70,000 people are being told to immediately evacuate from near the Guajataca Dam and down the Guajataca River as the dam is expected to fail any moment causing a tsunami like wave to flood an already crippled part of Puerto Rico. The National Weather Service in San Juan has issued the following dire warning via Twitter - “All areas surrounding the Guajataca River should evacuate NOW. Their lives are in DANGER!” Getting that message out to the tens of thousands at risk has become difficult due to no electricity on the island and sparse phone service. Many have no idea what is happening as they search for food and water to sustain them through the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria. At least 6 Puerto Ricans are confirmed dead this evening with another 8 reportedly killed but not confirmed. These numbers could rise sharply as time passes and new risks arise, like the dam failure.
You watched silently as Dwalin was desperately trying to get through to Thorin. The sickness had clouded Thorin´s judgment completely and he could not see what he had become or what was important anymore. All he could think about was the gold that was lying around the halls and he was determined that nobody could get their hands on it. As Thorin shouted at his oldest friend and threatening to sever his head if Dwalin disobeyed his orders you closed your eyes and slipped away to have some time alone. You loved Thorin, you really did but right now the emotions that ran through you like a tidal wave were suffocating you.
You found one of the empty chambers when you were walking around the upper floors searching a place you could rest. Everyone was on edge because of Thorin, Fili and Kili were incredulous how this could have happened to their uncle. Thorin was always someone they respected and wanted to impress and now….he was something they didn´t even recognized anymore. Sighing you flopped down on the stone floor and looked up to the ceiling. If only there was some kind of way to snap him out of it….but what?
You of course could ask if the dwarves would agree to shove the gold down to the bottomless pit down in the mines, that would work…or not….it would make Thorin even madder, if that was even possible and let´s not forget it would take forever so, scratch that idea. There´s has to be a way…
You let your mind drift back to the time when you discovered that you were actually in Middle-earth, you weren´t from this world originally. One minute you were in your room organizing your wardrobe and the next minute you were in middle of the forest. You had blinked several times and turned around to look at your wardrobe only to see that it wasn´t there anymore….what the heck?? Was your closet some sort of secret gateway to Narnia or something? You had no clue where you were, all you did know that you were in the forest nothing but sweatpants, toptank, sneakers on you and you still were holding your favorite black leather jacket on your hands….not exactly the type of clothing you would wear when going on a hike. Just my luck, you thought as you started to walk forward putting the jacket on you, it was getting little chilly.
It wasn´t long when you found a road and you were glad that you didn´t have to stumble upon every root and rock you didn´t see on time. You looked on your right and left trying to figure out which way you should go, when you saw a stranger walking toward you. Staring at the man who was approaching you your eyes widened. No way! You would recognize that outfit anywhere! He was Gandalf…Gandalf the Grey! And that would mean only one thing, you were in Middle-Earth! Bloody hell!
“ummm….Pardon me, sir….” you started raising your hands showing that you didn´t have any weapons and that your manner of an approach was a friendly one. Gandalf stopped in his tracks and lifted his gaze to your eyes and smiled warmly. “There you are my dear friend. I was getting worried that I would not find you in time.” wizard said with low and warm voice leaning against his staff. What? You couldn´t find your voice when hearing that and you didn´t know how to react to that either. He was expecting you? Or was he the one who summoned you into this world in the first place? Well…that would explain a lot actually, like how your closet was suddenly connected with a fantasy world you have only read ever since you were a kid. But it didn´t explain why you were here. “I know you have lot of questions but let´s be on our way, I can explain on the way. And you need more proper clothing. Come dear.” Gandalf ushered you to move and so there you were, walking toward The Shire to meet Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves.
It would seem that because you never felt like you belonged to your world, you had always felt that there was this empty void in your heart, in your very soul, like you weren´t complete somehow, that feeling had made it possible to the wizard make that connection between your world and this one. And you were about to discover why you had felt that way.
When you had layed your eyes on the dwarf king first time, time had froze around you. You didn´t hear anything, you didn´t saw anything else but him who stared at you with those deep sapphire blue eyes of his and his gaze was definitely entrenching deep into your soul and your breath got caught into your throat. “And who is this Gandalf?” That voice, that deep baritone, honey dripping, alluring voice of his….you wanted to moan but somehow managed to press it down and turned your gaze to look at the wizard who chuckled knowingly and glanced at your way. “This is Y/N. She will be our sixteenth member of our company. She is quite skilled with the bow and arrows.” Gandalf answered before you could. Seriously? Well, you had quite few lessons in archery back in home but wouldn´t say you were skilled. Wizards….Thorin seem to be satisfied with the answer because all he did was nodding his head and turned around and walked into the dining area where everyone else was waiting for him.
You smiled at that memory, although Thorin didn´t deny your presens in the company, he had been distant at first as if he couldn´t determined if were you really that valuable to this guest as Gandalf kept saying to him. But as time has passed and the many dangers you faced, he had to admit that you were valuable addition in this journey. You had saved his life more than once and in Rivendell he had finally approached you and you two had talked about anything and everything. Thorin had then confessed his feelings toward you and you had learned that the feeling you always had in your chest was in fact the deep bond and love toward him, he was your One, your soul had always yearned to be with him. It made perfect sense now. And so it was that Thorin asked your permission to court you and by the time you left Rivendell, in your hair there was very complex and very beautiful courting braid with his beads in it.
But now it felt like time a long ago when Thorin had been loving and gentle toward you. Now all he could think about was gold and jewellery, and that wretched arkenstone. Good thing Bilbo had found it and hidden it from everyone. You knew how this was suppose to end but who says it had end like that….Suddenly you remembered a certain song from your world and thought about it for a minute. Well, it was worth the shot. If it worked, you would be able to hold your beloved in your arms once again before barging into battle but if it didn´t….oh well, you had a good life, no regrets etc. Sighing you got up and walked out the chamber starting to search that stubborn king.
Thorin was in the gallery of the Kings pacing around and cursing under his breath in khuzdul. You kept yourself hidden behind one of the columns watching him before you took deep breath. Here goes for nothing. Good thing about this place, it echoed so Thorin would have hard time to pin point where the voice would come from…or so you hoped. You started to sing softly little quiet but still loud enough Thorin to hear you.
“Cruel and cold like winds on the sea Will you ever return to me Hear my voice sing with the tide My love will never die Over waves and deep in the blue I will give up my heart for you Ten long years I´ll wait to go by My love will never die”
Thorin jerked his head up when he heard your singing. He turned around several times trying to figure out where did that soft and gentle voice was coming from. There was something about that tone that was alluring to him. But then it dropped low and powerfull and it shook Thorin to his very core. Like someone was grapping tight his soul and tried to wake him from a nightmare. While you sang, you walked past several columns keeping eye on him. This might just work after all.
“Come, my love be one with the sea Rule with me for eternity Drown all dreams so mercilessly And leave their souls to me Play the song you sang long ago And wherever to storm may blow You will find the key to my heart We´ll never ne apart”
Thorin was shaking and was grapping his head into his hands. That voice kept gripping his soul and no matter how desperately he tried get away from it, it wasn´t working. He couldn´t get away. He lifted his hazy gaze just in time to see you emerging from behind the column intense, almost dangerous look on your face. Your voice was deep yet captivating at the same time and it kept Thorin´s whole body frozen on the spot where he was standing while it shook violently. It was almost like wild, caged animal trying to get away from it´s captor.
“Wild and strong you can´t be contained Never bound nor ever chained Wounds you caused will never mend And you will never end”
You approached Thorin steadily watching as he struggled to keep his feet under him. He started to walk backwards keeping his head between his hands moaning like he was in pain. For a second you were temped to stop but you could see that it was working. Thorin felt his back making contact with the pilar behind him and he fell to his knees sobbing. He could feel his mind starting to clear from the sickness. Then he felt your hand on his hair as you brushed the hair from his face and leaned forward placing your lips near Thorin´s ear as your voice wasn´t more than a whisper now.
“Cruel and cold like winds on the sea Will you ever return to me Hear my voice sing with the tide Our love will never die…”
Thorin broke down completely and in his desperate state he grapped your waist pulling you into his lap and buried his face into your hair. “Amrâlimê…I´m sorry…I´m so sorry….” he whispered hoarsely against your neck. You closed your eyes and wrapped your arms around him feeling utterly drained but at the same time very much relieved. He was back, your lover, your One was back and you could feel your own tears starting to fall on to your cheeks. As you two sat there, just holding each other you knew that the time was running out, Thorin would have to lead his company to the battle and it wasn´t certain if you could follow him this time but for now you just wanted to enjoy this little time you had left. After all, no matter what was going to happen, your love would never die.
im laughin because i just realized that dunnlagh’s shitty dad is fae and dunnlagh is literally a suit of armor ie like 100 lbs of fuckin iron so if he ever shows up he can just like. wave his big metal arms in his general direction. shoo go on fuck off.
Safe- A Julian x Saara Fic(aka what happens when 4 am me decides to write. It's really bad and I'm sorry)
Who knew how late it was. A waning crescent shone through uncovered windows, bathing the room in its light. The dull roar of rain could be heard outside. All was peaceful. All with the exception of a certain apprentice, whose nightmares were particularly wicked that night.
Saara loosely clutched the sheets, a whimper barely audible. Cold sweat formed on her forehead and back, her visions morbidly intense. As if she wasn’t allowed to forget, her mind took her back to eight years ago. She was fifteen again, a slave owned by notoriously cruel nobles in her village. She was back in their mansion, the hell hole she fought so hard to survive. Traumatic memories came over her like a tidal wave. She was drowning in her past. Desperate for air, all she could do was reach for the light above.
“So close…please…I…I don’t want to die!”
Saara woke up screaming, her body shaking violently. Two hands stabilized her movements, their grips firm on her shoulder. Julian was awoken by her voice. He called out Saara’s name until she opened her eyes.
“Where am I? Julian? Julian!”
“It’s okay, Saara. You’re okay.”
She was okay. She wasn’t drowning, but instead lying next to Julian. The visions of her nightmare vanished instantly. She gazed into deep grey eyes, taking in the Doctor’s pale countenance in violet moonlight. Saara could feel her eyes burning. She bit her lip, head lowering in embarrassment. She hated to show her weakest points, let alone through tears.
“…Sorry for waking you…I’m fine now. It’s nothing, really.”
“Like hell it was nothing.”
“That’s…I’m…” Saara’s frantic voice betrayed her. Admittedly, the nightmare was too much to bare. Memories she had suppressed came back with a vengeance. Her eyes watered. Hot tears streamed down her cheeks, traveling under her jaw.
Still half awake and morbidly sleep deprived, Julian could only remember so much of what Saara was spewing. He knew her nightmare involved death. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have tried so hard to escape it. She’d probably tell him in the morning, but as of right now she was crying. Nothing brought him more distraught than seeing his beloved suffer.
Wordlessly, Julian pulled her under his arm. Saara lay rigid at the sudden movement, her shoulders trembling from crying. She wasn’t good with unexpected close contact, but Julian’s arms were warm. How could she resist sinking into their strength?
“Don’t worry, I’m not going to mock you. Whatever’s pent up, let it out.”
Saara nudged her skull into the crook of his neck, hands curled in his warm chest. When she let herself relax tears flowed quicker than ever. Her lips quivered, breaths shaky. She could almost hear the sound of his heart. Its thumping, along with the rain, eased her mind. Julian ran long fingers through her champagne hair, releasing the mild scent of lavender. After awhile, Saara’s quaking voice diminished to soft breathing. Soft lips lightly grazed Julian’s collar bone.
“Saara…?” No answer. She had already fallen asleep.
Julian sighed lightheartedly, the corners of his lips curling gently. He kissed the top of her head, patting her hair down lovingly. Heavy lidded, he gave the foggy window one last glance before falling to, for once, peaceful slumber. Raindrops fell until early morning. The apprentice would wake up with a pounding headache and flushed cheeks, realizing her lover embraced her the whole night through.
i just remembered this story my dad told me one time, about abraham lincoln
a guy challenged abe to a duel once. lincoln very much did not want to duel this cat.
so lincoln agreed, on the condition he got to choose the weapon. maybe that was how it generally went in 19th century dueling culture, i have no idea.
the guy said “sure”
lincoln said, “ok. broadswords.”
so that poor would-be opponent shows up on the day of the would-be duel, and abe is outside, doing, like, some quick sword warmups.
now, back in lincoln’s day, he was, as any american schoolchild can tell you, the tallest fucking dude on the entire fucking planet, so please try to even imagine the majestic reach of this stovepiped giant’s condor-like wingspan.
(wingspan plus broadsword.)
abe’s enemy takes one look at this, does some quick mental calculations on his own arm length (mortal, human), turns around and goes home.
the best part is that, as i remember it, lincoln of course had no fucking idea how to swordfight. it was the 1800s. we had guns. he’d just been, like, waving this giant sword around haphazardly, whacking at tree limbs, making his arms look as big as possible because he knew this joker could see him, and he knew that guy didn’t know that lincoln didn’t know what the hell to do with a broadsword.
anyway, i don’t actually know if that story is true or not but i really really hope it is. i would love to know that the president who defeated the confederacy was also fucking hilarious.
ARIES: A consuming fire of emotions echo out and no one dares to run, instead they must watch in awe before the flames burn out. Everyone they come in contact with will feel the heat.
TAURUS: Touch them and you will witness flowers blooming, their vines wrapping around your heart, forever keeping you safe. They are rosey sunsets, they are warm fires, they are the irresistible smell of your favorite meal. Cherish them.
GEMINI: They are bubbly and bright like a dainty fairy, yet as ruthless and unpredictable as a cunning pixie. Their words portray their emotions, the sadness, the joy, and the pain. Dare not to listen and you will hear their glass heart shatter.
CANCER: Feelings come on like tidal waves guided by the strength of the moon, swinging from one mood to the next with every move. Their tears put on a show, their hurt is evergreen, but their love is undeniable and unconditional.
LEO: Oh, how they beckon to be your favorite star! When the spotlight glimmers on their soul, they feel home. Look away for a moment, and you’ll find that their play has taken a sinister turn. You have awoken the lion.
VIRGO: Their heart is like a computer, strong, resilient, and difficult to understand. Research all you want but there’s still so much more to learn. Feed their heart with viruses and you’ll watch them shut down completely.
LIBRA: A scale, constantly leaning towards one side or the other, longing to feel balanced. Their hearts cry out for peace, leaving them to sacrifice their soul for the wrong people. They ride through the wind, a glimmer of harmony in a world of cruelty.
SCORPIO: Gravestone after Gravestone is engraved with their name. Their emotions are washed away time and time again, being swallowed into a cyclone. They turn their pain into something powerful, something taboo, something greater. Be ever fearful of these masterminds.
SAGITTARIUS: You can find them running wild, their feelings scattered out, chasing after them, but what feeling will reach them first? The question remains unknown, unpredictable. But when they catch up to them, they latch on tightly.
CAPRICORN: Their heart is tired and reluctant to feel, their blood circulates everywhere but in their chest. A wall is built over their inner most feelings, taking strength to knock it down.
AQUARIUS: They are one with the clouds, far away from their true feelings. Information is absorbed and rains down on everyone they know. When their feelings come out, they bring on thunderstorms and tornadoes.
PISCES: Their heart is delicate and soft, the comfy silk sheets you melt into after a long day. They wrap you up in a warm, thermal blanket and wipe away your tears. Your troubles and worries become a thing of the past, as they take you to beautiful, dream-like places.
Before we continue, I want to add the usual caveat that I actually don’t want to be right about these
fandoms being dead. I like enthusiasm and energy and it’s a shame to see it vanish.
Mists of Avalon
Remember that period of time of about 15 years, where
absolutely everybody read this book and was obsessed with it? It could not have
been bigger, and the fandom was Anne Rice huge, overlapping for several years
with USENET and the early World Wide Web…but it’s since petered out.
Mists of Avalon’s popularity may be due to the most
excellent case of hitting a demographic sweet spot ever. The book was a
feminist retelling of the Arthurian Mythos where Morgan Le Fay is the main
character, a pagan from matriarchal goddess religions who is fighting against
encroaching Christianity and patriarchal forms of society coming in with it.
Also, it made Lancelot bisexual and his conflict is how torn he is about his
attraction to both Arthur and Guinevere.
Remember, this novel came out in 1983 – talk about being
ahead of your time! If it came out today, the reaction from a certain corner
would be something like “it is with a heavy heart that I inform you that tumblr
is at it again.”
Man, demographically speaking, that’s called “nailing it.”
It used to be one of the favorite books of the kind of person who’s bookshelf
is dominated by fantasy novels about outspoken, fiery-tongued redheaded women,
who dream of someday moving to Scotland, who love Enya music and Kate Bush, who
sell homemade needlepoint stuff on etsy, who consider their religious beliefs neo-pagan or
wicca, and who have like 15 cats, three of which are named Isis, Hypatia, and
This type of person is still with us, so why did this novel
fade in popularity? There’s actually a single hideous reason: after her death
around 2001, facts came out that Marion Zimmer Bradley abused her daughters
sexually. Even when she was alive, she was known for defending and enabling a
known child abuser, her husband, Walter Breen. To say people see your work
differently after something like this is an understatement – especially if your
identity is built around being a progressive and feminist author.
I try to break up my sections on dead fandoms into three
parts: first, I explain the property, then explain why it found a devoted
audience, and finally, I explain why that fan devotion and community went away.
Well, in the case of Robotech, I can do all three with a single sentence: it
was the first boy pilot/giant robot Japanimation series that shot for an older,
teenage audience to be widely released in the West. Robotech found an audience when
it was the only true anime to be widely available, and lost it when became just
another import anime show. In the days of Crunchyroll, it’s really hard to
explain what made Robotech so special, because it means describing a different
Try to imagine what it was like in 1986 for Japanime fans:
there were barely any video imports, and if you wanted a series, you usually
had to trade tapes at your local basement club (they were so precious they
couldn’t even be sold, only traded). If you were lucky, you were given a script
to translate what you were watching. Robotech though, was on every day, usually
after school. You want an action figure? Well, you could buy a Robotech Valkyrie
or a Minmei figure at your local corner FAO Schwartz.
However, the very strategy that led to it getting syndicated
is the very reason it was later vilified by the purists who emerged when anime
became a widespread cultural force: strictly speaking, there actually is no
show called “Robotech.” Since Japanese shows tend to be short run, say, 50-60
episodes, it fell well under the 80-100 episode mark needed for syndication in
the US. The producer of Harmony Gold, Carl Macek, had a solution: he’d cut
three unrelated but similar looking series together into one, called “Robotech.”
The shows looked very similar, had similar love triangles, used similar tropes,
and even had little references to each other, so the fit was natural. It led to
Robotech becoming a weekday afternoon staple with a strong fandom who called
themselves “Protoculture Addicts.” There were conventions entirely devoted to
Robotech. The supposed shower scene where Minmei was bare-breasted was the
barely whispered stuff of pervert legend in pre-internet days. And the tie in
novels, written with the entirely western/Harmony Gold conception of the series
and which continued the story, were actually surprisingly readable.
The final nail in the coffin of Robotech fandom was the rise
of Sailor Moon, Toonami, Dragonball, and yes, Pokemon (like MC Hammer’s role in
popularizing hip hop, Pokemon is often written out of its role in creating an
audience for the next wave of cartoon imports out of insecurity). Anime popularity in the West can be
defined as not a continuing unbroken chain like scifi book fandom is, but as an unrelated series of waves, like multiple
ancient ruins buried on top of each other (Robotech was the vanguard of the
third wave, as Anime historians reckon); Robotech’s wave was subsumed by the next, which had different
priorities and different “core texts.” Pikachu did what the Zentraedi and Invid
couldn’t do: they destroyed the SDF-1.
Legion of Super-Heroes
Legion of Superheroes was comic set in the distant future that combined superheroes with space opera, with a visual aesthetic that can best be described as
“Star Trek: the Motion Picture, if it was set in a disco.”
I’ve heard wrestling described as “a soap opera for men.” If that’s the case, then Legion of Super-Heroes was a soap opera fornerds. The book is about
attractive 20-somethings who seem to hook up all the time. As a result, it
had a large female fanbase, which, I cannot stress enough, is incredibly unusual
for this era in comics history. And if you have female fans, you get a lot of
shipping and slashfic, and lots of speculation over which of the boy characters in the series is gay.
The fanon answer is Element Lad, because he wore magenta-pink and never had a
girlfriend. (Can’t argue with bulletproof logic like that.) In other
words, it was a 1970s-80s fandom that felt much more “modern” than the more
right-brained, bloodless, often anal scifi fandoms that existed around the same time,
where letters pages were just nitpicking science errors by model train and elevator enthusiasts.
Legion Headquarters seemed to be a rabbit fuck den
built around a supercomputer and Danger Room. Cosmic Boy dressed like Tim Curry
in Rocky Horror. There’s one member, Duo Damsel, who can turn into two people, a power that, in the words of Legion writer Jim Shooter, was “useful for
weird sex…and not much else.”
LSH was popular because the fans were insanely horny.
This is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the thirstiestfandom of all time.
You might think I’m overselling this, but I really think that’s an under-analyzed part of how some kinds of fiction build a devoted fanbase.
For example, a big reason for the success of Mass Effect
is that everyone has a favorite girl or boy, and you have the option to romance
them. Likewise, everyone who was a fan of Legion remembers
having a crush. Sardonic Ultra Boy for some reason was a favorite among gay male nerds (aka the Robert Conrad Effect). Tall, blonde, amazonian telepath Saturn Girl, maybe the first female team leader in comics history, is for the guys with backbone who prefer Veronica over Betty. Shrinking Violet was a cute Audrey Hepburn type. And don’t forget Shadow Lass, who was a blue skinned alien babe with pointed ears and is heavily implied to have an accent (she was Aayla Secura before Aayla Secura was Aayla Secura). Light Lass was commonly believed to be “coded lesbian” because of a short haircut and her relationships with men didn’t work out. The point is, it’s one thing to read about the adventures of a superteam, and it implies a totally different level of mental and emotional involvement to read the adventures of your imaginary girlfriend/boyfriend.
Now, I should point out that of all the fandoms I’ve
examined here, LSH was maybe the smallest. Legion was never a top seller,
but it was a favorite of the most devoted of fans who kept it alive all through
the seventies and eighties with an energy and intensity disproportionate to
their actual numbers. My gosh, were LSH fans devoted! Interlac and Legion
Outpost were two Legion fanzines that are some of the most famous fanzines in
If nerd culture fandoms were drugs, Star Wars would be
alcohol, Doctor Who would be weed, but Legion of Super-Heroes
would be injecting heroin directly into your eyeballs. Maybe it is because the
Legionnaires were nerdy, too: they played Dungeons and Dragons in their off time (an escape, no doubt, from their humdrum, mundane lives as galaxy-rescuing superheroes). There were
sometimes call outs to Monty Python. Basically, the whole thing had a feel like the dorkily earnest skits or filk-singing at a con. Legion felt like it’s own fan series, guest starring Patton Oswalt and Felicia Day.
It helped that the boundary between
fandom and professional was incredibly porous. For instance, pro-artist Dave
Cockrum did covers for Legion fanzines. Former Legion APA members Todd and Mary
Biernbaum got a chance to actually write Legion, where, with the gusto of
former slashfic writers given the keys to canon, their major contribution was a
subplot that explicitly made Element Lad gay. Mike Grell, a professional artist
who got paid to work on the series, did vaguely porno-ish fan art. Again, it’s
hard to tell where the pros started and the fandom ended; the inmates were
running the asylum.
Mostly, Legion earned this devotion because it could reward it in a way no other comic could. Because Legion was not a wide
market comic but was bought by a core audience, after a point, there were no self-contained one-and-done
Legion stories. In fact, there weren’t even really arcs as we know it, which is
why Legion always has problems getting reprinted in trade form. Legion was
plotted like a daytime soap opera: there were always five different stories going
on in every issue, and a comic involved cutting between them. Sure, like
daytime soap operas, there’s never a beginning, just endless middles, so it was
totally impossible for a newbie to jump on board…but soap operas know what they are doing: long term storytelling
rewards a long term reader.
This brings me to today, where Legion is no longer being published by DC. There is no discussion about a movie or TV revival. This is amazing. Comics are a world where the tiniest nerd groups get pandered to: Micronauts, Weirdworld, Seeker 3000, and Rom have had revival series, for pete’s sake. It’s incredible there’s no discussion of a film or TV treatment, either; friggin Cyborg from New Teen Titans is getting a solo movie.
Why did Legion stop being such a big deal? Where did the fandom that supported it dissolve to? One word: X-Men.
Legion was incredibly ahead of its time. In the 60s and 70s, there were barely
any “fan” comics, since superhero comics were like animation is today: mostly
aimed at kids, with a minority of discerning adult/teen fans, and it was
success among kids, not fans, that led to something being a top seller (hence, “fan
favorites” in the 1970s, as surprising as it is to us today, often did not get
a lot of work, like Don MacGregor or Barry Smith). But as newsstands started to
push comics out, the fan audience started to get bigger and more important…everyone
else started to catch up to the things that made Legion unique: most comics
started to have attractive people who paired up into couples and/or love
triangles, and featured extremely byzantine long term storytelling. If Legion
of Super-Heroes is going to be remembered for anything, it’s for being the
smaller scale “John the Baptist” to the phenomenon of X-Men, the ultimate “fan”
The other thing that killed Legion, apart from Marvel’s Merry Mutants, that is, was the r-word: reboots. A reboot only works for some properties,
but not others. You reboot something when you want to find something for a
mass audience to respond to, like with Zorro, Batman, or Godzilla.
Legion, though, was not a comic for everybody, it was a
fanboy/girl comic beloved by a niche who read it for continuing stories and
minutiae (and tojack off, and in some cases, jill off). Rebooting a comic like that is a bad idea.
You do not reboot something where the main way you engage with the property,
the greatest strength, is the accumulated lore and history. Rebooting a
property like that means losing the reason people like it, and unless it’s
something with a wide audience, you only lose fans and won’t get anything in return
for it. So for something like Legion (small fandom obsessed with long form plots
and details, but unlike Trek, no name recognition) a reboot is the ultimate Achilles
heel that shatters everything, a self-destruct button they kept hitting over
and over and over until there was nothing at all left.
E. E. Smith’s Lensman Novels
The Lensman series is like Gil Evans’s jazz: it’s your
grandparents’ favorite thing that you’ve never heard of.
I mean, have you ever wondered exactly what scifi fandom
talked about before the rise of the major core texts and cultural objects (Star
Trek, Asimov, etc)? Well, it was this.
Lensmen was the subject of fanfiction mailed in manilla envelopes during the
30s, 40s, and 50s (some of which are still around). If you’re from Boston, you
might recognize that the two biggest and oldest scifi cons there going back to
the 1940s, Boskone (Boscon, get it?) and Arisia, are references to the Lensman
series. This series not only created space opera as we know it, but contributed
two of the biggest visuals in scifi, the interstellar police drawn from
different alien species, and space marines in power armor.
My favorite sign of how big this series was and how fans
responded to it, was a great wedding held at Worldcon that duplicated Kimball
Kinnison and Clarissa’s wedding on Klovia. This is adorable:
The basic story is pure good vs. evil: galactic civilization
faces a crime and piracy wave of unprecedented proportions from technologically
advanced pirates (the memory of Prohibition, where criminals had superior
firearms and faster cars than the cops, was strong by the mid-1930s). A young officer,
Kimball Kinnison (who speaks in a Stan Lee esque style of dialogue known as “mid-century American wiseass”), graduates the academy and is granted a Lens, an object from
an ancient mystery civilization, who’s true purpose is unknown.
Lensman Kinnison discovers that the “crime wave” is actually
a hostile invasion and assault by a totally alien culture that is based on
hierarchy, intolerant of failure, and at the highest level, is ruled by
horrifying nightmare things that breathe freezing poison gases. Along the way,
he picks up allies, like van Buskirk, a variant human space marine from a heavy
gravity planet who can do a standing jump of 20 feet in full space armor,
Worsel, a telepathic dragon warrior scientist with the technical improvisation
skills of MacGyver (who reads like the most sadistically minmaxed munchkinized
RPG character of all time), and Nandreck, a psychologist from a Pluto-like
planet of selfish cowards.
The scale of the conflict starts small, just skirmishes with
pirates, but explodes to near apocalyptic dimensions. This series has space battles
with millions of starships emerging from hyperspacial tubes to attack the
ultragood Arisians, homeworld of the first intelligent race in the cosmos. By
the end of the fourth book, there are mind battles where the reflected and
parried mental beams leave hundreds of innocent bystanders dead. In the
meantime we get evil Black Lensmen, the Hell Hole in Space, and superweapons
like the Negasphere and the Sunbeam, where an entire solar system was turned
into a vacuum tube.
It’s not hard to understand why Lensmen faded in importance.
While the alien Lensmen had lively psychologies, Lensman Kimball Kinnison was
not an interesting person, and that’s a problem when scifi starts to become
more about characterization. The Lensman books, with their love of police and
their sexism (it is an explicit plot point that the Lens is incompatible with
female minds – in canon there are no female Lensmen) led to it being judged
harshly by the New Wave writers of the 1960s, who viewed it all as borderline
fascist military-scifi establishment hokum, and the reputation of the series
never recovered from the spirit of that decade.
Prisoner of Zenda
Prisoner of Zenda is a novel about a roguish con-man who visits a
postage-stamp, charmingly picturesque Central European kingdom with storybook
castles, where he finds he looks just like the local king and is forced to pose
as him in palace intrigues. It’s a swashbuckling story about mistaken identity,
swordfighting, and intrigue, one part swashbuckler and one part dark political
The popularity of this book predates organized fandom as we know it, so I wonder if “fandom” is even the right word to use. All the same, it inspired fanatical dedication from readers. There was such a popular hunger for it that an entire library could be filled with nothing but rip-offs
of Prisoner of Zenda. If you have a favorite writer who was active between 1900-1950,
I guarantee he probably wrote at least one Prisoner of Zenda rip-off (which is
nearly always the least-read book in his oeuvre). The only novel in the 20th
Century that inspired more imitators was Sherlock Holmes. Robert Heinlein and
Edmond “Planet Smasher” Hamilton wrote scifi updates of Prisoner of Zenda.
Doctor Who lifted the plot wholesale for the Tom Baker era episode, “Androids
of Tara,” Futurama did this exact plot too, and even Marvel Comics has its own copy of Ruritania, Doctor Doom’s
Kingdom of Latveria. Even as late as the 1980s, every kids’ cartoon did a
“Prisoner of Zenda” episode, one of the stock plots alongside “everyone gets
hit by a shrink ray” and the Christmas Carol episode.
Prisoner of Zenda imitators were so numerous, that they even
have their own Library of Congress sub-heading, of “Ruritanian Romance.”
One major reason that Prisoner of Zenda fandom died off is
that, between World War I and World War II, there was a brutal lack of sympathy
for anything that seemed slightly German, and it seems the incredibly Central
European Prisoner of Zenda was a casualty of this. Far and away, the largest
immigrant group in the United States through the entire 19th Century
were Germans, who were more numerous than Irish or Italians. There were entire
cities in the Midwest that were two-thirds German-born or German-descent, who
met in Biergartens and German community centers that now no longer exist.
Kurt Vonnegut wrote a lot about how the German-American
world he grew up in vanished because of the prejudice of the World Wars, and
that disappearance was so extensive that it was retroactive, like someone did a DC comic-style continuity reboot where it all never happened: Germans, despite
being the largest immigrant group in US history, are left out of the immigrant
story. The “Little Bohemias” and “Little Berlins” that were once everywhere no
longer exist. There is no holiday dedicated to people of German ancestry in the
US, the way the Irish have St. Patrick’s Day or Italians have Columbus Day
(there is Von Steuben’s Day, dedicated to a general who fought with George
Washington, but it’s a strictly Midwest thing most people outside the region
have never heard of, like Sweetest Day). If you’re reading this and you’re an
academic, and you’re not sure what to do your dissertation on, try writing
about the German-American immigrant world of the 19th and 20th
Centuries, because it’s a criminally under-researched topic.
Pop quiz: who was the most popular and influential fantasy author during the 1930s and 40s?
If you answered Tolkien or Robert E. Howard, you’re wrong - it was actually Abraham Merritt. He was the most popular writer of his age of the kind of fiction he did, and he’s since been mostly forgotten. Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeons and Dragons, has said that A. Merritt was his favorite fantasy and horror novelist.
Why did A. Merritt and his fandom go away, when at one point, he was THE fantasy author? Well, obviously one big answer was the 1960s counterculture, which brought different writers like Tolkien and Lovecraft to the forefront (by modern standards Lovecraft isn’t a fantasy author, but he was produced by the same early century genre-fluid effluvium that produced Merritt and the rest). The other answer is that A. Merritt was so totally a product of the weird occult speculation of his age that it’s hard to even imagine him clicking with audiences in other eras. His work is based on fringe weirdness that appealed to early 20th Century spiritualism and made sense at the time: reincarnation, racial memory, an obsession with lost race stories and the stone age, and weirdness like the 1920s belief that the Polar Arctic is the ancestral home of the Caucasian race. In other words, it’s impossible to explain Merritt without a ton of sentences that start with “well, people in the 1920s thought that…” That’s not a good sign when it comes to his universality.
That’s it for now. Do you have any suggestions on a dead fandom, or do you keep one of these “dead” fandoms alive in your heart?
I’m a new DM with a party of people who, largely, are also fairly new to DnD. My party was trying to get hired by this airship pirate captain. The wizard deep gnome, who had never played before and had missed the first session, was trying to prove he could be useful on board an airship.
Wizard: I can…do magic…
NPC Captain: Oh yes? Show me.
Wizard: [OOC] Uh…what spells do I have that will look impressive? If I cast Blade Ward, and someone throws something at me it won’t hit me, right?
Me: *doesn’t respond, paging through PHB trying to find the spell for reference*
Wizard: Yeah okay, I cast Blade Ward.
Me: So…you draw this complicated sort of design in the air with your finger to cast it. There’s no visible effect yet, it just looks like you’re waving your hands around. The captain raises an eyebrow, unimpressed.
Wizard: I say “Now, I need someone to throw something at me.”
Sorcerer: I IMMEDIATELY jump up and throw my ENTIRE plate full of muffins and a butter knife at him.
Me: *having by now found the spell in the PHB* Okay. So. The spell doesn’t actually stop anything from HITTING you. The plate, the burnt muffins, and the butter knife all crash into you, bouncing off and rolling all over the floor. However, due to the spell, you take no damage.
Wizard: I point to the butter knife that bounced off my head and say, “See? Did not hurt.”
Imagine Keith and Lance in a wonderful established relationship in which they share a room and everything.
They have this tradition of saying “I love you” to each other before going to sleep every. single. night. They don’t know how it started but it’s a thing now and they can’t sleep without it. It’s natural to do it now.
But of course they’re Keith and Lance so they have to fight. And one day they have this huge fight and in the end Keith says something really, really hurtful to Lance and then Lance says something equally hurtful back to him and then they just completely stop talking and ignore each other. It’s not like the fights they used to have earlier. This one is extra horrible. They’re both extremely angry at each other. They fucked up bad this time.
So when that night it’s time to go to bed, they’re still not talking to each other. But they share the same room so they obviously have to sleep together.
So, Keith is just lying in bed with the lights off, not waiting, but still waiting for Lance. Lance comes in about an hour later. He just quietly slips in, not even turning on the light. He’s expecting Keith to be asleep. But we know Keith is not.
Keith is of course, lying still, pretending to be asleep, but following Lance’s every movement. After Lance has settled down in the bed, they both try to fall asleep but they both can’t (ofc).
This awkward, uncomfortable silence goes on for about 10 minutes.
They’re both restless, both itching to say something, but not wanting to be the first one to break. Keith, no matter how much he tries to stop himself, softly blurts out an “I love you”.
He hears nothing in return for some time and it feels like an eternity because his heart is beating so fast and he’s so scared thinking that if Lance doesn’t reply this time, Keith has really, really messed this up.
But after a few moments he hears Lance quietly reply “I love you, too”. And all at once, he can breathe again. The relief washing over him like a tidal wave. He didn’t even realise how worked up he was until now.
And yes, they both know that this is far from a resolution. And yes, they’re both still really pissed at the other. They still have to talk so much out, maybe even fight some more. They know that they will both have to try to understand the other, they will both have to compromise and change themselves.
They know that they still have a very long way to go. Relationships are hard work, after all. But now they also know they have that security that no matter what, they’ll always love each other. Nothing is ever going to change that fact. And for now, that’s enough. That’s all they need. The rest will work itself out, eventually.
And with that reassurance, they both slowly drift off to sleep.
requested: can you make an imagine where Tom cheats on his gf and he wants to get back together but he randomly meets the reader (y/n) who is willing to help him get his gf back but he ends up falling for the reader instead
summary: Tom is down on his luck with his relationships, the last one blowing up in his face right in the middle of your coffee shop. He turns to an unlikely stranger for help–you. However, after you agree to help him, he finds himself falling for the unlikely stranger instead.
word count: 2k
pairings: tom holland x reader
a/n: depending on how popular this one gets, i might turn it into another series. we’ll see!! i couldn’t write tom cheating on someone because i dont have the heart to so i tweaked it a tiny bit i hope thats okay // not my gif // i also tried to make the reader as gender neutral as possible
Each time you woke up in the morning, you knew it was going to be a good day–simply because you refused to have a bad one. You sang in the shower, danced while you got dressed, whistled while you put up your hair. It was like you always had happy music playing in your mind, you radiated positivity. And what better job for someone who radiated such happiness? A humble cafe owner in New York City.
You waved to the usuals who were in your shop nearly every day–the familiar faces causing your heart to bloom open like a flower in spring. You donned your apron with a beautiful smile, greeting your employees and began taking orders.
Setptember 5, 1982: Fleetwood Mac performs at the ‘US Festival’ in San Bernardino.
“Everybody was smoking a lot of pot and doing other drugs, but that night we were pretty sober, because the audience was so huge and we didn’t want to make a mistake. It was a long set and it was a great set. When we left, Robin and I flew over the festival and I swear to God we felt like the whole audience waved to us. I told the pilot to go slow because we needed to take this in. We believed in the energy from all those people.“ - Stevie Nicks