Going on a Fan Leave
Hi there. This is Em.
This post is an announcement piece as well as a sort of halftime show, an interlude of Active Faults where my personal voice takes the rein.
First of all - thank you, thank you, thank you.
I began AF thinking I’d get 5 subscribers max, and 3 of them would be my extremely supportive friends in real life. Even though I believed in the significance of this project, I could not foresee just how many people out there are equally interested. Thanks for dropping by and putting up with me.
For those who have reached out, interacted and collaborated with me, I’m blessed by your presence and grateful for your creativity which has been a source of inspiration and motivation.
Before this, I’ve only written either long-winded, dry-ass academic essays with failed attempts at using a semicolon, or fan fiction that would probably get me arrested in Victorian England or, well, modern-day China, if I ever choose to publish.
Finding a tone was hard. Given the subject matter, I don’t want to sound like tabloid magazines and nor do I want the rigidity of journal article syntax that’s always jarring in an entertainment context.
In a way, finding a tone was finding my identity as the author of this Substack. I’m no scholar, for sure - I’ve established that from the very beginning. I’m also not just some fan. I’m too much of an overthinker to be that.
I write…as an enthusiast of unofficial history, or 野史, in Chinese. I prefer the more literary translations of “wild” or “untamed” history because that’s exactly what Chinese entertainment and fandom are.
Wild, untamed, always riddled with rumours and speculations, always up for debate and interpretations, never fixed and never a monolith. Going by unnoticed if not for enthusiasts like me and you.
I want to say this again: I write about what I see and what I think. I cannot speak for everyone at every given moment. Everything on AF is what I observed at a specific point in time that’s of a specific perspective and never the whole story.
An old history teacher of mine, an eccentric Welshman with a ginger beard and a J.R.R Tolkien tattoo, once gave me a paper cut-out of a quote about what history is. It is still in my possession, a crumbling mess that reads: “History is the great propagator of doubt”.
That’s what this is.
For the purpose of clarity, I’ve edited out a lot of “perhaps” “ maybe” and “possibly” in the past issues. Please always insert a “maybe” at the end of each sentence by default.
This is me answering my questions with hypotheses and the hope that you’d continue to ask more.
With that, Active Faults is taking a break for May as I go off to be a fan and attend a few concerts. It’ll return in June, hopefully with new visuals and definitely new issues on topics like slash fiction (can’t believe I left it till now, to be honest), fandom content creators and more.
In the meantime, I will release a special issue in mid-May, a compilation of bloopers from previous issues featuring half-baked ideas and off-tangent thoughts. You can also come and find me on Substack Notes for more fandom chats.
Take care, and see you in June!