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May 16th, 2012 11:49 pm - Meme Fills Update
...okay, that hypothetical crossover meme has reached levels of ludicrosity previously unattained on this journal.

Here is a list of fills so far:

Dresden Files/Vorkosigan Saga for [personal profile] isis (consisting of some extra bits of canon for the crossover I already wrote for this.)
Temeraire/Princess Bride ideas for [personal profile] finch
Pinkwaterverse/Cthulhu mythos for [personal profile] seekingferret (in which I fail miserably; surely *somebody* can come up with a better one?)
--[personal profile] seekingferret does Major League Baseball/The pirate Rabbi and Thor/Star Trek to my prompts
White Collar/Pirates of the Caribbean and DCU/The Lone Gunmen for [personal profile] elf. (Somebody needs to write a pirates/white collar crossover actually. Desperately. Also need fic now where Frohike tangos with Barbara Gordon, but that's a given.)
some flailing as regards Temeraire/Sherlock Holmes for [personal profile] ellen_fremedon
British Comedian RPF/Vorkogisan Saga for [personal profile] marginaliana (This one got kind of out of hand after [personal profile] lannamichaels tapped in. It probably helps to note that we were borrowing some of the characterization from a previous conversation regarding Aral Vorkosigan, Epic Troll. Also: this article on how traditional Chinese stand-up has fared under communism which I incidentally already had bookmarked, yes I did background research for this bit.) [personal profile] marginaliana asked for a British Comedy RPF crossover and I'm afraid in the elaboration we focused almost entirely on the Barrayar part, but I promise if I actually wrote it there would be a bunch of scenes of David and Charlie and Jimmy and Dara and so on meeting in hidden, poorly-lit back rooms at the university and playing at revolution.
Avengers/Sesame Street for [personal profile] lannamichaels. An excuse to write fic for the Teeny Little Super Guy! Yay!
Homestuck/Colbert Report for [personal profile] erinptah, featuring unbridgeable idealogical differences. And stabs. Mostly stabs.
Homestuck/Vorkosigan Saga for [personal profile] biichan. In which there are fantrolls.
Homestuck/Ranma 1/2 for [personal profile] terajk, featuring [personal profile] brownbetty and [personal profile] biichan contributing their own versions as well, which we must encourage them to write. yes.


Unfilled, still to do (list mostly for my reminder):
Avengers/Young Wizards and Vorkosigan/Avengers (I really need to watch that movie, I guess)
Something Sutcliff/Rihannsu-ish (Every time I poke at this I just come out concluding I need to re-read Rihannsu more. Tragic!)


This is actually an interesting way to find out what fandoms my commenters care about! Avengers yes (kind of obviously) but there's lots of Vorkosigan and Homestuck and Temeraire on there too, hmm.

And yes, I will still fill prompts if people leave them. Not crossovered out yet!

And as usual, all bunnies and notfic posted by me here are completely available for other people to pick up and run with, if you should chance to be so inspired.

(4 comments | Reply)


November 21st, 2011 03:16 pm - Yuletide Letter 2011
Hi yuletide person! And anyone else who is nosing around.

Sorry if this letter turns out to be a bit late - sign-ups caught me a bit unexpectedly this year.

If you followed the link in your assignment, it should have taken you to my fandom:yuletide tag, which has author letters going back years and years, which is convenient, because vast swaths of this letter are cribbed from previous ones. Nearly everything in my journal is unlocked - feel free to poke around.

First things first: I am not picky at all. I'll read and enjoy pretty much anything, as long as you punctuate your dialogue correctly and double-space between paragraphs, and I only pick yuletide fandoms where I'd be delighted with anything at all in the fandom, so if you don't want any more information, you are encouraged to stop reading now. If you write something you enjoy writing about characters you love, I know I'll enjoy reading it, too.

If you want more advice: I have a list of 101 Near-Bulletproof Narrative Kinks which you are more than welcome to mine for ideas. I am also a sucker for crossovers of all kinds, and no, I don't particularly care if I know the other fandom(s) (though of course that helps.) I've also been rather mooning over AUs of all kinds lately - not sure what that's about, but there it is - so if you have an AU idea, no matter how far out, go for it! Of course if you want to write something perfectly canon-based and sedate that will also make me happy. Slash/het/other/romance/gen; explicit, non-explicit, kinky, vanilla, cracky, realistic, humor, character death: it's all good.

I am also hereby volunteering [personal profile] stellar_dust as my go-between again, if you have questions and don't want to go through the mods.

Here's some more about the fandoms I requested:

Miss Madelyn Mack, Detective: I'd love a Madelyn/Nora story. Or a Madelyn, World Traveller adventure. Or a Madelyn & Nora casefile. Or something with Madelyn and Nora and Thorny, which is fascinatingly complicated. Or anything with Ariel and Jacqueline - femmeslash, backstory, character vignette, suspenseful shenanigans... or a Sherlock Holmes crossover, or a crossover with anything else, or something during the Great War, or something steampunky, or any AU, or, well, anything really.

Meet Miss Madelyn Mack )

The Adventures of Lucky Starr by Isaac Asimov writing as Paul French - I would like Conway/Henree fic, please! It doesn't have to be romantic/sexual (although it would be nifty if it was) but I mostly just want a story about Lucky's two dads and their relationship. Them as working fathers, or their POV while Lucky was with the Sirians in the last book, or Bigman's POV on their relationship, or Conway/Henree/Science, or just a romance vignette, or something about how relationships actually work in that society, or something when they were young with David and Barbara, or anything with them really!

Meet Hector Conway and Augustus Henree )

QI RPF - I would like something with Stephen and Sandi being adorable and clever together. Or something where you take a one-off fic-bait comment from one of the episodes and take it seriously. Or an AU that brings everybody into a different setting. Or best of all, I'd like an AU based on that conversation from the Girls and Boys episode where Stephen and Sandi are in a marriage-of-convenience, but honestly, anything would be great.

This is Quite Interesting, tell me more )

19th Century Civic Allegory - This cries out for kinky f/f featuring Justice with her blindfold and sword and Liberty with her shield and shackles. But something fluffy with those two would work, too. Or something with History, who claims to be straight but is bent for Justice. Or Progress, with her spinning ball, who has all the best toys. Or any of this bunch. Something where you bring in political or historical events on Earth would be cool, but so would something that just plays with the personalities and/or femmeslash possibilities.

Okay, let me tell you about this fandom )

ETA: Oh, and I should mention that I am very probably going to be AFK around the time the archive opens and/or reveals happen - I will make sure to get on at some point between Christmas and Epiphany, but I might not be on right away! So please don't worry if it's a few days before you hear from me as your recipient.

(16 comments | Reply)


February 3rd, 2011 01:44 am - Victorian crossdressing
I would say the unifying themes of this post, to the extent it has any, are Victoriana, costuming, and crossdressing. Also, Things I Have Scanned. So let's get on it, shall we?

First, people wanted to see the pictures of the 1890s silk dress I was fixing last week, so here they are. )

And while I was scanning those I went ahead and scanned a few other things. )

Meanwhile, I have acquired another supply from my secret-source-of-free-comics-in-return-for-reviews! And they seemed to fit the theme, so, hey, since I have read them all already,a here are scans and reviews:

ADELE BLANC-SEC by Jacques Tardi. )

The CBLDF 2010 Liberty Annual )

Scarlett Takes Manhattan )

And, okay, the other comics that didn't fit the theme. )

(20 comments | Reply)


November 20th, 2010 01:12 am - Yuletide letter appendices
...shut up, appendices are totally not going overboard.

A Mobile Phone from 1912 )


Years of all Halloween full moons from the start of the Gregorian calendar to the 22nd century. )


...and now I feel like this post belongs as a missing chapter of Areas of My Expertise. A theme, I has one.

And since Bucketeers and Hodgman are feeling left out, here is an mp3 that will do for both: Jonathan Coulton sings Furry Old Lobster

(Reply)


November 19th, 2010 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 )

Miss Madelyn Mack Detective - Hugh Cosgro Weir )

Their Majesties' Bucketeers - L. Neil Smith )

A Night in the Lonesome October - Roger Zelazny )

Current Mood:: [mood icon] accomplished
Current Music:: JoCo - Furry Old Lobster

(23 comments | Reply)


June 22nd, 2010 07:01 pm - Con-txt report
Back from con.txt! I survived! Okay, I came home on Sunday, fell in to bed at about 6 PM, and slept though until Monday morning, but still, I survived!

...and now there are two years to wait until the next one. ):

I went to sixteen panels (and modded or co-modded six of them); still managed to go out to an excellent lunch with [personal profile] starlady and an excellent dinner with [personal profile] zana16, [personal profile] erinptah, and [personal profile] nakedbee; taught my self to fold dirty origami at the dance, then some stitch'n'bitchery downstairs with [personal profile] synecdochic, [personal profile] sarah, and some of the other usual suspects; then there was the vid show, the Dr. Who viewing party, and the late-night trivia quiz; cosplayed, dropped off and took some stuff at the swap table, sold something at the art auction; got a lead on Dr. Who slash 'zines from a dealer, stayed for Dead Duck, and even did a little bit of freeform socializing.

I think I used up all my extroversion points for about two months. There's a reason I've spent all my free time the past two days basically lying on my bed watching UK Parliament.

Also, my laptop didn't *technically* completely die! I had to stop using the heavy-duty replacement power cord (which now emits sparks and smoke, and never quite fit the socket) and go back to using the original power cord (which atm transfers current only through creative placement of electrical tape and bulldog clips) but at least the cooling fan motor didn't actually burn out like I thought it had! I mean, unless I'm wrong about that and the whole thing's going to melt into my lap as soon as I post this - I'm not sure how I'd tell, given ambient temperature around here.

A few more details under the cut, through Friday )

Anyway. That's Friday. I think I'll stop here - there's a werewolf book I pulled off the swap table that's calling to me. And precious sleep, of course.

(7 comments | Reply)


June 2nd, 2010 01:16 pm - Kink bingo! (Just like everybody else!)
I signed up for [community profile] kink_bingo this year! I love how accessible they're making it: low pressure, the minimum is one 500-word story in a year, and they've emphasized that you don't have to be able to write explicit sex or sexual characters in order to play, so I'm fairly sure I can do it. My card:
My Card )
So everybody's going on and on about their kink_bingo cards, and how lucky they are, and I looked at mine and went "huh."

I don't think *any* of the kinks I was really excited about ended up on it, and the two stories-in-progess I'd been planning to use at cheats - each of which have so many kinks they could conceivably blackout a card on their own, with no overlap - are barely represented on the card at all.

I guess that serves me right! Anyway it'll be fun, even if I only end up managing one meta post or something.

I would like to note that as I was going through the kink_wiki yesterday, exploring my options, the questions I was coming up with were things like "Would a story about someone whose erogenous zones are primarily tactile negotiating a scene with someone whose erogenous zones are primarily aural (involving sonics that person A can't produce) work for the 'silence' square?" and "does crossdressing have to involve gender, or can it involve someone whose species doesn't wear clothing dressing up as a human?" and "is 'accidental soulbond with a mechanical life-form due to shoddy safety measures during repair work' suitable for the 'electricity' square?" and "Can I do 'wrist/ankle restraints' on somebody whose limbs don't exactly fit those categories?"

... which just goes to show what pairings I have been getting bunnies for lately. Actually, having gone down the entire kink list, there are only four kinks which require somebody to have a humanoid or vaguely humanoid body (five, if you count 'shaving', which requires a mammalian one at least) and I got three of them...

I also went out to work last night without actually remembering what was on my card, and I ended up plotting out in my head an amazing story - for a kink that's not on my card. But now I really, really want to write "How Bran Tse-Mallory and Truzenzuzex Invented Strip Personality Chess, And What Happened Afterward." (Does kink_bingo give out prizes for "most stories written for the wrong card"?)

...I may at least have to write a Bran/Tru 'ship manifesto, since Mymy/Vyssu/Mav has been such a hit. :D ...and I'm so tempted to try for a bingo with all non-human or cross-species pairings.


Anyway I was going to try to make this short, but this *is* me, and it's an excuse to talk about kink and about ideas for stories I'll probably never write, so here's some brainstorming for every square )

(20 comments | Reply)


March 11th, 2010 10:26 pm - Some scraps of things.
Here are some posts I have made to DW communities in the past week:

[community profile] asexuality: Queering the Census: We ALL Count, in which I gripe about the Queer the Census campaign, which is about greater visibility for LGBT people but erases everyone who isn't heterosexual but doesn't fit it one of the L-G-B-T boxes.

[community profile] common_nature: Welcome!, In which [personal profile] elke_tanzer and I have started a community that is all about nature, and you all should join it! And post stuff there! And leave comments!

[community profile] create_my_comm: Little Details, in which we are all agreed that DW needs a community that is like l_d only awesomer, and none of us want to be the one to start it! (So you should!)

[community profile] starry_sea: Anybody still here?, in which I apologize abjectly for abandoning my own community, and talk about how to get it active again.

[community profile] tarot: An Amazing Tarot Blog, in which I rave at length about Pre-Gebelin Tarot History, which discusses tarot from a strictly historical and rational perspective, a perspective which is deeply awesome and far, far too hard to find.

[community profile] treknovelfest: Illustration for "Three T'kay Stories", in which I have done a lot of research in the Starfleet Archives and found photographs & descriptions of the original ancient Vulcan artifacts that were used to illustrate [personal profile] ljc's treknovelfest entry based on my prompt, From The Terran Coyote to The Klingon K'Ortar: Tricksters of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.

...there, that can be my followfriday. :D (What posts have you made to DW communities in the past week?)

Most of those were posts I have been procrastinating on making for months! Having them done is like breathing clear air again. (Also, omg, I might actually have to change my to-do list now - I'm afraid the dry-erase marker might have set in on some of them.) There's several more I've had on hold, though - maybe now that I'm on a roll I can scratch even more of them off.

In the spirit of getting things done, how about that WIPs meme that was going around awhile ago? One paragraph from everything in my "In progress" folder, was it?

This includes fics, meta posts, vids, fanmixes, and various stranger things, in all states of completion, fyi. )
...it says something about me that my reaction to all of that laid out is "That's less than thirty things! Not at bad as I thought!" If you ask for more information about any of them in comments, I will probably give it to you. (At length! ^_^ )

Also while I am doing random meme-y things, poall:
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 22


If I were to lose all perspective and sign up for [community profile] scifibigbang, I should write:

View Answers

The one with the zero-gravity Olympics.
7 (31.8%)

The one where the prince gets talked into being figurehead for the princesses' girl-power revolution, and there are scimitar cats, magic swords, and a lot of plot-relevant discussion of fashion.
7 (31.8%)

Fanfic. Duh.
4 (18.2%)

You know better than to sign up for a big bang.
4 (18.2%)


Current Mood:: [mood icon] bouncy

(19 comments | Reply)


January 25th, 2010 10:13 pm
Hi! I am still lacking energy to do anything serious online, but here are some things anyway:

Signal boost via [personal profile] zvi: If, like me, you recently got weird malware on your system that tried to get you to install anti-virus software, and couldn't figure out where from because you'd only been on trustworthy sites, you probably got it from an ad running on Livejournal. Just so you know. ETA: a thread about it on lj news - if you think you got hit, drop in and leave a comment, it might help.

(I think I got my system clean - I have Spybot running to stop unauthorized registry changes, and cleared out a bunch of suspicious files - but will probably be doing a format + reinstall as soon as I have time to think anyway.) When is DW going to be able to syndicate flocked lj posts so I never have to go back there again? Plz?

*****

I am one of those boring old fans who's been around long enough that the slash-misogyny argument just seems tired; yes it's important, but it's the same thing I read about in 2003. And 2005. And 2007... So instead, here are some awesome Sherlock Holmes stories about women:

Commonplaces, by Astolat. Irene Adler goes to visit Holmes after "The Final Problem."

Thoughts Without Words by Katie Forsythe. Holmes goes to visit Irene, and a conversation is had. (If you've been reading Holmes fic, surely you've found Katie Forsythe's work already, but this one is just *amazing*. It's full-on unreliable narrator - SCAN is given an entirely new interpretation, as is Holmes' history - yet the Holmes and Adler here are so amazing that I get it confused with canon. And I almost suspect the naked!Adler scene in the movie was based on this story.)

Five Times John Watson Quite Unintentionally Saw Irene Adler Naked, by flowers4ophelia. Irene and Holmes carry on together and annoy Watson a lot. Movieverse, though not necessarily contradictory to bookverse.

An Ideal Husband by Irene Adler. Irene Adler and Sherlock Holmes both receive the same visitor. (this is also heavy on the Violet Hunter, who was in "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches" and seems to be the third-most-loved-by-fandom female from a case.)

Enclosed by Recessional. Mary Morstan receives a visit from Sherlock Holmes. Recessional has been writing a lot of really excellent Mary Morstan fic of late: you should read.

Blood Shift by Toft. Mary Morstan and Watson find something necessary in each other.

five times Mary suspected Holmes and Watson were more than friends and one time she knew it to be so., by Lady Paperclip. Mary Morstan is visited by certain inescapable deductions. And also Irene Adler, which is sometimes the same thing.

Leaving, by Telanu. Holmes visits Watson and Mary.

Congenital Defects, by Branwyn. Mary Russell is visited by a series of increasingly wodehousian mishaps as the result of an inconvenient aunt.

Honeycomb Series, by LizBee. Lizbee has written most of the Mary Russell fic that I actually liked; this series deals with Russell's Jewish identity and her marriage to Holmes.

Suppressed, by Jane Turenne. Mrs. Hudson visits Watson.

Miss Madelyn Mack, Murderess, by Flourish. Miss Madelyn Mack is visited by sudden and unexpected violence.

...in other words, Holmes fandom and its subsidiaries are full of amazing female characters, and people should be writing more stories about them. Especially Mrs. Hudson, who I suspect has a lot of unplumbed depths. (I know there's a published series where she solves the cases and secretly feeds the clues to Holmes - it even sounds sort of good; I'm keeping my eyes out for it - but I am suddenly convinced that Mrs. H has been in the employ of Mycroft - aka M of what will eventually be MI-6 - for a very, very long time. Pre-dating the time at which she was assigned to keep an eye on his brother.)

****

And on that note, I just picked up the first Irene Adler novel (well, okay, the second, because why read a series in publishing order when you can read it in the order you find it at the public library). I'm only about ten pages in, and I'm provisionally liking it. But I can't get past the fact that this Adler is apparently a soprano. Adler's a contralto, isn't she? This is actually very important to her backstory, considering the different expectations of a contralto and soprano in classical opera!

Did I in vain spend all that time looking for pieces for contralto and violin solo? (Well, no, it wasn't in vain, because I found Yehudi Menuhin playing Erbarme Dich, which I fell in love with instantly and only wish he had a better contralto to play for. I want Madelyn's secret recording of Holmes and Alder performing that to exist in RL. Please.)

****

While I'm asking about minor canon points, here's some more, in various fandoms:

  1. So a veteran of the second Anglo-Afghan war naming his dog "Gladstone" is roughly the equivalent of a veteran of the *current* Afghan war naming his dog "Gordon", right? People who know more about Victorian politics than me: What statement exactly is that making?

    I only know as much about Gladstone and Disraeli as anyone who's read "The Annotated Alice" far too many times, but the longer I watch Holmes-movie-fandom without *anyone* mentioning that the dog's named after the PM, the more I notice its absence.


  2. Sarah Jane Smith currently drives a lime green Nissan Figaro, and used to own a bright red Volkswagen Beetle named Ethel. Does anybody know what model Volkswagen she was driving in "School Reunion"? And did she have a car during her Old Who appearances, and if so, what was it?


  3. Can anybody get access to a copy of the article "A Pocket Telephone," Literary Digest, Vol. 44 (March 30, 1912) p. 639 ? I can't, not even after stealing my sister's JSTOR login, but I would really really really like to read it!


  4. Is there anything anywhere in primary or secondary Star Trek canon about the cultural significance of male Vulcan hairstyles and/or beards? (Other than the obvious.)


  5. I swear that within the last several years there was a find somewhere in England of items related to witchcraft that included what was probably a prosthetic phallus: does anybody else remember this? For obvious reasons it is difficult to google. Or any citable links to archeological finds of life-sized false phalli in England in the last century?


***

And on the off-chance you haven't found it yet: [community profile] asexual_fandom now exists! And I didn't even have to be the one to start it!

(34 comments | Reply)


January 5th, 2010 09:14 pm
I feel like I want to talk about Sherlock Holmes now.

Sherlock Holmes was one of those stories I was into before I really knew what fandom was (which in my case means before I turned 11 and read "The World of Star Trek", so Holmes must have been around age nine. A very good year, nine.) I found some kids' paraphrase paperbacks in a library, and read them all, not realizing that they were actually paraphrase until I ran out of kids' paperbacks and turned to Mom's big hardcover anthology with the tissue-thin paper and six-point type in columns, and stumbled upon Holmes shooting up.

...that was also the first time I ever felt betrayed by a fandom.

Anyway I got over it pretty quick and read the whole anthology in one go, and have read it through several times since, and come back to favorite stories. I'm not the sort of fan who can tell you details of things that happened in CREE, but I know the classic stories pretty well.

And I've never been much for reading the fic, published or otherwise, but Holmes/Watson is one of those pairings (like Doctor/Master) that's just always *been* there for me: I can't recall a time when I didn't know about it, and know the stories and meta would be there for me when I looked for them. ...I have finally started seriously looking.

So I'm very much a bookverse girl, and generally Watsonian in outlook. (I've really been enjoying the fic I've found that extrapolates the published stories as a deliberate caricature of Holmes and really play with the "three-point characterization" idea - ignoring everything Watson tells us in exposition and rebuilding a Holmes based on what he does (and giving him believably extrapolated backstories as everything from sex-toy builder to professional violinist to rent-boy). But I've never been that interested in any of the filmed versions I've met in passing; they tend to be insufficiently cracky and melodramatic compared to the books, and Watson is not awesome enough. (On those grounds I suspect I will quite like the new movie.)

Anyway, all of that was building up to the fact that I've been reading Mary Russell fic, in hopes of being able to contribute to [personal profile] flourish's Mary Russell & Mary Marston & Madelyn Mack & Harriet Vane & Irene Adler & Nora Noraker & Miss Climpson's SUSSEX DOWNS LADIES’ SEWING CIRCLE, DETECTION DISCUSSION GROUP AND TERRORIST SOCIETY. I have two things to say about Mary Russell, now that I have at last been exposed to her beyond the barest of descriptions:

1. Okay, let me get this right: she has very little family and a mysterious past that would make any Mary Sue proud, and she has a preternatural ability to get 'round Holmes as if she's known him for years. Meanwhile, Watson's role is minimized, to the extent he even shows up at all. And Mary Russell has a *scar* on her shoulder and arm from an old injury and an intermittent limp. ...are we sure it isn't just that Watson got tired of waiting for Holmes to notice him and found a convenient genderswap-ex-machina? :D

2. I really don't like Holmes/Russell as a pairing. I like the idea of Russell and Holmes, I just really wish that / weren't in there (which is why I've never been that tempted to read the books.) I would have told you, before I started reading fic about the two of them, that it was because I have plenty of canon pairings for Holmes. Or it was because I'm really bothered by the "older man meets young girl in vulnerable circumstances, mentors her, as soon as she's just old enough to not be utterly squicky they get hitched." Don't get me wrong, if it's done well enough I can enjoy it - and there's a certain het teacher/student vibe that I gobble up like candy - but it's not that one. That one bothers me partly because of the power issues, partly because it's just so ubiquitous in certain genres, and partly because of the implication-through-repetition that a man and a woman can't have that sort of relationship without it turning romantic.

But I've realized, upon actually reading some Holmes/Russell that was set in such a way that I could ignore their backstory, that no, it is much simpler than all that. It is simply that a core pillar of my Holmes characterization is that he is completely uninterested in having sex with women - so while I'll happily buy Holmes, Demon-slayer or Holmes, Porn-star; in order to read Holmes the happy heterosexual I have to imagine him as being a completely different Holmes who is from an entirely different universe than Conan Doyle's Holmes. I am okay with Holmes the totally asexual, Holmes the celibate gay man, Holmes the gay man who goes out to "special clubs", Holmes the gay man in a committed relationship, Holmes the asexual in an epic platonic romance with The Woman, Holmes who shares Watson with Mary, even Holmes who got badly burned in relationships as an adolescent and has walled off that part of himself so firmly he's forgotten where he left the key (which seems to be Doyle's opinion). I would probably even be able to buy "Holmes meets a woman who is so awesome he is forced into a crisis of sexuality by way of her teaching him that bodies aren't important but they're still fun" but I don't get the impression that's how Holmes/Russell was done. (and if it is, given that Russell was forty years his junior when they met, eewww.) I'm usually fairly flexible on 'shipping, but I think I found Holmes at a point in my life where I *really* needed a story with non-heteronormativity at the forefront, and Holmes did that for me admirably.

So anyway. Yes. I continue to wish that the Mary Russell books were gen, in which case I would probably adore them beyond reason, and meanwhile, I will have to console myself by reading [personal profile] flourish's gen fic about Madelyn Mack (my evil plan, it is working), because Madelyn is who Mary might have been if *she* were immune to men.

All of which is by way of saying that "Silver Buttons" commentary is indefinitely postponed due to my realizing that I could say most of what I wanted to say in it by instead just writing the prequel story in which Holmes washes up on Madelyn's doorstep, mid-"His Last Bow", at the end of his tether, and there is a certain Jersey Girl contralto on the phonograph and a borrowed Stradivarius violin. :D

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January 4th, 2010 12:20 am - Why yes, this post is longer than the fic.
I haven't had time to do much reading in the yuletide archive yet, but I want to talk about the fandom I wrote in, which was Miss Madelyn Mack, Detective.

When I was hinting around about what it was, [personal profile] elspethdixon guessed "a steampunk comic about superheroes fighting crime in 1890s NYC, that being the most awesome madlibs example I can think of at the moment."

She was incorrect: it's actually a collection of short stories and two mostly-lost silent films, not a comic; and they were written between 1909 and 1914, not in the 1890s.

...the rest was pretty much right. I was going for "A hundred-year-old book about lesbians fighting crime in gaslit New York City."

Since it's mostly only steampunk in that Madelyn carries a pocket telephone, and in that it's set in the era when most of the steampunk technology was actually becoming real; and it's mostly only superheroes in that her dear companion Nora is a girl reporter working for the Daily Bugle, and in that they are both very good at fighting crime.

But then, they're only lesbians in that ... no, actually they're fairly obviously lesbians to anyone who's read the book, and my yuletide feedback agrees with me on that :D

[personal profile] cinaed, my assigned recipient, describes the fandom as " - it's pretty much a genderswap of Holmes and Watson". It's not the fandom we matched on (there will be a post about that one later), but how was I supposed to resist at least looking it up with a summary like that?

The complete Madelyn Mack story collection is available for free download through archive.org, and the PDF is illustrated with stills from the films. The Alice Joyce website also has contemporary reviews of the lost films.

I started reading ...three pages in, and Madelyn telling Nora how she's a greater detective than "our old friend Sherlock Holmes" because women are naturally better at that sort of thing, and I was pretty much a lost cause.

So is it really just a genderswap of Holmes and Watson set in gaslight New York City? I have prepared a convenient comparison chart so you can judge for yourself!

Convenient Comparison Chart for Sherlock Holmes and Madelyn Mack )

Final score: Sherlock 4, Madelyn 12 Madelyn wins!

Am I seriously claiming it's better than Holmes? No, of course not. Nora and Madelyn and the world they inhabit are fabulous and fabulously drawn, and as Edwardian genre stories they are certainly still eminently readable, and I am so very, very glad they exist; and a blatant Holmesian pastiche that consistently fails the reverse Bechdel is just so much *fun* to play in, and I really do wish they had a living fandom like Holmes has (or, failing that, they were part of Holmes-universe fanon!) But realistically, the mysteries aren't nearly as clever, as a writer Hugh C. Weir is no Conan Doyle, and with only five stories and two lost film shorts to work with, there's not nearly as much there.

And then there's the last and longest story, The Purple Thumb. TPT is ... problematic.

Extensive notes on 'The Purple Thumb' and its problems )

An outline of the fixit fic I would have written, had I world enough and time )

As for the story I actually wrote, as opposed to the one I dreamed about:

Silver Buttons All Down Her Back, 4300 words, explicit Madelyn/Nora first-time, gratuitous Sherlock Holmes crossover and clapping-rhyme references. I think it's possibly the best fic I have ever published, certainly the best I've done for yuletide. Damning with faint praise, I know.

Notes on 'Silver Buttons' )

I really feel like I want to talk more about why Miss Madelyn Mack is so deeply awesome, but really, the story I wrote is 4,300 words of me showing you all why, and after staring at this entry for several hours days, I realize that what I actually want to do is a line-by-line director's commentary of my fic. So...there is going to be another entry up shortly with that.

Anyway!

If you didn't feel like wading through all that, here's what you should know: Miss Madelyn Mack and Miss Nora Noraker are genderswapped Holmes and Watson in New York city; they are awesome and every bit as slashy as their counterparts, only with petticoats; and you can read the entire book at archive.org legally: Miss Madelyn Mack Detective; and you should. Also I will so be cosplaying her at some point: I already have a vintage 1914 black gown and black lace petticoats a Victorian adventurer's magnifying glass and stompy boots and an awesome hat; all I need is some cola berries and a locket to put them in! (I really want to find & try some kola nut, actually, it sounds interesting.)

Here is a picture of Miss Madelyn Mack:

Current Mood:: [mood icon] artistic

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