A funny thing happened on the way to the online forum

Science fiction and fantasy fans tend to be labeled as anti-social geeks, but that stereotype's unfair on so many levels. The truth is the SF/F-loving world embraces as much social interaction as any aspect of humanity, and one way both readers and writers of SF/F interact is through the large number of specialized online forums. There's a long tradition of this: anyone remember the old GEnie network, which ran for a decade plus in the 1980s and 90s? Many SF/F writers used GEnie as their online community. And before anyone takes this love of online forums as an excuse to yell "geek," know that this is yet another case where SF/F stood at the leading edge of a trend. After all, it's not a big step from online forums to social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace.

But what happens when your favorite forum shuts down? Lovers of the Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine forum found out when a spam virus took down their favorite haunt. The result: the community temporarily jumped to the Fantasy and Science Fiction forum at Night Shade Books (in particular, this thread). One participant, Clint Harris, even compared the Asimov's forum to a once-beloved bar. So I guess in the end, the Asimov's forum community has behaved as all communities do when their existence is threatened--it adapted and found a new way to live.