March 31st, 2010

Atlantis city


Here's an interesting meta-point to ponder. SGA went off the air in 2008 (woe!) -- well, early 2009, I guess. As the fandom lives on, eventually the show is going to recede farther into the past, especially with regards to pop culture and technology -- two things (especially the later) that tend to play a role in a lot of SGA fic.

Presumably anyone writing fic set in the early seasons of SG-1 already has to deal with this, since 1998 was an eon ago in science, technology and geek subculture -- no iPhones or Blackberries, no Facebook or Twitter, no Buffy or Firefly or New Who, no Google or Wikipedia, no human genome sequencing ...

Even 2004 was long enough ago now that anyone writing "Rising" tags is going to have to stop and ask themselves, "Did they have flash drives? What were cell phones like then?"

But on the other hand, the Stargate world isn't exactly our world, either. Aside from the obvious presence of Stargates and aliens, there are also little things like President Hayes ... it's almost our world, but not quite. So, while most people writing fic (including me) tend to be working off the assumption that they went to the Pegasus Galaxy in 2004 and fit the timeline around that, it doesn't necessarily have to be that way; there are few enough overt references to dates or ages in the show that it could just as easily exist in some kind of nebulous "now", where technology and pop culture references are updated according to whatever's current, in 2010 or ten years in the future.

I'm starting to realize that we're going to have to figure this out! Individual fans will probably resolve it in different ways (for one person, the nebulous "now" might work great; another might strip out any references to pop culture that specifically dates her story; another might meticulously research 2006 computer technology), but it's going to start coming up, and quite soon.

I'm curious if anyone else has thought about this? Thinky thoughts? I'm also curious how fanfic writers handle it when they work in fandoms which are already significantly dated, like "Starsky & Hutch" or "Man From Uncle" *looks at xparrot* ... do you research the era of the show? Do anachronisms like cell phones bother you, or does it only matter if the show is very specifically rooted in a particular historical time (like a Western)? Does this question come up a lot in older fandoms, or do most people tend to ignore it? I think it's interesting that, as many fandoms as I've wandered through, this is something I've never really thought about before -- I guess that most of my active fandoms have been set in very far-removed times and places, or have been for currently running shows in which my interest didn't really last beyond its cancellation, so it hasn't come up for me very much ...