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Real Fans

For the record, since it’s an ongoing source of frustration for me and a lot of other people, I have zero patience for anyone trying to gatekeep whether or not someone is a Real Fan.

So I’m reposting my own personal decision tree on Real Fandom.

Are you a Real Fan?

Please note the lack of anything like:

  • Whether I like your politics
  • Whether I personally like the thing you like
  • Whether I think you’re an asshole
  • Whether I know more about the thing you like than you do
  • Whether I’ve been a fan of the thing longer than you have
  • Whether you’ve ever been to a convention
  • Whether you prefer the movie or the book
  • Your gender
  • Your age
  • Your race
  • Your sexual preference

If you and I both like the thing, then guess what – we’re both fans. Yay, us!

And if anyone gives you crap about not being a Real Fan, feel free to show them this Real Fan Certificate, signed by a Real Fan who also happens to be a Real Author. (The “Real Author” argument is another, similar rant, but I’ll save that for another time.)

ETA: Updated with a higher-resolution certificate, for anyone who really wants to print it out :-)

Certificate of Real Fandom

So, is that clear enough? Can we stop arguing about who gets to be a Real Fan now?

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 23rd, 2016 03:38 pm (UTC)
I need one of these up on my wall!
Mar. 23rd, 2016 03:53 pm (UTC)
Just updated the post with a higher-resolution version, if you'd like :-)
Mar. 23rd, 2016 04:01 pm (UTC)
COOL! Thank you!
Mar. 23rd, 2016 03:40 pm (UTC)
*admires you from a distance*

Thank you.
Mar. 23rd, 2016 03:48 pm (UTC)
And with this I shall sign all of my books with your signature! MWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHaaaaaah heck. (pout) Now I don't have excuses to bug you in person.

DAMN it.

Mar. 23rd, 2016 03:53 pm (UTC)
I have faith in your ability to come up with other excuses :-)
Mar. 23rd, 2016 05:11 pm (UTC)
Well yes. This is true.

How aaaabouuuuut....

Cuz I wanna?

Come to Vancouver again? (if this works I'm so working on a lottery ticket next...)
Mar. 23rd, 2016 04:18 pm (UTC)
So is that like, a real fan as in Real Madrid?

Mar. 23rd, 2016 10:05 pm (UTC)
I live in Madrid, and I am a fan of Real Madrid. You can be one, too! And despair, because they're doing badly this season.
Mar. 23rd, 2016 04:47 pm (UTC)
But is it a hand fan or an electric fan?
Mar. 23rd, 2016 04:51 pm (UTC)
All are welcome. I prefer ceiling fans, myself.
Mar. 24th, 2016 04:30 am (UTC)
I picture it as a Spanish hand fan. (I had a friend from Spain who could deploy those suckers like sexy butterflies. Very cool to watch.) Either that or a fan veil, as seen here.

Mar. 23rd, 2016 06:07 pm (UTC)
Mar. 23rd, 2016 06:18 pm (UTC)
i totally agree with this.

and that makes me a Real Fan of a LOT of things! XD
Mar. 23rd, 2016 08:29 pm (UTC)
Right. One of the most important and sad lessons I learned via my college gaming group is that people can genuinely like everything you like and still be assclowns.

That's the worst Successories poster ever, but here we are.
Mar. 23rd, 2016 10:40 pm (UTC)
But there are fans and there are Fans. I mean, I enjoy Star Trek and other works of Science Fiction and Fantasy. But I don't go to conventions, I don't vote for the Hugo, and I don't write filk. Well, I don't write much filk. I'm a fan of many things, but I am not a Fan. I think the distinction is important, if only because Fandom seems like a horrible place.
Mar. 23rd, 2016 10:42 pm (UTC)
Well, I certainly won't argue if you choose to make that distinction for yourself.

Personally, I've found fandom to be flawed, yes...but also wonderful and amazing and a hell of a lot of fun.
Mar. 24th, 2016 12:42 am (UTC)
The distinction I would make in that case would be that I'm not an active member of the community rather than that I'm not a fan/Fan. So I'm a fan of science fiction because I enjoy reading it and watching science fiction movies and talking about science fiction sometimes, but I'm not really part of the science fiction community other than making comments on writer's blogs now and then. It's a different level of interactivity. I'm more comfortable being less involved and that's perfectly alright.

Of course, a lot of these arguments are about keeping some people out of the community even if they want to be more involved. (Because apparently there just isn't enough room for all of us? Humans. *sigh* ) And that pretty much sucks.
Mar. 24th, 2016 02:51 pm (UTC)
Mr. Hines, as a long time lurker, I feel I must comment.

This is the single most elegant response to ANYTHING I've seen this decade.
Thank you. Please continue being a beacon of sanity in an increasingly insane world.
Mar. 24th, 2016 07:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
Apr. 8th, 2016 01:21 pm (UTC)
Late to the party, by which I mean this post.

But as somebody who tends to overthink this issue, I approve of these criteria very much.

Your Real Fan,
Apr. 8th, 2016 01:25 pm (UTC)
The party never stops. You're welcome to drop in and wander off at your leisure :-)
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )


Jim C. Hines


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