I belong to a tie-in and novelization writers discussion list…and many of the writers have been discussing how they deal with rabid fans, the kind who live, eat, and breath the fictional worlds of STAR TREK or STAR WARS or BUFFY or even DIAGNOSIS MURDER and seriously need to get a life. One of the writers came up with a name for them… and I predict it’s going to catch on: The talifans.
UPDATE: I want to clarify my thoughts on this. Fans are great, they read and support our work and deserve our respect,
kindness, and attention. But rabid fans, for whom the TV show or movie becomes
something akin to a lifestyle or religion, are scary and hostile. There are some
STAR WARS, STAR TREK, and BUFFY tie-in writers who have some real horror stories
to tell about their interactions with fans like this…the Talifans. Heck, I
have a few I can tell myself from my SEAQUEST days (I even wrote a novel about
it!). Talifans aren’t average fans…Talifans are rabid fans.
Here are some links to other Talifran discussions. Author Karen Traviss talks about how the term "talifan" came up.
This came from a media tie-in compadre after a mutual colleague had been given a
pretty grim tme by their fandom over parts of their book that did not fit
said fandom’s view of What The Character Should Have Done – even if their view
bore no resemblance to continuity:
And Brian Hogg, pondering the religious implication in the term "talifan," wonders if fandom has become a religion to some fans.
The level of devotion that genre fans feel is not at all unlike religious
fervor… The truth is
that these fans are paying tribute, endlessly, to their favored properties —
properties which, as sci-fi, generally espouse an ethos, a specific mindset, a
way of living today to achieve some exhalted future.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.