Amanda Reads: Superfandom

Hello and welcome to my first post of 2017! I hope you all had a wonderful new year celebration if that’s your jam, and that your reading resolutions are already well underway.superfandom

Since I’ve finally settled in to life in Pittsburgh and being a student again, I’ve gotten back on the ball with reading advanced copies through Netgalley. As such, here’s my disclaimer: I received a free eGalley of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Superfandom caught my eye because its cover is extremely eyecatching, but also because the fandom phenomenon is a fascinating one to watch. As a member of the Harry Potter generation and self described Whovian, I am no stranger to what it means to be a part of a fandom in the internet day and age. I thought this book would be an interesting exploration of that specific experience.

I was wrong about this. Superfandom takes a broader, wider view on what it means to be a fan and explores the function of fandom as it relates to the fan objects–the things that people fan around. I expected to hear about Harry Potter and Doctor Who, about Supernatural and comic books. I didn’t expect to learn about Polaroid cameras or how fans inspired the U.S. distribution of Nutella.

This book didn’t give me what I thought I wanted from it–it gave me much more than I knew I wanted. Superfandom explores a variety of fandom phenomena to make some interesting points about how fandom interacts with the people behind the production, including looks at idea ownership and how attempts to profit from fan enthusiasm can backfire spectacularly.

At times, I felt that there was perhaps a bit too much breadth and the expense of depth. It seemed like I was just settling in to one fan phenomenon when suddenly we shifted gears to another, leaving me with lingering questions or interest in previous topics. Still, I was engaged in what I was learning and definitely found the subjects that the authors chose to be interesting and informative ones.

Although I would have liked a clearer organizational focus and more in-depth looks at some of the subjects introduced, I’m definitely very glad that I read Superfandom. It would make an excellent choice for anyone who is part of a fandom themselves or for someone who thinks they aren’t–because, as it turns out, fan-objects are actually much more broad than how we think about them.

Superfandom comes out March 21st, 2017.

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