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Fandom implies a community of people with similar interests, participating in fanac and interacting in some way, whether through discussions or creative works. The interaction may be face-to-face at gatherings such as conventions, or written communication, either off- or on-line.

Fandom as a concept started in the last years of the 19th century, to refer to sports fans. The earliest usage listed at Science Fiction Citations is for an 1896 Washington Post sports column. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, fans of science fiction began using the term to refer to the organized society/culture they were forming, and science fiction fandom is considered the direct or indirect "granddaddy" of many other kinds of organized fandom today, with many of its terms and traditions carrying through even when people aren't aware of their history.

To many science fiction fans, "fandom" specifically means "science fiction fandom"; all other kinds of fandom need to be specified (e.g., "anime fandom", "media fandom").

Outside of science fiction fandom, fans may also refer to their own corners of (collective) fandom simply as "fandom". Some also refer to communities around different source materials as individual "fandoms". Thus, someone who is multifannish might make a list of "my fandoms" but also talk about "fandom" in general as their hobby or their way of life. The Fandoms by Source Text category page on Fanlore links to pages on hundreds of different fandoms.

One Fan Says

A comment in 2012:

I can't imagine my life without fandom. And whatever form fandom takes in the next ten years, whatever platforms we adopt or adapt or invent, I'm grateful to have had this space in which to develop so many of the best fannish relationships -- and friendships -- in my life. ♥ [1]

Types of Fandoms

For specific kinds of fandoms, see:

Further Reading


  1. heresluck, posted Aug. 25th, 2012, retrieved 9.20.2012
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