AO3 News

Post Header

Published:
2017-10-08 13:35:52 -0400
Tags:

Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages

I. OTW'S 10TH ANNIVERSARY

On September 5th, the OTW celebrated ten years of successfully achieving our mission to support the creation and distribution of fanworks and preserve their past. During the month of September, our Communications Committee hosted online chats with authors Lev Grossman, Martha Wells, Seanan McGuire, Christina Lauren, and Tessa Gratton, along with Young Adult Library Services Association board member Kate McNair, and romance writer and professor of cultural and gender studies, Catherine Roach. We also hosted several open house chats with OTW volunteers, a trivia contest with prizes donated by author Tamora Pierce and First Second Books, a guest post from media scholar Henry Jenkins, and a retrospective post by OTW co-founder and author Naomi Novik.

A big thank you to all of our wonderful guests, staff, and volunteers who helped make our celebration (and the last decade) a success! We hope everyone enjoyed the events and posts this month. If you missed any of September's events, we have links and transcripts to many of the posts and chats available.

II. AT THE AO3

In September, Accessibility, Design & Technology completed the move of AO3 to Rails 5.1 and Ruby 2.3.4, capping off a long process. They also grappled with login issues, rewrote several bits of code to speed up tag sets and wrangling pages, and fixed a bunch of lingering bugs, as summed up in their most recent release notes.

In recent months, Open Doors has made a great deal of progress working through a large queue of archives to import to the AO3, with a new archive import announced nearly every two weeks! Open Doors was excited to complete the imports of The Brian/Justin Fanfiction Archive, and Hammer to Fall, and Bang and Blame in September and to publicly announce the upcoming imports of The Alpha Gate, and a little piece of gundam wing, and soul circuit. Special thanks to Communications, Translation, and Tag Wrangling for their help in this process.

Tag Wranglers assisted Open Doors' import of new archives by searching the AO3 for existing copies of works--a manual and time-intensive process--and helping with tag mapping for several new archive imports. In addition, Tag Wrangling volunteers assisted Accessibility, Design & Technology in testing the wrangling functions for the code upgrade to Rails 5.1. Wranglers continued to handle over 500,000 tags per month.

Lastly, Abuse received over 600 tickets, and Support received over 1,300 tickets in September.

III. LEGAL ADVOCACY

In September, Legal joined allies to submit two petitions to the Copyright Office seeking exemptions to the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions. These petitions follow and expand upon our petition to renew the vidders’ exemption, which allows people to rip DVDs, Blu-Rays, and digital files for the purpose of using clips in noncommercial fanvids. One of the new petitions seeks a more inclusive exemption that would permit ripping audiovisual works to use short portions for criticism or comment (not limited to vids). The other seeks an exemption that would permit ripping audiovisual works to include short portions in multimedia e-books.

As part of the 10th Anniversary celebrations, Legal also held two open house chats on and fielded questions about law, fanworks, and the OTW’s legal advocacy mission. Thanks to everyone who came and chatted!

In addition, Legal is also addressing some issues with app makers who are confusing people into believing that they are affiliated with the OTW. A reminder: OTW and AO3 have not authorized any apps.

IV. GOVERNANCE

In a public meeting on September 1, Board elected the following officers for the next year: Yuechiang Luo, the current Finance chair and Treasurer, as Treasurer; Priscilla Del Cima as the new President; and Jessie Camboulives as the new Secretary. All board meeting minutes can be found here on our website.

Board has also had a busy September integrating the new Board members prior to the changeover on October 1st.

VI. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

As of the 27th of September, the OTW has 697 volunteers. Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Directors: Claire P. Baker, Danielle Strong, Jessie Camboulives.
New Committee Staff: SarkaS and 1 other Translation staff, 1 Fanlore, 1 Support.
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Adie, AkaKarasu, cali, Charlotte Im, Desipio, Diana Horton, Ellie Burrell, falsteloj, Fevrier, FurryVille, Goodwin, Hando, hmweasley, Icey, idiosincrasy, Jeniouis, Jenny Lynne, lemoncave, Marta Cardoso, Millip, Natalia Gruber, NirCele, NovaNica, Okaykay, patron, Qkat, rdv, Ron Geromy, Ruby Davis, Sang Yun Kim, SavannahM, Shotenchu, SoVeryAverageMe, Tatapioca, Tsukiko, Zoë Renee.
New Translator Volunteers: Marika

Departing Committee Staff: Kellyn (Support) and RoseJackson (Abuse).
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: IShouldBeWriting, Andy D, 1 other volunteer
Departing Translation Volunteers: ayerenne, Rana Kamal, Ha Thi Ngoc Huyen and 5 other Translation Volunteers

For more information about the purview of our committees, please access the committee listing on our website.


The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

Comment

Post Header

Published:
2017-10-04 12:03:49 -0400
Tags:

OTW Recruitment banner by Erin

Do you have graphic design skills and enjoy creating social media content? Or would you like to help translate OTW/AO3 news posts?

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Abuse Staff, Communications Staff, Systems Staff and Tag Wrangler Volunteers.

Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Fanlore Graphics Designer Volunteers - closing 11 October 2017
  • Translation Committee News Translation Volunteers - closing 11 October 2017

We have included more information on each role below. Open roles and applications will always be available at the volunteering page. If you don't see a role that fits with your skills and interests now, keep an eye on the listings. We plan to put up new applications every few weeks, and we will also publicize new roles as they become available.

All applications generate a confirmation page and an auto-reply to your e-mail address. We encourage you to read the confirmation page and to whitelist volunteers -(at)- transformativeworks -(dot)- org in your e-mail client. If you do not receive the auto-reply within 24 hours, please check your spam filters and then contact us.

If you have questions regarding volunteering for the OTW, check out our Volunteering FAQ.


Fanlore Graphics Designer Volunteers

Would you like to help Fanlore reach more fans and get new editors? Do you have graphic design skills and enjoy creating social media content? If so, we need your help! The Fanlore team needs designers to create graphics and banners for Tumblr posts, tweets, and other Fanlore announcements, to help us reach more fans and potential editors. We have a lot of amazing fan history content, but we need your help to help others find out about it. If you think you might enjoy that, come and join us!

Applications will be accepted until 11 October 23:59 UTC.


Translation Committee News Translation Volunteers

Would you like to help translate OTW/AO3 news posts? We are looking for volunteers who can translate or beta news posts within five-day deadlines. If you enjoy working collaboratively, if you're fluent in a language other than English, if you’re passionate about the OTW and its projects, and want to help us reach more fans all around the world, working with Translation might be for you!

We particularly need people for Arabic, Bengali, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Danish, Filipino, Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Japanese, Kiswahili, Korean, Latvian, Malay, Marathi, Norwegian, Polish, Serbian, Turkish, Vietnamese, and Welsh.

(Please note that our Czech, Dutch, German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish teams are not accepting new members at this time.)

Applicants may be asked to translate and correct short text samples and will be invited to a chatroom interview as part of the selection process. More information about us can be found on the Translation committee page.

Applications will be accepted until 11 October 23:59 UTC.


Apply at the volunteering page!

Comment

Post Header

West Wing Fanfiction Central Banner

West Wing Fanfiction Central, a West Wing fanfiction archive, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3). In this post:

Background explanation

West Wing Fanfiction Central is an archive for West Wing fanfiction which was created by the moderator, Jessi, in January 2002. As well as The National Library, which contains over 5000 works, West Wing Fanfiction Central also includes 2 other West Wing archives (West Wing Fanfiction Archive and Big Block of Cheese) that Jessi rescued "to keep great stories on the internet". Due to hacker attacks and activity slowing since the site’s early years, Open Doors will be working with Jessi to import West Wing Fanfiction Central into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own. We will begin importing works from West Wing Fanfiction Central to the AO3 after October.

What does this mean for creators who have work(s) on West Wing Fanfiction Central?

We will send an import notification to the email address we have for each creator. We'll do our best to check for an existing copy of any works before importing. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will invite it to the collection instead of importing it. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of the work. All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors. Please contact Open Doors with your West Wing Fanfiction Central pseud(s) and email address(es), if:

  1. You'd like us to import your works, but you need the notification sent to a different email address than you used on the original archive
  2. You already have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  3. You’d like to import your works yourself (including if you don’t have an AO3 account yet).
  4. You would NOT like your works moved to the AO3.
  5. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  6. You have any other questions we can help you with.

Please include the name of the archive in the subject heading of your email. If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your West Wing Fanfiction Central account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's great; if not, we will work with the West Wing Fanfiction Central mod to confirm your claims.) Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ, contact the Open Doors committee. We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of West Wing Fanfiction Central on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips. We're excited to be able to help preserve West Wing Fanfiction Central! - The Open Doors team and Jessi

Comment

Post Header

If you have podfic, fanvids, or other works with embedded media, users who currently opt to browse the Archive over HTTPS (e.g. via a browser extension) may be unable to access your work. Before we move the Archive to HTTPS, we'll be making some changes to existing audio and video embeds to prevent more widespread issues, but there are also steps you can take now to ensure your content loads for everyone.

The problem

Many of the media players in AO3 works use HTTP links to embed Flash files for playing back audio or video. For example, here's the code for an audio player that uses an HTTP URL as its src:

<embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" flashvars="mp3=MP3_FILE_URL" src="http://archiveofourown.org/system/dewplayer/dewplayer.swf" width="200" height="27" allowscriptaccess="never" allownetworking="internal"> </embed>

If someone uses HTTPS to access a work with code like that, their browser will notice a mismatch between the page they're on (HTTPS! secure!) and the content it's being asked to display (HTTP! not secure!). When this happens, many browsers will err on the side of security: they won't load or display the embedded media.

Most browsers do allow users to override this behavior and display insecure content, but how easy that is varies a lot from browser to browser, and the process can change from one browser version to the next. (A web search for "display mixed content" plus the name and version of your browser should provide the information you need.) Whenever possible, it's easier -- and safer -- to tell the browser to load the file over HTTPS.

What you can do

To help the browser out, you can simply add that little "s" to the relevant bit of your embed, which will create a secure connection to the file in question. The vast majority of our whitelisted multimedia players already offer HTTPS support. If you only have a few works with audio, video, or even image content which link to external media, you can edit your works, look for the src part and turn the http bit into an https. That's it!

This will ensure that everyone can access your podfic, fanvid, art, or other media, even if they're browsing the Archive in HTTP mode. (Browsers are cool with that mismatch.)

What we will do

Since we can't expect all our users to edit all their multimedia works by hand, we will ensure that all embeds use the correct linkage by doing one big find-and-replace on our end. Because we only allow embeds from a few sites, we can easily find the affected works by searching our database for specific HTML. Then we can run a few simple commands to update the embed code's src from http to https.

This will not touch the content of your work in any way, or alter anything about your work that isn't neatly bracketed by a pair of very specific quote marks. When it's all done, your content will be accessible to users browsing the Archive in secure mode, if it wasn't before. \o/

We are planning to do this on October 4th, right before we switch to HTTPS mode on the AO3.

To make sure that works posted from now on won't run into this problem, we've updated our code to ensure embeds use https links where available, and edited our documentation for audio player embeds.

Edit 09:24 UTC on 05 October, 2017: The update to embedded media files has been completed, but attempts to move the Archive to HTTPS were unsuccessful. HTTP will remain the default for a little while longer, and we'll update you via our Twitter account when we're ready to try again.

Edit 19:16 UTC on 12 October 2017: We successfully made the switch to HTTPS for a few days; however, the extra strain from encrypting all traffic proved too much for our servers at peak times. Until we have installed additional servers (coming soon!), HTTP will remain the default protocol. (Of course, you can still elect to use a secure connection, e.g. via a browser extension like HTTPS Everywhere.) Please follow @AO3_Status on Twitter for futher updates.

Edit 22:15 UTC on 14 October 2017: We have implemented the caching needed to reduce server strain and are currently back on the secure protocol by default. We believe we'll be able to remain on HTTPS, but if it proves too much, we will switch back until our new frontend servers arrive.

Edit 18:28 UTC on 19 March 2018: We have successfully installed our new frontend servers and are now permanently enforcing HTTPS on the Archive. \o/ We still provide HTTP access via insecure.archiveofourown.org.

Comment

Post Header

If you've been following our release notes, you know that we have been working towards full HTTPS support on the Archive for a while now. Today, we're happy to announce that beginning on October 4th, all connections to the Archive will use HTTPS by default.

If you use a modern browser, you won't have to do anything -- we'll just flip a (virtual) switch to enforce a secure connection between your browser and our servers. As a result, all AO3 pages will display a lock symbol and/or a friendly little https:// in the address bar of your browser. Old http:// links to the Archive will automatically redirect to the secure version.

For users who might have trouble accessing secure websites, we will continue to provide HTTP access to the Archive -- via insecure.archiveofourown.org -- for as long as necessary. (You might still run into the odd HTTPS link on the site, for example when downloading a work as a PDF, MOBI, or EPUB file.)

We don't expect any downtime during this transition, and you shouldn't notice any changes. Just to be on the safe side, we will monitor our servers and firewalls and might temporarily revert back to HTTP mode should we notice any problems.

Please keep an eye on the @AO3_Status Twitter account for more updates as we get closer to the switch.

Happy (secure) browsing!

Edit 09:24 UTC on 05 October, 2017: The update to embedded media files has been completed, but attempts to move the Archive to HTTPS were unsuccessful. HTTP will remain the default for a little while longer, and we'll update you via our Twitter account when we're ready to try again.

Edit 19:16 UTC on 12 October, 2017: We successfully made the switch to HTTPS for a few days; however, the extra strain from encrypting all traffic proved too much for our servers at peak times. Until we have installed additional servers (coming soon!), HTTP will remain the default protocol. (Of course, you can still elect to use a secure connection, e.g. via a browser extension like HTTPS Everywhere.) Please follow @AO3_Status on Twitter for futher updates.

Edit 22:15 UTC on 14 October 2017: We have implemented the caching needed to reduce server strain and are currently back on the secure protocol by default. We believe we'll be able to remain on HTTPS, but if it proves too much, we will switch back until our new frontend servers arrive.

Edit 18:28 UTC on 19 March 2018: We have successfully installed our new frontend servers and are now permanently enforcing HTTPS on the Archive. \o/ We still provide HTTP access via insecure.archiveofourown.org.

Comment

Post Header

Published:
2017-09-30 15:25:00 -0400
Tags:

A lot has happened since our last set of release notes! We've upgraded from Rails 4.2 to Rails 5.1, grappled with login issues, rewritten several bits of code to speed up tag sets and wrangling pages, and fixed a bunch of lingering bugs.

Credits

  • Coders: Ariana, cosette, Elz, james_, MaxwellsDaemon, redsummernight, Sammie Louise, Sarken, ticking instant, tuff, Wendy Randquist (Littlelines), Zorac
  • Code reviewers: Ariana, Elz, james_, redsummernight, Sarken
  • Testers: alamerysl, Alison Watson, Ariana, briar_pipe, Elz, GoldenFalls, james_, Julianna, Katherine, Lady Oscar, magnus, McBangle, Memé, Morgan D, mumble, redsummernight, Rosa V, Runt, Sammie Louise, Sarken

Special thanks to MaxwellsDaemon, who contributed his first pull request as an AD&T volunteer and has completed his training! \o/

Details

Infrastructure

  • [AO3-5033] - We upgraded from Rails 4.2. to Rails 5.0 and then spent some time rejoicing (and fixing all the little problems we found in testing).
  • [AO3-5034] - After that, we worked on getting us to Rails 5.1, which is the version the Archive is now running on. There was even more rejoicing! \o/
  • [AO3-5036] - We also updated our Ruby version to 2.3.4.
  • [AO3-5157] - Our logs were causing disk space to fill up quickly, oops. We've changed some settings and made the logs leaner, so that won't be an issue anymore.
  • [AO3-5181] - The Nokogiri gem, which is used for extracting HTML from other sites to import works (among other things), was upgraded to version 2.3.0.
  • [AO3-4952] - We moved the autocomplete data to its own Redis instance.

Login Extravaganza

  • [AO3-5153] - We fixed an existing issue with the login form, which allowed us to re-enable full-page caching.
  • [AO3-5158] - For this to work properly, we also re-enabled a feature that keeps your cookies in sync so the caching system knows when you're logged in. Neat!
  • [AO3-5171] - Due to a Rails bug outside of our control, people were sometimes getting logged out while trying to leave kudos or a comment, creating a bookmark, or otherwise submitting a form. As a temporary stopgap, we extended the lifespan of our session cookie to 2 weeks, which should help users stay logged in despite the bug.
  • [AO3-5160] - After our Rails upgrade, the bug was causing ugly errors, dumping users on a blank page when they were trying to submit forms, and clogging our error logs. We added a special error page to catch these cases and advise users to try refreshing or logging in again.
  • [AO3-5169] - When running into this bug while trying to leave kudos (for example, on a work still open in a tab from days ago), nothing happened - no kudos would be given, and no error message would show up. We added the error message here as well, suggesting to refresh and try again.

Works & Comments

  • [AO3-5163] - After our Rails 5 upgrade, incomplete works were suddenly showing up in listings of complete works. After some head-scratching, that bug got resolved fairly quickly.
  • [AO3-5149] - There was an issue with ePub downloads not opening in iBooks and Calibre due to some faulty code in the file. That's fixed now. (Current issues with ePub files are unrelated and being addressed!)
  • [AO3-5042] - In downloaded works, the links for the work creator(s) and the link to leave a comment on the work were broken. We made them absolute instead of relative (and then kicked our servers several times to make the fix stick), so now you should be able to click the link and tell the creator(s) you enjoyed their work! It's the right thing to do.
  • [AO3-3300] - Adding a new chapter with the "Post" button after previewing would cause the total chapter number to be set to "?" -- it now preserves the correct chapter number.
  • [AO3-2556] - When deleting a comment with replies, a placeholder would stick around so the replies were still, you know, replying to something. However, deleting the replies would not make that placeholder go away. Now it vanishes, as you'd expect!

Tags & Tag Sets

  • [AO3-5105] - The way we counted how many times a tag had been used was causing undue stress on our servers, so we made that less stressful for everyone involved.
  • [AO3-5178] - Saving a tag set (e.g. when approving nominations for a challenge) would take an absurdly long time, which was apparently due to some suboptimal code which we rewrote to be more on the optimal side. It's now considerably faster!
  • [AO3-5176] - We added an index to tag nominations in our database, but it turned out we needed another one for character tags to streamline things more. Done!
  • [AO3-5156] - We also greatly improved the performance of some tag-related queries.

Collections & Challenges

  • [AO3-5091] - Claiming a prompt in a prompt meme challenge and then deleting your account would make the Claims page error for the challenge mods. /o\ We now display a "claimed by deleted user" placeholder on the page instead.
  • [AO3-4748] - On the Unposted Claims page of a prompt meme challenge, the claimed date was hidden beneath the collection icon. It is now aligned properly.
  • [AO3-5050] - The page listing all collections created by a user had an incomplete page title that was inconsistent with our other page title formats. It now says "USERNAME - Collections", which is much better.

Misc.

  • [AO3-5138] - Trying to reference a non-existent AO3 News post when uploading a translated version (i.e. by putting in an incorrect post ID instead of selecting one of the given options) would lead to an error 500. The interface now preserves all other information that was put in and displays a helpful error message.
  • [AO3-5148] - Filtering your inbox (e.g. only showing unread messages) and replying to a comment from the page would lead to an error 500 (while the comment would still post). Now it'll do the thing without throwing a tantrum.
  • [AO3-5164] - The little form field that lets you check for your place in the invitation queue had become non-responsive. Now it'll let you know how long you'll have to wait for that invite again.
  • [AO3-4533] - The alt text for our main logo was overly verbose, causing problems for screenreaders. It now just says "Archive of Our Own", as it should.
  • [AO3-4729] - We had previously implemented a limit for how many times a work can be reported to our Abuse team, and have now added the same limit for profile pages, i.e. users.
  • [AO3-5146] - In the Reversi skin, the link text in some of our admin banners was too light and the Close button had a weird white center. That's all taken care of now.
  • [AO3-5011] - We've rejigged the top of our FAQ page to make it look a little neater.
  • [AO3-5103] - DeviantArt started using https links for their images, causing our import test to fail. We adjusted the test, making it not fail anymore.
  • [AO3-5170] - Then DeviantArt changed their image URLs again, breaking our test again. HILARIOUS, DA. Anyway, it's fixed now, so come at us, bro.
  • [AO3-3958] - We also added a test to check if titles containing &, >, or < are properly displayed when editing a work and series.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

Comment

Post Header

Published:
2017-09-28 11:48:04 -0400
Tags:

Choose Books, Buy Books, Support the OTW

The Organization for Transformative Works is celebrating its 10th anniversary because thousands of fans have supported it through donations over the years. And while direct donations are the most helpful form of support (which can be made at any time of the year) there are other ways to help. You can:

  • check with your workplace to see if they'll do corporate matching of donations
  • if you use Amazon in the U.S. for purchases, sign up to Amazon Smile and select the OTW as your charity of choice.

(There are even automatic redirect apps you can install on Chrome or Firefox so you won't have to remember to sign in to Smile).

But probably the most fun way is to purchase one or both books whose royalties support the OTW! Below, three of the OTW's founding members -- Kristina Busse, Karen Hellekson, and Francesca Coppa -- from our Transformative Works & Cultures committee discuss the books they edited: The Fanfiction Reader: Folk Tales for the Digital Age and The Fan Fiction Studies Reader.

What do you see as the unique appeal of the book you worked on?

Kristina: A big problem for any young discipline is the lack of shared knowledge. In early fan studies essays -- all the way into the mid-2000s -- everyone had to explain terms and describe the community, often at the expense of more in depth and differentiated arguments. Karen and I envisioned our 2006 collection Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet as a way to move forward the conversation by starting from a shared place: our introduction offered a definitional framework and theoretical context, and Francesca's "A Short History of Fandom" narrated a version of our fannish history that most of us contributing to the issue recognized as our own.

Likewise, Transformative Works and Cultures asks our contributors to build upon existing fan studies research that is assumed to be shared and known. At the same time, many of the essays that build this foundation and are regularly cited are difficult to find. In The Fan Fiction Studies Reader, we collected in one place some of the most often referenced essays and scholars. We framed these texts with extensive essays to explain their place in fan studies' history while also pointing toward more current research that expands upon these earlier works.

Francesca: The Fanfiction Reader literally is a unique book -- it's the first collection of fanfiction stories published AS fanfiction (that is, not filed off like 50 Shades of Gray or written about works in the public domain, like fic in the Jane Austen-verse.) It's OUR sort of fanfiction: fanfiction of currently active franchises like Star Wars, Doctor Who, MCU, etc.

It's also very much an OTW project in that it furthers two aspects of the mission that have been part of OTW's agenda from the start: strengthening our legal rights around fanfiction by exercising the muscle of fair use -- the book argues that the stories within it are transformative works, and so legal to professionally publish in this particular context -- and helping to legitimize fanfiction as an art form in terms of making it easier to study (because the book is first and foremost intended for classroom use.) Bonus agenda: the book will hopefully keep random students from trolling the internet looking for fanfic because they were assigned to do so and possibly bothering or othering fans (as happened in the Berkeley case not too long ago.) It also gives instructors a series of teachable stories to use in classroom assignments.

Kristina and Karen's book The Fan Fiction Studies Readercollects essays from over the last forty years that have been important to fan studies and the study of fanfic in particular -- never again will people have to start with "What is fan fiction?" like nobody's ever written about fanfiction before. In fact, there's an amazing body of work out there, and in this reader we collect some of the most important pieces in one place, essays by people like Joanna Russ, Henry Jenkins, Constance Penley...

Karen: Francesca is right: The Fan Fiction Studies Reader brings together, in one place, many of the texts foundational to fan studies. Editing this book was so much fun: we couldn't get everything we wanted (because EXPENSIVE and LENGTH), but we got enough to create a book that fan studies acafans (and not just fan fiction acafans, despite the book's title) can use in classes. The essays in the book can be shuffled around to create any number of organizational structures. Any class that uses this book plus Francesca's book would have the synergy of the theoretical and the primary.

What part of the book do you find yourself most often quoting to others?

Karen: The introduction. I get excited about each of the sections we created within the book, with its particular focus and with its particular scholars (and headnotes for each section link the essays together to show why each selection is important in the field of fan studies, and how awesome is it that it is a field!), but the intro really lays it all out and shows the big picture. I just lent the book to a friend of mine who is completely new to fan fiction and fan studies, and I told him to read the intro. It should answer the basic question "what is fan fiction [or any fan text], and why is it important?," but it should also provide a background to fans who are coming at it from the other end: they are embedded in the fan world, but they want to know how academic discourse deals, and fan fic meta deal, with the field.

Francesca: I've been excerpting passages from the book on my Tumblr and I'm kind of shocked, but one of them has gotten something like 20,000+ likes/reblogs. It's this bit here, from the introduction to Brancher's great Lord of the Rings fic, "They Say of the Elves":

While many people think fanfiction is about inserting sex into texts (like Tolkien’s) where it doesn’t belong, Brancher sees it differently: “I was desperate to read about sex that included great friendship; I was repurposing Tolkien’s text in order to do that. It wasn’t that friendship needed to be sexualized, it was that erotica needed to be … friendship-ized.” Many fanfiction writers write about sex in conjunction with beloved texts and characters not because they think those texts are incomplete, but because they’re looking for stories where sex is profound and meaningful. This is part of what makes fan fiction different from pornography: unlike pornography, fanfic features characters we already care deeply about, and who tend to already have long-standing and complex relationships with each other. It’s a genre of sexual subjectification: the very opposite of objectification. It’s benefits with friendship.

This passage has obviously struck a chord, and it's because I think fans agree that -- even at our most "porny," certainly at our most explicit and masturbatory -- we are still relating to the characters in the story as fully-rounded human subjects. Not for nothing is the worst insult in fandom that a story is about "any two guys" (ATG) -- even in a PWP, where the story is nothing but sex, we bring our past history of and with character to bear; we're choosing to read a story about THAT person as opposed to any other John or Jane.

Do you think the books are of most interest to fans or non-fans?

Karen: Nonfans, I think. We compiled the volume with both audiences in mind, but we published with Iowa University Press, which markets to an academic audience. It's not like you'll see this book available for purchase at a science fiction or media con! The structure of the book is designed to help academics create a fan studies type of class. It provides a useful theoretical background, with foundational texts that will never, ever go awry. Fans who are particularly interested in meta, as well as fans who are pursuing MAs or PhDs and who are looking for a fan studies project, will find this book essential.

And I have to admit that part of it was me and Kristina reviewing submissions to the fan studies/media studies journal we coedit, Transformative Works and Cultures. Now when we say rhetorically of authors, "Why haven't you read X and Y?," there's no excuse: it's all in a single handy volume.

Francesca: I say it in the acknowledgments: The Fanfiction Reader is not for fandom per se, because fandom doesn’t need a reader: fandom has all the fic in the world and all the meta besides! But I think the book is a useful introduction to our sort of fandom for new audiences and especially for students. More and more people are discovering fandom through school, and so fans should have some say in how we're presented there.

What would you recommend to instructors thinking of using your books in the classroom?

Karen: I would recommend that they take the "fan fiction" part as a metaphor. Really "fan fiction" could be replaced with "fan art" or "fan manips" or "fan GIFs" or "fan Tumblrs" or "fan Twitter feeds," or whatever. Although it would go very well with Francesca's volume, the wide, wide Internet might provide useful, current primary-source examples that both support and challenge the book's themes and organization. And that's what we want: we want people to say, "Well, but what about THIS?" Indeed! Yes! What about it? Instructors could use our book to organize a class about fan studies and fan artifacts; but they could also use it to challenge the foundational ideas that we lay out. And we say, BRING IT.

Kristina Teaching fan studies and fan fiction is fundamentally different from reading and enjoying it -- or even from contributing to it. Whereas within fandom (and among fellow acafans) we can expect a certain fannish osmosis, our students may have very little shared fannish or academic background. That's where the editorial framework in both books become really important: we create context that allows students to situate and understand the stories and essays. In turn, the essays create a basis to understand more current research and the stories familiarize students with a range of fannish genres, modes, and tropes.

Francesca: Right, I agree with Kristina. I chose really big mainstream Western fandoms for The Fanfiction Reader because you can't count on students having the kind of shared experiences and ways of looking at texts that you get from being in fandom even for a short time: nowadays, I can't depend on students even having read the Harry Potter novels or seen Star Wars. So as with other literary studies, you have to understand that you're joining a community and a conversation that's been going on before you got there: The Fanfiction Reader is an attempt to open up just a few of the millions of doors that lead into that conversation. And some people will think, "Interesting!" and move on, and some people will want to walk through that door and join us in here.

What would you love to have people remember about the book?

Karen: A great thing about working in fan studies is that people spontaneously e-mail you with remarks like, "OMG I thought I was the only person who considered this stuff valuable! And you edited this book!" So I want people to remember that not only is fan engagement valuable, but it is constitutive of fandom -- fundamental, essential. Fans talking to each other = fandom. This book is part of that. By editing this book, we sought to make the conversation transparent and overt, so anyone can join in, be it outside academic or current fan, because it's all about engagement.

Kristina: The books are both selections, shaped by such random things as the length of the essays/stories and by our own interests and awareness. They are meant to whet the taste for more, to invite the reader to continue in directions that interest them. The books are a celebration of fan fiction and fan studies, a starting point. Just like engaging with any show, film, or book, the gaps are where things happen -- more stories, more discussion, more research -- a big collective work-in-progress!

Francesca: I want people to see that fanfiction is legal -- a transformative fair use that can be published and sold in certain contexts -- and also that it's an art.


You can purchase both books at most online booksellers, (or for an extra donation bump, through Amazon Smile!)

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

Comment

Post Header

a little piece of gundam wing header soul circuit header

a little piece of gundam wing, a Gundam Wing fanfiction and fanart archive and soul circuit, a Koko Wa Greenwood fanfiction archive, are being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

A little piece of gundam wing and soul circuit were started in the summer of 2001 due to the archivist's desire to collect the works of her favorite Gundam Wing and Koko Wa Greenwood fanfiction authors in one place. For 16 years, the fiction of over 100 authors were a part of of the archive, as well as numerous fanarts. The archives are now closing for financial reasons.

Open Doors will be working with Dacia to import a little piece of gundam wing and soul circuit into separate, searchable collections on the Archive of Our Own. As part of preserving the archive in its entirety, all fanart currently in a little piece of gundam wing or soul circuit will be hosted on the OTW's servers, and embedded in their own AO3 work pages. Eventually the links going to the old site will re-direct to the collection on AO3 so the works can continue to be found with their old URLs.

We will begin importing works from a little piece of gundam wing and soul circuit to the AO3 after September 2017.

What does this mean for creators who have work(s) on a little piece of gundam wing and soul circuit?

We will send an import notification to the email address we have for each creator. We'll do our best to check for an existing copy of any works before importing. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will invite it to the collection instead of importing it. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of the work.

All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors. Open Doors will then set up the URL redirects, and we will permanently close down the site.

Please contact Open Doors with your a little piece of gundam wing or soul circuit pseud(s) and email address(es), if:

  1. You'd like us to import your works, but you need the notification sent to a different email address than you used on the original archives
  2. You already have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  3. You’d like to import your works yourself (including if you don’t have an AO3 account yet).
  4. You would NOT like your works moved to the AO3.
  5. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  6. you have any other questions we can help you with.

Please include the name of the archive in the subject heading of your email. If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your a little piece of gundam wing or soul circuit account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's great; if not, we will work with the a little piece of gundam wing and soul circuit mod to confirm your claims.)

Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ, contact the Open Doors committee, or leave a comment on this post and we'll respond as soon as we can.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of a little piece of gundam wing and soul circuit on Fanlore! If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve a little piece of gundam wing and soul circuit!

- The Open Doors team

Comment


Pages Navigation