Life During Fandom

I swear, I was only thinking about my geeky plans for the weekend. Then one line of this popped into my head and I had to do the whole thing.

And I’m sorry. I’m really very, very sorry.

Life During Fandom

(with apologies to Talking Heads and the rest of the universe)

Heard of a con that is loaded with guest stars
Pack up your dice and let’s go
Heard of a bookstore out by the highway,
A place the muggles don’t know
The sound of Stargates off in the distance,
I’ve got a D.H.D. now
Lived in a TARDIS, lived on Darkover,
I’ve lived all over Known Space

This ain’t no starship, this ain’t no dungeon,
this ain’t no fooling around
No time for Tolkien or timey-wimey
I ain’t got time for that now

Transmit the virus to the invaders
Hope they will blow up someday
I got three novels, a couple short stories
But they’re all fanfic for now
On my friend’s TV Trek II is starting
everyone’s ready to KHAAAAN!
I filk in the daytime, I slide in the nightime,
I might not ever get home

This ain’t no starship, this ain’t no dungeon,
this ain’t no fooling around
This ain’t no Watchmen or InuYasha,
I ain’t got time for that now

Heard about Warcraft? Heard of Avengers?
Heard about Trek on Blu-Ray?
You ought to know not to stand by the airlock
somebody throw you out there
I got some Buffy, some Game of Thrones here
to last a couple of days
but I ain’t got no comics, ain’t got no manga,
ain’t got no Skyrim to play

Why be a mundane? God, that’d be boring!
Gonna read Hunger Games now
Can’t roll for damage, can’t find my phaser
I ain’t got time for that now

Trouble with nanites, we got you covered
We like our John Williams loud
We got computers, we’re checking Twitter
We’re all on Pinterest now
We dress like Cylons, we dress like browncoats,
or in a fez and bow tie
I’ve changed my cosplay so many times now
I don’t know what I look like

You kill that ogre, I’ll get the darkspawn
We make a pretty good team
Don’t get exhausted, you’re out of hit points
You ought to get you some CON

Burned all my Twilight. What good is Twilight?
I’d rather slit my own throat.
My books are breaking all of my bookshelves
Ooh, look! New reprint of Dune!

 

My Love Affair With The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

Today’s the anniversary of the first Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy radio show. How did you first become enamored with that wholly remarkable book?

I discovered Hitchhiker’s in the library of the stodgy girls’ school I attended. Think Catholic school, minus the Catholic but plus plus on the plaid uniforms. As you can guess, the library was dull enough to bring a tear to Giles’s eye (but a bit short on demonology texts for his tastes, I’d imagine). There were the obligatory copies of Emily Dickenson, a bust of Margaret Mead on the table, inspirational “reading is FUNdamental” posters on the walls.

And, way in the back, a whole shelf of science fiction.

Somebody in that school was a serious closet SF fan. It was like a hidden message for future likeminded students, a little cache of bliss among fifty-year-old copies of Great Expectations*. Besides Hitchhiker’s, there was Asimov’s The Caves Of Steel which introduced me to his Robots novels, some Heinlein juveniles including Podkayne of Mars – as well as Stranger In A Strange Land, which proves no real librarian ever looked at that shelf or they would have spirited such naughty tomes away from the innocent eyes of us young ladies.

I’d already become addicted to SFF through Star Trek, Buck Rogers, and the original Battlestar Galactica. Finding Hitchhiker’s was like a fresh delivery of lemon-soaked paper napkins. The library card filled with my initials. I went out and bought what was then a trilogy, in both book and audio form. I could quote parts from memory. My stodgy school became accustomed to the girl who wandered around muttering about Frogstar Fighters. They called me a nerd, but I didn’t care. The fact that somebody had written a bestselling series like Hitchhiker’s proved that I wasn’t the only one who thought science fiction was fun.

I must have discovered Doctor Who and Hitchhiker’s Guide around the same time (insert irony here), because I can’t remember which one I fell in love with first. I do remember that we didn’t get the Douglas Adams episodes for ages thanks to the ridiculous policies of our local PBS station, so by the time I saw The Pirate Planet I was already addicted to Hitchhiker’s. Part of the allure was the quintessential Britishness of it, during the 1980s when everything British was kewl. (I was am also a huge Duran Duran fan, which probably contributed to my infatuation.)

But there was something special about Hitchhiker’s. You couldn’t read it and not laugh your ass off. It was the perfect diversion because it was so ridiculous, so witty, and so British. The latter, as I discovered, doesn’t really translate. I bought a foreign language copy in France, in which Zaphod becomes Zippy Bibicy (as in, BBC) and Ford Prefect is Ford Escort because apparently that’s funnier in French. It just wasn’t the same. As Mickey Smith comments in the Doctor Who episode The Chrismas Invasion (which itself is an homage to Hitchhiker’s), if the world was ending the British would have tea. That’s a very Hitchhiker’s sentiment.

Over thirty years later, Hitchhiker’s has become such a part of our culture here in the U.S. that you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know the meaning of the number 42 or the phrase “Don’t Panic!” Take some time today to celebrate The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, before that Frogstar Fighter Class D comes to get you.

* Don’t get me wrong. I like classic literature, just not Dickens. I’m more of your Mark Twain type. Sorry, Vincent.