melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2010-11-19 10:44 pm

Yuletide Letter

Hi yuletide writer person! And whoever else is nosing around!

I am not a scary person to write for. Seriously. Write me a story in one of the fandoms I asked for, and write it with love, or at least sympathy, for the characters and the fandom and the art of story, and I will be over the moon regardless.

I know a lot of people mention things they don't want, in their letters, but the only things I consistently don't want are things nobody does on purpose anyway, so I don't see much point in mentioning them. But if you are worried that you might write something I don't want accidentally - in my opinion, yuletide is about having fun, and about stretching yourself by writing in new fandoms: I don't expect my present to be a 10,000 word epic that involves all my kinks, fixes everything wrong with the fandom, ends injustice in the world, cures HIV and brings world peace. I mean, I would not be upset if you did manage that, but in general, if you feel uncomfortable writing something in one of my prompts, or worried that you're screwing it up? Don't worry about it. Write me something that makes you happy and it will make me happy too.

Also, you can cheat: earlier this year, I posted a list of 101 of my bulletproof narrative kinks. If you include at least one of those in your story, use proper dialogue punctuation, and double-space between paragraphs, then seriously, you can do no wrong.

Some general notes: I love crossovers, and I don't care if I know all the fandoms. If you get struck with a crossover idea, please, write it! (If you don't that is also okay.) And if you get stuck on the matched fandom, please look at the other fandoms I requested, you never know, you might fall in love - and I won't mind if you don't know all the details of canon. My DW is almost entirely unlocked, and feel free to rummage around among the tags and old posts if you feel like stalking me more.

Also, if for some reason you need to know more, [personal profile] stellar_dust is my sister, she groks yuletide, and I am hereby volunteering her as a go-between, explainer of things, and general dogsbody for you. :D

On the other hand, if you don't feel like stalking me more - if this letter is already too long for you (it is, objectively, already too long!) - feel free to ignore it. Everything you actually need to know is in the official request. And if you're somebody I already know - as I suspect you might be, for several of these fandoms - good luck, and cheers. :D

Under the cuts I am reposting my requests, adding short intros and resources on the fandoms I requested, and then going into more detail on ideas for stories (which is one thing I am never short of.) I am going to natter on at length, because OMG, a chance to natter on about my small fandoms and maybe even have an audience!

Compendium of World Knowledge - John Hodgman
http://melannen.dreamwidth.org/tag/fandom:hodgman

I would mostly just love any fic set in this world - it's a whole book of AU story prompts! If you're stuck, open one of the books to a random page, and write a story expanding on something on that page. I'd also love to see crossovers here - with pre-existing characters interacting with this world (and I don't even care if I know the other fandom or not) - or something that gives a non-US-centric view of this world.

John Hodgman, who you may know as the Daily Show's resident expert, or as PC from the ads, recently published two books - "The Areas of My Expertise" and "More Information Than You Require", with a third in the trilogy coming out eventually.

It is hard to explain what sort of books they are. They make up an almanac of COMPLETE WORLD KNOWLEDGE that will replace all other books on your shelves (by secretly overwriting their text with their own.) They outline an absurdly possible alternate reality built on paranoia, Americana, and Forteana. They are what American steampunk would be if steampunk was more interested in history than in gears. They are an intricate structure of a reality that might very well be real. They are fake history the way the Colbert Report is fake news. They are the result of giving a very clever, very geeky man a book contract that pays by the word. They will overwrite, if not your books, at least bits of your own reality, as they mix real things and things that previously existed only in Hodgman's febrile imagination into an indistinguishable maelstrom. They are a gloriously funny ouvre of American nonsense literature such as has not been seen for many decades.

Unfortunately, there is very little in the way of online resources available if you want to learn more about them. Except about the Hobo Wars. There is quite a bit online about the Hobo War. You can watch Hobo Matters, the only episode of The American Experience that was ever banned from re-broadcast, which outlines the history of the Hobo War and the great, terrible sacrifice that FDR made in his secret underground lab to finally defeat them. There is the 700 Hoboes Project, which presents portraits of all 700 hobos named in the book, and John Hodgman's solemn reading of all 700 names, accompanied by Jonathan Coulton improvising on guitar, and you can poke around both books on Google Books.

...if you can't get the books, and would just like to write me something about the American Experience episode, that would be fine too. (Actually, to my shame, I haven't read More Information yet myself - I don't mind if you write based on that! But I won't notice if you don't.)

Beyond that, my original request really covered it. I know I usually go into long lists of possible stories, but really, these books are themselves a long list of possible stories, and I want them all. Do the random page thing. Do me a fusion crossover where your favorite characters are fitted into this world (a story where Pundits & fake news people are fusioned into this universe would be *awesome*. Especially if you can work in Mad Dog Maddow, the Hobo Queen; or Stephen Colbert's epic quest to find Hohoq and his missing son Stephen Junior.) Any other crossover woud be great, too - did somebody somehow change time and make this universe real and have to change it back? Did somebody get transported here and get very lost? You could do those with OCs, too, for that matter.

Do me an outsider POV on the writer of the almanacs. Do me an additional bit written in the same style. Do me a piece of history or almanac from the England, or India, or Brazil, of this universe. Do me a simple love story of two simple OCs trying to live their lives in this world, or the story of the scientist who rediscovered the last surviving furry lobsters. Tell me which libraries have a copy of the Necronomicon or write a scholarly article putting Hodgman in context of the other accounts of Uqbar. Explore whatever bit of this world, or whatever missing bit of this world, inspires you. Do me anything. Seriously.

Miss Madelyn Mack Detective - Hugh Cosgro Weir
http://melannen.dreamwidth.org/tag/fandom:madelyn mack

I found this fandom last yuletide, and it is my happy place of Holmes/Watson f/f slash. I'd love Ariel/Jacqueline, if you feel up to writing it; they share so many secrets already. I'd also love something (gen or slash or poly) where Thorny Preston has to deal with the fact that no, Nora isn't going to stop writing, and yes, Madelyn will always come first. But basic Madelyn/Nora OTP fic would not go amiss either, or any gen in this universe!

Since I discovered this fandom in my last yuletide recipient's letter, I, and a small group of others, having been trying to create a fandom for it by main force. Miss Madelyn Mack is a series of detective stories written in the early 1900s that are pretty blatantly Sherlock Holmes genderswap fic set in gaslit New York City, and they are at least as slashy as the originals, only with independent American career women instead of Holmes and Watson. If that idea appeals to you at all, you should totally pick up this fandom!

I can't do better than to link back to my original Madelyn sharing post, which contains all the relevant details. There is also [personal profile] cinaed's Why Madelyn Mack is Awesome post on [community profile] halfamoon, which also links to most of the existing fanfic in the fandom. Although it misses [personal profile] verity's amazing and life-affirming Sherlock BBC crossover, Sherlock Holmes, Petticoat Detective, which posits that in a universe where Conan Doyle's Holmes never existed, Madelyn filled the vacuum and became the trope and the archetype. [personal profile] verity also promises more, a veritable multimedia epic, to come in December, in which Sherlock and Watson solve mysteries on the set of a modern-day Madelyn TV show.

But don't let that stop you from writing me more for yuletide!

It's one book, with only a handful of stories, which is public domain, and available through archive.org in a variety of formats. Download Miss Madelyn Mack, Detective. There were also a series of silent films, sadly lost, but you can read reviews of them on the Alice Joyce website: the relevant bit is that in the movies, Madelyn Mack carried a pocket telephone.

I spent many months trying to figure out whether there actually were pocket telephones in Madelyn's day - whether she was carrying a cutting-edge gadget, or she had gone all the way sci-fi - and eventually unearthed an article from 1912 which claimed that pocket telephones (handsets which could be used to patch in to a telephone wire anywhere that lines existed) were commonly in use in Germany, particularly by police. I've transcribed the article in Appendix One, if you want to see it for yourself. (As to whether the article itself is at best an exaggeration, I suspect so; but I suspect Weir didn't think so when he gave Madelyn one. Or, you can think of the pocket 'phone as a miniaturized Police Public Call Box, which seems to be essentially what it was. :P ) Now, if I could only find some kola nuts, my life would be complete.

As for story ideas. I ship mostly f/f slash in this fandom - as you almost have to, it consistently fails reverse bechdel, with whole stories with no two men talking to each other. Anything about Ariel and Jacqueline from the last story, shippy or not, would be amazing - they're just such amazing characters, and people, and they've had to put up with so much crap from the world, and done it by sticking together and refusing to be who they are supposed to be. Also, hot.

Madelyn/Nora of any sort would be amazing, of course, whether you want to deal with Thorny, or ignore him. So would a gen casefile. Any sort of Holmes crossover would be brilliant, especially one that involves Madelyn teaming up with Irene. How about an account of one of Madelyn's adventure trips (crossovery or not?) An outsider view of Madelyn, or something about her dealing with her public reputation and expectations of women? Or just a vignette of Madelyn, out on the streets, working a case, being awesome. You get the idea.


Their Majesties' Bucketeers - L. Neil Smith

I would really love anything that further explores gender, sexual, and racial dynamics in this world; especially how queerness happens, or something that explicitly argues with the author's politics. Beyond that, I'd love a story about the OT3 and their developing relationship; I'd love anything about Srafen and rher inexplicable romantic life; I'd love gen that brings the world forward into their version of the 20th century. Basically, I want there to be an entire fandom for this book, but anything you write for it will be great.

Their Majesties' Bucketeers is an SF novel that is quite thinly Sherlock Holmes fanfic. Only it sets Holmes and Watson into an alien planet, where they lamviin, furry trilaterally symmetrical crab creatures living through their planet's equivalent of the late Victorian age. Also, their species has three sexes: the Holmes equivalent is Mav, the dashing, heroic, too-smart-for-his-own-good male Inspector who has invented the art of scientific detection; the Watson equivalent is Mymy, the determinedly independent, if thoroughly middle-class surmale paracauterist who has made a name for rherself despite the society's glum idea of what is respectable for middle-class lurries; and, to complete their trine, Vyssu, the dark-furred female brothel manager who works her way into Mymy's heart despite rherself by never being quite what Mymy expects.

Together, they solve the tangled murder of Professor Srafen, their planet's discoverer of the theory evolution. And in the epilogue the three of them get married!

If you like Holmes fic, any sort of interesting take on Victoriana that addresses the societal changes as well as the science, SF worldbuilding experiments, truly alien aliens, explorations of non-binary gender, or canon poly, I really recommend you get your hands on a copy, even if you can't in time for yuletide! Unfortunately there is very little in the way of help I can give you through the internets, beyond linking to the post I made earlier this year after I rediscovered this book on a pile of childhood favorites: Mymy/Mav/Vyssu OT3. There are also [personal profile] starlady's posts, after she picked up the book on my rec: Their Majesties' Bucketeers and Rec & Review on [community profile] queering_holmes. Some of the characters appear in a later book by the author, but I think everyone in this tiny, tiny fandom is quite willing to ignore that fact, so don't worry about it.

I am fairly sure I am the only one who offered this, but if the above intrigues you, recipient, and you acquired a copy, and want to write it, and don't already have ideas of your own, and my letter isn't enough, any of the ideas in those posts or their comments are things I would love to see worked into a story. If you would like to write explicit xenosex about these people, OMG YOU, I LOVE YOU, and please ignore all of the author's paracanon about how it works, because it is crap, and I refuse to believe any intelligent species would be that uncreative about sex. :P I would especially love a story (explicit or not) about Vyssu teaching Mymy about all the things that ladies and lurries can get up to with each other when the men are away. :D

I also have a persistent bunny stuck in my head in which Srafen is trans (fts or mts) and Hedgyt has been helping rher pass, which is why rhe came to him for rher surgery, and where rhe married rher spouses because they are also queer in some way and they are helping each other stay closeted. ...or a story in which Srafen and Hedgyt's relationship in the navy was queer: where they were in love, and one of them would have been happy staying a duo, but the other insisted that they couldn't be together any more unless they found a woman, and that was what broke them up, and it was all very star-crossed and tragic.

Also, it's heavily implied that neither Mav nor Vyssu are their world's equivalent of "white", and *anything at all* that delves into this, and how it works in their world, and how their marriage is seen, and how Mymy is forced to learn how to take crap for it that Vyssu and Mav have been used to all their lives, would be great.

...but if you just want to write another fluffy OT3 picnic scene, or kidfic about OT3 as parents, or just any vignette set on this world, that would also be great.


A Night in the Lonesome October - Roger Zelazny

If you would like to re-write part of the story from someone else's POV, I would be happy. If you would like to write about what happened to Jack and Jill and Snuff and Greymalkin or the Great Detective or the Vicar's stepdaughter or anyone after the end, I would be happy. If you would like to write about one of the other occurences of the Game, with a whole different set of crossover characters drawn together - I would be very happy!

There comes a time in the life of any SF master, it seems, when he just says "screw it" and writes a cracky crossover. This is Zelazny's contribution to the genre, and it is awesome.

Here's the short summary: Whenever a full moon falls on Halloween, the walls between the worlds thin, and it becomes possible to open a door between our world, and one full of creatures of elder power; opening the door will effectively remake our world utterly. Every time this possibility happens, people with knowledge of the hidden arts find the place where the door will be opening, and over the month of October, gather together to play a great Game to determine whether the Openers or Closer get to control the door. Every player has an animal familiar, too - the players can only communicate with their own familiar, but the animals can all talk to each other, so it becomes, in some ways, two parallel games played by the animals and their humans. The first phase of the Game is figuring out who all the other players are and which side they're on; the second phase of the game is maneuvering to make sure that their side has more power on the night of Halloween.

Zelazny's book takes place in October, 1887, in the English countryside. Jack, who is cursed, is there - he plays every game - and with him his dog, Snuff. Snuff is the POV of the book, and it is one of the best written dog's POVs I've ever encountered. Also in the area: a Witch, a Druid, a Vicar of the Dark Arts, a Mad Monk, the vampire Count, the Great Detective and his limping sidekick, the Wolf Man, the Doctor and his Experiment Man, and various and sundry others, all with their familiars, who Snuff gets to know.

Does that not sound awesome? Sure it does. If you are intrigued, I just happen to know where there is a bare-bones electronic copy available for free download, but if you can, you should find a paper copy, which is heavily illustrated and amazing.

What kind of fanfic would I like for this book? Well, I have to confess: my dream fanfic is for you to write me something from one of the other times the game has been played, making Jack and Snuff face a miscellany of occult-oriented fictional crossovers from some other place and era. It could just be a vignette that sets the scene; if I tried to write it, it would wind up being a complete novel-length sequel to the original, which is why I am dumping the idea on you instead, dear yuletide writer.

If this idea intrigues you, I have compiled a listing of all Halloween full moons for five centuries, so you merely need to pick one! The list has some ideas for what might have happened each year, but they are so very much not binding at all. It would be really, really awesome, too if you wrote about a Game that didn't happen in England or the US, where most of the participants weren't Anglo, and how that would change the way Jack and Snuff fit, or even who they are (does Jack himself change to blend in, wherever that year's Game is? Does he make himself into that culture's favorite version of dripping knife in the shadows? Or is he always and forever Jack, bringing the legend with him? Does the Game even happen on Halloween, if the culture isn't Christian - does it happen on a different conjuntion, or is the Game something the Christians bring to the land with them, just another horror that they carry along?)

If you don't want to do that, though, there is so much else I'd like to know! Particularly (you might have noticed a theme in my fandoms) I would love anything about the Great Detective from this novel, who is so very batshit, who spends half the story cross-dressed and the other half having voluntarily experimented on himself with a werewolf serum, and yet is still completely in character as the Great Detective we all know and love, and whose role in the final confrontation, and the way he interacts with Snuff - just, love. His limping doctor must be even more long-suffering than any of the others, too. Something from his doctor's POV, something from his during the course of the novel, something set afterward, something with him and Larry Talbot; I would love it all. And if you would like to cross him over with any other Great Detective you are fond of, that would be amazing - swirly portals, author, we have swirly portals to work with!

If the Great Detective isn't your favorite, something showing that Game from another character's POV would be just as amazing. Especially if you gave me an opener's POV, and had it make sense. Also I quite 'ship Jack/Jill, and if you want to write me post-novel Jack/Jill with Snuff and Graymalkin being fluffy together, that, also, would be awesome. But so would angsty Rastov darkfic! Or something giving more detail on some of the Things, and how they think, and how they came to Jack and Snuff.

Basically, this is another novel that I wish had an entire fandom's worth of stories. Any effort you make toward that end will be heavily appreciated!
waywren: An Art Deco black kitty wants to know, "Whatcha writin'?" (yulecat)

[personal profile] waywren 2010-11-20 06:06 pm (UTC)(link)
In case you need another unsolicited testimonial, I'm learning Miss Madelyn Mack JUST FOR YOU. XD I'm in the middle of 'Cinderella's Slipper' now, and wondering how I can cross this over with Pinkwater novels as a sort of DIY Yuletide. XD
waywren: (I'm writing WHAT?)

[personal profile] waywren 2010-11-22 06:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Man, I wish you had. Though my assignment is still MADE OF AWESOME. XD The requester asked for something I've always wanted too! I just hope I can write it *eeeks*...

Ooooh, keep it coming. These ideas are GREAT. ...even though I kinda hate Osgood and Ormond, it's because they're such a perfect parody of what pop-culture has conjured up in Holmes' and Watson's image. Also the man has no taste--avocado is the world's perfect food and he ruins it with his tobacco and bleh.

Rat totally strikes me as one of Madelyn's relations. XD Hm, perhaps bring in that one tradition of the folks in the reach of the meteor... Philip Jose Farmer's The Wold Newton Concept, that's what it was. I don't even have to be all that acquainted with the concept! (WARNING: FIRST LINK GOES TO TVTROPES) They're just part of that wide-ranging background that goes all the way from Fu Manchu to the Scarlet Pimpernel! Though I'm not sure I'd include the bits about Nero Wolfe being Sherlock Holmes' son--Sherlock doesn't strike me as the kind to bend to society enough to make with the hetero.

And. Um. yes, this could be well possible... bwahahaha...



waywren: (Default)

[personal profile] waywren 2010-11-22 10:17 pm (UTC)(link)
*snickers* Why, no. I'm actually very very periphery Wold Newton wise--like, I've heard of it, but other than some pages--wikipedia/tvtropes/that other link--I haven't read 'em. It's just that the metamegacross amuses me greatly, as I tend to do such things without even thinking about it that hard. But I will go read that soon!

*snickers* Yeah, that's Mycroft all right. All things done for the greater annoyance of Sherlock. XD Aaand you might have a point there with Irene, hee.
waywren: (Default)

[personal profile] waywren 2010-11-22 11:10 pm (UTC)(link)
Oooh, details. ♥ More stuff to explore!
waywren: (Default)

[personal profile] waywren 2010-11-22 06:41 pm (UTC)(link)
...but then, you know, I'm sure the Saunders-Terwillingers-whathaveyou have also been on BOTH sides of the Game, and I'm far more familiar with Night than I would be with Wold Newton... XD
waywren: (Default)

[personal profile] waywren 2010-11-22 10:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, you know, it's not the Man that matters, so much as the Chicken... but I believe that the Chicken and Captain Shep Nesterman are closers. The world has its beaten up qualities, certainly, but they don't strike me as the kind to discard the world entire.
waywren: (Default)

[personal profile] waywren 2010-11-22 10:19 pm (UTC)(link)
As well, the Lizards are totally closers. It's the music! They use it to keep the world together!

Now, the kids from the Dada book might undertake to be openers simply because it seems Dada...
waywren: (Default)

[personal profile] waywren 2010-11-22 11:16 pm (UTC)(link)
There is that, but Dharmawati strikes me as a hen of the world. She hatches things, yes, but the Captain is hers. Would she trust the bubbling promises of a lot of otherworldly Things not to touch her property?

Right on both of those. They wouldn't even think about it as much as Grey and her lady did--it would just be 'oh hey enlightenment!' and they wouldn't even notice losing SAN.

On the other hand, the Last Guru is probably very different. He's a resourceful young sprog, after all. I have my doubts about MacTavish, though. Those pickleburgers...

waywren: (Default)

[personal profile] waywren 2010-11-23 06:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, you're right about Borgel. ...and about the SAN, too. XD His nephew and dog might be able to convince him otherwise, though; he does seem to care about them.

I dunno, really. I'm better at cats.

Of course, are we absolutely certain that the door really has Eldritch Horrors behind it? Maybe it's just Manny, Moe and Jack's new con...
stellar_dust: Stylized comic-book drawing of Scully at her laptop in the pilot. (TDS - hodgman's a PC)

[personal profile] stellar_dust 2010-11-22 03:54 am (UTC)(link)
(Psst 1: More Information Than You Require.

Psst 2: Zelazny link is non-worky!)
stellar_dust: Stylized comic-book drawing of Scully at her laptop in the pilot. (Default)

[personal profile] stellar_dust 2010-11-22 05:36 am (UTC)(link)
but but I thought you had one! didn't you get one for Christmas a couple of years ago or something?
stellar_dust: Stylized comic-book drawing of Scully at her laptop in the pilot. (Default)

[personal profile] stellar_dust 2010-11-22 04:19 pm (UTC)(link)
WHAT. .. maybe you were supposed to buy it with a gift certificate and never got around to it?
waywren: (Default)

Halloween conjuunctions

[personal profile] waywren 2010-11-22 06:45 pm (UTC)(link)
And, you know, the stars' conjunction itself could also be it, beyond the name--the Japanese days for the dead actually CHANGED from harvest to high summer. In Heian, the time for ghosts was in the cold and misty day.
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)

[personal profile] seekingferret 2013-10-17 07:26 pm (UTC)(link)
I have finally read A Night in the Lonesome October and want to say that I retroactively approve of your prompt. A lot.