After the Hugos is before the Hugos, so here is another Fancast Spotlight for your consideration. For more about the Fanzine/Fancast Spotlight project, go here. You can also check out the other great fanzines and fancasts featured by clicking here.
Today’s featured fancast is the Fiction Fans Podcast, a podcast, which as the name implies, is about reading and discussing books.
Therefore, I’m happy to welcome Sara and Lilly of Fiction Fans to my blog today.
Who are the people behind your podcast or channel?
Sara (social media person and Keeper of the Calendar) and Lilly (editor extraordinaire).
Why did you decide to start your podcast or channel?
Lilly called me one afternoon in late 2020 to say we should start a podcast, because she wanted to read more books. I was utterly unconvinced–I like reading, but a book podcast sounded like a lot of work. Eventually she wore me down (our first planning document, which she sent over to me after that call, was called “You won’t escape my podcast idea”) and I’m actually really glad she did. It’s mostly an excuse to hang out for a couple of hours. The fact that we’re recording our conversation and putting it out there for the world to listen is almost incidental.
What format do you use for your podcast or channel and why did you choose this format?
We decided to do audio-only because it’s lower-key. Video editing is a lot more effort and also would require that we look at least semi-presentable when recording.
In terms of episode format, we always spend some time chatting about a good thing that’s happened recently and what we’re currently reading (not podcast-related) at the beginning of the episode, before we actually start discussing the book of the week. We like to have an initial section where we talk about non-spoiler themes or character motivations, before we dive in to a meatier full-on spoiler discussion of the book. We figured that if we were listening to a podcast about a book we hadn’t read, we would want a chance to stop listening before any major plot twists were spoiled for us. Be the podcast you want to listen to, right?
The fan categories at the Hugos were there at the very beginning, but they are also the categories which consistently gets the lowest number of votes and nominations. So why do you think fanzines, fancasts and other fan projects are important?
Obviously we’re a bit biased, being an amateur podcast, but I think that fan projects are incredibly important. Fan projects allow so much more in-depth discussion and consideration of a work that is extremely important for any topic, but especially art. A great example of that is in our Terry Pratchett readthrough, an author we love, but whose books we occasionally lambast. Fans have a spectacular capacity to criticize what they love and that’s a crucial part of any discussion.
In the past twenty years, fanzines have increasingly moved online and fancasts have sprung up. What do you think the future of fan media looks like?
I think as technology and platforms become more accessible, we’ll continue to see a proliferation of fan media. It’s so much easier to start a project like a podcast these days than it was even ten years ago, and it’s a lot easier to promote a project as well with the various social media platforms available.
The four fan categories of the Hugos (best fanzine, fan writer, fan artist and fancast) tend to get less attention than the fiction and dramatic presentation categories. Are there any awesome fanzines, fancasts, fan writers and fan artists you’d like to recommend?
I want to particularly shout out SFF Addicts Podcast. The host, Adrian Gibson, is doing some really incredible work with his panel episodes. Interviewing guests on a podcast takes a lot of skill, and if I could interview or moderate half as well as he does, I’d be happy.
Where can people find you?
We can be found pretty on all the major podcast platforms (Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Podcast Addict, etc).
On social media we’re usually @fictionfanspod and we can be found on Twitter (while it lasts, we’re probably most active there), Hive, Instagram, and TikTok.
Our Mastodon account is @email@example.com
We also have a very chill discord to talk about books: https://discord.gg/dpNHTWVu6b and our website https://www.fictionfanspodcast.com/ where we post our episodes, author interviews, and the occasional written book review.
Thank you, Sara and Lilly, for stopping by and answering my questions.
Do check out Fiction Fans, cause it’s a great podcast.
Do you have a Hugo eligible fanzine/-site or fancast or a semiprozine and want it featured? Contact me or leave a comment.