“It was always this wonderful experience to just curl up and be read to,” says podficcer bessyboo about her history with recorded literature and podfic.
Podfic is the fandom equivalent of an audiobook—fans reading fanfiction aloud. But while podfic fills a logical niche within fandom, it’s a controversial subject. Last week, what began as a technical question about how to edit the fan wikiFanlore turned into a heated debate about podfic and its role within fandom.
“I think it’s one of those hit and miss things,” says Paraka, a fan who’s been recording podfic for several years. “[Some fans] enjoy podfic, or can recognize it as a fannish equivalent to audiobooks, but then there are others that just can’t wrap their heads around it.”
Paraka took issue when another fan on Fanlore attempted to edit an entry she had made on a podfic to include the fanfiction that it was based on, combining both the podfic and the original story under the same URL. The discussion on the wiki talk page centered around naming conventions on the wiki, and how best to disambiguate between a fic and a podfic of the same story.
When fans on Twitter got wind of the discussion, however, podficcers began protesting that podfics deserved their own pages on the wiki (an argument which Fanlore had never contested). Then anonymous fandom forum Fail Fandom Anon got wind of it, and launched a full-on debate about the legitimacy of podfic as a fanwork.