News of Note

  • OTW Fannews: Fans Getting Informed

    By Claudia Rebaza on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 - 5:11pm
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    • When Amazon launched Kindle Worlds, OTW Legal offered advice to fans about its terms. Now, the OTW's ally organization, New Media Rights, has also examined the pros and cons of its publishing agreement with the post "Fine print to plain english: things to look out for as a Kindle World author."
    • The Bookseller's feature on author Rainbow Rowell's fanfiction past had an interesting response from J.K. Rowling’s literary agency, which set out guidelines for writers. "Our view on Harry Potter fan fiction is broadly that it should be non-commercial and should also not be distributed through commercial websites. Writers should write under their own name and not as J K Rowling. Content should not be inappropriate – also any content not suitable for young readers should be marked as age restricted.”
    • Jennifer Kate Stuller made available her keynote presentation on lessons learned from Whedonverse activism. "[T]his was the most personal presentation I’ve ever given, and I shared both strengths and vulnerabilities that I haven’t shared in a public forum before – doing so with the hope that personal braveries would have a communal impact. I looked out and saw a sea of tissues (and kerchiefs!) being drawn from bags and pockets. Hands and sleeves wiping eyes and noses. I was overwhelmed by your response (and might have missed a couple of sentences). More than that, your collective willingness to share your braveries, your sadnesses, your joys, your yearnings for connections and manifestations of love with me in that space proved what Tanya emphasized in her opening remarks – 'We’re here because of each other.'"
    • OTW Fan Video & Multimedia Chair Tisha Turk will be helping fans and the general public become more informed thanks to new award funding. "Despite the fact that vidding has been around for decades, little academic scholarship exists on the subject. Turk’s work will explore the rhetorical effects of images and music in vids, expanding and contributing to an underrepresented area of fan studies. Her findings will lead to a greater understanding of how media fans critically interact with digital entertainment."

    What lessons do you think need to be shared with fandom? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Global Fandom

    By Janita Burgess on Monday, 28 July 2014 - 5:03pm
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    OTW Fannews Banner: Global Fandom

    • The story of female volleyball fans in Iran was covered by many sites, including France24. "[T]hese sporting events are only for male eyes, since the 'morality police' — a special police force that seeks to fight 'moral corruption' and to combat those who violate Islamic law — have been systematically preventing women from attending volleyball tournaments since 2005. However, this prohibition does not apply to foreign women." While some women were able to get into games with the aid of foreign fans and by wearing the other team's jerseys, 50 women were arrested for attempting entry. As one woman said, "I don’t want to have to resort to ruses in order to support my team. I want to be able to walk into a sports stadium proud of my identity as an Iranian woman and a fan of my national team."
    • The Korea Times reported on how Korean fans making subtitles were being sued by U.S. drama producers. "Police are now questioning the 15 who were booked without physical detention. Investigators said they made Korean subtitles of American television dramas and movies without getting prior consent from the original producers and circulated their translations among Internet users through large online cafes. A police officer said on condition of anonymity that U.S. television drama producers tend not to exercise their copyrights if individual citizens violate the law. But, he said, the U.S. producers took legal action against illegal subtitle makers as they believed that the violators circulated their subtitles rapidly through the Internet and as a result the original producers experienced negative fallout on their earnings."
    • The Telegraph India talked with fans about their World Cup passions and which countries they supported. "Germany’s clinical 7-1 demolition of Brazil not just reignited the clash of continents at the Fifa World Cup but also confirmed that Calcutta has diversified its allegiance. Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, England, France and Italy now evoke equal passion among the city’s football faithful as the traditional Selecao and La Albicileste." Part of this difference is generational and star driven but "[w]hile age is a rough line of division that splits loyalties, it is not a watertight one. Families too apparently help shape who supports whom."

    What stories do you have to tell about your local fandoms? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: On fanfiction

    By Janita Burgess on Thursday, 24 July 2014 - 4:55pm
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    OTW Fannews: On Fanfiction Banner

    • Blogger Christopher Olah took a look at some Fanfiction.net statistics. "In the following post, we will visualize the Harry Potter, Naruto and Twilight fandoms on fanfiction.net. We will also use Google’s PageRank algorithm to rank stories, and perform collaborative filtering to make story recommendations to top fanfiction.net users." The post includes a look at languages, ships, slash and more.
    • ParentDish advised parents about fanfic reading and writing. "On the plus side, I am thrilled my daughter, who has never been a fan of books, is suddenly carrying stories with her everywhere - she can even read them on her iPhone - and has an insatiable thirst for words she never had before. She has even let me read a few chapters myself (with the caveat: 'Don't worry, Mum, this isn't actually based on anything I've done... yet') and she is a gifted story teller. And as Wattpad.com has over 1000 story downloads per day and with a whopping 25 million users, she is far from alone."
    • NY Mag decided to look for how fanficcers were responding to the World Cup. "Does all of this have you so intrigued? Yes? Well, brace yourself for another enthusiastic subset of World Cup erotica: the One Direction fan-fic crossover. Here’s a book that imagines two of the band members as rival soccer players at FIFA 2014 as well as lovers in bed. Here’s a shorter one about an abandoned blow job. And fear not — no matter where you turn for your World Cup smut — there will always be ball jokes."
    • Women of China took a broader look at slash in China. "With the rise of Sina Weibo and Wechat, two major instant messaging platforms in China, tanbi is no longer the cult genre it was a decade ago. There has been a growing number of girls, or fojoshi (a Japanese term for girls who endorse male homosexual love), who have started to write fan fiction that moves tanbi into the world of mainstream literature. A recent work pairs two X-men, Magneto and Professor X, powerful opponents who care about each other, at least in the Hollywood megahit X-Men: Days of Future Past. 'There are so many fojoshi that it's almost a selling point now,' Yang, the researcher says."

    Does your favorite fanfiction have a page on Fanlore? If not, start one! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Perspectives on fandom

    By Kiri Van Santen on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 - 5:05pm
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    • Chart Attack featured the feminist comedy These Aren’t the Droids. "This little comic gem is a rebel song in the plainest sense: the future was designed by teenage guys, it looks like a permanent comic-con, and that's not a future that Neko Case or Kelly Hogan (or I for that matter) really want to live in. Instead, they proffer a more humane, more feminist version of tomorrow: guns that shoot feelings! A fundamental appreciation of literacy (but fewer shades of grey)! Everbody'd have more hair!"
    • The Chicago Tribune looked at the evolution of TV recaps. "'To me, it's less critical analysis and more fandom, which is OK,' said Steve Jones, communications professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 'I think it's great that these sites help people get more deeply into stories and be more attentive to what (the shows) are saying. But how much of this goes beyond drilling down into particular episodes and broadens out into larger issues? If you look at the rise of popular criticism since World War II, the trajectory had been an engagement with larger social issues with relation to popular culture. I don't see recappers doing that now.'"
    • The Trades ran a review of Harry Potter fan film The Greater Good. "Overall, Justin Zagri, who wrote, directed, and edited the film, did an amazing job. His version of a scene I’m sure many Potterheads have dreamed about is spot on. He has a distinct knack for intense writing that enthralls the viewer. When the scene literally comes to fisticuffs, I hissed aloud feeling a wave of a sad sort of anger at the characters. As I mentioned earlier, the movie is 17 minutes long. I assumed I would spend the entirety checking the time and wishing for it to move along. Instead, when the credits started to roll, my jaw dropped open that it was already over! More, I demanded, of my poor Youtube app. How dare it disappoint me so!"
    • Entertainment Weekly was one of several sites promoting the new mtvU's Fandom Awards. The event will take place at San Diego Comic Con and MTV and its college network will broadcast a special on the awards on July 27. The awards consist of five categories with bracket voting being done online by fans.

    What things springing from fandom have you seen? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom Misunderstandings

    By Kiri Van Santen on Sunday, 20 July 2014 - 5:28pm
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    Banner by Lisa of a street sign that has been knocked down and is pointing arbitrarily.

    • Attack of the Fanboy put a spotlight on gender segregation in gaming tournaments. "Keeping a few tournaments specifically aimed at females is not an ideal situation, but it does allow a woefully underrepresented part of the population a chance to compete on a professional level. To use the IeSF’s own justification for the initial segregation, many major sports use this method as well. Technically women are allowed in the NBA, but due to various reasons none have been placed on a team. That is why the WNBA exists, to allow a group who would be left out, a chance to compete professionally."
    • While some companies recognize their sport is 'for girls', at The Globe and Mail, Amberly McAteer discussed how many just don't get it. "It’s not just professional baseball that thinks women need extra motivation to support the home team. An official women’s T-shirt from the Pittsburgh Penguins went viral on Twitter because it declared that the wearer 'wants the stick' and loves to 'puck.' Because, of course, women are sex objects. Thanks for your sexist contribution, hockey. The Jays Shop, too, carries mildly insulting women’s gear: sequined tanks, 'meet you in the dugout' deep-vees. The only jerseys available in women’s sizes are indeed the players widely believed to be 'cute,' while the men’s section offers exponentially more."
    • A theater company in Charleston, South Carolina created a play about "the dark side of Twilight fandom". "'Kate & Sam Are Not Breaking Up' is a darkly humorous send-up of Twihard culture and celebrity obsession, with a side of gunplay and a dash of Stephen King's Misery thrown in...The lights come up on Kate and Sam waking from unconsciousness, bound and helpless in the apartment of a crazed superfan named Bill (Andre Hinds). It quickly becomes clear that Bill wants tween America's favorite couple to get back together, and he won't let them go until they do. But the situation really goes to hell when 15-year-old Becky...moderator of the fansite ghostforest.net, shows up and starts laying down the law."
    • A CNN report on manga brought about a heated reaction from fans as well as The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. "As Japan prepares to implement a new law which bans the possession of child pornography but exempts manga and anime, CNN released an over-the-top sensationalist video report this week that demonstrates a profound lack of knowledge about the formats. Much of the report by Tokyo correspondent Will Ripley is devoted to undercover footage of an Akihabara manga shop, which Ripley calls 'a place that caters to young people.' (In fact manga is read by people of all ages.) Over mostly-blurred footage, Ripley describes “magazines and videos so graphic, so sexually explicit, we turned our undercover cameras off.' ...at least one of those blurred-out covers that was too much for CNN’s delicate cameras actually wasn’t pornographic at all.”

    What troubling fandom issues have you come across? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Legal Confusion

    By Kiri Van Santen on Friday, 18 July 2014 - 5:17pm
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    • The Washington Post was one of many media outlets covering the U.S. Trademark Office's decision to cancel the Redskins trademark registration. "The 99-page decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board said the team’s name and logo are disparaging. It dilutes the Redskins’ legal protection against infringement and hinders the team’s ability to block counterfeit merchandise from entering the country. But its effect is largely symbolic. The ruling cannot stop the team from selling T-shirts, beer glasses and license-plate holders with the moniker or keep the team from trying to defend itself against others who try to profit from the logo."
    • The Wisconsin State Law Library pointed to a book about trademarks and fan-created content in the wake of the Klinger v. Conan Doyle Estate decision. The book in question is about trademarks and fan-created content from the perspective of trademark owners which doesn’t really acknowledge fans’ rights to make fair uses— but instead is about “tolerating” use. It’s an older work, and an example of the way that trademark owners used to assume that they were always the ones who got to decide how their works would be received.
    • io9 put a spotlight on a study about filk. "Women in the filk community are more likely than men to create original melodies to accompany their lyrics, while women are only somewhat more likely to borrow from others' lyrics than are men. Because filk is often viewed as an imitative culture, the tendency of women to depart from that ethos in creating their own melodies seems significant...female respondents were much more likely to define fair use as not profiting from others' work, and somewhat more likely to define it as giving credit to the original author and making private as opposed to public use of a protected work."
    • The YALSA blog posted about Fandom and Fair Use but made some problematic claims. For example, it does not actually discuss what fair use is and provides questionable examples. Crunchyroll claims to be fully licensed and even Disney has now embraced user-generated content. Instead what the YALSA post demonstrates is an example of copyright confusion: people think that some things aren’t “allowed” when in fact either fair use law or licensing is on their side.

    What confusing legal fandom issues have you come across? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Investigating Fandom

    By Janita Burgess on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 - 4:48pm
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    • At Research Hazel Robinson discussed how fandom works. "Everyone behaves slightly differently online. So in the same way that a blogger might be more confessional on the internet than they would be in their office, fans will be sillier, more obscene in the privacy of a secluded online spot. The specific behaviours of fans will vary a lot from medium to medium though. Some fans might be quite coy on Twitter, as that’s often used for more cross-fandom/experience discussion and feels more public, whereas they’d be very open and in-depth about their fandom on a specific message-board or community."
    • The New Republic posted about fandom ethics in relation to the World Cup. "Objecting citizens may be overlooking the fact that students all over the world are learning about Brazilian arts, letters, and philosophy due to the attention brought upon the country by the World Cup. For example, this past semester, a student in my course on Latin American thought at Brooklyn College argued that the World Cup in fact represented a serious threat to democracy, given the authoritarian policies installed to organize and realize the Cup. He cited Leonardo Boff, a Brazilian theologian and philosopher, as a source for his concept of a just, participatory democracy...trying to track down all the consequences of buying a ticket from FIFA, coming to Brazil, and participating in the business surrounding the World Cup is impossible and does not get to the heart of the matter."
    • GMA News Online posted about KPop fans and stans. "'Fandom is a fuel of trade,' said Catherine Deen, one of three scholars who spoke about the hallyu phenomenon in the forum 'The Hallyu Mosaic in the Philippines: Framing Perception and Praxis' at the Ateneo Initiative for Korean Studies Conference...last week. In their studies, Deen and fellow speakers Patrick Capili and Gilbert Que surveyed hundreds of fans and major KPop fanclubs in the Philippines, categorizing the fans based on their activities and level of affinity with their idols."
    • The Ogiue Maniax blog discussed American anime fandom. "Historically, anime has not needed its American fanbase. Sure, there have been a lot of viewers, but anime’s domestic market is Japan, and it also finds success around the world, in Europe, South America, and Asia. The US certainly has an online presence when it comes to anime discussion and enthusiasm, but over the years it’s been easy to get the impression that this fandom is a paper tiger, especially when it comes to popular shows among the internet fandom not translating to home video sales...Now, however, not only are American viewers tuning in to catch Toonami and its latest anime, but the shows people are most interested in are also the ones that have developed large fanbases online as well."

    What parts of fandom history do you remember? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Remembering the past

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 13 July 2014 - 5:54pm
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    Banner by Bremo of a timeline showing different fannish platforms starting with Geocities and ending with AO3

    • At The Atlantic, Courtney Klauser discussed her education in social networks thanks to fandom. "Looking back, I most miss the personal anonymity; an online existence without photography or video, a time when it was normal not to use your real name, when people could interact without demographic data being harvested for advertisers or shuffling people into neat demographic categories in the name of improved user experience...Yet the online world where I first encountered the pleasures of fan culture no longer exists at all."
    • Corinne Duyvis wrote at YA Highway about lessons learned while roleplaying. "My absolute biggest hobby as a teenager was online X-Men roleplaying...Roleplaying wasn’t fanfiction like most people know it, but it’s probably the most apt comparison—and that’s why it baffles me when people dismiss fandom as a waste of time for writers, or even call it actively damaging. It’s often the exact opposite. Without fandom, I wouldn’t be writing today. I wouldn’t have a shiny hardcover on shelves as of this month."
    • Author Peter David re-posted a poem about fandom he'd published in 2001 about the spread of fandom online. "And the Grynch straight away fashioned 'Fandom Dot Com/ By fans and for fans,' said the Grynch with aplomb/ The fans, they just loved it, they flocked by the ton/ And they told all their friends, and they came on the run/ Created new websites and posted the things/ On Star Wars, Godzilla, and Lord of the Rings/ The theory, you see, was by acting as one/ The fans would not ever be put on the run/ By studio lawyers with frozen-fish faces/ Subpoenas and letters and leather briefcases."
    • Elizabeth Minkel wrote in New Statesman about changing times. "It might be easy to forget that a little more than a decade ago, Warner Brothers was yanking down Harry Potter fan sites without warning, particularly those that 'sent the wrong message', like speculating that a character could be gay. Now media corporations are actively trying to create the kind of spaces for fan engagement that mimic the volume and enthusiasm of what’s historically been built from the bottom-up – organic celebrations of (and critical space to examine) a book or movie or television show or band. Now we’ve got 'official fan fiction partners' of a book or a movie, and even corporate-sponsored incentive – rewards, like access to special content, that sort of thing – to create more content in their spaces."

    What parts of fandom history do you remember? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Personal journeys

    By Claudia Rebaza on Tuesday, 8 July 2014 - 4:56pm
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    Banner by Sidhrat of a butterfly moving through stages of growth

    • At The Mary Sue, Elisabeth Flaum discussed her return to fandom. "In the beginning, I was not a fan. I liked stuff – Firefly, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings – but the tween who freaked over Bon Jovi and baseball grew up and moved out...Then I met the Doctor. Suddenly, in my late thirties, I was binge-watching a television show. I was pining over fictional characters – and I was writing my own stories for them when the official versions ran out. I was making costumes and going to conventions. I was lit up, inspired, excited as I hadn’t been by anything since childhood."
    • Bleeding Cool posted a story by artist Ale Bodden about receiving encouragment from artists at New York ComicCon. "For thirty minutes I stood in front of this artist as a nervous wreck, and I was right: when he returned that book to me it was all different. My twitches seem to leave and I was left with much more passion and more focused than ever on what I love. Not much could match the levels of satisfaction I felt at the moment, or the happiness I still feel."
    • The Hindu discussed the journeys on which fanfic takes characters. "Jointly referred to under the cutesy moniker Arshi, several fan fiction stories feature the two in a passionate Mills and Boons-esque love affair. This is all the more scandalous when juxtaposed with the original soap’s furtive glances and coy flirting. Moreover Khushi has far more 'You go girl!' moments than the show ever afforded her. Saima, an avid IPKKND fan fiction writer, explains that fan fiction aimed to correct the show’s victimisation of the female protagonist. 'Khushi was treated so badly by everyone including her family when she and Arnav eloped. Fans waited patiently for everyone to ask for her forgiveness but the show started up an envy angle that again positioned Khushi as a victim.'"
    • Moultrie News discussed the growth of a national soccer fan club in the U.S. "The American Outlaws are a nationwide brotherhood of super fans that support the United States National Soccer teams with a feverish passion...There are 144 official chapters nationwide with more than 50 new chapters added since September. When members travel into new cities from out of town, their welcomed into the town’s Outlaw chapter like members of an extended family." They are also at the World Cup. "Look closely in the U.S. fan sections at the games in Brazil and you’ll see the Holy City Outlaws scarfs waiving through the air. The Outlaws back home applaud their brothers in the stands the same way they cheer for their boys on the field."

    What special fandom moments are part of your journey? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: When fandoms hit the big time

    By Janita Burgess on Friday, 4 July 2014 - 5:35pm
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    • As the World Cup kicked off, an American fan talked about the changes he's seen in his fandom. "Now, I will be able to stream the games on my phone at work. I can choose from multiple public parties showing the games I want to see. I can bring up the US team in casual conversation without worrying that people will think I'm weird." Back in 2002 "I watched alone in my house, careful not to wake up anyone else and sporadically running upstairs to post on a message board."
    • Re/Code.net talked about the fandom that launched the success of The Fault in Our Stars. "Judging from more than 100,000 responses, it appears that most Nerdfighters are female, especially the most active Nerdfighters (60 percent of the Vlogbrothers video watchers; 72 percent of survey responders). Some 85 percent of this year’s respondents are non-Hispanic white. Most Nerdfighters are American, and between the ages of 13 and 30. More than 87,000 respondents have read a John Green novel; 28,000 people have purchased something from DFTBA.com, the merchandising arm of Nerdfighteria."
    • The Washington Post cited Wattpad's statistic about how often the fanfic 'After' has been read. "For perspective, that is: (1) almost twice the number of Harry Potter books that have ever been sold, (2) roughly 1.5 times the number of Apple iPhones in existence and (3) two and a half times the population of the United States."
    • A new French documentary on fanwork creations, Citizen Fan launched on July 5. French Public Broadcaster France Télévisons' Online Services, provided it without any territory limits and with English subtitles. Citizen Fan will also be an open "museum" with 400 fan works from 32 countries in it. The documentary was a 2 year long project by filmmaker Emmanuelle Wielezynski-Debats.

    What fandoms have you seen hit the big time? Write about their history on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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