mondyboy (mondyboy) wrote,

When fandom doesn't suck

Fandom often gets a bad rap - and for good reason.  If I wasn't such an lover of al things Who, I would have been turned away from the show by the fandom two or three years ago.  And everyday you'll stumble across another fan war, whether it's Racefail or Twilightfail or Supernatural slash fiction fail or women who write SF fail or any number of fandom failures.  It's enough to drive a quiet, unassuming Ewok tinkerfairy like me stark raving nuts.

And then, in the space of basically a week, fandom can be wonderful.

There are three sad news stories doing the traps in different - and overlapping - fan circles at the moment.

There's Cat Sparks' Dad, Cameron Sparks, who was attacked at his home by his next door neighbour and whose still in a medically induced coma.  Then there's author Jay Lake, whose struggling at the moment with re-emergence of his cancer, this time in the liver and possibly in the lungs.  And then there's author Cat Valente whose in financial strife due to her partner being out of work for six months and she not earning enough to pay the rent and bills.

In all three cases, fandom has been there with genuine love and support and in the case of Cat Valente, much needed financial support (in the space of a day enough money was raised to pay her rent and bills for two months).

The fact that fandom lives and breathes on the interweb means that it can reach out almost immediately and help those, or support those who have been hurt.  (It's also one of the worst things about fandom, the fact that one stray remark can turn into a three month flamewar, but let's put that aside for the moment).  We saw this last year with Paul Haines, whose has struggled through a very similar battle as Jay Lake, where a large sum of money was raised to allow him to purchase Avastin.  We all got involved, whether it was for $2, $5 or $10.  We all helped.  We still are helping.

There will be plenty of bad fandom moments in the next six months and beyond.  But just for now.  Just at this moment, I think fandom as a community of people who care and love and support has shown to a cynical tinkerfairy like me that it is worth perservering with.  Even if it's only in the bad times when fandom shines.

And to Cat's father and to Jay and to Paul, I hope and pray they have a refuah shelema (a complete recovery).  And for for Cat Valenete, I hope things turn around quickly.

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