Accepting the Gauntlet: A FANifesto

Let me share my story, as Brad Torgersen enjoined us here:

I am a fan of Speculative Fiction.

I have provided hotel security for Conventions a couple of times. But I’ve never been able to attend one otherwise. And I actually forgot about the Sci-Fi convention I provided security for until now. Given that I’d provided it for a hundred other functions in my time there. They were fun. But that was most of a decade ago.

I’ve shared for-fun geek tests with people. I don’t think I’ve ever lost one of them. 😉 I don’t think of them as defining my fandom against their own. After all, if we want to engage in such a contest, we’re already pretty tied into that franchise.

I grew up on the DA-DA-DadaDA-DA! of the Star Trek Original Series combat music. Watching Kirk call for Scottie to beam him out of the dying Constitution before the Doomsday Machine killed him. Then I watched him and Khan trade barbs as Ricardo made Shatner out as his Moby Dick–that might have been symbolic, at the time. 😉 When Picard took the chair, I endured Wesley and the ever-growing array of time travel episodes because of moments like this:

I’ve read through three copies of the Lord of the Rings. For almost twenty years, it was an annual rite to read through it. I first entered Tolkien’s world at 12. I don’t think I’ve left it yet. I ground my teeth when the hobbits were dragged to Osgiliath and Faromir turned into Baromir-light. But that still hasn’t kept me from wanting to go back.

I watched every episode of Battlestar Galactica AND Battlestar Galactica 1980…try finding THAT one anymore. 😉

I still have 1st Edition AD&D, along with Baldur’s Gate, Victoriana, and Shadowrun. Anyone want a game?

I’m not afraid of a female lead, with Sydney Bristow tracking down Rimbaldi’s NostraVinci artifacts. Or when Delenn rode the White Star past Babylon 5 with perhaps the most awesome Big Damn Heroine moment of all time:

And while we’re on the subject of Big Damn Heroes: The best dialog ever to come out of Nathan Filion’s mouth. And he’ll tell you that himself.

And Kate Daniels carving her way to Roland is every bit as amazing as Harry Dresden riding a T-Rex to me. Or Honor Harrington turning the Grav-Lance on the Peeps. Or Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser in the dark, festering streets of Lankhmar.

Color of the hero doesn’t matter. Quick Ben’s shaved knuckles are just as impressive as Jake Sullivan spiking gravity. Race doesn’t matter, because as G’Kar says, “We are one.”

You don’t have to be Right or Left. Conservative, Liberal, or Libertarian. You only have to believe you want to make a future better than what we inherited. That you believe in a story. That you believe in heroes that will walk through Hell to make the world they believe in reality. And that they inspire you to reach for that world yourself. And if you believe that telling others you know what a fan is better than someone else, well all I can say is quote Ambassador Mollari: “Arrogance and stupidity, all in one package.”

That’s what being a fan is. To be inspired to believe in a better world. And the desire to make it so. And sometimes, that means a hero is someone who was a villain…like Mollari himself:

So Say We All.

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