Tag Archives: Harry Potter

Of Fandoms and Fanaticism

There is something about finding a fandom. A fandom is like a home, for us nerdy folks. A fandom is somewhere you belong, a place that exists where you can share your love for something with others who love it too.

HP fanart by MARTA

For years now, I have ‘belonged’ within the Harry Potter fandom. Harry Potter is a very large part of the reason why my best friend and I ever became friends. It has been something to bond over, something to laugh and cry over. We have read and written fanfiction, ‘awwwww’d and drooled over fanart, and attended the midnight screenings of the last two films.

All of this has cemented our friendship. It has ensured that we always have that special something between us that makes us who we are, that makes us us. Naturally, there are other things now which keep us together. Other pleasures, loves, and hates. Other fandoms, other stories to laugh and cry over. But Harry Potter was the first thing. And we always have it to come back to.

My point has wandered somewhat, but it all comes back to the same thing. I have been contemplating the power of fandoms. The ability of a fandom to share a love of something, to make that thing grow beyond what it originally was. I am talking about fanfiction and fanart, but also about the sharing that exists within a fandom. This has been increasingly emphasised to me through tumblr, where fans blog and reblog the words and images that they love about a particular fandom.

The ability to do this keeps the fandom alive within their minds, and their hearts. The fact is that I never really loved Harry Potter until I was introduced to the Harry Potter fandom. I enjoyed the Harry Potter books. The Harry Potter fandom made me love them.

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Filed under Books, Films, Harry Potter, Ranting, Reading, TV Shows

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 3

Day 3: Book that makes you laugh out loud

The easy answer to this challenge, is: most of my favourite YA novels. (At least the fantasy ones, the realistic YA I tend to read is generally pretty far from funny! :P)

Particularly, this applies to my Harry Potter books, and my Tortall novels. Both J.K. Rowling and Tamora Pierce know how to write a funny, fantasy-adventure story. And that is why I keep going back, reading them again and again.

And then I thought about it all a bit more… I never really like things to be all that easy. So, the roundabout (kinda cheating answer) is:

FAN-FICTION!

S.P.E.W. Does Not Approve by makani

I have read a lot of (almost exclusively Harry Potter) fan-fiction in my days… Ever since I was first introduced to it way back in 2004. Well, I say ‘read’. What I mean is that I’ve devoured it. In fact, I used to read so much fan-fiction that my dad actually firewalled fanfiction.net on our home network… What did I do? I downloaded stories while at school, copied them into Word documents, and read them on my laptop. I even got some stories professionally printed. I wrote fansfiction (we won’t go there!). Basically, for quite a few years, a lot of my reading was done online.

Why was I so insane about it? Basically, fan-fiction can be terrible, horrendous, bad on a level that is stomach-churning. But it can also be brilliantly written, thought-out and developed. I have read some fan-fiction stories that I could honestly say were just as good as the published works that inspired them. Some very, very talented authors have their beginnings in fan-fiction, I’m sure.

Also, though, fan-fiction can be damned funny! And this was the main reason I decided to go with fan-fiction to answer this question. Sure, Rowling and Pierce and many other published authors have made me laugh, some have even made me laugh out loud (I’m hard to please!), but the stories that have truly made me laugh out loud, made me guffaw and all the rest, have been fan-fiction.

To illustrate my point, follow on for some fanart!

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Dark Side of Harry Potter

Wow. Just wow. I’ve never really thought about the series this way. Sure, I’ve always known that it was so much more than just ‘children’s books’, but to have everything articulated in this way is just fantastic. Brutal, but fantastic.

 

here-is-the-place:

When people say these books are children’s books, as if to demean them, I balk. These books dealt with themes that adults do not fully understand or wish to. It dealt with racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, prejudice, and general ignorance. These books taught us that it doesn’t matter how you were raised, but that you get to choose to be kind, loyal, brave, and true. They taught us to be strong under the pressures of this world and to hold fast to what we know to be right. These books taught me so much, they changed me as a person. So just because they’re set against a fantastical backdrop with young protagonists does not mean that their value is any less real.

Seriously. Read the rest!

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30 Day Book Challenge: Day 10

Day 10: The book that changed your life

This one is kind of cliched. I think I’m only one of a million who would claim that this book (and all of its sequels) changed their life and the way they viewed the world.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J.K. Rowling

I was tempted to pick a different book, just to remain a bit interesting. But it makes sense. I’m a child of the 90’s, was a teenager during the early 2000’s – it’s a very rare person my age who didn’t grow up alongside the Boy Who Lived. Besides, I realised the other day that I can clearly remember where I was and what I was doing when I first read this book. If that’s not a sign that it changed my life, my approach to reading, then what is?

First off, and (for me) importantly, I live in Australia, where the first book in the series is Harry Potter and the PHILOSOPHER’S Stone, and yet this cover was the first one I read. Some American friends sent me this as a Christmas present in 1999 and I did try to read it soon after. But I gave up part-way through the first chapter. It wasn’t until I was sick sometime in the middle of 2000 that I gave Harry Potter another try, and I haven’t looked back since. It wasn’t long after that I was eagerly awaiting the publication of Goblet of Fire, having already read all of the previous books.

Where Temmi and the Flying Bears was my first real introduction to fantasy, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was the first time I fell in love with it. And I remember it as the book that truly started my love of reading, of adventure and escaping to a different world. Hundreds of books later, that very first book still holds a place of honour on my shelves. 🙂

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30 Day Book Challenge: Day 20

Day 20: Book you’ve read the most number of times

This one really was a challenge. I’m a book re-reader. If I find something I love, I will keep on reading it, and find something to enjoy every single time. But, luckily, I am also slightly OCD and have kept a record of every single book I have read (title, author, number of pages, date started and date finished) since October 11, 2000. That’s a lot of books. But it also means that I can tell you exactly how many times I have read certain books. And I’m doing a count down. Because I can.

In third place…

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. The first Juliet Marillier book I ever read, and six times later I still love it. I would have read it more times, but the four (nearly five!) books that follow make that a little bit hard! Still, a beautiful and amazing book! – More on it later!

In second place…

First Test by Tamora Pierce. This one was a present from my sister for my 13th birthday – it still has the inscription in it, though the book’s started to fall apart. This one I’ve read seven times, but my mum’s read it a few as well, and my sister. Great adventure books, with young female role models – what more could a girl want? Other then all of the other Tortall books, naturally.

In first place…

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Filed under 30 Day Book Challenge, Books, Fantasy, Reading, YA Books