Andy Hooper's Fanotchka
assembled by Lenny Bailes

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“Fanotchka,” a faanish play by Andy Hooper (pastiche of Ernst Lubitscha's 1939 film Ninotchka, starring Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas) had its premiere performance at L.A.Con III in 1996. It was popular enough to merit an encore performance at Corflu Wave the following year. The play was broken down by me (Lenny Bailes) into two parts and originally published in two issues of Whistlestar (issues #6 and #7)—with accompanying illustrations by Steve Stiles and Alan White. Andy sez in his introduction (included in this combined PDF edition):

“The idea of relocating the story to a comic opera version of science fiction fandom first came to me some time in the late 1980s. The dynastic and revolutionary background of the film seemed easy to adapt to the endless and spurious conflict between serious, constructive fans, personified by convention-runners and overserious amateur critics, and more insurgent, fan-focused trufen and fanzine fans. Originally, I planned it as simple fan fiction, maybe as long as a novelette, but nothing as ambitious as a reader's theater play with a dozen characters to cast. But after writing several plays for performance at Worldcon, Corflu and other conventions, I found myself committed to finishing a new script for premiere at the 1996 Worldcon in Anaheim, California. Originally, I had boasted that I was preparing a fannish version of the Donner Party tragedy, but ultimately this was just too sardonic even for my taste, and I had to devise something else without a lot of lead time. The fannish retelling of Ninotchka swam back up from my deep and distant memories, and the first draft was finished in one 12 hour session.


“I hadn't any real intention of accusing any part of fandom of totalitarian ambitions, any more than I expected the backwards "Я" in the title of Apparatchik to be a correct use of cyrillic letters. If there is a real conflict paralleled by the fan club struggles in Fanotchka, it is in the personality of every fan, where the battle between the gosh-wow grinning fanboy and cooly slannish technocrat continues unabated in its second century.”

Fanotchka -lo-res (1MB)

Fanotchka - hi-res (5.8MB)

Last revised: 3 May, 2008

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