melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2017-06-20 07:02 pm

more sedoretu

So instead of an FMK review this week you get more talking about sedoretu (not the moiety post yet, that's coming. Probably.)

The opinions on the poll about bookmarking were interestingly split - pretty consistently 2-1 in favor of bookmarking, but the anti-bookmarking people seem to feel more strongly about it. I guess the only solution is for more people to start adding stuff to that collection so mine don't stand out as much!

I also finally read Another Story, or, a Fisherman of the Inland Sea, which is the first and longest of Le Guin's O stories. Or possibly I had already read it and then blocked it out. I am... not sure how I feel about it? It is definitely the most SF-based of them, with quantum physics and interplanetary travel and so on (and probably the most useful for people who want to think about sedoretu in the context of a much larger and more cosmopolitan society than we see in either "Mountain Ways" or "Unchosen Love".)

But. I like both "Mountain Ways" and "Unchosen Love" a lot better. The actual plot of the story seems to be "Hideo gets to have his cake and eat it too." Which is to say, he get to go off and see the galaxy and go to college and take part in universe-changing research and have a prsetigious career, and he also gets to go back in time and marry his childhood sweetheart while she's still young and pretty and inexperienced enough to love him and quietly raise a family with her on the farm. And meanwhile, the version of her that got to grow into herself without him and make her own life as something other than the mother of his kids is erased from existence and he never seems to even think he maybe should mourn that older version of her who was lost forever. Because the version of her that didn't marry him is better off erased from existence anyway, right?

blehhhhhh

It's an interesting metaphor for gender roles re: family and careers and dudes who never have to grow up and get over it, but unfortunately I don't think Le Guin realized that was what she was doing. (It actually reminds me a little bit of a practice run at Ged/Tenar in Tehanu except that Tenar knows that she can go and be the White Lady whenever she wants to and it's all her choice to be something else, and also they both know they will neither of them be able to want normal again even after Ged comes back. Whereas in the final timeline Hideo's love does not get to make any choices for herself and never even finds out that she had an alternate life where she was happy and fulfilled without Hideo.)

Anyway, I still really really like the worldbuilding!

I have managed to narrow it down to ten prompts in the Sedoretu fest that I probably *could* write. (As opposed to the ones I most want to see written, which includes many that I am definitely not the person to write.) They all have pros and cons, which I shall now ramble about here:

  1. The city is like a woman... and another woman who happens to also be a vampire... and a man by Anonymous
    Fandom: Discworld - Terry Pratchett
    Samuel Vimes, Havelock Vetinari, Sybil Ramkin, Lady Margolotta
    They do it For The City (and also Uberwald) XD

      Pros:
    • I was going to prompt this myself but then someone got in first

    • I already have a first line in my head

    • writing Ankh-Morpork fic is super fun

    • Cons:
    • I have absolutely no understanding of Margolotta whatsoever

    • I would probably have to finally read Snuff


  2. epilogue-compliant by AlexSeanchai (EllieMurasaki)
    Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
    Harry Potter Draco Malfoy Ginny Weasley Astoria Greengrass
    yes, I am ruining any possibility of Scorpius/Albus Severus here :P but come on you know this would be a fantastic sedoretu. for instance: what do Ginny and Astoria have in common?

      Pros:
    • "What do Ginny and Astoria have in common" very important question

    • Sedoretu solves the epilogue

    • Cons:
    • Would have to re-read last HP book, also finally read Cursed Child, to answer question.

    • Okay but I would want the fic to be all about how Slytherins are all about germane marriages and Weasleys and Muggles are NOT but OP does not seem to want germane marriages to be a thing at all?


  3. Gísla saga Súrssonar by Anonymous
    Fandom: Íslendingasögur | Sagas of Icelanders
    Gísla is already about the competing demands of different kinship ties: the sibling bonds, marriages, extramarital and premarital loves, bonds between in-laws, and blood-brotherhood. Talk about a canon where sedoretus fit REALLY WELL and make things EVEN MORE FUCKED UP--I would love to see any exploration of how adding sedoretu marriage and moiety kinship changes any of these relationships.

      Pros:
    • Iceland!

    • Canon is short and already on my to-read asap pile!

    • Could do it as Ki'O setting and not obsess more than I want to about Iceland!

    • Cons:
    • Get the impression OP has way more feelings about kinship in sagas than me

    • Have not actually read canon yet, only people talking about canon

    • Cannot remember saga genealogies five minutes after reading them


  4. actual Ki'O fic by Anonymous
    Fandom: LE GUIN Ursula K. - Works
    Fic for any of the canon Ki'O stories, not a crossover.

      Pros:
    • Could write fix-it for Another Story

    • Would be penance for all those people who look in the Le Guin tags and only find crossovers

    • Cons:
    • Do not actually know broader Hainish physics well enough to figure out how to make it work

    • Nobody actually cares about Ki'O


  5. My Friends Are Dead and Gone and that is Suddenly a Major Logistical Hurdle by Anonymous
    Fandom: Les Misérables - Victor Hugo
    Marius Pontmercy Cosette Fauchelevent
    So, in a sedoretu-verse, I think Les Mis is exactly the same right up until the last act, when Marius and Cosette can't get married because NEITHER OF THEM KNOWS ANYONE WHO ISN'T DEAD or has the slightest idea how to make friends. And now I REALLY want the story of Jean Valjean, Most Socially Awkward Dad Ever, having to suddenly learn how to people in his sixties so he can find suitable partners for his awkward daughter and her awkward fiance.

      Pros:
    • ADORABLE, Valjean not dead

    • Cons:
    • But actually who is left? Even Theodule is the wrong moiety iirc. Would either have to make up OCs or have it be about Valjean using his Batman powers to pull all the not-actually-dead-because-reasons Amis out of hiding, which would also be adorable but also much longer


  6. We have come to sleep with you by Anonymous
    Fandom: Les Misérables - Victor Hugo
    Marius Pontmercy Cosette Fauchelevent Courfeyrac (Les Misérables)
    Courfeyrac wants to marry Marius. Marius wants to marry Cosette. Cosette won't marry either of them until there's a proper fourth.

      Pros:
    • First scene already written, posted to tumblr

    • would like to write more of it

    • Cons:
    • Not sure if kosher to finish fic already started elsewhere?

    • Forgot what happens next (okay what happens next is Eponine and Courfeyrac circle each other extremely carefully for a couple days, and then everybody dies. Not sure how I was planning to write that, though.)


  7. pink by Anonymous
    Fandom: Nimona (Webcomic)
    Ballister Blackheart Ambrosius Goldenloin Meredith Blitzmeyer Nimona
    Knights don't get married, villians even less, so Ballister never expected to, even after the end. Then Meredith started dating a mysterious young woman - who turned out to have pink hair - and things got weird, fast.

      Cons:
    • We all love Gay Dads AU so it's kinda weird

    • Pros:
    • Okay but pretend you never heard of gay dads AU, remember that Nimona is very old and capable of making her own choices, and think about Nimona/Goldenloin trying to do an Evening marriage to make Ballister happy


  8. Rey/Finn/Poe/? by such_heights
    Fandom: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
    Poe Dameron Finn (Star Wars) Rey (Star Wars)
    Poe's grown up used to four-person marriages. Rey and Finn know nothing about moiety and don't really get why being a triad makes Poe twitchy sometimes.

      Pros:
    • Am writing it in my head as we speak

    • Can probably still get away (for now) with treating IV-VII as an isolated canon and ignoring all the paracanon

    • Cons:
    • Possibly OP did not want a story about how they obviously already have a fourth and it's BB8 and then the rest of the fic devolves into Artoo and Threepio as the Galaxy's Worst In-Laws

    • With occasional digressions into Yavin IV aka Classic Maya kinship structures and/or Droid Rights activism and/or astromech linguistics


  9. Ivan/By/Rish/Tej by Anonymous
    Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
    Ivan Vorpatril Tej Arqua Vorpatril Rish (Vorkosigan Saga) Byerly Vorrutyer
    So I want pretty much ALL the Vorkosigan sedoretus. For this one, I would love to see lots of wacky espionage hijinks.

      Pros:
    • I could fill out this notfic

    • finally someone else ships Rish/Tej poly, I want to encourage them

    • Cons:
    • Would have to re-read CVA at minimum

    • Still not sure if previously published stuff is ok


  10. the trials of alys vorpatril by Anonymous
    Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
    Alys Vorpatril Aral Vorkosigan Padma Vorpatril Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan
    Alys is determined that her marriage will not be the sort of disaster that gets endlessly circulated as a warning and a scandal, even if Padma insists for reasons surpassing understanding that it really ought to include Aral Vorkosigan, whose first marriage was both of those things. And then the events of Cordelia's Honor play out.

      Pros:
    • I ship it. A lot.

    • I know that part of canon well enough I probably wouldn't have to re-read much

    • Cons:
    • Am not sure Cordelia's Honor would actually be that different? TBH am more interested in how they arranged the thing in the first place and how Simon got married in later

    • And if I did the Simon version I would also have to do the "who are Laisa and Gregor going to marry" prompt since Alys' sedoretu rebuilding is predicated on that


...this is weirdly stressful compared to a prompt meme community where I can just blather on in comments without committing to anything until somebody else either writes the thing or I know exactly what I am doing
sheliak: Handwoven tapestry of the planet Jupiter. (Default)

[personal profile] sheliak 2017-06-21 04:16 am (UTC)(link)
I remember "A Fisherman of the Inland Sea" fondly, but I was also something like twelve when I read it for the first time. What I remember is basically the worldbuilding and a kind of dreamlike feeling, rather than the gender and relationship awkwardness. I'd definitely read fixit fic for it, though!

The other ones I think I found a few years after that. I disliked "Unchosen Love" for reasons I can't clearly remember—I should probably reread it at some point; either I'll like it better or I'll figure out what bothered me in the first place. I definitely thought "Mountain Ways" was the best of the lot, in both character and worldbuilding terms.

I always forget about the taboo on siblings in the same sedoretu, although I remembered the aunt/uncle thing.

... I need to finish my prompts and post them already. (I know which fandoms and characters I want to prompt, and I've got some of the scenarios written already, it's just that I got stuck on titles.)
sapote: The TARDIS sits near a tree in sunlight (Default)

[personal profile] sapote 2017-06-21 11:09 am (UTC)(link)
Unchosen Love definitely stressed me out more than Another Story - I guess I didn't think Hideo had his cake and ate it too, so much as realized that one of his cakes was just a terrible idea. He had so much admiration for the oldest version of Sidi - you know how our stupid culture is towards older women, I'm used to "everything's ruined now that you're FORTY like a MONSTER", not "she was so accomplished and satisfied in her own life that I felt like garbage that I'd missed it all". But like, it is true that he seemed very in love with the oldest version of Sidi, so maybe he should just have been with her, as the uncle-joined-onto-the-marriage that sedoretus allow. I guess either way he'd already time-traveled away from that possibility, just he'd gone forward and couldn't get back because of the time mismatch with FTL travel?
sheliak: Handwoven tapestry of the planet Jupiter. (Default)

[personal profile] sheliak 2017-06-21 11:39 pm (UTC)(link)
That sounds more like the way I saw it, way back when. But oddly enough, the relationship that stuck with me was between Hideo and his mother—the part of the story I remember best is a conversation they have, the one where he's explaining his work to her and she's weirded out by the idea of FTL, because the time dilation effect is so much a part of her life, and how she sees the universe. I don't remember much of the actual sedoretu at all, which does seem ironic in retrospect...

I guess I ought to reread this story too, and see what I think of everyone else now! It's been too long since I made it over to the library anyway.
sapote: The TARDIS sits near a tree in sunlight (Default)

[personal profile] sapote 2017-06-22 01:47 pm (UTC)(link)
She was GREAT. I guess also, like, she made a different choice than her son did and then her son was like "nope, my mother was correct, I am going to go home and farm". I like that the ki'O, like the Hainish themselves, really don't need to fuck around with their society. The idea of that kind of multi-generational stability existing without throwing some social group/gender under the bus is so attractive.
sapote: The TARDIS sits near a tree in sunlight (Default)

[personal profile] sapote 2017-06-22 01:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh and also it's an important story for sedoretu mechanics because you can get adopted into a different moiety if you were born without one - it's just rare and no one wants to do it. It occurs to me that this is the mark of a culture with good health care and a stable, low-violence society, people are not vexed about "what happens if no one knows who your mother was and she dies"?

The mechanics for being monosexually straight or gay, or forming a sedoretu with three people of one gender, in Mountain Ways are also so useful as canon. It seems more like the Balkan sworn virgins than anything - your culture needs you to fulfill a certain role, so you step up and grow a ponytail to show that you're a man. But the extreme casualness with which gender is treated in that story is heartening. Like, meh, change your shirt to a different kind of shirt, it's probably fine. As long as there's one reproductively viable couple in the quadruple or you can adopt no one's going to get super upset.
sapote: The TARDIS sits near a tree in sunlight (Default)

[personal profile] sapote 2017-06-25 12:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Now I'm wondering if I reread it if I'd feel the same way. A friend pointed out to me that I tend to blithely erase sexist things as I read - if a woman's backstory makes no sense besides that she's The Girl, I imagine that she has a good one and keep going; if men are stupidly central to everyone's feelings, I just invent other feelings for everyone else to have and then read like they're there. It's a nice impulse! Sometimes a little blinding, though, and even that can't help Heinlein.

Do you have feelings about germane marriages? I'm trying to figure out if I should include one (a failed one) in this story or not. I think if my readers actually were _from_ O, it would be an interesting character beat, but on the other hand if my characters are from Earth it just looks like Wincest, basically.
sheliak: Handwoven tapestry of the planet Jupiter. (Default)

[personal profile] sheliak 2017-06-21 11:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, I guess that's why I forgot it!

I think I will probably go that route with the titles, then.