Super Relaxed Fantasy Club: The first rule of SRFC…


So, strange things happen on Twitter. Yesterday, I babbled on twitter about how I would like some sort of club for talking about Fantasy books. And it would have to be a super-relaxed sort of thing, because I’m easily confused and hideously busy and slightly sleepy. The essential idea was this:

To join, you write something about your favourite fantasy book. We stick it on a blog type thing.

For this, you receive a badge* (I’m a big fan of badges)

Eventually, we have a little site full of happy articles about how brilliant fantasy is, and they’re all tagged up somehow so it’s really easy to find stuff you want to read.
We can flag up new authors and stuff we’re eagerly anticipating.

And once or twice a year, we all get together in a pub somewhere and talk fantasy and show off our badges. There will be carousing, and maybe even readings and signings and shenanigans.

And that’s about it.

Super Relaxed Fantasy Club. What do we think? Is this something we can do? Is it even possible? How would it physically work? I’m not one of life’s great organizers, this is true, and anything like this would require a great deal of help from all sides, but I think this could potentially be a beautiful thing: a club where everyone is welcome, you don’t have to pay an alarming fee to join, and you don’t have to be versed in the ancient history of the genre to be a part of it. You just need to love Fantasy, and badges, and beverages.

If you’re interested and can see yourself being a part of SRFC, slap a comment on this and let’s get talking.

*badges will be badger themed. Obviously.

66 thoughts on “Super Relaxed Fantasy Club: The first rule of SRFC…

    • Yes. Or like the reading club at the library, where you got stickers for reading so many books.

      I’m not sure how we’d actually do the badges, but I like the idea of there being a new one every year.

  1. Sounds great! The only problem for me would be actually PICKING what will stand for all time as my “favourite” fantasy book, as there are so many in the running :-)

    I’m happy to help with the website/posting/moderating side of things if location isn’t a factor.

  2. Giant Jacket is in. I also have a santa-themed Pez dispenser. I’m not sure this is relevant but I’ve never had a Pez dispenser before. It seems somewhat bulky and unnecessary.

    But yeah. Super relaxed fantasy. An immoderate amount of chill is always good. Also yes to badges. And tea. And cakes. And a distinct lack of drama. All of it. All of it, forever.

  3. Just like any interest with a knowledgeable and devoted fanbase, it’s terribly easy to fall into a pattern of endless picking at and critiquing and it becomes easier to pick at the negative rather than loving the positive. A relaxing atmosphere where you can just love loving stuff sounds right up my alley. I’m in!

    And of course the drinking and badge collecting sounds good too 😀 Different badge designs might encourage trying other types of fantasy you don’t normally read, etc – so that you can “collect them all”.

  4. Yes! Badges and books are a fantastic combination! Also drinks–wait, that doesn’t start with a B. Badges, books, and imBibing?

    I need to stop before I get booted from the SRFC before the first meeting. :)

    • This is a really good question, and one we’ll need to talk about in a wider sense, I reckon.

      Personally, I would be tempted to stick to anything that falls under the fantasy banner; for me, that could mean, for example, a range from Urban Fantasy to Steampunk to Epic to New Weird.

      The big question really is whether or not Horror & SF are included…

      • Ah, excellent. I haven’t read any swords and sorcery in a while, but I have chalked up some urban fantasy, so I could do this.

        Haven’t read any horror or SF in ages though, so I am ambivalent toward that big question :)

  5. I have sources for badges, of both the pin badge and plastic card onna lanyard varieties… and I’m a web designer, so can advise on/help out with/MAYBE* build the web side of things.

    This sounds like a fun project, particularly with all of the cake and none of the drama.

    *depends entirely on my workload and finances, freebies can be dear on this side of the keyboard.

    • Any and all help would be massively appreciated! Particularly as I personally have no idea how you would go about building a website. :)

      Yesterday’s twitter conversation also involved a discussion on possibly putting together a themed anthology that could help finance things like badges, although again this is something that would need a lot of thinking about.

      • Well, off the top of my head the card type badges are £25-30 per 100, with up to 10 designs therein. Lanyards start from about 14p a piece, depending on design and supplier.

        1 inch pin badges I know for certain run at £15 for 50 in up to 5 designs, £20 for 100 and it scales from there.

        Pins are much more affordable per batch and are more discreet than cards, the trade-off is obviously smaller art space and the need to pierce cloth.

        While thinking of funding for badges, you’ll also need to consider the logistics cost. Little jiffy bags, note paper, labels, postage, all multiplied by however many bodies you think it will attract.

        For the webby side, I’m knocking together an outline as I get the odd minute to spare. I’m guessing at a lot of the functionality though. Easy tagging is a given, but would the content just be articles, or reviews as well? Would it need to support multiple site authors? A message board? There are other odds and sods to think about, too, like potential members-only content.

        Could probably knock most of that out in a DM session on Twitter, when you have a minute. Or swap emails on there, whatever works.

        • Oh cool, that at least gives me an idea of what we might need in order to sort badges out. Website wise I’m thinking articles rather than reviews, as such, and hopefully there would be multiple site authors, as with luck other people will be helping to run it! I kinda like the idea of a message board with a space for articles… I dunno, maybe we need to wait a bit and see how many people would be interested and then figure more stuff out from there.

          I’ll DM you my email address :)

    • As non-writer reader I’d PAY to have a badge. I already have a badger. (but we call him a good-ger cuz he hardly causes any trouble at all)

  6. If costing badges is a concern, how about virtual badges along the type you can download and have as a twitter/facebook or forum of choice avatar? I know someone would have to design them, but they’d be free to send out to peeps.

    Just a thought.

    Also the anthology idea sounds great, could maybe be done as an ebook (again keeping costs down, no printing ext). Although I’d love to contribute I’d be happy to help out with any of the reading etc?

    Sorry I think about these sort of things too much, comes from a history in administration.

  7. Badger badges and cake… who could say no to that? 😀 Definitely count me in!

    I second the idea of having different badges to collect, like being at brownies again. :-) A different badger for different kinds of fantasy. E-badges to start with sounds good too. We can stick them on our blog, or use them as Twitter avatars, etc. Ooh, for those of us on pinterest we could make a board to display our progress too! :-)

  8. This sounds mad and crazy. And I like badges. And badgers. And books. And tea. Really, it’s a winning combination. I’m in.

  9. Stuff like this? Is why you’re a genius. I’m in. I’m so in. Badges? Tea? Relaxed positivity? The ability to tell people how chuffing great fantasy books are? Hell yes.

  10. Okay, where do I sign up…? First order of business is to tell everybody how utterly fabbo Den Patrick’s War Fighting Manuals are — you want fun, Fun, FUN I say? These are designed to suspend you in a bubble of pure fantasy joy, and written in a style of guaranteed guffawishness-ey-type-stuff (look it up, it’s somewhere alongside the eleventh dimension of bonkers — it’ll all make sense one day, honest…)
    Give me badges, badgers or beavers, for I have long ago stopped being fussy in this temporal totality…

  11. We don’t need no stinking badges!

    Sorry, couldn’t resist, of course I like badges, where do I sign?

    Now I’ve probably not read as much high brow Fantasy as most of the peeps wanting in on this, will I be shunned for liking things like Druss the Legend?

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