Here's the one written for me:
Changing Isn't Easy
Fandom: Power Rangers Time Force
Written by: rivulet027
Characters: Nadira (Power Rangers), Lucas Kendall, Katie Walker
Rating: T / gen
Additional Tags: Redemption, Friendship
I like the character work here, and there's a good deal of thoughtful worldbuilding-by-implication lurking in the background. Nadira is among the most interesting antagonists in the whole Rangerverse, and this story does a very good job of thinking through the characterization we were given.
And here's what I wrote:
Red is the Color
Fandom: Power Rangers Time Force
Written by: Gray_Cardinal
Characters/Relationships: Wesley Collins, Jennifer (Jen) Scotts, Circuit; Wes/Jen
Rating: G • F/M
Additional Tags: Time Travel, Temporal Paradox
“I’ve been doing some thinking since you guys left," said Wes. "Also, I got Dr. Zaskin at Dad’s lab to run a couple of tests. But I knew what they were going to tell me before the results came back – and so should you, if you think about it.”
The underlying premise of this story occurred to me almost at once after the assignment landed, but I couldn't arm-wrestle the AU that would logically follow from that premise into a story compact enough to be writeable in the time frame I had to work with. So here it's purely a what-if, but one that still has a critical impact on our two lead Rangers.
- Posted from:reading in bed
- Current mood: accomplished
- Soundtrack:"Teddy Bears' Picnic"
Mary Russell, Sarah Jane Smith, and Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart are stranded at sea in a tiny lifeboat. Do they easily survive to be rescued, perish horribly at sea, or find themselves resorting to cannibalism by day five?
All three are much too civilized to resort to cannibalism and much too experienced at surviving difficult circumstances to be severely challenged by this one. Also, between Sherlock Holmes, the Doctor, and Sarah Jane’s own various allies, someone will show up to bail them out well before the end of day two.
Why is Sherlock Holmes trying to kill Dairine Callahan, and how likely is he to succeed?
The only way this even begins to be possible is for Holmes to have been really well brainwashed, and that just about has to mean that some incarnation of the Master is involved. Which is actually possible, given that it’s established in canon that the Doctor exists in the Young Wizards universe. Since that appearance involved Five, we can further extrapolate that it’s Anthony Ainley’s Master, who is probably trying to co-opt Dairine’s planet of silicon life forms for his own ends. However, like all of the Master’s plots, this one is doomed to failure – in this case because he really doesn’t quite get the degree to which wizardry is rather more than a weird scientific sub-discipline.
Peggy Carter has become a vampire! Does she angst about it endlessly, or wholeheartedly embrace her creature-of-the-night status?
Peggy only does serious angst if it involves Captain America, and since he obviously wasn’t the one who turned her, there will be no angst at this table. If Howard Stark or the SSR can’t find some way to turn her back (very possible, though not guaranteed), she’ll adapt with no great difficulty, though she may have to get very stern with a few people about how much blood they’re willing to donate to her cause. And eventually Stephen Strange will probably find a way to unvamp her, several generations down the line.
Richard Castle, Victoria “Victory Anna” Cogsworth, and Severus Snape are having a movie night. Who brings the snacks, who loses the remote control, and how hard do they fight over what to watch?
Castle brings the snacks (because he doesn’t trust Torrey’s culinary skills and because snack-bringing isn’t in Snape’s vocabulary). Torrey does not lose the remote, she merely borrows it, and somehow its parts end up scattered among two ray guns, a teleportation device, and a pair of rocket skates. There is actually very little fighting over the movie, Torrey will watch just about anything in the name of learning more about her present dimension, and Snape is there less for the movie than to try and figure out what diabolical scheme has prompted Castle to set up the event. Since Castle is screening the new Nebula-9 feature film (produced after the events of S5 episode “Final Frontier”), both his guests end up more confused than ever....
Vala and David Xanatos are stuck in a lift! Will they escape, meekly wait till the fire brigade gets there or kill each other?
Knowing Xanatos, he secretly caused the elevator to get stuck in order to plot an ingenious caper of some kind in which Vala will be a key player. Knowing Vala, the odds are dead even as to whether she’ll go along with the scheme whole-heartedly or play along just long enough to (at least attempt to) pull the rug out from under him at the last minute.
Mary Russell has been murdered. Cat Grant is the detective, Xanatos is her faithful sidekick and Victoria Cogsworth is the plodding police ally. Why is Rupert Giles a red herring, and who actually dunnit and why?
This one is so full of improbables that one hardly knows where to start. David Xanatos is so definitionally a mastermind (if not precisely an evil one) that he’s difficult to envision as a sidekick. Victory Anna? Absolutely Does Not “Plod”; she may not be quite the loose cannon she often appears, but she is a woman of action and intuition. And of course, despite the title of her latest adventure being The Murder of Mary Russell (how’s that for a scary coincidence) it’s difficult to contemplate one of the world’s premier sleuths (alongside her more famous husband) actually getting herself killed.
Which leads me to believe that the whole thing must be part of a party game set up by someone with really good superpowers in order to generate this particular guest list. On this list, that looks like Dairine, though it could also be Xanatos’ aide Owen Burnett in his alternate Puckish persona, or just possibly one of the most recent Doctors. That being the case, Giles is a red herring because that’s the game-card he drew, and in all probability the in-game mastermind will turn out to be (ta-da!) Sherlock Holmes himself, who will reveal in the climax that of course Mary Russell has not actually been murdered after all.
Will Riker and Severus Snape are going camping in the woods! Fun holiday or complete disaster?
On the one hand, Riker’s woodcraft skills are impeccable (and he’s known to be an avid fisherman). On the other, a situation in which Riker would invite Snape on a camping trip – and Snape would accept – is difficult to conceive, unless perhaps Snape needs to go out in search of potion components in the wild and someone in authority has insisted that he needs not to go by himself per the relevant wilderness-safety regulations. (Where and how he comes up with Riker as a campmate is left as an exercise for the student of improbable time travel.) My guess is that the trip would start out reasonably enough, but that by two or three days in, the two men would rapidly figure out that they’re catastrophically incompatible, mostly because Riker would be having fun and Snape is, if not constitutionally incapable of experiencing fun for its own sake, at best deeply uncomfortable with the concept.
- Posted from:almost out the door
- Current mood: amused
- Soundtrack:"Whistle While You Work"
#1 Mary Russell (“Holmes/Russell” novels, Laurie R. King)
#2 Vala Mal Doran (Stargate SG-1)
#3 Richard Castle (Castle)
#4 Will Riker (Star Trek: TNG)
#5 Cat Grant (Supergirl)
#6 Natasha “Black Widow” Romanov (MCU)
#7 Rupert Giles (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
#8 Sarah Jane Smith (Doctor Who)
#9 Sherlock Holmes (ACD canon*)
#10 Victoria Cogsworth aka “Victory Anna” (Velveteen vs. series, Seanan McGuire)
#11 Dairine Callahan (“Young Wizards” series, Diane Duane)
#12 Severus Snape (“Harry Potter” series, J. K. Rowling)
#13 David Xanatos (Gargoyles)
#14 Brigadier Alasdair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (Doctor Who)
#15 Peggy Carter (MCU)
( First set of answers:Collapse )
From malkingrey (via a prior unfinished round):
Richard Castle and Cat Grant go into business together. What do they sell/what service do they provide, and which # is their first customer?
Cat hires Rick to ghostwrite a series of Supergirl adventure novels (her third choice, after J. K. Rowling and Lois McMaster Bujold turned her down; she figures that the Nikki Heat series was a good warmup for the job). Rick makes a noble try at it, but after one too many arguments with Cat-the-editor he hands the job off to his daughter Alexis...who is both mightily amused and wildly successful, not least because Alexis manages to coax a blurb for the first one out of the Black Widow.
Vala Mal Doran, Dairine Callahan, and David Xanatos are all on the same train from New York to Chicago. Which one is actually a fugitive on the run (and why); which one is secretly tailing them; and which one is the unsuspecting third party who accidentally gets involved? And what happens when the train reaches Union Station?
In this trio, anyone could be the fugitive...but on this occasion, it happens to be Xanatos, who is trying to deal himself into the interstellar black market in high-tech weapons, Dairine having recently foiled a previous attempt in that direction. At present, he’s hoping he can finagle in Chicago what he’s been prevented from doing in Manhattan; Dairine, who saw this coming, has followed him onto the train (in magical disguise) so as to
How do Cat Grant and Victoria “Victory Anna” Cogsworth get along?
At a great distance from one another. The first time Torrey saw Cat on television, she drew a very large ray gun from a very small pocket and melted the TV. All parties have since agreed that it would be a Very Bad Idea for the two women to come closer than, say, 300 miles from one another.
Would Mary Russell and Dairine Callahan have an affair, fall in love, tolerate each other, or hate each other?
“Tolerate” is probably safest. For a variety of reasons, a romance between the two is unlikely in the extreme, and both are too dedicated to their respective pursuit of justice to be likely to hate one another. That said, prolonged contact between them would probably try both their patiences severely.
How would Natasha Romanov and Rupert Giles handle the zombie apocalypse?
With both Giles and the Black Widow on board, the situation would stop being apocalyptic in fairly short order.
If Vala were in Sherlock Holmes’ world, how would he or she fit?
The rivalry would be epic, and immensely entertaining – Vala as master thief, Holmes as master sleuth. (Somebody please write this series....)
If Richard Castle and Rupert Giles were to play a game together, what would they play?
Castle would almost certainly try to talk Giles into laser tag. Giles would propose chess. Castle counters with “live chess” using actual people for playing pieces. Giles offers Scrabble played in Latin. They end up in an all-night poker session in which both of them get their clocks cleaned by everyone else in the game.
Out of Victory Anna and Severus Snape, who would save whom?
Heh. Victory Anna would save Snape, mostly because Torrey would be wildly unlikely to get herself into a situation precarious enough to require Snape-level intervention. Snape, being Snape, would be tremendously annoyed at having been rescued when he obviously could have saved himself (and also because he’d find Victory Anna’s brand of surreal steampunk science totally baffling).
What would Vala make Will Riker for supper?
Vala and Will wouldn’t get to supper. That date would progress right past supper to nightcap-and-subsequent-breakfast-in-bed without dinner bothering to intervene.
Snape and Cat Grant are in a fight. Who wins?
On one hand, this is an Irresistible Force/Immovable Object conflict. On the other, Snape has a magic wand and knows how to use it. Round to Snape.
If Vala were setting Castle up on a blind date, which of the others would she set him up with?
Interesting question, mostly because Vala herself is probably the most likely match. If she’s indulging her mischievous side, probably Natasha Romanov. If she’s thinking in practical terms, very likely Sarah Jane Smith. (Not even Vala would match Castle with Cat Grant in a romantic context; with that pair on a date, there’d very possibly be murder by morning.)
What would be the perfect date for Mary Russell and Peggy Carter?
Afternoon high tea in any of London, San Francisco, or Victoria BC, preferably with a sedate and genteel side of intrigue. They could talk shop and trade stories for hours on end (and plot ways to have Peggy replace the Russell-verse version of Mycroft).
- Posted from:a thinking space
- Current mood: amused
- Soundtrack:crickets at night
OTOH, I just had one of these pop up on the LJ side of this journal (and followed it over to another iteration), and have been reminded of how much I like playing the Wacky Crossover Theater game. So why not?
I've made a list of fifteen (15) characters from a variety of fandoms. Your job is to ask questions about various combinations of these characters (examples: What secret past do #8 and #14 share? What if #2, #6, and #9 went on a road trip? If #5 and #10 were having dinner, who invited who?), which I'll do my best to answer.
Once we've accumulated sufficient questions, I'll compile the results and make a new post incorporating all the Qs and As -- this way, the Dreamwidth and LiveJournal readerships both get to see all the collective wackiness.
Different practitioners of this meme make different sorts of lists. My approach tends to involve recruiting from as many different sources as I can possibly manage (in this instance, 12.5 unique fandoms are represented -- we'll talk about the .5 later). Thus, queries are extremely likely to produce Improbable Crossover Theater for various -- and sometimes really weird -- values of "improbable". Management will do its best to respond to all queries posed, but reserves the right to designate some results Just Too Bizarre To Contemplate.
- Posted from:heading to work shortly
- Current mood: hopeful
- Soundtrack:"This Could Be The Start of Something Big"
Anyhow. Per the usual form of these things, here's a cut, because this is going to be even longer than usual.
( And here we go....Collapse )
- Posted from:the edge of my seat
- Current mood: artistic
- Soundtrack:the Muppet Show theme
Written for: meredydd
Characters/Pairings: Mycroft Holmes, John Watson
I shook my head slightly, levered myself to my feet – and, for the first and only time since the founding of the Diogenes, broke the club’s most cardinal rule. “Come,” I said to Dr. Watson, “and we shall discuss the matter.”
Note: The following narrative appears to be taken from the private papers of Mycroft Holmes, but its true provenance is likely to be the subject of considerable debate among Holmesian scholars.
- Posted from:still the Diogenes
- Current mood: accomplished
- Soundtrack:none (see above location)
Art in the Blood
Characters/Pairings: Gen; Mycroft Holmes, John Watson, Sherlock Holmes
Fandom: Murder By Decree (1979 film)
Warnings: Major spoilers for the movie (the fic gives away the film’s ending)
Length: ~4,700 words
After the events of Murder By Decree, Mycroft Holmes leaves the British government and tries to decide what to do with the rest of his life.
- Posted from:the Diogenes Club
- Current mood: pleased
- Soundtrack:haunting strains of violin
First, and always most important: thank you -- for taking the plunge into a new fic exchange, for offering to write at least one fandom that's in both our wheelhouses, and for the care and effort that I know always goes into these challenge/exchange stories. I never cease to be delighted at the superb quality of the stories I receive, and I appreciate the thought that goes into producing a story arising out of my often-rambling prompt-letters.
So: first, you want to know what I like.
Pluses for me include strong characterization, well-written dialogue, wit/banter/snark, clever use of canon, well-developed AUs, UST (heavy on both the U and the T), and more. I'm neutral when it comes to matters of gen, slash, and the like -- if the pairing is well-developed, I'll read with an open mind. I'm not into noncon, incest, or adult/child kinks, but have few other outright squicks as long as the relationship is age- and canon-appropriate; OTOH, I mostly don't read fanfic for sexual content (though in a couple of these fandoms, I do enjoy romance plots; see the specific prompts for details).
I will note in particular that I am a sucker for the clever and well-executed crossover -- not because I expect one (Optional Details Being Optional, and such things being well beyond the call of either duty or necessity), but because in more than one of these cases, the potential amusement and/or entertainment value would be particularly high if your writerly imagination should happen to wander in that direction.
Fandom-specific notes below the cut:
( Read more...Collapse )
- Posted from:TV, TV on the wall....
- Current mood: optimistic
- Soundtrack:assorted Seanan McGuire songs
I've been mostly pretty forgiving of the writing choices on Castle for the last couple of seasons, and have kept watching despite the current showrunners' insistence on pursuing plotlines that highlight the weakest aspects of the series' writing. But this just boggles the mind; from day one, Castle has been built around the character partnership of Rick Castle and Kate Beckett, and I really don't see how the series can be realistically continued without both characters on board. One can only hope that ABC will put the fans out of their misery and choose not to renew the show.
For my own part, though, I actually don't think the mythology kerfuffles are as much of a disaster as the huge disservice the writing has done to both Alexis and Martha in the past couple of seasons. Martha has entirely lost her engaging con-artist's edge, and Alexis' original maturity and independence has been wholly forgotten in favor of turning her into "Alexis Castle, PI" (a role that exploits none of the academic, artistic, or personal interests she was shown to have while in high school and college). Indeed, the two characters have pretty much stepped into each other's original narrative functions -- Martha is now the mature, wise mentor, while Alexis is Castle's wish-fulfillment enabler and comic sidekick. It's pure good fortune that Susan Sullivan and Molly Quinn are sufficiently capable performers to sell their new roles, but it's a particular shame that we've not seen the truly brilliant young woman that Alexis should have become.
Ah, well. I foresee a hell of a lot of fixit fic emerging over the summer. And if anyone is still actually writing canon-compliant fic at this point, I rather suspect most of it will go AU after this season's finale.
- Posted from:lost in thought
- Current mood: surprised
Facing the Music (podfic) -- podfic by blackglass (aka xdiorix) story by Gray Cardinal
"No, worlds music, with an S."
This was originally a crossover-intensive Buffyverse drabble-sequence written for tthdrabbles; the podfic adds the actual songs referenced in the chapter-titles and thereby creates a really nifty short radio adventure in a way that I totally failed to anticipate when I wrote the initial work. I am utterly delighted and charmed.
So thanks to jedibuttercup all over again for hosting the
tthdrabbles comm, and to blackglass for a fantastic translation-to-audio of a story I had a lot of fun writing.
- Posted from:over the moon
- Current mood: bouncy
- Soundtrack:see above
However, I find myself a trifle confuzzled, and I know I have a fellow theater geek or two in the gallery. So here goes:
By more or less random happenstance, this past Thursday evening found me at a local high school musical -- specifically, a production of Legally Blonde. It was an enjoyable evening -- packed house (for opening night, no less), lots of enthusiasm, and pretty good production values. I need to note here that I am spoiled when it comes to both high school and college theater, having had the unusual good fortune to land in schools which had -- at the time -- both academically excellent drama departments and seriously talented student performers.
The result: I have to work a bit to avoid being hyper-critical of what I'm watching when I see a student production these days (this being the first in much, much too long). Some issues are easy for me to set aside; there were a significant number of glitches with miking and sound tech all through the performance, but I have a feeling a good bit of that may have been hardware-related and thus not really anyone's fault as such. And I can't expect the casts I watch to have the same astonishing polish and presence of certain of my classmates of old (some of whom now list Broadway credits on their resumes). On one hand, I don't know that I saw any incipient Broadway stars onstage this time out -- but the young lady playing Elle Wood and the young man playing Mike-the-UPS-Guy were both particularly good, and all the performances were entirely respectable. In point of fact, I think the student performers were uniformly better than the material they were given. Speaking as one who hasn't seen the Reese Witherspoon films or read the original book, I found the music lively but not memorable (not even up to, say, the Galavant standard) and the script lacking both in focus and consistency.
And then there was the exercise-video number.
Perhaps it's just me (speaking now as a middle-aged bachelor), but if I were a high school drama teacher, I am not sure I would costume six or eight of my most well-endowed female students in sports bras and sweatpants, give them jump ropes, and arrange them in the front rows of a troupe performing directly facing the audience. The bouncing effect was, inevitable, enthusiastically vigorous, and struck me as entirely gratuitous in the Not-In-A-Good-Way sense. And have I mentioned that this was happening at a Catholic high school?
Understand, I emphatically do not object to high school theater programs tackling mature subject matter, or even musicals with mature content (I have see three or four different high school productions of Pippin over the years, some pretty much unedited and some significantly massaged, all very good). But Legally Blonde? Just doesn't strike me as a strong enough show to merit wading into that briar patch in the first place.
Now if I could just nudge one of the local high schools into reviving Finian's Rainbow....
- Posted from:next to Statler and Waldorf
- Soundtrack:"How Are Things In Glocca Morra?"
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle)
Written for: mundungus42
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, Mycroft Holmes
Type/Rating: G • gen
Additional Tags: Australian Aboriginal Mythology, Case Fic, Minor Original Characters, Stealth Crossover
The case of the vanishing boomerang appeared at first to be a trivial matter. But it revealed an aspect of Sherlock Holmes’ past that shed new light on his character – and only many years later did its true impact begin to come to light.
- Posted from:is it Christmas yet?
- Current mood: accomplished
- Soundtrack:"Frosty the Snowman" (Jimmy Durante)
to cradle the world in his hands
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century
Written by: language_escapes
Characters: Tennyson, Wiggins, Deidre, Sherlock Holmes
Type/Rating: G • gen
Additional Tags: Ableism, British Sign Language, Canon Disabled Character, Character Study, Disability, Languages, Origin Story
He does not feel limited. A Tennyson origin story.
This story, like its protagonist, is enormously intelligent and immensely likeable, even as it tackles a complicated and prickly set of issues with deft and sensitive wisdom -- and reveals that even Sherlock Holmes is occasionally challenged. Clearly I've won the story lottery this holiday season....
- Posted from:over the moon
- Current mood: pleased
- Soundtrack:the carols are still playing
First up is the Yuletide story written for me:
This Soft World
Fandom: Tomorrowland (2015)
Written by: ???
Characters: Athena, Frank Walker, David Nix
Relationships: Athena & Frank Walker, Athena & David Nix
Rating: T / gen
Additional Tags: Friendship, Loyalty, Androids, Developing Autonomy
Words: ~22,000 (!)
Athena has always been clear about her purpose in life and no amount of reprogramming will change that. It's what Frank likes most about her.
I am pretty much gobsmacked. This is brilliantly-worked-out AI spec-fic, beautifully executed relationship fic, and a deep and intricate extrapolation of both movie canon and material from the prequel novel Before Tomorrowland (though you do not have to read the latter book to appreciate what's here). I count Tomorrowland as the most underappreciated movie of the past year, and I think my mystery author must agree with me; this story is flat-out amazing.
- Posted from:out looking for one of those pins
- Current mood: ecstatic
- Soundtrack:Christmas carols on the stereo in the living room
Note: A good deal of this text has been ported straight from last year’s letter, including two out of the current six requests. Things have been kind of hectic around here in recent weeks – and also, I find I actually rather like last year’s introductory paragraph.
Greetings, O YuleScrivener, and welcome! And also, thank you! Where Yuletide is concerned, I am nothing if not a Requester Of The Seriously Obscure. Thus I am always amazed when the technomancy of the matching process succeeds in finding a writer who shares my appreciation for said obscurity, and delighted on Christmas morning when a wonderful and wondrous story from that writer's (metaphorical) pen lands in my AO3 gift-folder. We may just be setting out on this year's journey, but I know there's a happy ending to come, and I am grateful for it already. Your work is (and will be) appreciated and valued, and I look forward to seeing its fruits.
These letters aren't getting any shorter, so while I've got detailed material farther down, I think it's only fair to give you the list of fandom requests up front. So, those would be:
Birds of Prey (TV) (Alfred, Barbara, Helena)
Forgotten Realms: Songs & Swords – Elaine Cunningham (Arilyn, Danilo, Khelben)
Jacqueline Kirby - Elizabeth Peters (Jacqueline Kirby)
Young Wizards - Diane Duane (Carmela, Dairine)
- Posted from:typing fingers at the ready
- Soundtrack:"Redneck Ninjas" (Tom Smith)