July 16th, 2009

murdered by lunatics

Fandom isn't greying. It's just your cons.

So, I see that after Readercon (which I was vaguely aware of, in the way that I'm aware of things that my friends are up to in the next few weeks) there was a bit of an explosion.

shadesong's post about the greying of fandom and what we can do to welcome the younger members came up on my friends page this afternoon and made me think a bit.

The number one thought was, "There's a problem?"

The number two thought was "Hmm, I wonder what the fish have to say about what sorts of thing it would get to make a con accessible and fun for them."

The number three thought was "Well, the new crop of YA fantasy authors like Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan have gathered their young fans about like so many chicks, and have been brooding protectively over them (Cassie), or wandering off to peck at something fascinating and having the whole flock follow (Sarah), and we the fans have been doing a pretty good job of organizing stuff, see the mailmalade_fish postcard club, and the meetups around the signings and stuff, and I'm sure that someone will propose meetups independent of a signing pretty soon, and we may begin organizing with fan crowds from other authors and figure out what else we have in common for reading; there's hodges_study where we exchange reading lists after all..."

And there were further, disorganized thoughts, about how things could be made safe and comfortable for younger fish (the core audience, after all). I go on for a bit, because I've been thinking about this all day.

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The Competition
This week is azkatraz (parent or chaperone required under 18), and also azkatrazathome (no age limit other than LJ's) for those who can't make it. vividcon (18+ only, primarily young and female membership) is coming up. Little marmalade_fish (no age limit) meetups happen on every stop on the signing tour. cassandraclare's publisher is throwing a massive party (no age limit). That's just the stuff I happen to know about, and I haven't been really paying attention. Parties break out at movie openings with no registration needed other than a movie ticket. There is no shortage of events that a young fan could conceivably be interested in attending.

Check the con environment of a con that's worried about greying. Does it treat the fannish areas of youth with hostility? Does it treat youth themselves with hostility? Is it accessible to the youth budget? Is it going to drive off non-fannish guardians of fannish youth? Is someone not already in the established fan network even going to hear of it? Food for thought.

There may be cross-chatter: LJ DW
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