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Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls by Katherine…
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Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls

by Katherine Larsen, Lynn S. Zubernis

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First, I will just say that I love Supernatural. It’s a great show and if I could I would love to visit Comic Con, but…I think there is a limit to how far one takes one's obsession with a show/movie/singer/group/whatever…it’s one thing to like something, but to let it take over one’s life totally? It’s not that I don’t enjoy fandom’s, but I just don’t have the need to ruin my economy, drive away my friends or family for it.

The ladies in this book, middle age women, suddenly start to obsess over Supernatural although it seems mostly Jensen Ackles, they fly to see him in play, watch everything he is in from movies to tv shows. Nothing wrong with that, I have favorite actors also. But it bothered me reading how for example Lynn hid the fact from her family that she ordered passes to a convention. Like what she did was something shameful. And here we have the BIG problem with the book. Everything they did was so shameful, liking Supernatural and writing fanfiction. It’s shameful to like something; it’s shameful to write slash fanfiction. It’s shame, shame, shame. And I tried to remember if I have ever been ashamed for liking something (Hell I liked David Hasselhoff in Baywatch when I was a teenager and not even that makes me ashamed nowadays).

This book felt like an excuse to be able to get up and close with Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, a middle life crisis now that the children are almost grown up.

"As we pondered and plotted and looked for opportunities to get up close and personal with actors, our road trip through fandom continued"

But there are moments I feel for them because in a part they manage to find a life outside being a wife, mother, and professor. That part of the book I liked, but I ultimately I think they failed in their mission to show the good side of the fandom, it felt more like they showed the worst part, the over enthusiastic fans, the fanatic fans that sleep in hallways to have breakfast with actors.

There isn’t any shame in liking Supernatural. And if you like writing fanfiction, slash or not slash go for it. It’s your life.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Dec 14, 2017 |
First I will just say that I love Supernatural. It’s a great show and if I could I would love to visit Comic Con, but…I think there is a limit to how far one takes one's obsession with a show/movie/singer/group/whatever…it’s one thing to like something, but to let it take over one’s life totally? It’s not that I don’t enjoy fandom’s, but I just don’t have the need to ruin my economy, drive away my friends or family for it.

The ladies in this book, middle age women, suddenly start to obsess over Supernatural although it seems mostly Jensen Ackles, they fly to see him in play, watch everything he is in from movies to tv shows. Nothing wrong with that, I have favorite actors also. But it bothered me reading how for example Lynn hid the fact from her family that she ordered passes to a convention. Like what she did was something shameful. And here we have the BIG problem with the book. Everything they did was so shameful, liking Supernatural and writing fanfiction. It’s shameful to like something; it’s shameful to write slash fanfiction. It’s shame, shame, shame. And I tried to remember if I have ever been ashamed for liking something (Hell I liked David Hasselhoff in Baywatch when I was a teenager and not even that makes me ashamed nowadays).

This book felt like an excuse to be able to get up and close with Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, a middle life crisis now that the children are almost grown up.

"As we pondered and plotted and looked for opportunities to get up close and personal with actors, our road trip through fandom continued"

But there are moments I feel for them because in a part they manage to find a life outside being a wife, mother, and professor. That part of the book I liked, but I ultimately I think they failed in their mission to show the good side of the fandom, it felt more like they showed the worst part, the over enthusiastic fans, the fanatic fans that sleep in hallways to have breakfast with actors.

There isn’t any shame in liking Supernatural. And if you like writing fanfiction, slash or not slash go for it. It’s your life.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review! ( )
  | Feb 9, 2016 | edit |
It took me a while to read this, because of my own intense and unresolved issues surrounding fan-actor contact; it’s a very personal account of the journey to admit one’s fandom; stop or at least limit the shame that women often feel for liking something for ourselves; and also set appropriate boundaries on conduct related to a show produced by other human beings who might seem knowable and even known to thousands of strangers, but have lives of their own. Fangasm is fundamentally about the difficulties of managing relationships that are only metaphorically “negotiated,” and in fact are created out of constant bumping up against one another with not enough repeat players on the fan side (at least). It’s all culture and norms, except no one really agrees on what the culture or norms are. The authors are very positive about fangirl desires, while also acknowledging the dark side of any human community; this all made it impossible for them to write the “official” book they thought they were writing for a while. They offer a pretty biting criticism of “TPTB’s” attempts to control fannish engagement: “Never mind that they are in the business of selling passion and sex and desire. Never mind that they cast impossibly pretty people in their television shows and films. Never mind that they often mount (yeah, pun intended there) over-the-top ad campaigns that emphasize sexual subtext over plot. They don’t seem to have a problem with any of this, but they do seem to have a problem with fans acknowledging it, indulging in it, and celebrating it.”

Especially just after rewatching The Real Ghostbusters and the humiliating treatment of female fans, I was left less forgiving of the “creative” side of the show’s production than the authors are—they’re extremely positive about the good nature of everyone they meet and interview, which I have no doubt is true, but they don’t discuss the thoughts of writers/showrunners other than Kripke and they touch on issues of race and homosexuality but not gender as such. Instead, they endorse the narrative that TPTB forced Bela and Ruby on the creative team, which helped account for the negative reaction to those characters from fandom. Yeah, but misogyny also played a role (and I apply that judgment to the creative team and to fandom), and I wished the authors had addressed that more, though they do focus a lot on the internalized misogyny/devaluing of women’s interests that is related to fannish shame. ( )
  rivkat | Jul 8, 2014 |
I’m no stranger to fandoms--my first fandom was ‘N Sync, and I just HAD to own all the albums (including import CDs), put dozens of posters on my wall, set the VCR to record all their TV appearances, and go to their concerts every time they were in the Midwest. I remember visiting fan websites and waiting impatiently for pictures to load (back in the dial up internet days). I read fanfiction and even tried writing it once. I bought all kinds of ‘N Sync merchandise, but my most prized item was a towel that I caught when they threw it into the audience. Only my family and closest friends knew the true extent of my fangirling--I tried not to let too many other people see that side of me because I was worried they’d judge me or make fun of me.

Nowadays I am more willing to let my fangirl flag fly. I go to midnight premieres of movies based on my favorite books, I get to book signings so early sometimes that I’m first or second in line, and I even go to my favorite artists’ concerts by myself if none of my friends are free because I don’t want to miss out on the opportunity. Life is too short to be embarrassed about the things you enjoy, you know? (And while I don’t have posters covering my walls anymore, a quick glance at my Pinterest boards will tell you that I still have music, books, TV shows, and movies that I’m very passionate about!)

I was really excited when I first heard about this book. Even though I’ve only seen a few episodes of Supernatural, I knew I could relate to the topic of fandom! Fangasm touches on many aspects of fandom, including reading and writing fan fiction, making fan pilgrimages, attending fan conventions, becoming part of a fan community, and so much more. It examines the negative ways we react to fan behavior, even from within the fandom itself sometimes.

For those unfamiliar with the language of fandom, Fangasm includes a Glossary of Terms so you can learn all the relevant lingo (for example, “shipping” and “OTP”). The authors share some research from the field of fan studies as well as anecdotes from their own experiences as Supernatural fans. While many of their stories made me smile or laugh, they also made me think critically about what it means to be a fan and the relationship between fans and creators. This book challenges fan shame and shares insights from the perspectives of both the fans and the creators. It's also a fun read that a lot of people can relate to. ( )
  SuperLibBlog | Aug 2, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Katherine Larsenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Zubernis, Lynn S.main authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 160938198X, Paperback)

Once upon a time not long ago, two responsible college professors, Lynn the psychologist and Kathy the literary scholar, fell in love with the television show Supernatural and turned their oh-so-practical lives upside down. Plunging headlong into the hidden realms of fandom, they scoured the Internet for pictures of stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki and secretly penned racy fan fiction. And then they hit the road—crisscrossing the country, racking up frequent flyer miles with alarming ease, standing in convention lines at 4 A.M.
They had white-knuckled encounters with overly zealous security guards one year and smiling invitations to the Supernatural set the next. Actors stripping in their trailers, fangirls sneaking onto film sets; drunken confessions, squeals of joy, tears of despair; wallets emptied and responsibilities left behind; intrigue and ecstasy and crushing disappointment—it’s all here.
And yet even as they reveled in their fandom, the authors were asking themselves whether it’s okay to be a fan, especially for grown women with careers and kids. “Crazystalkerchicks”—that’s what they heard from Supernatural crew members, security guards, airport immigration officials, even sometimes their fellow fans. But what Kathy and Lynn found was that most fans were very much like themselves: smart, capable women looking for something of their own that engages their brains and their libidos.
Fangasm pulls back the curtain on the secret worlds of fans and famous alike, revealing Supernatural behind the scenes and discovering just how much the cast and crew know about what the fans are up to. Anyone who’s been tempted to throw off the constraints of respectability and indulge a secret passion—or hit the road with a best friend—will want to come along.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:17 -0400)

Once upon a time not long ago, two responsible college professors, Lynn the psychologist and Kathy the literary scholar, fell in love with the television show Supernatural and turned their oh-so-practical lives upside down. Plunging headlong into the hidden realms of fandom, they scoured the Internet for pictures of stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki and secretly penned racy fan fiction. And then they hit the road-crisscrossing the country, racking up frequent flyer miles with alarming ease, standing in convention lines at 4 A.M.They had white-knuckled encounters with overly zealous security guards one year and smiling invitations to the Supernatural set the next. Actors stripping in their trailers, fangirls sneaking onto film sets; drunken confessions, squeals of joy, tears of despair; wallets emptied and responsibilities left behind; intrigue and ecstasy and crushing disappointment - it's all here.And yet even as they reveled in their fandom, the authors were asking themselves whether it's okay to be a fan, especially for grown women with careers and kids. "Crazystalkerchicks" that's what they heard from Supernatural crew members, security guards, airport immigration officials, even sometimes their fellow fans. But what Kathy and Lynn found was that most fans were very much like themselves: smart, capable women looking for something of their own that engages their brains and their libidos.Fangasm pulls back the curtain on the secret worlds of fans and famous alike, revealing Supernatural behind the scenes and discovering just how much the cast and crew know about what the fans are up to. Anyone who's been tempted to throw off the constraints of respectability and indulge a secret passion- or hit the road with a best friend- will want to come along.… (more)

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