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See also: Zinosaur, Bitter Old Fanfic Queen, Old School, The Good Old Days

Fanosaur hat, design by Melody C.

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Fanosaur is a term for a long-time fan. As seen in the examples, what qualifies as "long-time" varies from fan to fan. It is often ironically self-applied, but some fans also feel that it's used by younger fans as a pejorative label.

Examples of Use

From Swellison: "I am a fanosaur –a new term for an ol--er, long time fan.;-) Over the years, I've written a few stories in several different fandoms, but my three main fandoms are The Professionals, The Sentinel and Supernatural. The Sentinel is the reason I broke down and bought my first computer in 1997, before that I was a zine-based fanwriter." [1]

From Melody C.: "I am stepping back from every fandom but a couple of them frequented by fanosaurs and even that participation will be off-line." [2]

From Solomon Trimble: "I was aware of the huge online fan base of Twilight before I started filming. My sister in law and all her friends were big fanosaurs, way before I was cast [as Sam Uley in the Twilight movies]." [3]

From LJS, a Life on Mars fan: "I get the impression that newer fans don't have a clue what a drabble started out as. Just like they don't know what slash used to be. But what the hey, I'm a fanosaur."[4]

Other Terms

  • Fan Hag: "ok, you retain the label of fan hag until we can get someone from before 85." [5]

A Fan's View in 2000

Etiquette is dead [in the fanfic community]. Period. It died when "authors" decided that there was no reason to spell check their stories before posting them and then whining that someone dared to criticize their spelling errors; it died when "readers" decided that if you didn't outline everything in your summary that was going to happen, then they had the right to whimper that you'd ruined their life by not including "Warning - EVERYONE dies" or some such thing. It died when the "new" authors decided that anyone who had written before they arrived were "old" authors and therefore hogging all the cyber glory for themselves and began whining that no one read their stories. It died when the "old" authors set themselves up as personal critics and began to dictate how people should be writing and who they should be corresponding with and who they shouldn't.

Common courtesy, as in the real world, is scarce now in the fanfic world. People see no problem with slagging authors and their stories when they feel that they haven't been "served" properly or that their demands haven't been met. Authors get upset when readers give feedback or don't give feedback and threaten to stop writing. Readers scream when you don't produce fifty stories a day.

If you can't get off your duff and activate your spellcheck or send feedback to an author to say "thank you!" for a good story or ask permission, then it's a much sorrier world. And it's become that way, unfortunately....

Well, the "Old Guard" can still be a rather nasty bunch of people, so don't think I'm going to portray us/them as being Gods of ATXC and whatnot — we brawled and fought and many feelings were hurt big time. But I think we differ from the "New Guard" in that we don't feel the need to drag everyone down if they've been around longer than six months. Every few months I see posts denouncing the fact that certain authors have a fan base and "new" authors don't/can't get read, and somehow that's the fault of the older authors (sometimes just a few months old!) that the new kids on the block (of any age) aren't automatically acclaimed as the Second Coming of Fan Fiction. Those of us who were around a few years ago never thought about competing really, we just wanted to write. The idea of an Archive was a new thing to us, much less fan mailing lists and awards. I think the competitive edge has put a damper on a lot of the authors out there who now see getting a nomination for this award and that award as being the have all and be all of their fanfic existence, and will do anything to get and win that award - no matter the quality of their fanfic... [6]

A Fan's View in 2002

Having just come from Escapade... I'm going to address a touchy topic: the generation gap in slash fandom. While age is not the only factor, because of the tendency for the young in years to be netfen, it does play a crucial role. I've never considered myself an elderfan, yet after attending the con and particularly the panel dealing with the gen gap, I now accept the label even though I've been in slash fandom less than a decade. Actual age and years in fandom seem to be far less important, than the way fandom manifests itself in the fan's life. Old fen are primarily (though not exclusively) con-and-printzine fen, whereas young fen tend to be solitary netslash fen. Many youngfen see no real point in cons, look blank when you mention mentoring, have no sense of community and think that the idea of fan ethics is laughable. They will not consider paying money for a zine when they can read all the slash they want "free" online. When challenged about the expenses of maintaining a computer and accessing the Internet, they rarely accept that those financial drains are part of the payment they make for the "free" slash. Many are militant about the overall freedom of the Net and have blinders on regarding potential legal dangers from copyright holders, governments and individuals who take issue with the concept of fanfiction and/or slash. They show little or no interest in the "history of fandom" and the traditions of our underground, outaw community. And, for the most part, they are thinner and prettier than we elders are. BUT they are full of energy and enthusiasm. They are the future and to sit snippily upon our aging laurels would be to doom slash fandom to a sorry and pitiful slow demise. Without fresh "voices" our beloved heroes will become silent or, worse, boring. Because something has always been done "our" way does not mean our way is correct. Sure, there are idiots among the youngfen. Well, I know a few elderfen who seem to rock along on one or less brain cells. Slash has survived us. I reckon it can survive the youngsters. And so can I. [7]

Meta/Further Reading


  1. Swellison at, accessed 12.7.2010;reference link
  2. Melody C.'s Live Journal, accessed 12.7.2010; reference link
  3. accessed 12.7.2010; reference link
  4. The Railway Arms Forum post "Post S2 Ep8 Fanfic Recommendations?" dated August 9, 2009; reference link.
  5. a fan in 2006 comments to another at When we were newbies... a reply to St. Crispins
  6. from Working Stiffs Interview with Sheryl Nantus aka Sheryl Martin
  7. from a fan DIAL #21 (2002)