Skip to main content

Sci-fi/fantasy culture often likes to try to pull the cowl over our eyes and pretend it's exclusively a fanboys club. There's no doubt it's a deeply misogynistic one, where women are dismissed as second-class posers. Witness, for instance, the tiresome debate online over what constitutes a real "geek girl," as if only guys are authentic fans.

But there are large numbers of female fans populating message boards and conventions, and their passion and devotion to the genre are just as nerdy and genuine as that of fanboys, as shown in Lynne Carter's debut documentary, FANomenon: A Journey Into The World of Fangirls, which airs on Global Television on Saturday.

The documentary follows 47-year-old Susan Beckner, from rural Virginia, who sets out to meet Joe Flanigan, the actor who plays Beckner's sci-fi obsession, Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard, on Stargate: Atlantis. Along the way, Carter offers a primer on the elements of sci-fi culture, from live-action role-playing to costume play, and talks to academics, actors, producers and, of course, other female fans to explore their growing influence on pop culture.

Story continues below advertisement

Although it never convincingly makes the case that middle-aged women have become "the secret backbone of fandom," it does offer a much-deserved look at an underexplored part of that culture.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter