Guest Spot | Colin F. Barnes on Genre Fans

Colin F. Barnes is a dark fiction writer from the UK specializing in Science Fiction, Horror and Thrillers. He likes to take the gritty edginess from his surroundings and personal experiences and translate them into his stories. He is currently working on an anthology of horror stories in his ‘City of Hell Chronicles’ setting after recently debuting with a crime anthology titled ‘Killing my Boss’ that he co-authored with best selling author Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff.

City of Hell Chronicles:
Killing My boss:

Genre fans are clearly the best kind of fans, we know it, they know it, here are ten reasons why.

1. Passionate

Few groups of fans are as passionate about their favorite books or programs than genre fans. They’ll cue up outside bookshops dressed as wizards or elves; they’ll talk endlessly online and with each other about the newest release or what they’ve just read, and they’ll happily spread the word of their latest purchase. Word of mouth is very among genre fans.

2. Loyal

Production companies and publishers know this. Genre fans are exceptionally loyal. They stick with authors and shows through thick and thin. You’ll often hear the genre fan outcry when a program is cancelled. Such uproar can be seen with the recent cancellations of Firefly and Stargate Universe. Savvy producers and authors know all about genre fans loyalty and make the most of it. Long running series such as Wheel of Time and Doctor Who are both examples of where longevity has sprung from loyalty.

3. Zombie Walks

What more needs to be said? You don’t find James Joyce Walks, or Romeo & Juliet walks. Genre fans embrace the weird and fun and aren’t afraid to show it.
4. Inventive

They’ll make almost anything in honor of their passions. They’ll produce their own sequels or fan made interpretations of movies:

Then there are those who make costumes, accessories or jewelry. Steampunk especially is a sub genre that has garnered a reputation of creating some amazing fan produced items.

5. Friendly

It’s because of the shared passion, and because most genre fans aren’t douches. There’s very little in the way of a class system amongst geeks and nerds and genre fans, they are all in it together for the same thing: fun. If you want an example of this, just pitch up at your next convention and you’ll instantly be made to feel welcome.

6. Early Adopters

Anything from new comics, to new shows, and new authors, the genre fan will gladly and willingly try out new things. It’s a race, each genre fan wants to be one of the first on the train and will often spend a great deal of money and time on searching for new authors and new shows.

7. Forgiving

Some books or shows just tank. There comes a time when someone drops a clanger and makes a huge mistake. The genre fan will scream and bellow their annoyance, and make it clear that something isn’t right, but they’ll give you a second or third or fourth chance. Doctor Who again is a great example of this, during the dark years, it was in often in poor shape, but the audience held their confidence, and lo and behold, DW is now enjoying a renaissance of popularity.

8. Sexy

When not dressing as zombies, many genre fans like to don a variety of costumes, mostly at conventions (and probably in the bedroom), both men and women will squeeze on the tight revealing warrior outfit. The women seemingly enjoying the ‘slave Leia’ and the Xena approach, and the men the rubber clad Batman’s outfit. Of course you get also get the other end of the spectrum such as Chewbacca, Freddy, Swamp Thing etc. But I don’t judge, some people like that kind of thing.

9. A little bit mental

Just look over the previous 8 points and you’ll see that occasionally some genre fans can go a little bit too far – which of course is a good thing.

10. Keep authors on their toes.

Because of their tendency to talk loudly both in real life and on the Internet about their likes and dislikes, authors and writers are kept on their toes. Their Sci-Fi story better be well researched. The fantasy story better do something new and not just rip-off Tolkien. Writing genre isn’t easy to get right, and the fans will keep you honest in your endeavors. They can be your best friends in your career, so listen to them, respect them, and you too can avoid the wrath of the genre fan.


Huge thanks to the lovely (and he is) Colin for a fun and well argues post. I of course conceed the point, Genre fans are clearly the best, well done Col, i’m sold.

If you would like to add your own reasons, I expect we could easily get the list to 25, chip in with your comments. – Hagelrat

6 thoughts on “Guest Spot | Colin F. Barnes on Genre Fans

  1. I am aware that you should never alienate your audience, but I am reminded of something St Julian said around the time of Jehovahkill, and that is an artist should never do *anything* for the fans. As that means they aren’t being creative, and looking to them, rather than to themselves.

    The fans don’t *own* anything, and the artist doesn’t *owe* them anything. Sure, it is bad PR to badmouth them, but do authors really care about the fans? Or their work?

    I am sure there is some Dave Sim essay on this somewhere…

  2. Thanks for stopping by guys and gals, I truly believe that genre fans are the best to have. I’m sure more high-brow forms such as literary have their passionate fans too, but theres something some vivid and vital about genre fans that it’s a pleasure to have them. (not that I have many, yet).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *