When Fandom Stands Alone
Outside the Reviews / September 7, 2017

Or, Why I’m a Proud Ravenclaw and Not Crazy About the Books How far down the rabbit hole? The question typifies the crazy, weird, multi-faceted thing we call fandom. It goes all the way from book-club type discussions and some cute stickers for your laptop, down into a twisting tangled warren of AUs and headcanons and fanfic and fanart and cosplay, a whole world springing up around… well, an imaginary world. And the really interesting thing, at least to me, is that once you get past the lightest layer of fandom, things begin to develop a life of their own. Book-length fanfics tie together a whole alternate universe where these characters are, in the end, quite different than the original book. The gorgeous fanart doesn’t fit in quite right anywhere in the books, not with the cross-over headcanon they’ve added, but somehow personifies this character in a way you haven’t seen before. The inside-joke quote on your merch may not even be part of the original canon… but everyone in your online fandom knows what it means. And it’s really cool. All these people, brought together by a common interest, building a world together. Taking their enjoyment of a set…