A great many years ago, when dinosaurs still clumped about and everyone’s TV was a small box showing only two channels in black and white, a young girl became entranced by the first Doctor Who, Star Trek, Lost in Space (early episodes with dark caves full of gigantic one eyed skeletons) and the very scary The Invaders. She didn’t know she was a fan until decades later and the arrival of social media and found other people who also liked these shows and much more. There was joy chatting about our experiences and there still is today. So is today’s social media, life-enhancing or a toxic maelstrom? The jury is still out on that, maybe we need a Q to judge it. Yes, a Star Trek reference.
The perils of social media is in the existence of edge lords and gatekeepers. They that loftily declare Doctor Who ended when (add Doctor actor of choice but usually Tom Baker) took over. That all the more recent Star Trek films, Discovery and Strange New Worlds are not true to canon and therefore total rubbish. I have no time for that and I suspect most people are just delighted that their beloved franchises are continuing and bringing in much needed new fans.
The online fan sites on Facebook face choices. Are they there for anyone to share their enthusiasm or trash and belittle those that love that particular show? A Facebook fan site for the awesome The Expanse filters out the deliberately provocative whereas a similar site for Star Trek Strange New Worlds does not. It is not a pleasant place to visit.
So what has this got to do with SFW?
One of the best, no, the very best thing about our SFW gathering is the seamless mixture of fandoms. Where else can you see a Klingon having a drink with Captain Jack Sparrow, an Anime character, for example Hinata Hyuga from Naruto and hypothetically Thorse? (Such inspired and hilarious cosplay!)
Any interaction is positive, maybe some gentle leg pulling but there is not a toxic molecule floating through the event. The relaxed, welcoming atmosphere includes non cosplayers, people of any age, those who just want to meet and actually talk to a media star, people wanting to have the proverbial taken out of them by the manic, brilliant John Robertson, readers looking for new books and authors. And of course the party animals ready to dance (and drink) all night. All of those things can be found in those able to embrace all that SFW offers.
Or not, it doesn’t matter.
SFW is family.
Raven Dane’s books can be found on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Raven-Dane/e/B0034Q8UN6