Three years ago, when I first came back to writing fiction again, I joined several email lists. Make that, a TON of email lists. Of special interest to me were those for Christian fans of science fiction and fantasy, and when I finally started unsubscribing to the ones that weren’t especially helpful, I stayed on two SF/F-specific lists.
Christian Fandom was one of those.
What is Christian Fandom? I’m glad you asked.
Once upon a time, a group of Star Trek fans—the hardcore ones, who dress up in Federation uniforms and wear Vulcan ears and learn to speak Klingon—decided to start holding meetings. The movement grew. Soon, it wasn’t just ST fans who were attending these meetings, but fans of other sci-fi and fantasy, as well—Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Anne McCaffery’s Pern series, Frank Herbert’s Dune, just to name a few. Oh, and that weird film by someone named George Lucas became rather popular, too. (May the Force be with you!)
Some of the people who attended these meetings—oh, and somewhere along the way, they became full-blown conventions, or cons for short, which explains the plethora of names: V-Con (held in Vancouver, BC), Dragon*Con, MythCon, BaltiCon. Anyway, some of con-goers were (narrator’s voice drops to a whisper) Christians. Now, because the majority of con-goers are decidedly not Christian (and some are very hostile to Christianity; not without good reason in some cases, but that’s a discussion for another day), and one of the basic tenets of Christianity is the “fellowship” with other believers (a glorified term for hanging out together for the purpose of encouragement and further education in the faith), they decided it would be beneficial to Christian fen (the collective term for fans) to have a way to meet with other Christians. Maybe in the process they could also provide the forum for friendly dialogue with “seekers,” but of course it wouldn’t expressly be for anything as overt and vulgar as “evangelism.”
And thus was born … Christian Fandom.
The website gives this definition (I could have started with that, couldn’t I?):
Christian Fandom is an interdenominational fellowship of fans interested in the courteous and accurate representation of Christian viewpoints in genre fiction fan communities.
Christian Fandom first met in 1982 at the World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago. It has since met at every year’s World Science Fiction Convention, along with regional meetings from time to time at Minicon (Minneapolis), Windycon (Chicago), etc.
At this time Christian Fandom is an informal organization with no official membership rolls, or any official status (other than with INTERNIC.) You are welcome to take part in as few or as many Christian Fandom activities as you wish, without any forms to fill in or fees to pay. Many people have contributed much to the organization since its founding in 1982, and, with God’s help, many more will contribute in the coming years.
More tomorrow on why I’ve stayed with the email list, despite NOT having ever attended a con, and on the incredible resource that is the website.
This month’s participants are listed below, in no particular order. I’m very excited at how many are taking part this month! Thanks to each one of you!
Rebecca LuElla Miller