Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Will The Vampire People Please Leave The Lobby and enter our special shrine to online fandom?

The title of Allyson Beatrice's book comes from an actual announcement given by a group of beleaguered hotel workers as a happy crowd of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans, who only knew each other from the community board they shared,descended upon a Holiday Inn for a friendly get together on President's Day weekend. The main reaction to that exclaimation was good hearted laughter,a strong theme that runs thru Beatrice's book. WTVPPLTL tells the tale of one person who normally keeps to herself but thru the shared interest in one of the best TV shows of our time and the loved/feared power of the internet,becomes part of a extended family of friends.

Allyson moved to L.A. from Boston to jumpstart her life and a major part of that came from her growing involvement with the official Buffy talkback board,The Bronze,which wound up being a casuality of the WB/UPN war to claim BTVS as their own and Buffistas.org. She got to meet some of the Mutant Enemy folks during several online campaigns(such as "Give Buffy an Emmy")and one of her favorite writers on both Buffy and Angel,Tim Minear. Allyson also got involved in the campaign to save Firefly(a show she didn't even like at first),by helping to put out a huge "thank you for your support" ad in Variety and even attended a political fundraiser for Kerry that Joss Whedon and other ME show cast members held as a meet and greet for fans.

The real heart of the book is centered on the online friends that Allyson made who became real life pals,such as fellow campaigner Kristen, ita(yes,her name is ment to be spelled in lowercase)who stayed with Allyson when she made her own flight from a stagnant life in Ann Arbor and Nilly,a Buffista from Israel who was given the chance to visit all of her American online friends due to a generous act of PayPal donations from the board(Tim Minear put up a thousand dollars to get the ball rolling).

Allyson also gets into the pros and cons of online community board life,which anyone who's ever spent serious group time on one will instantly recognize as all too true. She praises moderators,warns about the annoyance of trolls(with a pretty funny and fictional example of a flame war) and explores the media hype surrounding the true and sometimes exaggerated menace of stranger danger on the net. You do have to watch out for those Elderly Dutchwomen sometimes,even in the Elderly Dutch chat rooms!

Will the Vampire People...gives a excellant look at what good a cult fandom can do for folks and how it can be an enriching experience. I was once part of a Buffy/Angel community board myself(made up originally of disillusioned posters from Aint It Cool News) called The White Room ,where I made some great friends that I'm still in touch with today,even tho the board has died down somewhat after both shows went off the air. I also was once more active at the Republic of Pemberley,where I met up with several of the good folk there,even taking my first trip to England to meet up with a large number of them for a tour thru Jane Austen country. As one of the Vampire People myself,Allyson's book brings back alot of happy memories and I'm sure that most of the folks who still attend Buffy related(or any fan related)events and online gatherings will feel the same.

Will the Vampire People...is due in August but is available now at most bookstores and is the perfect gift for the fangirl or boy in your life. Check it out for yourself,if you're curious to get in on the party. All are welcome at the fandom dance and there's no cover charge(except for the book,of course!) or coolness screenings at the entrance. Just alot of people looking for some fun and saying it once more with feeling.

1 comment:

Robin Brande said...

Sounds like a great book! Another very useful review, Lady T. Thanks!