dirty Vicar Sketch you would have been fired within the week…

          • Yeeaaaah no. Not that one. I may dig my Basil the Killer Sheep “toy” out, put it on a shelf in the room and see if anyone notices.

      • Yesterday, while wandering around with older son, someone near us said something about men and women being exactly the same, except for “society”. I immediately said “Where would you keep it? In a box?” And Robert said “but I waaaant to have a baaaaby.” And I said “Shut up Loretta.” Anyone hearing us and not knowing what we were referring to would think us perfectly mad. (And anyone knowing would know we were perfectly mad.)

        • Randy Wilde

          C’mon, nobody’s perfect…

        • But it’s a really really good sort of mad you crazy Portagee you!

          • I used to know a guy who was imperfectly crazy — he was only crazy on odd days of the calendar. At least, that was the case until he took a time study course and decided he was spending too much time in set-up and switched to being crazy only in the odd months. His Halloween’s were kind of meh but you should have seen his Fourth of July!

      • Jerry Boyd

        Those of us who quote J-Men Forever are beyond the pale?

        • I’ve seen it, but I couldn’t quote it.

          • Used hang out with a bunch of guys who had it memorized. I could quote large chunks before I ever saw it. Finally gave up on my grainy 3rd generation VHS copy and bought the DVD when it came out. “I want to turn on, I want to go up, and I want to go fast!”

      • Professor Badness

        You are correct. Though your fan quotient goes up if you can quite the lesser known works, (i.e. Life of Brian or the Meaning of Life).

        • Randy Wilde

          Does having a character use “Romanes Eunt Domus” as a battle cry when on the Imperious Task Force in City of Heroes count?

        • How about The Jabberwocky? Do we get points for having watched the entire thing?

          • RealityObserver

            Hmmm. I’m a purist – you’d better be able to quote the Reverend Charles Dodgson too. (Not the Archbishop or Archdeacon, though.)

    • When I married my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant foxy praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA, I told her there were certain books and movies she needed in order to understand The Patterson Experience. The movies were : The Princess Bride; Monty Python’s Quest For The Holy Grail; and The Big Lebowski. The book was Starship Troopers, but I read The Princess Bride out loud to her as a festival of goodness.

  20. Does it count that I was part of the group who got John Ringo his romance novelist award for Ghost?
    Even though Ghost is by no stretch SF (arguably fantasy in that impossible things happen) and I was there when Jim bullied John into letting Baen publish it.
    And I still remember waiting ever so patiently each of those incredibly long periods that seemed to stretch decades between the time Heinlein wrote a new novel and the paperback I could actually afford came out. Hey, I was still in school, working part time at minimum wage, and everyone else in my family thought that “those” books I read were foolishness.

    • Totally counts. And I need me that series.

      • Ghost?
        Terrific action adventure series with just a bare hint of mysticism.
        Last one was a bit of a stinker, just didn’t have the same feel, but I understand it was an ill conceived co-author situation. John’s supposedly working on a new one that’s supposed to bring it all back together.

        • Though at the moment he’s been distracted into working in ILOH’s MHI series.

        • I forget which volume had Harmon discussing consensual S&M with his girlfriend’s mother, but I was laughing so hard I had to take a short break from the power tools while listening to the audiobook…

          • One could look to Ghost: Chapter 7. (the first book). Maybe.

          • Middle third of Ghost, the first in the Kildar series.
            First third is the rescue of those kidnapped Georgia co-eds.
            Second deals with boat babes, nuke attacks in the Florida keys, and that whole consensual S&M thing.
            In the third part they save Paris, never did understand exactly why though.

    • You are obviously younger than I. When I was in school you could get your new Heinlein in $0.35 installments. It took three or four months to get the whole novel, but you got a lot of good short stories to go along with it. I still have most of those magazines.

      • I was reading Analog back when it still called itself Astounding Science-Fiction. I hated the serializations. They always broke right at the good bits and then I’d have to wait an entire month only to have them do it to me again often three or four times before they wrapped it all up. Easier to either wait for the paperback or hope that it was something the school or public libraries found worthy.

        • Carrington Dixon

          I hear you. Since I was going to keep the magazines “forever”, the wait to get all the installments was still less than for the book.

          I take back what I said about you being younger than I. Indeed, if you are serious about the hyphen between ‘science’ and ‘fiction’, you beat me by several years. ASF dropped the hyphen sometime in the early 1940s. (But from the mention of paperback editions, I suspect that we are of a similar age.)

  21. In every subculture there are creatures who feel compelled to play politics, who must censor the opinions of others, and who backstab for the sheer joy of it. They mostly do not actually know much about the focus of the subculture and have often wandered in after being invited to leave some other subculture.

    There creatures are called “assholes”.

    • The Other Sean

      And every subculture has one. Or more.

    • And because they’re primarily interested in leading (as opposed to the majority of fans, who would rather “just be fans”), they often manage to get themselves placed in charge…

      • I’ve seen it go several ways from there. One group of fen i recall gave the would-be smof all the scut-work, worked him like a mule, and kept him too exhausted to make much trouble. Worked for a handful of years, and then blew up, but I’m not sure HE did it.

    • Jeff Gauch

      I can’t believe it took this long to post this. You guys are embarrassing me.

    • Some people feel they belong to a community, and other people think the community belongs to them.

  22. You have held a conversation of over a minute using nothing but quotes.

    You bought (and used) the t-shirt. Hat. Towel. Sheets. Drapes.

    You named at least one child after a character or place.

    You will buy the hardback, without even reading the blurb, based on the name of the author or series.

    You don’t want to see the movie because you love the book too much to see it ‘ruined’. But then you watch it anyways. And buy it.

    • The Other Sean

      You named at least one child after a character or place.

      [Glances at our illustrious hostess]
      …or after a favorite author.

      • Dan put his foot down on naming the second one Clifford Donald (Simak). And he was not going to stand still for Poul William, either. Hence, we named second born after a great grandfather.

      • But only because I wouldn’t let him name the poor kid Blaise Pascal. I could imagine him acquiring the nickname “flamer” early on.

        • William O. B'Livion

          Why would you want to name your child after a programming language that was never intended to be implemented?

        • I have a Blaise. You’re no fun. Americans are so generally uneducated that the boy’s face lights up on the rare occasion when someone recognizes the name. Mostly it falls in the “How do you say that?” category. No one has teased him about it–apparently with a kid called ‘Blaze’ you don’t risk their temper–or maybe it’s because of the two big brothers. (It’s also a family name, French-speaking side, but Americans can’t handle the French pronunciation so we Americanized.)

      • When I said I liked Beowulf (Schaefer) as a name, it was very powerful- my mother told my wife not to let me near the birth certificate…

        • T.C. was almost my first two names IRL. Until my father realized why my mother wanted a Tabitha Catherine.

          (So she could have a Tabi Cat. And people wonder why Sib and I are a bit Odd.)

          • A friend is named Robert, as are both of his brothers and their father. Their middle names are different, but all start with the same letter.

            • My dad is Alan Richard, I’m Richard Alan because he didn’t want me to be a Jr. If I were to have a son (highly unlikely at this point) I wanted to name him Alan Richard, and start some terrible family tradition….

              Fortunately there will never be a Charlotte Ann either.

    • You named your first born after your favorite writer!

      • An addendum. Your favorite writer has to be a SF and fantasy writer for this to work. And not in the sense that I recently read someone talking about sound and fury online and concluded with the observation that, henceforth, whenever someone asks for her favorite contemporary SF writer, she’s going to answer, “Jane Austen.”

    • Professor Badness

      Named number two son after a character in the Vorkiverse. And I’m proud of it!
      (Sadly, I have more such names picked out if more children should come along.)

      • Please – not Ivan!

        • Professor Badness

          Miles, actually. My wife, (Her Ladyship Masked Pain) and I were discussing names when I jokingly suggested using names from our favorite novels.
          We laughingly mentioned several joking options when I said “Miles”, and we both realized it was perfect.

          • If he turns out like his namesake, may the L-rd bless you and keep you… because you’re going to need it…

            • Professor Badness

              While he is very outgoing, he doesn’t know how to manipulate people to get what he wants, (not that we necessarily think of Miles Vorkosigan as manipulative, but he is).
              Mine is just a standard, sensitive, bright little boy. (I had to remove a lot of additional descriptors before I posted this. Proud father and all that.)

            • Goes for Chief O’Brien, too, although with him is most the “…the writers really love to abuse you, don’t they?”

          • If the yard ape had been a boy he would have been named according to Vor tradition.

        • He’s good just an extremely late bloomer and unfortunate in choice of family. Would you want to be compared to Miles?

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            I think in the Ivan novel, he commented that he was raised by an over-achiever (Miles’ father), grew up with two over-achievers (Miles and the Emperor) and he’s average. [Smile]

    • No child, but I did name a cat after a TNG character. The mom named another cat after a second TNG character. -grin-

      • Was one of the characters in question Spot?


      • I used to have a cat named Pixel. Three reasons: the Heinlein reference, the fact that he was pretty much solid gray, and the fact that he was a feral kitten who had wandered into my (then) wife’s place of work and gotten stuck in a process camera.

        • My Pixel (who walks through walls) was marmelade and also best cat EVAH! His twin brother was Random Numbers (aka Randy) NEVER NAME A CAT THAT. DT and Zebbie (Carter) were brother and sister. And first cat EVER and Husband’s Cat was Petronius the Arbiter (cat from hell.)

      • snelson134

        My Cthulhu GM named his cats Ithaqua (white), Cthugha (Orange tabby), and Azathoth (because he embodied chaos).

        One rainy night while the gaming group was playing, Azathoth decided to explore the great outdoors, and the Keeper’s wife sent out the convenient search party, After 30 minutes or so, one of my fellow gamers decided to try it.

        He raised his arms to the heavens and cried “Ia! Ia! Azathoth!”. “Meow”. And followed him back……

    • You named at least one child after a character or place.


    • Named both of them after different fandoms. And now my oldest is a fan of the show we named the youngest after.

      And, um, oldest to youngest the initials go J, K, L, M and then we “adopted” and N.

  23. If you get mad when people lose your dust jackets, you might be a fan.

    If you buy dust jacket protectors for your books, you might be a fan.

    If you pick up bargain shop copies of certain out-of-print books so you can lend them to people without anguish, you might be a fan.

    If hearing somebody say “How come they can send somebody to the moon but they can’t (stamp out poverty, end war, do away with the designated hitter)” makes you want to kick them in the fork so hard they suddenly go deaf, you might be a fan.

    If you saw BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS, and THEN saw SEVEN SAMURAI, and only last saw THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, you might be a fan.

    If you first encountered THHGTTG as a set of cassette tapes recorded off the radio, you might be a fan.

    If you remember that in addition to the Radio Series version, the Book version, the TV series version, and the film version, there was a distinct version of THHGTTG on LP record, you might be a fan.

    If you have ever been up all night with a book, because you could go to sleep without knowing what happened, you might be a fan.

    If you are male and have ever worn a cape as outerwear when not attending a con, a game, or the Opera, you might be a fan.

    If you learned to sew, to whatever extent you know, by sewing costumes or garb, you might be a fan.

    If you had a Renaissance wedding, you might be a fan.

    If a artist with cover credits did your wedding portrait, you might be a fan.

    • FlyingMike

      If you first encountered THHGTTG as a set of cassette tapes recorded off the radio, you might be a fan.

      I wondered where those got off too – I recorded a full set, then loaned thme to a friend and never saw them again.

  24. Randy Wilde

    Regarding holding a grudge… it’s ridiculous that seemingly rational adults can obssess over changes to a fictional character made years before.

    Oh, and HAN SHOT FIRST!!!

    • And Willow was NOT a Lesbian. This tarring every geeky girl with being lesbian is nonsense and I refuse to submit to it, just because the author had delusions.

      • Professor Badness


      • Rob Crawford

        Willow was a guy. A Peck, as I recall.

      • My secret shame is that I’m an occasional Xillow shipper (only on the weekends, never at work!). Well, that and the fact that I know what the term “shipper” means.

        • do you know what slashers are? Have you participated in ‘ship wars? Are you Bitextual or are you gen only?

        • But not that you know how to properly describe the ship? 😀

          <= Toko fan. They both need to grow up/heal before any adult relationship would be reasonable anyways….

          • Struck and White are my OTP.

            Though I have to admit for the longest time I couldn’t understand why so much of Harry Potter fandom was obsessed with UPS and the gold standard.

            (you might be a fan if you’ve never actually heard “Friday” (I think that’s the pop song’s name) all the way through, but you led a roomful of teens in a rousing chorus of Ravenclaw, Ravenclaw, (everybody wants to be in our house!) and you honestly prefer the Minecraft filks to any of the originals.

        • One of the radio hosts I listen to in the mornings had to have the term “shipper” explained to her a few days ago.

      • William O. B'Livion

        “Oh, not driving stick any more?”

      • Answer the important question: Kennedy or Tara?

      • I dunno, I’ve never been able to subscribe to DotA when discussing fiction, seeing as it’s the author’s ‘verse.
        I’ve seen way too much terrible fanfic spawned out of that (glares at LotR fandom).

    • Try – Han’s shot. Period. To say “first” implies that Greedo lived long enough to fire back. (swiped from someplace several years ago.)

  25. “Former raid tank”

    Now you’re just being silly, everyone knows that girls don’t tank.

    • Wait…

      There are girls on the internet?

      • Can’t be. It’s cats all the way down.

      • Last I checked. Looks in pants. Yes.

      • Randy Wilde

        An acronym I learned in an MMO… G.I.R.L.

        Guy In Real Life

        And yeah, I’ve occasionally played female characters, because it fit the concept better.

        • Professor Badness

          I have, but that’s because, well, I prefer girls.

          • Have my husband’s line:
            “Why would I CHOOSE to stare at a male’s (preferred description of shapely rear as suited to conversation) for sixty levels?”

        • I never figured out the acronym for a girl who played male characters.

          I did (because L2 male toons look as eyecandy as the female ones, bar the male dwarf) and then realized that it was a good idea to say I was a female when I’d get “I wish I could meet a guy as nice as you in real life.” o_o;

        • … fit the concept better.

          That’s not all they fit better.

        • I generally play female characters not because I happen to be a lady, but because they look nicer. If I’m going to be staring at a derriere for hours upon hours of gameplay, it might as well be nice-looking.

          • Totally OT: There’s a new nonfiction show called Dead End Express. One of the recurring characters is an Alaskan Bush pilot.

          • I had been under the impression that definitions of “attractive” for derrieres varied according to one’s sexual inclinations.

            • Well, there’s “looks cool and arty” and then there’s “looks hubba-hubba.”

              A lot of games do not make male characters look hubba-hubba, oddly enough, or they only manage it for a restricted range of hubba. If you don’t like male tattoos, for example, some games have made it rather difficult for one. Also, I think there’s a lot less care put into the realism of male walking in games. Heh.

              Personally, I think we need more swashbuckling male characters. And capes. 🙂

              • I think there’s a lot less care put into the realism of male walking in games.

                What? Nobody with a John Wayne swish gait? No Gary Cooper amble? Not even Tom Selleck stride?

                That settles it – me no play RPG, ever.

                • Sadly, this is very true. As a long and self-professed admirer of the male derriere, the …lower quality… of initial art, rendering, and movement on the male models is a sad, sad thing. However, completely understandable: most video game artists are male, and have, since puberty, been paying vastly more attention to the female form and movement than the male.

                  So, playing a female model it is. Although the blood elves in WoW had a nice mince to them, the game is still very lacking in John Wayne, Errol Flynn, or any other excellent models of male movement as seen from the rear.

                  • Elder Scrolls Online is pretty decent for movement, and there are a massive number of single-player Elder Scrolls game mods for everything from hair and details on the gear to body-shape and jiggle factor.

                    My husband has spent waaaaay too much time trying to get the jiggle-factor one to work properly with his prefered body mod style. He likes the more realistic build mods and has one that is simply amazing for the hair, but the same jiggle-mod that takes into account armor and weapons makes the leather-clad kitty-girl’s rear go budonk-a-donk-a-donk-a-donk for giggle-inducing lengths of time.

                    (For folks thinking this sounds…questionable, this is the same guy who I’ve seen use a single hair to get the “right” details on a model. And when he gets the game set up to where he thinks it’s acceptable, it’s jaw-dropping gorgeous.)

              • NO CAPES!!!

                Do you remember…Thunderhead?

                • The new Supergirl trailer would beg to differ.


                  • If you have Kryptonian invulnerability there needn’t be much concern over the risk of getting sucked into a turbine — other than the inconvenience of having to land the plane yourself.

                    • It’s not that. The trailer actually provides a rationale for wearing a cape – aerodynamics in flight. I’ve no idea if real world physics bears that out. But I did think it kind of neat that they’d justify the cape.

                      And yes, Edna Mode was the first thing that came to mind when I was watching that part of the trailer.


                    • Jerry Boyd

                      Reasoning from model rockets here, so free and worth every penny. In order for an object traveling through air to be stable, the center of pressure must be farther back than the center of gravity. That is, drag should be behind weight, so that the body is pulled in a straight line. The cape is attached at the neck, in front of the center of gravity, unless Kryptonian brains are incredibly dense. Therefore, I would conclude there is no way in h*ll that cape contributes to stability.

                    • The example given in the trailer is to make her more maneuverable in flight. There’s a “capes are dumb” sequence (with an amusing comment regarding Kara’s cousin – aka Superman), and then a scene showing Kara attempting turn a corner while in flight.

                      She overshoots, and plows into an embankment instead.

                      And then we get the “capes are more aerodynamic” dialogue.

                    • Jerry, by that logic then, Supes should be wearing a skirt, or a kilt.

                    • Jerry Boyd

                      Well, Doc, I’m just telling you the physics. It’s up to you creative types to make it cool.

                    • There’s another way to look at it. Suppose the weight of all that muscle in his chest makes Superman too stable in flight. The cape would cut down his stability, and make turning easier.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Had to chuckle.

                      A while back, I read Kevin Anderson’s Enemies & Allies. It’s a 1950-ish (Cold War) story about the first team-up between Superman and Batman.

                      There’s a scene with Batman wondering about Superman’s cape and “what does it do with Superman”.

                      Batman’s cape can cover his body and “throw off” the aim of people shooting at him (Batman).

                      Of course, Superman doesn’t use his cape that way so Batman wonders why Superman has a cape.

                      Oh, no answer was given. [Smile]

                    • I can still remember when my mom had us watch how Zorro fought so we could understand the “silly” outfit of black-with-a-cape…..

                • November 15th of ’58! All was well, another day saved, when… his cape snagged on a missile fin!

                • Edna: “It will be bold! Dramatic!”
                  Bob: “Yeah!”
                  Edna: “Heroic!”
                  Bob: “Yeah. Something classic, like– like Dynaguy. Oh, he had a great look! Oh, the cape and the boots…”
                  (Edna throws a wadded ball of paper at Bob’s head)
                  Edna: “No capes!”
                  Bob: “Isn’t that my decision?”
                  Edna: “Do you remember Thunderhead? Tall, storm powers, nice man, good with kids.”
                  Bob: “Listen, E–”
                  Edna: “November 15th of ’58! All was well, another day saved, when… his cape snagged on a missile fin!”
                  Bob (chuckles): “Thunderhead was *not* the brightest bulb…”
                  Edna: “Stratogale! April 23rd, ’57! Cape caught in a jet turbine!”
                  Bob: “E, you can’t generalize about these things–”
                  Edna: “Meta-Man! Express elevator! Dynaguy! Snagged on takeoff! Splashdown! Sucked into a vortex! NO CAPES!”

                • He must not have been Cool. As we all know, it’s the Rule of Cool that makes capes safe.

              • Might I recommend Witcher III? There is definitely some…eye candy in that one.

      • The Internet! Where men are men, women are men, and children are FBI agents.

        I will admit that I have no idea what gender most of my guild is.

        • Due to community differences, I actually tend to default to assuming people on the internet are female.

        • At one point, I had a character created and in a guild in EQ just so I could get online and tell where my housemates were, and what they were doing. “Oh, you’re in a raid? Okay, how long til you’re done, including at least one wipe for buffer? I don’t want the fish to get overcooked.”
          …”You’re grinding? Dinner’s in 15 minutes.”

          For some reason, there was never much doubt among the guild that I was female. There was, however, a lot of razzing on the housemates if they were camping a spawn instead of eating. Especially when I got on and started listing dinner.

          “Tonight’s menu is: grilled pork chops with balsamic carmelized pears, and a side of asparagus. Unless you’re still camping Quillmane in South Karana, in which case, you can have ramen because the others will leave no leftovers.”

        • And the dogs are extraterrestrials who pretend they came from Mars.

      • Yeah, they’re all on the Sims websites . . . where the default gender pronoun assumption is female for ambiguous handles. Which is why all the drama over gender assumptions is stupid: people will assume whatever is usual in that space because that’s how people work.

    • Hehe, this is half of why all but one of my tanks have been male.

      (The other half is because I RP with my husband, who prefers subtle, female characters. Although it’s really funny when people find out that we’re married and have kids when we’re both on female toons, and consistently pick me as the husband, it’s easier on folks’ skulls if we just let them make assumptions, if there are any decent looking ones.)

  26. Well, I’ve heard rumors that the internet may go coed any day now.

  27. Pingback: Am I Still A Fan If I Hate Something? | Cultural Rumbles

  28. Would you be a fan if you have Hamlet in the original Klingon?

    Or how about the first three Star Wars written in the manner of Shakespeare in iambic pentameter?

    The Hobbit in Latin?

    Or would that be just weird and not fannish?

    • Wouldn’t Hamlet in the original Klingon just be Macbeth?

      • You could put the Macbeth character in Hamlet. In which case there probably would have been guards for him to get around, since his uncle would know his character. (There’s a source, I’ve heard, where the Hamlet character feigned madness to disarm the paranoid usurper.)

        Then, if you put Hamlet in Macbeth instead of Macbeth, he would hear the predictions and conclude that he was sitting pretty when the first was fulfilled. To get a play out of it, you’d have to have Banquo betray him so that the king thought he would act on the prediction.

        • I know a comparison doesn’t stand up to any level of analysis. I just can’t believe that Klingon Hamlet would spend any amount of time deciding whether or not to take revenge.

    • I think for the Hamlet thing to count you have to have it AND be able to read it in the original Klingon.

    • “Or how about the first three Star Wars written in the manner of Shakespeare in iambic pentameter?”

      Those three are real fun.

    • Maybe if you have a friend who has performed the Klingon Hamlet

    • WINNIE ILLIE PU, anyone?

    • You’re downright hardcore if you have “Star Wars” in its official Lucasfilm release… in Navajo.

      …or been to a Star Wars convention on the reservation. (yes! they have them…)

    • My “languages of Middle Earth” book is next to the Latin pocket dictionary.

      Definitely the wrong person to ask that of….

      (I am totally going to write up this “you may be a fan if…” list when comments die down.)

  29. We have a sort of rule round here, that when people start quoting lines from Space Balls, that it is time to watch it again.

  30. The only one that fits me is “to the pain.” The rest, well, I used to laugh when I listened to fan-geeks. There are geeks and then there are geeks…

  31. ((raises hand))

    Umm… all of the above?

  32. I tried to name my not yet born kid Paul. My wife hates the Dune movie but was going to let it slide because I remembered a great uncle Paul so she could call it a family name. Then we found out he’s a she and no we have no idea what to name her. Ideas welcome 🙂

    • Catherine (and variants thereof); Cordelia; Kethry; Jessica; Morgan/Morgaine; Lucy; Isabeau; Wulfrida; Eva (from the historical _Eclipse of the Crescent Moon_). And of course, Sarah, Alma, Cedar, Arwen, Amanda, Andre . . . 😉

    • RealityObserver

      Maureen. That’s just because I didn’t get away with it with MY wife…

      Of course, that only applies if you are a fan of Heinlein – or John Wayne westerns.

    • If you want LOTR girl names that aren’t super obvious you could go with Rosie or Eleanor.

    • Arwen is a great name. 😀

    • Helen?

    • Randy Wilde

      Then we found out he’s a she and no we have no idea what to name her.

      Push your luck with Jessica or Alia?

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      You might be a Union fan if you think that Sherman is a perfectly acceptable answer to that question…

      …and are willing to say so to a Georgian.

      Miyuki Yotsuba is a girl’s name, and maybe wouldn’t be as creepy as Jamethiel.

      Paula’s not too bad a name.

  33. My sister once won a “Whose family are bigger fans of Lord of the Rings?” contest by citing my first name and also my age which proves that I was named after the books and not the movies.

  34. What if one of your con-going ambitions is to someday meet The Real Joe Buckley? …jus’ saying…

    • RealityObserver

      That would be a bit of a stretch for me. I’ve seen reality catch up with fiction far too many times. I’d prefer to not be in the neighborhood (State, nation, planet…)

  35. If you can remember even one line of Fansarewhacky…..

    “‘Twas fannish, and the Big-Name Fen
    Had locs and illos in each zine;
    All croggled were the faneds then,
    And the neos were green.”

  36. > Your car, computer or router is named for a
    > character or item in a book,


    Simulacron-3: [hiro]

    (a holdover from ancient times, managing half a dozen Unix servers over telnet sessions)

    • Hey, one of the perqs of being an admin is that you get to engage in theme naming. All my office machines are named after monsters of antiquity – I find it enlivens otherwise boring meetings and also gives me an excuse to say “Release the Kraken!” and have it be work related.

      • I once set up a cluster of mirrored servers. It names them Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, and Bonnie and Clyde.

        Someone noticed and ran to upper management, which issued a directive saying my names made it impossible to tell which machine was main and which was fallback, and ordering I rename them pp1a, pp1b, pp2a, etc. forthwith.

        The main problem seemed to be that a certain manager (*several* levels up, and not even in IT) had never heard of Abbott and Costello or Laurel and Hardy.

        So… I aliased the new names in /etc/hosts and kept on using the old names.

        Yes, one machine as aliased to “elvis.”

        > ping elvis
        elvis is alive

        (ancient Unix was terse)

        • Terse is one way of putting it. Perverse and cruel would be another. I’m pretty sure that the interface of ed was part of an elaborate hazing ritual.

        • I interned at RCA Missile and Surface Radar, and the Vaxen were named in themes. I mostly worked on the Muppet Cluster.

        • Yes, one machine as aliased to “elvis.”

          > ping elvis
          elvis is alive

          Perhaps you should alias one to Johnny5?

          If I had paired servers at home, I’d be tempted to name them Dickens and Fenster.

          • If you name it Johnny5, then you really need to somehow work in voice synthesis.

          • Dickens and Fenster?

            Your vintage is showing.

            Me, I’d be tempted by Tootie & Muldoon. Ed & Wilbur also has an attraction, while for a triplet of servers I’d be torn between Larry, Daryl & Daryl and Betty Jo, Bobbie Jo, & Billie Jo.

            It would seem cruel to name a pair of servers Ginger & Mary Anne.

            • You could use Stella and Ursula. Or Frank and Jesse. Or Frick and Frack, for that matter. For the trio, there’s always the classic Tom, Dick, and Harry. I kind of like the idea of Yippee, Yappee, and Yahooey, though. I’m sure I can come up with something worthwhile if I think long enough.

  37. You might be a fan if John Scalzi and David Gerrold approve you as a fan. How are your references?

    • It sounds like people here make references all the time.

    • My impression is that they are not so much the Admission Committee as the Expulsion Committee. The party accepts all, retains those who do its will, expels those who reject groupthink.

      The nail that sticks up gets hammered — usually in the Baen Barfly Suite.

    • William O. B'Livion

      If Scalzi knew of me he’d probably offer to buy his books back from me.

      And I’d sell them.

    • You might be a fan if you think Gerrold and Scalzi have been acting like poopy-heads, but you’d still ask them to sign your copy of (respectively) Game of Rat and Dragon & Zoe’s Tale, because you Just Loved Those Books So Much!

      • Game of Rat and Dragon” seems to be by Cordwainer Smith. I think you maybe mean Chess with a Dragon, although I can see where you got the other title….

        (I love it too.)

      • Thus far, my one and only publication was picked out and paid for by Mr. Scalzi. So, you know, I’m certainly happy about *that*. (Hugs that little payment in memory—ah, the sweet sound of bills being paid.)

  38. Patrick Chester

    Someone hasn’t seen The Princess Bride?! Inconceivable!!!

  39. Clark E Myers

    I can’t and so don’t disagree with or argue about anything here. I am saddened to see the size of a generation gap from previous iterations of similar lists from other sources.

    Long past suggestions have included such things as:
    Knows what APA means, can expand the acronym and has typed stencils; extra points for ran the mimeograph and keeps a pumice in the bathroom to clean fingers not porcelain.
    Hears the name Ceres and thinks first of the largest of the flying mountains.
    Knows where L5 is and what’s there in more than one book; extra points knows L6 is (now was) the steel in a Gerber MKII and resents peace bonding.
    Can still quote a definition of logarithm as first encountered in Misfit

    One that should be, but isn’t, a universal.
    (Hat tip Dr. Pournelle) – Knows many of the songs from To Touch the Stars Prometheus Music and tears up more than once listening/singing along.

    • I know that stuff too. 🙂 Actually, I’d say that a lot of younger people would still know everything but the APA and purple gelatin references. 🙂

  40. When you find yourself in the corner of the party, enjoying a drink (not your first) and happily playing along on the game of “guess the modem speed someone’s whistling”…

    You realize that there’s never been any hope of turning in your geek card, never will be, and that’s All Right, because you’ve found your tribe.

  41. BobtheRegisterredFool

    You might be a geek if your first thought on hearing that they were going to be making a new Sailor Moon anime was the new writers it might bring into fanfic. Or your second thought was about legally getting an entire SM anime continuity. Or not. Maybe a true fan already has the old series.

  42. “Your car, computer or router is named for a character or item in a book, or make a joke about it. Bonus points if you have customized your car to make the joke on its own.”

    What, like this?

    (A friend’s car, and yes he does drive it around Los Angeles.)

  43. Michael Brazier

    A more recent example:

    If you have voluntarily painted yourself gray and put candy-corn-colored horns on your head … you might be a fan.

    • Clark E Myers

      I painted myself gray from a handy camouflage grease paint kit and carried a Speed Graphic camera at Moscon. Mary Jane Engh cracked up.

  44. Looking over the various comments posted here, I gotta say, some o’ y’all might want to consider getting a life.

  45. “a very odd conversation I once saw where someone tried to disqualify a Star Wars fan from being a scifi fan”

    That could make a fun thread all by itself: What’s the silliest attempt you have seen to restrict who qualifies as a fan, what qualifies as a fannish activity, etc? I’ll bet you folks have some funny stories.

  46. You had me at Princess Bride.

  47. Josh Kruschke

    “I know I’ve touched on this before with the somewhat related “hipster or real geek” question, but I still think it’s accurate– to be a fan is to love. To geek on a thing is to show your love so openly that it becomes an obvious vulnerability.”


  48. Obviously the helmet was a living creature with mutant powers it conferred to its symbiote/wearer.

    So there.