How reading fantasy novels thirteen years ago has shaped all my media consumption since

(I’m no good at snappy titles.)

It’s interesting the extent to which my consumption of media is defined by my SF/F fandom. I suppose I’m really only accessing a narrow region of the internet defined by those tastes, and I get most of what I watch, read, or listen to through through this small view of the world.

It started out with Kevin’s Watch, the Stephen R Donaldson fansite. It was one of the first message boards I joined, almost nine years ago, and I’m still an active member. Back in school I got most of my book recommendations through the discussions there. The members introduced me to writers such as Robert Jordan, Tad Williams, George R R Martin, Patricia McKillip, and eventually Steven Erikson. It was also people I knew on that site that got me to start playing World of Warcraft four years ago.

And then there’s the blogs. Some time during University I started keeping up with blogs by authors, most of which I hadn’t even read any books by yet. Of course this led to lots of book buying, and the substantial increase in the size of my to-read pile while I was at York (I regularly had large boxes full of books being delivered by Amazon. An impulse buyer am I). Jeff VanderMeer in particular has led me to read dozens of good books. But I started getting other things from these blogs, too: Elizabeth Bear‘s posts made me take another look at Farscape, and find that it was one of the best sci fi shows I’ve seen. It’s no surprise I went ahead and bought the DVDs of Criminal Minds as soon as I saw her enthusiasm for that show, too.

I believe it was Jeff VanderMeer linking the A Million Ways video that reminded me about OK Go, now probably my favourite band. I listened to Regina Spektor because of John Scalzi, found She Wants Revenge thanks to Elizabeth Bear, got into Washington because of a post by Nicola Griffith.

I’ve been online something like 13 years, and I’ve taken a hell of a lot from what I’ve found here. I don’t think I give anywhere near enough of myself back.


One thought on “How reading fantasy novels thirteen years ago has shaped all my media consumption since

  1. It’s interesting once in a while to look back and see how you got where you are. I can trace my reading habits and book preferences back to two series, The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, and the Xanth series by Piers Anthony. Those are the two series that really got me to start reading, and from there I expanded out into a lot of other books.

    You’re the only one who can judge whether or not you give enough of yourself back, but if you’re an active member of online communities than you’re doing your part.

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