Not Prime Time 2014: the Reveal

What I wrote for Not Prime Time this year:

The Virtue of Redundancy
Doctor Who (1963)
(Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan, Turlough, the Master (Ainley))
G • No Archive Warnings Apply
~ 4000 words

For [personal profile] sirvalkyrie (aka [ profile] VampirePaladin).

The Master smiled silkily. “That’s the virtue of redundancy, my dear. Even if you had, the watch and the Kalisutra parasites would have been enough to carry the day."

In which there are watches, cheese, chocolate, and a twist or two.

And what I received:

Rebuilding, by kalisgirl / [ profile] kalisgirl
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
(Phil Coulson, Melinda May, Pepper Potts, Maria Hill, Grant Ward)
G • No Archive Warnings Apply
~ 3000 words

Four Times Melinda Didn't Mean to Hurt Phil Coulson (and One Time She Sort of Did)

A delightful backward/forward look at the Coulson/May character bond. Just what I hoped for, and a pleasure to have had written for me.

Dear Scribbler: Fic Corner 2014

deep breath]

Whoof.  All right, out from under prior deadline, caught up on sleep, several weeks out from next deadline.  Time to actually write a Dear Writer letter...

First, and always most important: thank you. This exchange, more than most, is about fandoms long-loved and of long standing, and I really appreciate the chance to see a story in whichever of them the two of us happen to share.  I know one of my favorite parts of this process is the chance to make someone's day with a new story in a really rare fandom, and I suspect I'm not alone in this. So thank you (as Linus Van Pelt said once) from the bottom of my socks, because the bottom of my heart isn't deep enough.

Now, then: first, you want to know what I like. 

And here's a cut, because this will run longish....Collapse )

Fic Corner 2014: Letter to come

If you've clicked over looking for a Dear Scribbler letter for this year's Fic Corner exchange: keep an eye on this space and check back. I'm working on it, but am about to be offline for most of the day.  (While you're here, my "dear Santa" tag has letters from various prior exchanges from last year's FC all the way back through several years of Yuletides, and there is a degree of overlap in some of the requests....)

Admin: A bit of tidying

A small administrative note: I have done a touch of housekeeping to my DreamWidth circle settings -- mostly a matter of cleaning out duplicated or dormant cross-traffic with LiveJournal.  As far as I can tell, this shouldn't negatively affect anyone who's actually reading on the DreamWidth side (if anything, the opposite should be the case), but if I have mis-guessed, please send a message to let me know, and I will put you back on the "nice" list. :-)

Dear Crosser-Over(er?): Crossovering 2014


Okay, this one is complicated.  Which means I will be even more than usually grateful and impressed with whatever crossover you happen to devise in fulfillment of this exchange.  The more I think about the logistics of this one, the more my mind boggles, and I am a serious crossover geek.  Thank you very much for volunteering for this madness, and specifically for your willingness to indulge my particular cross-fannish sensibilities.

Anyhow.  Per the usual form of these things, here's a cut, because this is going to be even longer than usual.Read more...Collapse )

Meme: Who is your...?

Lifted (and slightly modified) from [personal profile] eleanorjane, because I'm feeling opinionated this morning:

Who is your Doctor?
Five, aka Peter Davison.  I came into Who fandom during Tom Baker's tenure (and the era in which US public television stations were airing the series), but I didn't fully bond with the series till Davison took over.  I think for me, it's the balance between the Whoniverse's innate weirdness and Five's relative calm in the face of it all that really makes his tenure memorable for me.  [In this respect, I really wish Eight had gotten a proper series of his own, and I suspect I would be very fond of a lot of the audio material in which he features.]

Who is your Doctor's companion?
Nyssa of Traken.  Yes, this is partly because I was young enough at the time to have a crush, but I also liked her for being one of the Doctor's most sensible and well-rounded Companions.  In strong second place: Anthony Ainley's Master, who -- while not a proper Companion -- remains one of my very favorite Whovian characters and one of my all-time favorite archvillains.

Who is your Batman?
Easily Kevin Conroy of Batman: The Animated Series -- although I will always have a lingering soft spot for Adam West, who was my first screen Batman (I am also old enough to have grown up with first-generation reruns of the Adam West series on weekday afternoon television).

Who is your Catwoman?
Julie Newmar, from the Adam West Bat-series.  This is not entirely consistent of me, but I tend to think that B:TAS pushed just a little too hard on the Batman/Catwoman chemistry, and none of the other live-action iterations of the character have struck me as anything approaching definitive.

Who is your Sherlock Holmes?
This is hard -- and it's none of the obvious ones.  I am...allergic to Jeremy Brett's version, I'm invested too much in the Doyle canon to quite bond with Rathbone, and none of the major modern iterations -- Downey Jr., Cumberbatch, Miller -- feel quite right either.  For visual media, let me give you three relatively obscure picks: Christopher Plummer, in Murder by Decree, Michael Pennington, in The Return of Sherlock Holmes (a made-for-TV film from 1987 that put Holmes in the modern day), and Jason Gray-Stanford (from the animated series Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century).  And here are three from the world of post-Doyle literary pastiche: Holmes from Richard Boyer's The Giant Rat of Sumatra (my favorite, by a wide margin, of anyone's take on that "untold" tale), Holmes from Laurie R. King's "Mary Russell" series, and Holmes from Larry Millett's series of Minnesota-centric yarns beginning with Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon.  And one sideways entry: here's a recommendation for August Derleth's classic Solar Pons series, which is almost-but-not-quite Holmes in a totally charming way.

[ADDITION] Who is your Moriarty?
This one, by contrast, is easy: it's the Professor Moriarty from Michael Kurland's eccentric but utterly ingenious series beginning with The Infernal Device.  If you have not read these, you should, though be prepared to make a sharp sideways turn from strict canonical interpretations.  Above all else, Kurland is having fun with these stories even as he remains reasonably faithful to the essence of the original material.

Who is your James Bond?
For good or ill, I am a child of the Roger Moore Bond era; I saw Moore first and most often, and imprinted strongly on the template established during Moore's tenure -- which is to say, I greatly prefer Suave Yet Dangerous Bond to Gritty Angsty Thug Bond.  As a result, my second favorite Bond is Pierce Brosnan, though I do like and respect Sean Connery in the part. By contrast, I really disliked Timothy Dalton's turn in the role, and -- though I know I should -- I have resisted seeing the Daniel Craig Bond films.

Who is your captain of the Enterprise?
This is a tie.  I grew up on Captain Kirk, again in weekday afternoon reruns, and imprinted very strongly on the Trek franchise as a result.  But I watched TNG beginning-to-end with increasing fascination, and TNG holds up way, way better than TOS to sustained rewatching.  So I am a Kirk groupie and a Picard groupie in more or less equal measure.

Who is your fictional female assassin?
Insufficient data. I haven't absorbed a large enough sample to have a definitive answer to this one, but I retain the category so that anyone who picks this up from me will have the chance to weigh in.

Who is your fictional female Federal government agent?
Two answers here.  For strict values of "Federal", my vote goes to Agent Jordan Shaw, played by Dana Delany on the Castle episodes "Tick Tick Tick" and "Boom".  (I really, really wish that had turned into a recurring gig, but Delany landed Body of Evidence shortly after doing these guest shots.) 

However, if we recast the question slightly, we dodge the implied US/American limitation on the question, and that lets me pick the inimitable Emma Peel, as played by the equally inimitable Diana Rigg.  For whom there really is no equal....

I may be certifiable....

Let's see.  I'm currently playing in Not Prime Time.  I've turned in nominations for this year's [ profile] fic_corner.  And I've also just nominated a cluster of fandoms for a new exchange called [community profile] crossovering (gee, whatever could that be focused on?).

This could be a really busy summer....


Over at one of the regulars is currently posting on the old Mushroom Planet series by Eleanor Cameron...

...and my mind went to the same place as one of the comments did, with respect to the character of "Mr. Peabody" in Stowaway to the Mushroom Planet.

I am not, repeat not, going to write that crossover.  But I would be very highly amused and entertained if someone else did.

Meanwhile, back at the Castle


WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD for the Castle season finale.

In a word....oy.

Not surprisingly, such reaction as I've seen so far to the Castle season finale has been mostly...less than pleased.  Clearly, we wanted to see the wedding actually completed onscreen, even if it Jossed the hundreds of fanfic versions thereof we've written over the past several years.  (No, I haven't gotten mine done yet, though I swear I intend to finish that particular piece one of these days.) 

Me? On one hand, I have to agree with a lot of the analysis.  The whole business of an actual legal Vegas marriage?  I can believe in teen wild-child Kate going off to Vegas with scruffy rogue Rogan. That's entirely plausible. But a legally valid marriage that the feds somehow failed to turn up when they background-checked Kate for her new DC job back at the start of the season?  That just doesn't scan.  The writers should definitely have finessed that plot point in the opposite direction, with the problem being a snafu in the New York court records (probably instigated by Rogan one way or another). 

Nor am I happy about the cliffhanger ending -- though not, mostly, for the same reasons I'm seeing in most of the backsplash so far.  Evidently (based on an interview with showrunner Andrew Marlowe) the Castle snatch is a setup for a new "mythology" arc -- and that's not a good sign at all, because the one thing the show's writing team has consistently done badly since day one is to manage their mythology arcs.

Ah, well, this is why we have fixit fic.

Rare Women 2014: Given & Received

What I got for Rare Women 2014:

Destiny, by raktajinos
Ancient Egyptian RPF
G • gen • ~1500 words
Ankhesenamun, Nefertiti

Ankhesenamun reflects on the lessons her mother taught her about being Queen.

This was the longest of all possible long-shot matches, but the resulting vignette is a fascinating, intriguing look at one of the most elusive young women in the Egyptian archaeological record. Most of what we know about Ankhesenamun -- the young sister/wife of Tutankhamen -- comes from the latter part of her life; here, we get a speculative yet wholly captivating look at that life's beginning.  I am very happy indeed to have had this written for me.

And what I wrote:

Something in Common for prettysophist
G • gen • ~3100 words
Alexis Castle, Mandy Sutton

"Six hundred numbers in this phone, and guess how many of those I could call for help with this stuff." Before Alexis could answer, Mandy Sutton made a game-show buzzer noise. "That would be one."

I matched on Castle for the second time in a row; having done a Martha story last year, I put the focus this year on Alexis and followed up the threads from the 6th-season episode "Limelight", featuring pop star Mandy Sutton (a character presented as sort of a Miley Cyrus/Lindsay Lohan fusion).  

Not Prime Time 2014: Dear Author

To my prospective writer (and anyone else who's happened by via the usual letter-collecting channels), greetings and welcome! This is my first official NPT, but I have been actively playing the fic-exchange field for long enough that I have five stories in the queue for the upcoming Yuletide merge. I am infinitely pleased that you'll be writing a story for me, and when Christmas morning the reveal arrives, I shall rip off the wrapping paper with joyous abandon, open my gift fic, hug it and squeeze it and name it George and peruse it with delighted anticipation, because it WILL be wonderful purely by the fact of its existence.

No, I'm not really as peculiar as the foregoing may make me sound, but there are only so many ways to start these letters. So no, I will not actually name your fic George, but I will be delighted by the fact of its very existence. I promise. So, what you should know going in:

My tastes in fic are wide and eclectic -- I read and enjoy gen, het, and slash (both flavors) at all ratings and have very few outright squicks aside from noncon, incest, and adult-child kink, but I am not typically attracted to stories for erotic content or angst quotient. Rather, I like good characterization, authentic-sounding dialogue, effectively sneaky plotting, and well-developed wit. I am equally intrigued by clever use of canon and thoughtfully developed AUs, and I am disturbingly fond of crossovers and well-woven meta threads. As a rule, I tend to prefer canon-consistent romantic pairings (any exceptions will be noted further along), with the added note that in my book, well-sustained UST (heavy on the T) is often as good as or better than actual sex. It's definitely true that my own writing also reflects the kinds of things I like to read; my AO3 archive is here, and you're welcome to prowl.

The specific requests:

Agents of SHIELD • Phil Coulson, Melinda May
Read more...Collapse )

Castle • Richard Castle, Alexis Castle, Martha Rodgers
Read more...Collapse )

Kim Possible • Any
Read more...Collapse )

Young Wizards • Dairine Callahan
Read more...Collapse )

And now I've gone on way long enough. (I think. If you are somehow still confuzzled, contact the mods per the usual protocol and I'll be happy to amplify or address any specific queries.)

Dear Author: Rare Women 2014

Greetings and welcome!  This was something of a spur-of-the-moment signup (I was distracted during the nomination window), but no less sincere for all that, and I'm both glad to be aboard and very much looking forward to whatever you choose to write.  Whether matched by assignment or prospecting for treat-writing opportunities, those of you writing on my behalf have my sincerest thanks and appreciation for your efforts.

First, the general notes:

My tastes in fic are wide and eclectic -- I read and enjoy gen, het, and slash (both flavors) at all ratings and have very few outright squicks aside from noncon, incest, and adult-child kink, but I am not typically attracted to stories for erotic content or angst quotient.  Rather, I like good characterization, authentic-sounding dialogue, effectively sneaky plotting, and well-developed wit.  I am equally intrigued by clever use of canon and thoughtfully developed AUs, and I am disturbingly fond of crossovers and well-woven meta threads.  As a rule, I tend to prefer canon-consistent romantic pairings (any exceptions will be noted further along), with the added note that in my book, well-sustained UST (heavy on the T) is often as good as or better than actual sex.  It's definitely true that my own writing also reflects the kinds of things I like to read; my AO3 archive is here, and you're welcome to prowl.

Now, then, to the requests:Read more...Collapse )</p>

Time for a makeover

[blowing dust off furniture]

I've been doing a bit of real-world housecleaning lately (long story involving a water heater older than several of my favorite fandoms), and it seemed like a good moment to do a bit of similar refurbishing of the virtual salon.

That being done, I've also a few other bits of catching up to do; look for a handful of updates over the next week or so.

Yuletide: What I Wrote


My Yuletide match this year was on a particularly esoteric micro-fandom -- and in mystery, rather than SF/fantasy.  This is the story I wrote:

A Matter of Delicacy
Judge Dee mysteries - Robert van Gulik
G •  gen • ~3000 words
Dee Jen-djieh | Di Renjie, Miss Violet Liang, Tao Gan, First Lady, Second Lady, Third Lady, Original Characters

When a memorable figure from Judge Dee's past turns up on the doorstep of the Metropolitan Court, the Lord Chief Justice is confronted with a puzzle whose unraveling may call for a particularly subtle approach -- and whose solution may pose its own challenges for the judge's visitor.

The Judge Dee series takes place in seventh-century China; Robert van Gulik wrote a total of sixteen novels and one set of short stories that are a rather odd mix of historical fact and fiction.  There was a genuine historical "Judge Dee", on whom van Gulik's character is based, and there's a lot of legitimate period detail in the books.  But while the individual mystery scenarios are almost all taken from authentic Chinese sources, van Gulik creates a wholly fictional career for Judge Dee, and the novels' storylines have no basis in specific events.  Also, van Gulik incorporates a degree of deliberate anachronism into the texts, describing cultural elements from the much later Ming dynasty as opposed to those prevalent in seventh-century Tang China.

Yet anachronisms notwithstanding, the series -- originally published in the 1960s and '70s, but still in print today (!) -- makes for fascinating reading.  Van Gulik was a native Dutchman who served as his country's ambassador to China, and published a fair bit of (somewhat esoteric) scholarly writing on Chinese culture in addition to his fiction, but it's the Judge Dee stories for which he remains best known.

My own story, at its recipient's suggestion, picks up on the status of a character featured in one of the series' middle books -- a female wrestler and martial-arts tutor from Mongolia -- and looks in on that character again about a decade later.  In the course of developing the story, I reread the whole canon (some volumes more than once), and consulted a variety of printed and online reference material -- establishing, in the process, that most of what I knew about Chinese history I'd originally learned from reading the Judge Dee books.  (Heh.)

Not surprisingly, the story has picked up a fairly small number of hits and garnered little to no notice in the wider Yuletide gossip mill.  Which is just fine; that's why it's called a micro-fandom.  (I write in a lot of these....)  The important bit is that my recipient is happy -- which she is, judging by the comment in response -- and thus I am well satisfied.

Yuletide: Recs

And now a quick run-through of recs from my early reading, in a variety of fandoms and culling from both the main collection and the Madness archive.

Fandoms are: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Austin & Murry-O'Keefe Family (L'Engle), Batman Beyond, Calvin & Hobbes, Justice League/JLU, Mageworlds (Doyle & Macdonald), The Muppet Show, The Scarlet Pimpernel (Orczy), The Sherwood Ring (Pope), Star Trek: Rihannsu (Duane), Young Wizards (Duane), Zorro (TV 1990).

Recs themselves are under the cut, for length:Collapse )


This is a fanfic journal. I'm interested in a wide variety of fandoms as well as in meta- and theoretical discussions; see my interests list for specific fandom categories. Comments, critiques, recs, reviews, and the like are always welcome.


July 2014


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