New column and reviews available on Pantechnicon.

27 03 2008

In keeping with Pantechnicon‘s new format, three new reviews are available on the site, as well as a new Fandom Menace by Lee Medcalf.

In his column, Lee talks about the behaviour of SF fans on internet forums, and asks whether or not we could, perhaps, comport ourselves with a little more decorum and a little less frakish fanboy spittle-spewing vitriol. A snippet:

I predict a riot…

The Internet, since its appearance as a defacto elemental force in every house with a PC back in the late ’90’s, has been, in no uncertain terms, one of the greatest communication methods since Alexander Graham Bell picked up his invention and tried dialling out for pizza (rumour has it that he’s still waiting for the delivery).

But seriously, the Internet’s influence can not be understated; it permeates all aspects of life from news to watching cats fall off chairs. And never has that presence been felt more acutely than in the world of fandom.

Before the internet age fanzines would be advertised through popular SF publications; calls for pen pals would cry out from wanted ad pages and would yell unselfconsciously “Commander Koenig seeks a Dr Russell”; responses were sporadic and not always successful. But now the web allows what would be previously small groups of like minded friends to amass… er… en masse.

Now you’d think that given this almost fantastical futuristic technology and the obvious upside of meeting someone other than one nutter who confessed that he or she feels a connection with you over Tom Baker’s length, you’d figure that the fan side of the interweb would be a glorious utopia of SF fans all holding hands singing “Everything is beautiful”.

Alas this is far from the truth: in fact all it seems the internet has managed to accomplish is bringing together millions of fans who, rather than celebrate and support their favourite genre, come to the electronic Pantheon to proclaim how much they bloody hate it. Well perhaps I should be a bit more specific; they come to stake a claim on one particular aspect of SF and then – in some bizarre form of masochistic self-inflicted persecution complex – they shake their virtual fists at all passers by.

 You can read the rest of Lee’s article here.

We also have reviews from Paul Kane, in which he checks out the BBC’s latest Classic Doctor Who release, The Time Meddler, three BBC Doctor Who audiobooks (Sick Building, Wetworld, and Forever Autumn), and Irene Thompson’s unmissable (well, if you’re a lunatic like me, anyway) A-Z of Punishment and Torture.

We’ll also have more PanCasts for you soon, so more about those as soon as they’re available.





One response

1 04 2008
Russ Whitfield

I think that this article is bang on the money. It seems to me as though eltism is rife, and not only in SF – I’ve ranted on other forums about the same thing

I agree with Metcalfe in that I think a lot of this comes from the feeling that is “our” thing. The internet has opened the market, and it’s no longer just a thing that you and an elite-geek cardre of mates are into.

It also seems that on forums, it’s “cooler” to remain detached and say something is rubbish because the current media says it’s rubbish – no one wants to appear to be silly, thick or plain wrong so often criticisms are just cut and pasted from SFX, Total Film or Empire.

We’re always going to have different opinions, and SF products aren’t always going to be of equal quality – there are some poor films, books and TV shows out there. But equally, there is some great genre stuff being made. We should embrace it and at least give it a chance!



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