So by now we have all heard about it—what used to be spoken about in whispers and only in the company of certain friends is now openly flaunted: Fandom. Fandom has become a thing of power. With the success of Twilight fan-fiction turned novel Fifty Shades of Grey, people who weren’t aware of its existence before are now diving into the realm of fandom—both trying to understand it, and perhaps even participate. It is the latter that I would like to take the time with.
Maybe you are like me; into certain things, almost to the point of obsessively going over every bit of world-building and rumor that you can find. Or maybe you are just curious as to what goes into building a fandom. I took as my first foray into fandom one of my first obsessions, The X-Files. The year was 1993, and Fox Mulder and Dana Scully began their search for The Truth. What they started that day launched a whole universe of mythology and shipping.
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of it all, there are a few things you need to know. Every fandom has its terms and ships. If you are going to go into the world, you have to know the language.
X-Phile, XPhile, or Phile: The official title for a member of the fandom
MSR, DSR, or DRR: A story that focuses on the Mulder/Scully relationship, the Doggett/Scully relationship, or the Doggett/Reyes relationship respectively.
Mytharc, Mythos: This is used when concerned with the overarching alien-conspiracy storyline of The X-Files, not just the general monsters of the week episodes.
MotW: Used to refer to the Monsters of the Week episodes as opposed to the Mytharc
CC, DD, or GA: Chris Carter, David Duchovny, and Gillian Anderson respectively.
TLG: The Lone Gunman, an X-Files spin-off and group of three conspiracy theorists that occasionally assist Mulder.
CSM: The Cigarette-Smoking Man, aka The Cancerman
So those are the general terms, which may get you to where you want to go in terms of a fandom. So where does one go for the goods? Well, with the help of Google and Friends/Community Members I’ve come up with a couple of places to look.
On Live Journal there are:
On Archive of Our Own:
And then, if you are interested in the more academic side of the effect a fandom can have on how people experience fiction, you can check out these two articles:
What about you? Are you an X-Phile? Do you have a prefferred X-file Ship or Fan-Fic?