Coming Soon To A City Near You

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Title: Coming Soon To A City Near You
Creator: Alexfandra
Date(s): 1996
Medium: fanfic, meta
Fandom: Pan-fandom, media fandom, conventions
External Links:
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Coming Soon To A City Near You is a tongue-in-cheek look at media conventions and media fandom circa the mid-1990s, particularly slash fandom. It uses the format of a convention flyer in a mix of meta and fanfic. It pokes fun at fandom overall, story tropes (both panfandom and fandom-specific), convention and mailing list cultures, feedback, slash - you name it.

The convention 'flyers' are for two imaginary conventions: NurtureCon: The Really 'Nice' Slash Con! and SnobCon: (Emoticons Must Die!) The Not-So-Nice Slash Con. These conventions supposedly cater to the two prevailing fandom cultures emerging at the time. The flyers touch on the many tensions between fans, some new (Internet vs Print Fans) and some old (Fandom is For Fun vs. Fandom is For Meta) and the ever popular discussion over whether Feedback Is A Force For Good Or Evil.

The writer, Alexfandra, assumed a multi-fandom knowledge on the part of her readers, naming characters from Blake's 7, The Professionals and hinting at fandom tropes from Starsky & Hutch and The Sentinel, without explaining who or what any of them were. She also assumed that her readers were aware of fannish events and people that crossed fandom lines, such as the influence of the Senad and Virgule mailing lists.

It appeared on the flyer tables at several slash conventions in the mid 1990s (Escapade and Zebracon), but then vanished. In August 2010, Morgan Dawn located the flyers in a folder and reposted it to Fanlore, along with the identity of the writer (with permission).

Pan-fandom Issues

Internet vs Print Fandom

[From NurtureCon]: "The Net: Where the '*Cool* People Hang!" Are you connected? Fandom isn't fandom without the Internet! Who needs zines when you can download piles of great fanfiction right from your computer! Its free, its easy, and best of all, its '*sharing*! Come and talk with people in the know - we have fans to help you get started, fans who have been on the Internet for as long as three months or more! They know the ropes, and soon you, too, will be able to post hundreds of messages a week to your fellow fen on topics ranging from "Happy Endings" to "Romance & Blake's 7" to "Me, too!"

[Fromm SnobCon]: "Saturday night is Critique Night! This year's theme is Net Fanfic, and we've rented a room with a large fireplace just for this event! Bring your favorite examples of lousy writing from the Net, and after wittily disemboweling the contents, we will feed the flames. Weenie Roast to follow.

Other possibilities still under consideration:

  • Your Fandom Sucks Night
  • Go Ahead, Insult the Writer Night
  • Net Newbies Must Die Night"

Fandom is For Fun vs Fandom Is For Meta

[From NurtureCon]:"Party! Saturday night is Nurture Night! We'll start off with a giant Hug-In, followed by ice cream and cake, followed by another Hug-In, followed by a group sing-a-long of Rod McKuen poems set to music, followed by massive flattery (in which everyone will say really nice, sweet things about each other out loud), followed by an even bigger, even better Hug-In! Members are encouraged to bring their Ken dolls to the party, so they can hug each other, too!

[From SnobCon]:"Het Guys In Love & Big Bad Men With Guns: A Return To Basics" Tired of seeing your favorite guys marching down the street in the Gay Pride Parade? Ready to burn the next story you read where Blake picks out Avon's wedding dress? Sick of seeing your macho, sweat-drenched, psycho killer MEN cheerfully trotting out the Hoover? Come rant with us as we rip apart the Sweetness & Lite Trend in fanfic. Optional post-panel viewing of "Orbit" and "Wild Justice". Black leather jackets required."

Feedback: Force For Good or Evil

[From NurtureCon]:"Con members are encouraged to bring a piece of fanfic which they have written, whether they've ever written anything at all in their lives before, so that we can have plenty of material for the Friday Night Ego-Boost Read-a-thon. At this event, members will read their work aloud while people in the audience will be strictly restricted to smiling warmly, clapping a lot, and shouting "Ooh, that was peachy!" Audience members will be frisked at the door for blue pencils, dictionaries, bad attitudes, or copies of Strunk & White.""

[From SnobCon]:"At first, we didn't want to offer any panels at all, since they are generally far too democratic for our tastes. Who wants to listen to the hoi polloi, even if it's us? But then we came up with a solution: all con members will be provided with "aural delete keys" - a kazoo which, when blown, will alert any panel or audience speaker that her remarks are considered inane, irrelevant, boring, annoying, grammatically incorrect, or just plain stupid. Anytime more than 10% of the audience is blowing kazoos, the speaker must cease and desist."


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